LOCATED within Symphony Tower in Section 13, Petaling Jaya, is an urban oasis called Therefore. A place where friends can meet up for desserts, colleagues can visit for lunch, and clients can be impressed at dinner.
From the outside, Therefore is unassuming. Arched windows let onlookers and natural sunlight a peek inside the cafe and restaurant. A modest mural of Malaysian flora and fauna hints at the location of the front door.
The signature scent of lavender, thyme, and germanium welcome every visitor at the door.
I was told the design of Therefore’s interior was inspired by Western Europe. To my eyes, the amber lit maroon, copper, beige, black, and blue-greys of the eatery – in combination with its clean straight and curved lines –creates a fascinating sci-fi film-noir lounge vibe. It is picturesque.
The Head Chef, Fahmie Samsudin, explained that the food and desserts served at Therefore are what he calls modern fusion. At the core of the menu are Malaysian flavours that are either shaped by or itself moulded with Western and Asian sensibilities.
At a preview session before the grand opening, a sampling of what Therefore has to offer was served. On the menu were three starters, a selection of four mains, and two desserts.
The first course is a serving of Vitamin Sea Soup and a shared portion of Tropical Summer and Nacho Regular Jack.
Tropical Summer is a delicious mesclun salad with refreshing fruits like grilled pineapple, orange slices and honeydew. Nacho Regular Jack, on the other hand, is a pile of handmade nachos served with shredded jackfruit that goes surprisingly well with cheese sauce and the usual dips.
However, Vitamin Sea Soup is a savoury Mediterranean-style seafood soup with the sweetness of tomatoes, and the grilled taste of shrimp, black mussels, clams, and squid.
For the second course, invited guests get to pick either a vegetarian burger made of chickpeas and potatoes (Chick-Peas Offering); butter rice with gratin, creamy curry sauce, and seafood (Cheesy Gratin-Tude); salmon with tempe herb crust and lime basil coconut sauce (Well-Tempered Salmon); or Grilled spice-marinated chicken thigh and creamy torch ginger sauce (I Am Percik).
Fahmie saved the best for last with the beautifully balanced green tea and mint cotta (Cotta Have Me Some Matcha!) and his signature caramelised apples in vanilla crepe and homemade coconut sorbet with salted Gula Melaka on vanilla crumble (Money Bag Guarantee). A delight in flavour and texture.
Therefore opened for business on Aug 10. For the launch, Fahmie hinted at another one of his signature dishes, the Rendang Beef Burger. However, knowing him, this burger will be heads and shoulders above those ordinary burgers drenched in rendang sauce.