As you walk along Jalan Telawi 2 in Bangsar, you are bound to be greeted with many eateries. Yeast is situated just a few shops away from Antipodean but oozes a different sort of atmosphere altogether with its bistronomy concept. The word bistronomy is a contraction of the words “Bistro” & “Gastronomy”.
Bistronomy concept combines in itself an informal etiquette in a basic Bistro decor serving quality cuisine with a touch of gastronomical audacity, at a relatively low price. Historically, it all started when haute cuisine masters, decided to use their talents in the casual atmosphere of a bistro, rather than face the expense, pressure, and fierce competition of fighting for the Michelin Stars. Bistronomy became a real trend, even though we still simply call these restaurants “Bistros”. The concept today is simpler, offering a more relaxed way to enjoy gourmet cuisine for lunch or dinner.
Yeast is a cozy, Parisian-style boulangerie (a bakery or place that sells bread) by day and transforms into a bistro and bar by night. As we walked in through the narrow sliding doors, we were greeted with good ol’ school black and white tiles, an open kitchen concept and a very busy environment. At the same time, there was a sense of calm in the air and we found ourselves feeling relaxed almost immediately. We were quickly seated by the bar – where all the action happens! I saw eggs being poached, fries being fried, fresh salad tossed together, and much more. It was quite exciting. Having said that, if you have a choice, try not to sit at the bar because the heat from all that kitchen action will certainly get to you.
I adore the whole concept of this bistronomy – it certainly offers something different from the rest. And don’t you just love that so many new cafes, bistros and restaurants are sprouting up like mushroom giving us consumers’ much needed variety? We’re truly spoilt for choice.
Yeast is founded by Christophe Chatron-Michaud and Lissan Teh. Christophe, having been in the food industry for many years, has headed so many great restaurants and hotels around the world most notably in Paris, New York and Las Vegas. Perhaps the name Daniel Boulud will ring a bell for some of our readers, as might Jean-Georges, both Michelin stars restaurants.
Yeast specialises in traditional Artisan French bread and uses natural home grown yeast as compared to the commercial yeast that is widely used. Natural yeast is said to give bread a better texture and crust, and perhaps a list of other benefits which I am not aware of. If you are there for brunch, breakfast or lunch you’ll most likely be limited to the selection of bread menu items only. Hop in for dinner and you can enjoy simple French cuisine that is bound to tantalise your palate.
During our visit, we ordered an almond croissant (RM 6), Le Croque Monsier (RM 22), latte (RM 8) and cappuccino (RM 9). The almond croissant arrived cold right off the shelf which we immediately returned to have it warmed up. What came back was a perfectly flaky croissant, still slightly chewy and flavoured with creamy butter from France. It went well with the expertly-made cup of coffee.
The Le Croque Monsier dish in layman terms is simply a turkey ham and cheese sandwich. This came with a side of green salad and French fries in a paper cup. The dish was hearty and delicious. The cheesiness of the sandwich was perfect.
And now, I’ve got to talk about the coffee served at Yeast. The milk (Farmhouse Milk – yay!) was steamed to perfection, the temperature was just right and the coffee had a good balance of mild acidity and slight bitterness. Lovely to the palate.
Overall, I enjoyed my dining experience at Yeast. The quality of food served was good. Their service, on the other hand, was above average. The servers were extremely attentive and knowledgeable. My only qualm was in their slight arrogance and sulkiness. Perhaps they brought a bit of that famous French culture to suit the theme? Even the owners had a very straight, sulky face. Maybe it was just my luck that day but more smiling faces would have been perfect. Still, I am looking forward to returning to Yeast to sample more of their simple yet yummy dishes.