A pastiche of Western and Eastern dishes has become a common feature of the trendy KL cafe. That being said, Wizards at Tribeca and its gastronomical treats set itself apart from the typical café food many have come to expect. This should come as no surprise, given that it is the heart-work of the same team behind the award-winning Yellow Brick Road café in Damansara Heights, and the equally successful The Red Beanbag in Publika.
Located on the ground floor of Tribeca Serviced Suites, Wizards sits conveniently within KL’s Golden Triangle – the main shopping and nightlife district. This opulence is evident as soon as you step in and experience Wizards’ elegantly decorated interior.
The restaurant’s high floor-to-ceiling windows welcome ample sunlight into its large, leafy space, ensuring you never feel like you’re shoulder-to-shoulder with the restaurant’s other patrons.
Wizards’ cohesion of sophisticated décor and its menu’s lush descriptions promises customers an experience that goes beyond the palette, making it an ideal place for a date or a fancy, Mimosa-worthy brunch. But fair warning – its hefty price tag might not make it a very student-friendly option!
Their fare leans neither Western nor Eastern, having a fair balance of both, and even fusion dishes that lay betwixt, such as the eyebrow-raising Shiitake truffle Somen and Matcha Ravioli. Among these was the deceptively plain-sounding Spicy Vongole (RM 33), which turned out to be an interesting Chinese twist on a classic Italian pasta dish and a definite must-try.
The linguini is tossed with Shao Xing rice wine instead of the traditional white wine, along with sautéed clams, chili, garlic, anchovies, and datterino tomato. Flavour-wise, the dish was creamy, slightly spicy, and smoky, a wonderful combination when paired with the distinct brininess of the clams and sharp tang of the tomatoes. The Shao Xing rice wine also imparted a substantial amount of complexity and depth into the dish but was subtle enough to stay true to the flavor profile of a classic Italian vongole. Not to be eclipsed was the wonderful hand-made texture of the linguine, which was thick, chewy, and slightly al-dente.
However, the less adventurous can rest assured as Wizards’ menu also comprises the usual brunch fare. Those with a sweet tooth can try the Almond Crusted Brioche French Toast (RM 35). It’s practically compulsory for any brunch café worth its salt to be able to make a good French Toast, and Wizards did not miss the mark.
Their fluffy and buttery brioche toast was generously coated with sliced almonds, and its earthy nuttiness was a welcome addition. To balance out the heaviness of the butter and mascarpone cream were a melange of fresh berries and a healthy drizzling of what tasted like raspberry reduction. You also have the option to adjust the sweetness to your liking as the Gula Melaka syrup is served on the side. Overall, the dish was simple, straightforward, and well done, making it a reliable brunch staple.
As for the Asian menu options, the varied selection of Bao’s looked appetizing and promising. However, the Tempura Prawn Bao (RM20) left much to be desired.
Its bombastic description of “fresh tiger prawns in cornflake tempura with flying fish roe and calamansi aioli”, gave way instead to a plain breaded prawn, wrapped in a lettuce leaf and a charcoal bao, which was sorely in need of more “calamansi aioli”. Given its hefty price point, the dish was disappointing in terms of both flavor and value.
To rehydrate after tears shed for a wasted 20 ringgit, Wizards offers a wide selection of beverages ranging from juices, teas, mocktails, and wines.
Something to note for coffee connoisseurs with very particular tastes – Wizards offers a healthy selection of specialty filter coffees alongside the usual black and white, grouping them by the supplier and delineating between them even further through the beans’ country of origin. They even go so far as to describe the region the beans were grown in, along with the variety of beans, the way the beans were processed, and the overriding notes of the coffee. Clearly, they take their coffee very seriously.
However, those who prefer something uniquely refreshing should try the Yuzu Iced Tea (RM15).
The underlying flavor profile of the tea was reminiscent of Oolong, which was beautifully complimented by the heady blossom notes of the Yuzu. As opposed to a classic iced tea, it was not overly sweet, allowing you to relish its mild complexity.
Overall, Wizards is a fantastic place if you’re looking to try a contemporary café that blends modern taste with some classic Malaysian flavors. Just be sure that your wallet is prepared to get a little skinnier with every bite you take.
Ground Floor, Residensi Tribeca, Jalan Imbi Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Written by Kay Ng
Photos by Xin Yi and Syaf