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Something’s cooking in the Republic

 | July 31, 2011

Customers can eat, enjoy the scenery, and see for themselves how heavy the traffic is outside.

FOOD REVIEW

I was beginning to miss the Arena Food Court at One Utama shopping complex because the place has been boarded up for renovations. It will be a while before it reopens with a sparkling new outlook.

However, as if an answer to a silent prayer, I stumbled onto a new “medan selera” yesterday. It was the Food Republic on the second floor of One Utama.

At first, I thought it was another one of those new eateries that surfaced along with a few others in recent weeks. But lo and behold, on closer scrutiny, it turned out to be a swanky food court.

There were at least 10 stalls catering to differing culinary preferences. The most eye-catching asset of the Food Republic is the panoramic views from the interior of the eatery.

The views which span more than 200 degrees comprise the flyover, main road, One Utama lakeside and the distant hills in Taman Tun Dr Ismail.

Since it was my first accidental visit to the Food Republic, I chose nasi dagang for sentimental reasons. The curry was pretty good. It had a certain bite that I was looking for.

The “ayam berempah” was better than average and the plate with the small heap of rice, veggies, fried egg and sambal were enough to feed two adults.

Upscale food court

There was one stall called Tarbush Express that serves, among other dishes, the famous grilled kerbab. On the far end are sweet and sour items from the Land of Smiles (Thailand).

Naturally, chicken and duck are almost obligatory items in the Malaysian menu. The roasted and BBQ choices were in abundance.

My only grouse at this point is that the beverages section needs drastic improvement. When I ordered teh tarik, it came straight from a vending machine. It didn’t taste anything like the teh tarik that I was accustomed to.

Perhaps this gastronomical mishap has something to do with Food Republic being part of a Singapore food chain. Food Republic is an established name in the Lion City where there are currently four branches.

I bet these people do not know teh tarik like we Malaysians do.

There are five Food Republic outlets in Hong Kong and one in China. The one at One Utama is the second branch in Klang Valley. The first one was opened in Pavilion Kuala Lumpur.

Food Republic at One Utama looks very smart, clean and has the atmosphere of an upscale food court. It will probably receive more attention from the younger generation.

Hawker cuisine

I was thrilled by the wide open glass windows on the side facing the exterior, right next to Burger King. Customers can eat, enjoy the scenery, and see for themselves how heavy the traffic can be at certain times of the day.

For the time being, I am giving Food Republic the thumbs-up. It is an excellent choice for some delicious meals if you do not relish the idea of consuming more fast food. Air-conditioning is free and unpolluted air is part of the package.

Food Republic belongs to the BreadTalk group based in Singapore. Its spacious dining concept is enhanced by a wide selection of hawker cuisine.

If you do not like eating by the roadside or in some dusty and unhygienic back lanes, you would love this place. It has all the modern conveniences that will make you feel right at home.

The choices of hawker fare are impressive. The place looks very inviting. Families with more than two children shouldn’t have any difficulty in choosing items to suit all individuals.

Don’t worry, the prices are affordable. You really don’t need to spend more than RM10 per person. If it can please a fastidicious person like me, it should be a bonus for everyone else.


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