[编辑 Editor 吕大人 英译 Translator 刘大人 摄影 Photographer 黄大人]
享用这顿美味料理时，大人方知原来幕后掌厨的主人家 Chef Benny 来自新加坡。在多数新山人的观念里，厨艺有成后到彼岸当厨师俨然才是「常态」，毕竟两地币值早已无法阻挡年轻有能力的厨师们离乡背井，而今日於饭局中获知师承新加坡顶尖意大利执行主厨、曾任职于 Peranakan Group 并拥有逾17年厨房经验的 Chef Benny 与其伙伴们竟然反其道而行，从长堤的另一方前进，扎根新山亲自主理餐厅里的前后场。
There is a new establishment in Mount Austin worthy of fine dining, where a standard meal here can cost as little as from RM6.90. The best part: the chef-owner is Singaporean.
While it’s commonplace for experienced Malaysians and trained culinary talents to ply their trades across the causeway, few Singaporeans would actually do the opposite and earn their keeps in favour of the Ringgit, especially when the chef in question is already an accomplished cook with over 17 years of experience under his apron, and more so with top restaurants such as Prego and Peranakan Group, surprise? Take a page from the locals but moving in the opposite direction, the talented Chef Benny and friends first took up an opportunity to explore the culinary scenes in JB city centre, before finally setting up shop at one of the emerging suburbs further northeast of the Causeway!
能让饕客一试成主顾，大人心想除了料理口味绝佳之外，合理的价格与亲切的服务也必然位列前三。原以为在冷门时段用餐，应该没人会在 deTheme Gastronomy Restaurant & Bar 里与大人有志一同，岂知入座后不久，眼前这些空位子竟都被年轻常客们给填满了！
馆子里的欧式情调，自今年7月起开始暖人心胃，大人身边的探子们更早已手刀极速光顾多回。Chef Benny 的开放式厨房不仅能让饕客们一窥厨房动线，更是细心的后场团队们近距离观测大众口味的镜头所在。而近日来 deTheme 所主推的全日优惠套餐，即是团队们悄悄使出杀手锏，以细致分子料理做法呈献大众化口味，大人拿起了餐谱瞧了瞧价格 (意大利面由RM6.90起，附送饮料；盖饭与披萨由RM8.90起，只需RM0.90即可加点一杯饮料)，内心暗忖，一股来自良心食肆的暖流啊！这摆明让饕客们完全无力招架嘛！
Being at such a neighbourhood location makes deTheme Gastronomy Restaurant & Bar highly undiscoverable and affordable as well, adding on to that obscurity with its self-effacing exterior and interior at best that hardly screams attention. Trust us, isn’t just a restaurant with amateur chefs or lacklustre food that tries but fails; instead, deTheme knows their stuff from previous F&B experience, and ultimately, what lies underneath is their abilities to dish out good food. We were taken by surprise that the restaurant attracts quite a crowd even at the off-peak hours in between lunch and dinner!
In the words of Chef Benny, fine dining doesn’t necessarily mean we have to break the bank, and deTheme now offers excellent value for all-day dishes. Featuring a great selection of pasta to pizza from RM6.90, this allows us to sneak peek into the food the newcomer offers before committing to its full lunch or dinner service. What a deal!
餐前面包 Oregano Bread
随餐点附赠的自制餐前面包 Oregano Bread，让饥肠辘辘的大人我即生好感。之前探子们总回报说这儿的餐前面包人气高企，蘸点了伴随一侧的 Honey Truffle Butter，入口后果真所言不虚，「松软温热的面包外在与内心一派老实低调，味道却极香！将蜜糖松露牛油拌匀后品尝，当真停不了口啊！」由于口碑甚好，主人家经不起饕客们的盛邀，月前这 Oregano Bread 也开始以每份RM4.90 (附酱料) 的价格犒赏大伙儿的味蕾噢！
For starter, we had Oregano Bread. While we usually go easy on bread to keep space for something more exciting later on. We could not, however, resist this well-made appetiser and ate the entire plate full. Chef Benny certainly has a good grip on how to not dry out the insides while keeping the bread incredibly soft on the outside. To up the ante for those looking for handcrafted artisan European-style bread, the accompanying Honey Truffle Butter spread helped accentuate the already rich topping, while the honey provided an addictively sweet touch, so much so delicious that it definitely earned its place in our ever-expanding tummies.
冷热饮 Assorted beverages
餐前面包让人一秒打开味蕾，此时若能有热咖啡来暖身，午后的精神奕奕并非奢想啊！冷热饮随心挑，随餐点附赠的自制冰柠滋味与一般所尝有异，毫无酸涩，清顺可口；而右边这杯具海蓝色舒爽面貌的奇亞籽苏打冰饮，竟有着让人一听难忘的名字：Poisoned Apple 毒苹果(RM9.90)！毒苹果里含少量酒精成分，未免看官们太快「中毒」，大人就以身试法先破梗吧！
deTheme serves a good range of cold and hot beverages such as lattes and cappuccinos with thick and foamy milk, while the homemade Iced Lemon Tea was a refreshing change, with the acidity and freshness of the lemon juice making it taste like lemonade. Granted, the Halloween season may be over, but it’s also amazing for the entire year, but live the spooky spirit with this Poisoned Apple cocktail with its mystical blue and kiwi seeds which make for one eerily beautiful drink!
早午餐式意大利面 Brunch Style Pasta
咱们脑海里的 Brunch 被生性奔放叛逆的意大利人给颠覆了！ 据主人家透露，这道原属北意大利的早午餐式意大利面 Brunch Style Pasta (特价套餐附赠冰柠，价格为RM9.90，原价 RM18)，以一贯在早午餐里现身的菌菇与火腿为佐料，上桌前再缀以水波蛋，活脱脱就是融入浓厚意式滋味的的版本啊！「以弹牙的面条取代面包，份量甚大，饱足感绝对破百！」
We no longer need to wait for the weekends for our brunch fix. just get them anytime. Here, new to the brunch menu is an age-old Italian classic of Brunch Style Pasta which is Northern Italian cuisine meets traditional English influences in essence and serving our favourite sauteed mushrooms and ham, topped with a runny onsen egg on a bed of pasta cooked al dente rather than an open toast. At an unbelievable price tag of less than RM10, Chef Benny indeed has a knack for making great pasta, and we think it must have been the Prego’s blood that runs in his veins. Mama mia!
天妇罗炸虾盖浇饭 Tempura Prawn
以特选珍珠米呈献的天妇罗炸虾盖浇饭 Tempura Prawn (RM25.90) 份量无敌澎湃！融入了咱们平日熟悉的沙拉创意，品尝前先将佐料拌匀，「沙拉食蔬、水波蛋与照烧酱滋味原来如此合拍 😋 ！」超开胃的这道饭食还让大人一时不慎遗忘了主角天妇罗炸虾！
A bowl made of deep fried tempura over a bed of Japanese rice, the Tempura Prawns here were not overly coated in batter, with its natural taste remained intact, and each bite was firm with a satisfying crunch. The best part? Poke the onsen egg and watch it burst, then mix it with the rice and salad or use the runny egg yolk as a dip for the tempura. Oishii ne!
火腿与蘑菇盖浇饭 Ham & Mushroom
deTheme 对无饭不欢的饕客们真是厚爱不已，同是以珍珠米搭配满满铺料的 Fusion 料理火腿与蘑菇盖浇饭 Ham & Mushroom (限时特惠RM9.90，原价RM12.90，只需RM0.90即可加点一杯饮料) 一上桌就让人哗然，「这是两人份吧？」水波蛋经不起轻轻的戳破，缓缓流出的鲜黄蛋液与火腿、蘑菇齐拌匀后的咸香脆滋味，饱腹感满分！
Extremely magnanimous with their ingredients, most times we’ll find our bowl at deTheme overflowing with a satisfying natural sweetness coming out from the lettuce, ham and mushroom simmered together, topped with the omnipresent runny onsen egg and served over Japanese rice. Even with its low promotional price under RM10 (U.P. RM12.90), the Ham & Mushroom doesn’t compromise on the quality at all. Adding an additional RM0.90 will get you a refreshing Iced Lemon Tea to complete a hearty meal!
意式与日式的 Fusion 出马皆报捷战胜味蕾了，这道融合了本地干捞面创意气息的当家面食，意式干捞面 Bakmee (特价套餐附赠冰柠，价格为RM8.90，原价 RM15) 当然也不可小觑噢！那在意大利面上的点点小红心原来即是轻易掳获地方饕客舌尖的辣椒虾米香，「拌匀后竟有神似辣椒板面的风采噢！能成为当家面食绝非虚传。」
Who would have thought? An ingenious fusion of Italian and Japanese cuisine with a local “ban mian” twist, where the hearty broth was replaced with a combination of sauces and chilli flakes actually resulted in a decently satisfying plate of Bakmee that could give any neighbourhood kopitiam and bigger players a run for their money at RM8.90 (U.P. RM15). Lightly seasoned with enough flavour and doesn’t end up too sickening to drain the entire dish, a quick, simple toss has made this entirely slurp-worthy even without the soup.
黑贻贝与粉红酱 Black Mussel Pink Sauce
经主厨多时细心熬煮的粉红酱，酸甜匀称缠绕於弹牙意大利面之间，缀以硕大的黑贻贝后成就了这道黑贻贝与粉红酱 Black Mussel Pink Sauce (特价套餐附赠冰柠，价格为RM15，原价 RM25)。「粉红酱这回以酱汁救世主的形象现身，终结了不喜传统意式番茄酱的饕客们只能挑白酱的遗憾！」
On the rare occasions where we feel like having the best of both cream and tomato worlds, the Black Mussel Pink Sauce is simply a no-brainer. At the promotional price of RM 15 (U.P. RM25), the price was reasonable for the portion size, with a substantial amount of fresh mussels dispersed throughout and the sauce that didn’t end with us feeling “jelak”. We suggest putting aside the constant debate between choosing the white or red sauce for your seafood and go pink instead, and you will be pleasantly surprised!
奶油甜玉蜀黍比萨饼 Corn Pizza
仅有毫米超薄的店家自制奶油甜玉蜀黍比萨饼 Corn Pizza (限时特惠RM8.90，原价RM9.90，只需RM0.90即可加点一杯饮料)，单一的馅料可不影响美味噢！拉丝之际已可闻香，既薄又脆的芝士饼皮与微甜多汁的玉蜀黍在口中咸甜交织，「越嚼越生香啊！」
Yummy tummy! With some spare capacity still to satiate our sweet tooth, we opt for the Corn Pizza, and this wafer-thin homemade flatbread did not disappoint! We loved the bite of little sweetness from the fresh corn in this pizza and thought the kids will fight over these, even if there’re enough servings to go round!
「可以吃进肚里的气球？庆生时把蜡烛也一并吃下？」看官们或许会以为大人饱尝料理后开始语无伦次吧？其实不然，大人所提及的气球与蜡烛皆是 Chef Benny 与团队的分子料理杰作噢！deTheme Gastronomy Restaurant & Bar 的餐谱其实不仅限于全天候大众料理，曾接受过新加坡优频道及优周刊专访的 Chef Benny 也能为看官们打造独一无二的四式或五式 Semi Fine Dining 私房晚餐 (包场至少需10人)，只需三天前亲临餐厅洽询或拨电 +607-364 1787 预约，团队们即能亲自为你准备独家料理 😄 。从一碗平实的日常料理至一晚精致的私人飨宴，deTheme Gastronomy Restaurant & Bar 皆如此认真对待啊！
When we hear birthday party we think a sumptuous spread of food, and rumour has it that deTheme provides balloons and candles for any celebrations and occasions, but the catch is you will have to “eat” up everything that’s on the table! Yes, we are not kidding but truth to be told, the “decorations” were actually a slight play on molecular gastronomy by Chef Benny who occasionally does semi-fine dining specials upon request, depending on what’s in stock or in season. If you fancy a 4 to 5-course menu on a molecular gastronomy level, call +607-364 1787 with a minimum reservation of 10 pax at least 3 days in advance.
We could definitely feel the passion and effort of the Singaporean owners behind the craft, and we love to come back and also recommend others to visit in the meantime; simply because of its more than good enough tasteful fusion food at a fraction of the prices we find outside, which makes our visit to deTheme Gastronomy Restaurant & Bar worth the trip and truly worthy of recognition. We were sad we didn’t discover their existence earlier, but still, it’s a case of better late than never!
deTheme Gastronomy Restaurant & Bar
Address: No. 2A Jalan Austin Height 3/2, Taman Mount Austin, Johor Bahru.
Contact: +607 – 364 1787
Time: 12 noon – 10pm (Weekday); 1pm-11pm (Weekend and Public Holiday)