Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Zuup's On, People

"It has great food," FunnyBunny said. "You've never noticed?"

"Oh, I noticed," I replied, a bit defensive. "I just didn't bother."

She rolled her eyes. "It's just a restaurant," she sighed, "not a concentration camp. Give it a shot! What have you got to lose, aside from a few bucks? They have great food. The butterfish is nice. You should try it."

I gave her the benefit of the doubt. Part of her job involves eating, which meshes well with one of her passions, which is, um... eating.

I wasn't disappointed.

I've since made the place a sort-of regular destination for fine food, one of a select few (thanks largely to FunnyBunny). They made changes to the menu after my second visit, so some familiar items had gone missing or were re-packaged as something else. The vichyssoise, for instance, was tinkered with and reincarnated as the Chicken Confetti Soup - probably because customers couldn't pronounce the word.

Zuup is a soup bar by name, so it's natural that soups loom large in their menu (among other meal-time offerings) - about a dozen by my last count. Forget the watery bases so prevalent in Asian kitchens. Each Zuup creation is hearty and flavourful, more stew than soup. Paired with some bread or salad, a regular portion is a meal in itself. Heartier appetites will be pleased with the bread bowl portion - no need to lick the bowl, just eat it!

My favourite soups include the Chicken Confetti, Lamb Goulash (previously known as the Hungarian Lamb Stew), the Irish Beef Hotpot and - despite my shellfish allergy - a tomato-based seafood soup. It's still a while before I go through the entire menu, but chances are good that every Zuup soup is a winner in its own right.

OK, they don't have all kinds of soup. There's no gazpacho, for example, or borscht - which was kind of disappointing. And they "dropped" the vichyssoise (it's vee-shee-suah, you Philistines!) And it was... warm! Some chefs would freaking spit.

A dinner-time favourite of mine is their sirloin steak, drizzled with a smoky barbecue sauce and rested on top of a bed of scrubbed but unpeeled potato wedges. While it's available daily, the steak is one of the dinner-time set meal items. There's an option to add on a starter portion soup of your choice for RM6 (there's even a soup du jour flavour, which is not in the menu).

I also tried the butterfish, and it is good, especially the potato salad. I could have done with a little less butter in the sauce, though. I also had a lamb mix combo, which boasts lamb chops and a lamb sausage, with potatoes and a sublimely sweet and fragrant onion relish.

With the exception of their pasta dish (not very exceptional) I've encountered nothing but winners at the deceptively-named soup bar, tucked so neatly away in the corner of a busy shopping mall corridor. There's a separate dining room for those who want a bit more privacy, and an old PS2 for rent (I think). Free wi-fi? They have that, too.

But I'm not interested in furnishings.

Like I said, I haven't gone through all the soups from Zuup. Who's joining me for my next visit?



Zuup Soup Bar
LG 223, 1 Utama Shopping Centre
Bandar Utama
47800 Petaling Jaya

CLOSED FOR GOOD

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