Godiva and TWG Tea Salon & Boutique have always been the headliners of Valiram Group’s fine foods division. However, tucked away in the back of the Kate Spade New York store in Pavilion KL is Quivo. A restaurant born out of love for food, cocktails, and celebratory moments, this homegrown establishment exudes a cool, casual vibe that stands out in a city where restaurants are constantly devising and scrambling to be the cream of the crop.
Located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, this al-fresco restaurant and bar places its emphasis on fresh ingredients, which when put in the skilful hands of its chefs, are spun into full-blown creations that make up the contemporary Mediterranean menu.
Start your Quivo experience with the Cheesy Spinach Dip. The name brings to mind simple, warm tastes that can easily be emulated at home, but in reality, it is so much more. Baby spinach is combined with roasted red chilies, cream, and parmesan cheese—in complementing ratios—to make up the dip. Punctuated with the crispy pita chips (homemade, of course), the rich yet balanced texture of the dip also delivers a slight spicy kick to your taste buds.
While most of Quivo’s menu offerings are made up of familiar ingredients, it’s the combinations and the resulting concoctions of the resident chefs that entice the palate. See the Wagyu Beef Sliders and Dungeness Crab Cakes respectively; these two dishes feature sliders with—you know it—wagyu beef patties or crab cakes in between brioche buns.
Cheap lobster substitutes, olive oil fraud (100% extra-virgin, how sure are you?), and fake “farm-to-table” claims—the rising trend of being aware of what you feed your body, and understanding the implications of your chosen ingredients had led to increase in the demand for a healthier, sustainable diet. Food establishments worldwide are increasingly conscious of this idea, and are working to satisfy the palates of diners (or so they claim in their marketing spiels).
Quivo sticks to its claims, and two things about this dinner struck me. First, everything hardly tasted like they were frozen, which meant Quivo wasn’t kidding, or over-exaggerating, about serving fresh, quality food. Second, the flavours, while expected to “speak of the true Mediterranean love of life”, were all over the map. That’s not to say that Quivo isn’t clear with its direction—the essence of the Mediterranean is still present with every bite in this contemporary setting.
A favourite among Quivo diners, and with BAZAAR as well, is the Seafood Capellini. As promised, the mussels were succulent, while sea bass, prawns, squid, and thin spaghetti strands are sautéed with garlic and herb butter sauce. Is it soft buttery goodness on a plate? Yes. Is it too rich and greasy for its own good? Definitely not.
Feeling like you deserve a drink (or two)? We’re huge proponents of treating yourself—any time, any day, and Quivo delivers in this aspect. Traditional cocktails are given major twists and reinterpretations to take you back to a time when lounging by the beach, clutching a drink in hand, and revealing sun-kissed skin, was a given. Moroccan Twist utilises Haig Club scotch whisky, TWG Tea’s own Moroccan Mint Tea, mixed in with elderflower and dried orange. For the adventurous, another choice selection, Hen-Sip, has Hennessy VSOP as base, Frangelico hazelnut liqueur, sweet vermouth, and Chateau Ste. Michelle Riesling, and cinnamon powder all brought together to transform into an eclectic house blend.
The can’t-miss treats? Ultimate Oreo Brownie, served with Snickers ice cream and caramel sauce, as well as the Caramel Pecan Tart, topped with Horlicks ice cream. Indulgence is as simple as finishing your meal with familiar childhood treats, all mixed together to reflect the informal yet elegant ambience of the place.
Quivo is open from 10am to 10pm everyday.
3.09.02, Level 3, Pavilion KL. Tel: 03-2141 7711. www.quivo.my