From a professional photographer to restaurant owner, Sharon Lam of GLASS Tartines & Tipples has certainly taken an interesting culinary path.
“I studied fine art photography at Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne, Australia. I don’t think that there was a specific ambition growing up – I certainly didn’t expect to be doing what I’m doing today,” says Lam.
According to the youthful-looking 40-something, she discovered a passion for food as a student Down Under.
“When I was living in Australia – like any other student – I couldn’t afford to eat out too much. So, you’re forced to learn how to cook. When I was in university, I worked in two cafes that were really different in their food offerings. This, I suppose, sparked my interest in food.
“Being in Australia also exposed me to their approach to food and their interest in using fresh local produce.”
Lam describes GLASS as a loosely-inspired French restaurant. “Our menu is quite varied – it has something for everyone. The premise of our food sets us apart; wherever possible, our product is made on site. From the dressings to soup bases, dips and meatballs, we make everything that we can ourselves. We believe that one should eat well – and that translates into the ingredients that we select and use.”
“We are the only outlet on the strip that serves a wide range of craft beers and BBQs both on Friday evenings and Sundays as brunch.”
Bestsellers on its menu, says Lam, include truffle scrambled eggs which are a hit with breakfast regulars, and the smoked salmon salad, which comes with lychee and fresh house cilantro dressing.
“Our Asian meat platter is a new favourite. Served on a wooden platter, it includes char siew chicken with our house made chilli sauce, peppered oxtail and chicken ball bites with crisp sesame cucumber noodles. It’s perfect for sharing.”
An all-time favourite is the coffee rubbed Australian ribeye, which sees a good cut of steak with a coffee crust served with gorgonzola sauce. “It sounds like such a strange combination but it works deliciously well,” enthuses Lam.
Lam can talk at length about food. “I am interested in the process of, firstly, making use of interesting ingredients. A dish is a final outcome of the combination of many ingredients coming together well, sourcing for produce and experimenting with it to create flavour through infusion, smoking and other methods. We make our own salts, rubs, syrups and alcohol infusions, using mainly local produce.
“It’s an interesting process to discover smells and tastes through different stages. And then to incorporate that into the dish.”
When it comes to food creations, Lam says: “We mainly start from the ingredient that we’d like to include in a dish or even in a drink. I discuss with the chef how to incorporate a certain flavour, herb or texture, whether it’s subtle or strong.
“Sometimes we try to reinvent a sauce that’s fairly common – like our char siew chicken chilli sauce – it may be basic but we’ve put our own spin on it.”
She adds: “We love experimenting with slightly different combinations. For instance, our blended juices comprise orange, cherry tomatoes and thyme, or roasted pumpkin and our house roasted granola.
“We make our own syrups too; our coolers such as pandan and mint include the old time local favourite biji selasih (basil seeds).”
From Monday to Friday, GLASS offers value-for-money set lunches at RM22+. Lam adds that GLASS is open to hosting private events.
“The BBQ is a favourite to have for events. We are able to put together something special for customers such as whole fish baked in salt or tea smoked meats,” she says.
GLASS TARTINES & TIPPLES
A-0-6 Ground Floor, St Mary Residences
No 1 Jalan Tengah, off Jalan Sultan Ismail
50450 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2022 1477