Food + Drink

Eats-A-Review: Highlights from Carbon, TBC, and Las Meninas

Bites to remember


By Amanda Fung

Eats-A-Review: Highlights from Carbon, TBC, and Las Meninas

Welcome back to another edition of Eats-A-Review, where we point you in the direction of some of the best bites in the Klang Valley and give our honest opinions on them. In this instalment, we take you through three very distinct eateries around the Klang Valley.

First, we share our experience with Kota Damansara’s Carbon and its new menu. Then, we head to casual fine restaurant TBC to get a taste of its refreshed lunch offerings. Finally, we share our thoughts on The Exchange TRX’s new tapas hangout Las Meninas. Read on to find out what we thought of each meal! 



Step into Carbon and you’ll feel like you’ve just walked into a fancy friend’s dining room. Its space is centred around its open kitchen, which gives diners an unobstructed view of the team whipping up dishes for your meal.

Known for its grill-focused fare, Carbon aims to bring out the best of global cuisines through its dishes. This time round, we got a taste of its Ramadan-inspired menu that puts the spotlight on local favourites. 

Our meal kicks off with a trio of starter bites: prawn toast, veal and pumpkin begedil, and rendang beef tartare on crunchy bread. The first of the three was the prawn toast, which was a delightful balance between the savoury prawns and cincalok and mayonnaise with tobiko.

Next came the veal and pumpkin begedil, which was reminiscent of a croquette. Best eaten in one bite, the snack was dressed with dollops of kicap Johor and avocado cream cheese—each adding an extra tangy and creamy dimension to the overall dish respectively. Lastly, the rendang beef tartare with crunchy bread was a playful combination of textures, supplemented with the aromatics of Thai basil and rendang spices.

After our snacks, we moved on to the warm courses beginning with Carbon’s take on a bubur lambuk. Made with barley and serunding itik, the congee-like dish was nothing short of heartwarming. The familiar texture of porridge and pops of umami from the duck floss made each mouthful enjoyable, especially with the addition of the shaved cured egg yolk topping. 

Moving on to the first seafood course of the meal: Carbon’s version of lontong. The dish is centred around a juicy tiger prawn, served with lontong sauce, peanut sauce, crispy fried yam, geragau, and herbs. This was a personal favourite of the meal, as it balanced the sweetness of the succulent prawn perfectly with the slight spiciness from the sauces and crispy textures from the condiments. 

For our fish dish, we were served a modernised laksam that presented a perfectly grilled barramundi as its star ingredient. The barramundi was accompanied by a butterfly pea-dyed rice disc, pickled jicama, pineapples, lemon caviar, sambal, and smoked sardine sauce. 

The last main course was a hefty one with Carbon’s signature seasonal claypot rice, otak-otak, 21-day aged duck breast, and Australian grass-fed Angus beef. For this menu, the team opted to create an aromatic nasi ulam for its claypot rice of the season. I personally enjoyed each element on its own and made my way through the dish bit by bit, savouring it all. We even got to choose a custom-made knife of our choice to tackle the meats with, which made the experience all that more unique. 

Then came our dessert: dates cake with a coriander biscuit, burnt butter ice cream, mixed nut brittle, and spiced butterscotch. Perfect for those with a sweet tooth, the different textures and temperatures combined for a fun little ending to the meal. Our petit four came in the form of Carbon’s kuih-muih selection with kuih bom, a crispy spring roll, kuih sarang semut, and kuih talam pulut hitam. This course was definitely a highlight of the meal with four very distinct and delicious quintessentially Malaysian bites. 

Address: 7, Jalan Pekaka 8/1D, Kota Damansara, 47810 Petaling Jaya

Opening hours: 6pm to 10.30pm (Wednesday to Friday) | 12pm to 3pm & 6pm to 10.30pm (Saturday and Sunday)

Contact: +6012 988 7219

Website | Instagram | Reservations



Over in the Taman Tun Dr. Ismail neighbourhood is TBC, which got its start in 2021 as a burger-focused joint but has since relaunched as a classy contemporary European restaurant. Short for The Burger Chef, the restaurant’s name is an ode to its beginnings.

Led by chef Patrick Lim, TBC recently released a new lunch menu, which we got to sample during our visit. The space itself is cosy and great for a lunch or dinner date. Counter seating is also available for those who like to dine with a view of chefs in the kitchen. 

The four-course lunch starts off with an amuse bouche duo—comprising a tomato tart and a mushroom croquette—and the restaurant’s garden salad. The tart was well-balanced and refreshing, whereas the croquette was a crispy ball of creamy umami that I thoroughly enjoyed. Meanwhile, the salad was a great starter to line my stomach for the heavier courses that were on their way.

For our second course, we were served a luscious potato-leek soup. Consistency-wise, the team achieved the perfect thickness that allowed for the soup to carry immense flavour without being too stodgy. We were also served sourdough slices—which were great for dipping into the soup—and some herb butter.

Next, we moved on to the main course of the meal. I opted for the warm capellini with pan-seared scallops, creamy abalone sauce, and ikura. On the other hand, my companion chose the twice-cooked marinated chicken with truffle gnocchi and mushroom cream sauce. The capellini was without a doubt the star of the show. The dish was perfectly balanced and delicate despite being made with truffles, a notoriously pungent ingredient. 

Rounding off the meal was a decadent dessert plate with a chocolate tart and a macaron. If you’re an avid fan of chocolate, the tart would tick all the right boxes. On the other hand, the salted caramel macaron was perfect for those who like their desserts on both the sweet and savoury side. Priced at RM128++ per meal and available from Thursdays to Saturdays, a lunch here is well worth your time and money. 

Address: 125, Jalan Aminuddin Baki, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, 60000 Kuala Lumpur

Opening hours: 6pm to 10.30pm (Sunday to Wednesday) | 12pm to 2.30pm & 6pm to 10.30pm (Thursday to Saturday) | closed on Monday

Contact: +6017 304 7851

Website | Instagram | Facebook



Joining The Exchange TRX’s blazing lineup of restaurants is tapas specialist Las Meninas, located in the  mall’s Dining Terrace. Brought to you by the foodies behind Valiram and The Cinnamon Group, the restaurant is named after Diego Velázquez’s painting—a nod to its celebration of the food, artistry, and culture of Spain.

With everything from tacos to tapas on its menu, Las Meninas offers an all-around Spanish dining experience with something for everyone at the table. Within the space is a range of table options—including outdoor seating—and the restaurant bar, where its signature cocktails are shaken up. 

When we visited, we were given the quintessential Las Meninas meal that included everything from classic tapas to dessert. To begin, we were served some gambas al ajillo, mushroom croquetas, and boquerones. The gambas al ajillo was an instant hit with its juicy prawns and aromatic garlic oil.

Meanwhile, the croquetas were perfectly crisp on the outside and silky smooth on the inside with the bechamel centre. They were served with a black truffle mayonnaise, which added a touch of luxe to each bite. The final dish of this starting trio, the boquerones, is made with white and black anchovies and paired with tomatoes on some toasted baguette slices. If you’re looking for a bite that will transport you to the Mediterranean coasts, this is it. 

Next came the restaurant’s signature albondigas, which are lamb meatballs stewed in a heartwarming tomato-herb sauce and topped with smoked Idiazabal cheese and pine nuts. The meatballs alone were juicy and tender, but when eaten with the sauce and some pine nuts, each bite burst with flavour and character. 

Then, we were served a plate of pulpo a la Gallega—another signature dish at Las Meninas. The grilled Atlantic octopus was charred to perfection and served on a bed of potato chiffon mousse with Spanish paprika and aioli. This course was followed by a delectable chorizo con papas, which combined two crowd favourites of chicken Spanish sausages and baby potatoes. 

For our carb mains, we were served a double dose of paellas: the seafood-centric paella de marisco and a meat-focused paella de montaña. The former is topped with prawns, mussels, scallops, and clams, whereas the latter is embellished with chicken, mushrooms, and a medley of vegetables. Perfect for seafood lovers, the paella de marisco was well-loved around the table with its rich aromas. Meanwhile, the paella de montaña is on the milder side when it came to its flavour, but still offers a great bite for those who prefer poultry. 

Our dessert came in the form of churros. Though they were on the crunchier side, the chocolate, pistachio crème anglaise, and berries marmalade dips were silky smooth and added some extra sweetness to each bite. As a whole, Las Meninas offered a vibrant look at Spanish cuisine and shouldn’t be missed whenever you’re at The Exchange TRX

Address: Level 2, Dining Terrace, The Exchange Mall, TRX

Opening hours: 12pm to 10pm (Sunday to Thursday) | 12pm to 11pm (Friday and Saturday)

Contact: +6011 4004 3466

Website | Instagram | Facebook



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