Delightful rice bowls at renamed cafe

Eu Hooi-Khaw

A breakfast option called ‘Golden Harvest’, with sweet corn fritters. smoked salmon, a poached egg, pineapple salsa and chilli oil. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, September 23, 2023.

AFTER many years, Les Deux Garcons, a French café, has morphed into Sixteen, an all-day restaurant that serves rice bowls and pasta while still offering croissants, raisin rolls, marble cake and madeleines.

Sixteen, which is in Taman Desa, Kuala Lumpur, goes by its new name mainly because it’s No.16 in a row of shops.

There we were at Sixteen on a late Saturday morning, and the multinational menu beckoned to us with rice bowls with ayam kesum cili, with some named “Taste of Delhi”, “Buddha Bowl” and “Nippon”.

Sixteen’s ayam kesum cili rice bowl with chicken coated in a curry sauce, red rice, tempe, tofu and vegetables. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, September 23, 2023.

I liked the nyonya flavours of the curry sauce in the ayam kesum. The small chunks of chicken drenched in sauce topped the red rice, accompanied by long beans, romaine lettuce, Thai basil, crispy tempeh, fried tofu and pineapple salsa.

It was a busy bowl, as a bit of this and that made a spicy and hearty meal, with a tangy lift from the pineapple.

Sixteen’s ‘Taste of Delhi’ rice bowl comes with lamb curry, basmati pilaf, cucumber mint raita, egg, tofu and pappadam. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, September 23, 2023.

“Taste of Delhi” had lots of oomph from the tender lamb well infused with Indian spices. Beneath it was fragrant basmati pilaf cooked in ghee, accompanied by a cucumber mint raita.

Fried tofu, egg, pappadam and wakame were side toppings. The lamb was delicious, as was the sweet mango chutney.

‘Nippon’, a Japanese rice bowl with tuna, avocado, wakame, pickled ginger, spicy mayo and spicy gyoza sauce. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, September 23, 2023.

Then it was the “Nippon”, a Japanese-nuanced bowl of red rice, seared tuna, wakame, furikake, pickled ginger, edamame, cucumber, avocado and spicy mayo.

We tipped a spicy gyoza sauce into the rice to mix it all up. It was a good blend of ingredients, brought together with a spicy sweet sauce.

The Buddha bowl, a vegan option, is full of flavour and textures with beans, pomegranate, wakame, mushroom, tempe, tofu, and honey soy sesame dressing. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, September 23, 2023.

I was pleasantly surprised by the vegan option – “Buddha Bowl”. The colours of pomegranate, wakame, edamame, black beans, mushrooms, lettuce, tofu and tempeh over the red rice piqued the appetite, aided by the yummy honey soy sesame dressing. I didn’t miss the meat at all.

We chose “Golden Harvest” from the “Break the Fast” section, and this presented sweetcorn fritters on which sat a poached egg, a rosette of smoked salmon, pineapple salsa and chilli oil drizzled round it.

The sweet corn fritters were crispy on the outside and a little soft inside, matching well with the egg and smoked salmon, with a little heat from the chilli oil. It was a breakfast I wouldn’t mind going back for.

Dessert was sublime marble cake with swirls of chocolate and coffee, and buttery orange cake with poppy seeds.

I can never resist a good scone, and that was what I had here. It was light and crumbly to the bite and topped with cream and a delicious strawberry compote.

We had started earlier with coffee, an almond croissant and raisin roll while waiting for the “real” brunch.

Sixteen is located at 16 Jalan 2/109E, Desa Business Park, Taman Desa, 58100 Kuala Lumpur (phone: 03-7980 0200). It is open every day from 8am to 9pm. 

Sixteen also offers a dinner menu with chicken cordon bleu, lamb chop, ribeye Szechuan peppercorn, and salmon fillet. — September 23, 2023.

* Eu Hooi-Khaw has been writing about food for the longest time, covering all aspects, from restaurant reviews to cooking and recipes, as well as the healthy side of it. She has written for major newspapers and magazines, published the cookbook Fresh Ingredients, and also writes for her website

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