European Restaurant Taman Tun Dr Ismail

Café-Bistrot David TTDI, A Celebration of Good Food

Café-Bistrot David TTDI

Words: Kitty Noble Photos: Monica Tindall

Stepping into the gloriously detailed Café-Bistro David is like entering a Paris-meets-London-underground-meets-Malaysia eatery. This new restaurant in TTDI combines the flavours of rustic European-style cuisine with warm Malaysian hospitality and generous portions.

Café-Bistro David TTDI

The curved ceiling, where the eye is immediately drawn, was painstakingly painted and repainted. It gives the effect of weathered, copper rooftops, complete with gold leaf to enhance the patina. Drop-lights hang from the ceiling, finishing the look.

The second focal point at Café-Bistro David is the bar, which undulates around half of the length of the diner. Our view is drawn to the chef’s table, where dishes are completed, allowing an intimate flow of communication between the guests and the chef.

Exposed brick walls offer an elegant and earthy feel to the place. Shelves feature David Chin’s (the owner and raconteur extraordinaire) personal collection of tiffins. Walls are proudly covered with the pen drawings of daughter Sharon and black and white photos by SC Shekar. This attention to detail gives the place a truly rustic and independent feel. Rich navy and Wedgewood blues complement the sentiment, with gentle jazz playing in the background.

To complete the family picture, son and fine dining master chef, Darren Chin, famed for his DC and Bref restaurants, has an active hand in the business. Although, after 30 years in the business himself, David playfully tell us that there are ‘strictly no tweezers’ in this kitchen! Coming out of five years of retirement, David wants to make this rustic charm his legacy. Only ingredients of the highest quality are sourced to create scrumptious, hearty and real food.

The feel of the place is that of casual intimacy. It’s a space where friends might while away the afternoon, snacking on wonderful sharing-sized dishes, or homemade pastries. All complemented, of course, with a few bottles of their affordable and carefully selected wines.

European Restaurant Taman Tun Dr Ismail
Cafe-Bistrot David TTDI
European Restaurant Taman Tun Dr Ismail
Cafe-Bistrot David TTDI
Café-Bistro David TTDI
Chefs Darren and David Chin

Wine List

To whet our palates, we started with an elegant Frederic Magnien Cremant de Bourgogne Extra Brut (RM 288 bottle, RM 50 glass). Delicate, with feminine bubbles, the flavours were that of black raspberry, brioche, citrus and vanilla. It’s a lovely tipple to enjoy solo or with fish, poultry, appetisers and snacks. This wine is an excellent example of Café-Bistro David’s concept of affordable alcohol without the ‘high-street’ names.

European Restaurant Taman Tun Dr Ismail
Frederic Magnien Cremant de Bourgogne Extra Brut

Café-Bistrot David Menu


We began with the Mixed Mushroom Soup with Truffle Paste (RM 25) made with six varieties of mushrooms. It was deep and hearty with the earthiness of the truffle coming through. Douglas Lim, one of Malaysia’s top stand-up comedians, declared it the “best mushroom soup in the whole world”. He wasn’t joking! On its own, this could fill the hungriest of tummies, but divided between three of us, made for the perfect starter. The homemade Savoury Onion Twist (RM 10) was the perfect pairing.

Café-Bistro David TTDI
Mixed Mushroom Soup with Truffle Paste
European Restaurant Taman Tun Dr Ismail
Bread Basket

The traditional French Galette (RM 30), comprised a buckwheat pancake prettily decorated with marigold petals, rocket, cherry tomatoes, bright pomegranate gems, sharp gruyere and Emmenthal, slivers of radish and smoked turkey ham. It’s another generous portion, but the freshness of the flavours and the delicacy of the crepe, meant even I with my tiny appetite, would have eaten every last morsel.

Café-Bistro David TTDI
French Galette


The original concept of Café-Bistro David was to serve pies solely, but as with any great idea, this evolved beyond that. Nevertheless, pies are cast as a starring role in the menu. With lamb, spinach, beef and more, we struggled to choose but plumped for the Mixed Fish Pie (RM 38).

The crumbly short-crust pastry shell was jam-packed with Norwegian smoked salmon, chunky halibut and plump cod bound with a bechamel sauce and balanced with spinach. This was served with mashed potatoes, mushy peas with a paprika kick and a fish liqueur. As with every dish on the menu, it was a huge portion, which comfortably fed three of us and was genuinely fresh and delicious.

European Restaurant Taman Tun Dr Ismail
Mixed Fish Pie – Café-Bistrot David


The Reuben CBD Sandwich (RM 48) is a HUGE sarnie of homemade salted beef with sauerkraut on their own sourdough, that by all accounts would give Katz Deli in New York, a run for their money! One of the few places I have found who make ‘proper’ chips, which every enthusiast knows, HAS to be triple cooked.

Café-Bistro David TTDI
Reuben CBD Sandwich

Pappardelle with Veal Bacon (a beautiful alternative to the beef bacon) and mushroom truffle cream (RM 48) was a kind of Chinese take on an Italian dish. The bowl was crammed full of large ribbons of fresh pasta with generous helpings of the veal bacon and bits of chicken sausage. White truffle paste and a touch of Japanese seaweed lifted the recipe. Like all dishes, no seasoning is added as the carefully chosen ingredients add the salinity or sweetness required.

Café-Bistro David TTDI
Pappardelle with Veal Bacon


To finish at Café-Bistro David, a brown paper scroll on the wall told us that the dessert of the day was a Dark Chocolate Fondant( RM 28) with Madagascar vanilla ice-cream and caramel sauce. A beautifully bright ice-cream, served on a gorgeous plate with a gooey centred fondant, perfectly rounded the meal off.

European Restaurant Taman Tun Dr Ismail
Dark Chocolate Fondant

Café-Bistrot David Review

The food really matches up to the concept of great, simple grub, done well, with a casual and comfortable, yet elegant setting. We highly recommend a visit.

Reasons to visit Café-Bistrot David: The pies! Oh, the pies! Fabby place to chill with friends; freshly cooked, honest food with quality ingredients; unique and affordable wine list; unpretentious, down-to-earth setting.

Café-Bistrot David
135, Jalan Aminuddin Baki
Taman Tun Dr Ismail
60000 Kuala Lumpur (TTDI)

Café-Bistrot David Opening Hours
Daily 10 am – 10 pm. Kitchen closes between 4 and 6 pm, but the bistro is open for coffee, pastries and vino. Last orders at 8:30 pm.

Find more restaurants in TTDI here, and stay up-to-date on the latest food and beverage happenings in Malaysia here and here.


  1. That pie is gorgeous and gosh, the layers of ham in the sandwich!!! Mushroom soup looks thick and rich. This should be a good place for good food!

  2. That fish pie looks flaky and absolutely delish! A good take on the traditional pie where seafood is used. I will have to try that will salmon. Never thought to use seafood.

  3. That pie looks quite delicious but everything looks good. Cheers Diane

  4. The salted beef sandwich is so fully loaded!
    No cheese for me. Love to have some mustard with it though.

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