Replacing SoHo at Jalan Padungan, 21Bistro is a bar and restaurant established just two months ago. Curious to check out the place, Rapik, Aslan and I went there for dinner.
Turning vegan is probably one of the hardest thing to do in Kuching. I can’t blame the restaurants in Kuching for serving only 10% vegetarian menu since the population of hardcore vegan like myself is probably less than 10%. Hence, the only vegan meal suitable for me is the Thai Mango Salad. They have Wild Mushroom soup on their menu but unfortunately it was not available.
(Pardon me for the blur photos, I forgot to bring Cammy with me, iPhone was my only option)
I enjoyed the Thai Mango Salad. It was tangy, sweet and spicy (Nothing too hot) at the same time. The combination of ripe and young mangoes, cucumber and shallot is lovely. It is a fusion of the east and west as there were also some green leaves in the dish.
Aslan and Rapik shared a starter of deep fried calamaris. 21Bistro’s take on this super popular finger food is truly unique.
Instead of unhealthy mayo dip, the dish comes with a cencaluk dip! It is a bit unusual considering the fact that battered calamaris walk hand in hand with tartar sauce or mayo but because of the alternative dip, which is the cencaluk dip, makes this dish truly unique. Somehow it reminded me a lot of eating suntong ketuk (Literally hammered grilled squid or flattened with some sort of machine, usually available during the fasting month after the tarawikh prayers). Give it a try and I am sure you will love it!
Rapik had a tough time deciding his main course. He was torn between the selections of local dishes. He just arrived from a work trip in KL where he had a bit too much of Italian food and in desperate fix of something local. In the end, he chose the house speciality, 21Bistro Bee Hoon.
Rapik absolutely enjoyed his meal. An avid fan of all things seafood, he thought the dish was perfect. One can either have this dish dry or wet style. The fish gravy simply tied together all the seafood goodness. Come on, nothing can go wrong when it comes to bee hoon, it is rice but in noodle form. Hahaha.
Aslan also had difficulties choosing. After a while, he settled for the NZ Rib Eye Steak.
Aslan loved this dish. The meat was well cooked, not too dry nor bloody, tender and tasted wonderful. (Having a hard time typing this as a vegan, luckily, not a fan of beef since 2010 so, I am alright)
Overall, we had a pleasant dining experience here at 21Bistro. I can conclude that if you are a seafood enthusiast, this is the place to go because most of their dishes have seafood in it. Still, they have quite a selection of grilled meats like beef, chicken and lamb. They also have Penang Char Kway Tiaw (Perhaps I should request the chef to make a vegan version the next time I am there!). If you plan just to have something light, they have an extensive selection of drinks from the bar and yes, lovely finger food to compliment your drink.
Pricewise, I’d say it is sensibly priced. Of course don’t expect kopitiam price lah, it is a classy establishment.
Nevertheless, 21Bistro is definitely worth a try. Good place to refresh your taste palette from all the generic food you’ve had in Kuching.