Tasty Fare at Taste Bug's

Chef Eddie Soh presents his signature
Expresso BBQ Beef Back Ribs
A genuine interest in a career in the food industry coupled with the inspiration from his father, a Chinese cuisine chef, motivated Chef Eddie Soh to embark on a culinary career.  As his father’s job with Chinese restaurants took him to Sydney and Melbourne, Australia, and then to Manchester, UK, Soh decided to join him there.  It was not long before Soh started his professional culinary training at the Barking & Dagenham College in London where he learnt the finer points in preparing Western cuisine. 

His decade of culinary experience in Europe kicked off with six months in the 5-star Savoy London and continued in some of London’s finest restaurants and hotels.  As he worked alongside experienced and renowned chefs, Soh’s natural intuition for fine food helped him to gain valuable insights into creative food preparation and kitchen management.  After a stint in a restaurant in the Czech Republic, Soh was encouraged by his uncle to think about coming back to Malaysia to share his culinary talents with discerning diners here.

 
Façade of Taste Bug's at Taman Bukit Indah, Johor Baru
 
With a dream to start his own restaurant, Soh, 34, whose family hails from Muar, Johor, gave this idea serious thought.  By that time, his mother had moved to live in Johor Baru and this gave Soh more reason to start his restaurant here.  Four years ago, he opened the first Taste Bug’s in Sutera Mall followed by two more outlets in KSL City Mall and Bandar Baru Permas Jaya.  As the Permas Jaya and Sutera Mall outlets were recently refurbished to accommodate more diners, the KSL City Mall outlet moved to their latest restaurant in Taman Bukit Indah six months ago. 

Roasted Spring Chicken with Rissotto
Soh’s meticulous skills in preparing his sauces and seasoning for a taste that is unique to Taste Bug’s has garnered a loyal clientele who keep coming back for his interesting menu of Italian, Spanish and Mediterranean specialties with some American favourites.  By paying close attention to detail, dishes are not only attractively presented but even taste as good as they look.  “I use a secret blend of spiced salt to add a distinctive fragrance and flavour to my creations like our signature Truffle Wild Mushroom Soup,” said Soh, the Entrepreneur Executive Chef of the Taste Bug’s group of restaurants and food services. 

Mama Mia seafood pasta
Guests at Taste Bug’s can select their meal choices from a menu designed as a glossy magazine with a pictorial guide to help you pick from Starters, Snacks, Skewers, Grilled and Baked items, Pasta, Pizza and Paella and the all important Desserts.  Look closer for signature dishes that are marked by a ladybug icon while a tiny flaming red chillie points out the spicy items on the menu.  Just as the contents are fresh with every new issue of magazine, the menu at Taste Bug’s changes every three months to offer regulars something new and exciting at their next visit!

Delightful desserts!
 
While Soh is challenged to add new items to the menu, all-time favourites and signature dishes remain to please the palates of regulars.  He knows that they love how the tender beef falls off the bones in his Expresso BBQ Beef Back Ribs (RM98) and how tasty the roasted Spring Chicken with Rissotto (RM42) is even without dipping into the side of black pepper sauce and blend of chopped chillie topped with a dollop of garlic puree.  Come September, diners can look forward to new culinary creations like Hokkaido Sea Bass with Scallop drizzled with pea puree and Roasted Rack of Lamb served with a side of sautéed vegetables, fresh salad, mustard sauce and minty wine dip.

Salted Caramel Ice-cream
 
A Taste Bug’s distinctive is their delightful desserts that are made without being too strong on sweetness.  Take your pick from a delectable range like Tiramisu, Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart and Chocolate Fondant served with a side of vanilla ice-cream and don’t miss their own-made Salted Caramel Ice-cream.  Ask for a pot of freshly brewed mint tea served with a side of honey that will certainly refresh your palate after each course of your meal at Taste Bug’s.

The newest outlet of Taste Bug’s Restaurant & Café at No. 2 Jalan Indah 15/1, Taman Bukit Indah, 81200 Johor Baru, is open from 10.30am to 10.30pm daily with an afternoon break between 3pm to 5pm from Monday to Thursday.  For reservations and customized menus, Tel: 607 – 239 5521.  No pork or lard is used.

A version of this article was published in The New Straits Times, Streets Johor on 29 August 2013

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