KUALA LUMPUR, June 6 ― Yet another restaurant is closing. This time, it is the Delicious Group whose restaurants have been part of the dining scene in the city and Petaling Jaya for the past two decades.
The closure may seem abrupt but according to a statement issued on their social media platforms, the management said they already had plans to cease operations even before the movement control order (MCO).
However, they soldiered on during the lockdown as a form of support for their staff who needed jobs during that difficult time. Sadly, they have now deemed it impossible to continue.
Delicious originally started out as a small cafe inside the MS READ boutique at 1Utama Shopping Centre. Benjamin Yong together with his mother Helen Read and her best friend Abby Leong started the cafe.
It very quickly garnered a loyal following with its moist carrot cake, scones and decadent chocolate cake.
Following its success, they opened an outlet in Bangsar Village in 2005 and it has been a part of the Bangsar food scene ever since.
Later, the group expanded to different concepts in Bangsar, giving us D'Lish, Botanical and Reunion Chinese Restaurant.
Who can forget the quick-to-go, hearty salads at D'Lish and that melt in the mouth, luscious char siew at Reunion.
In 2007, E&O Group bought a 51 per cent stake in the group. That led to a massive expansion at E&O's Dua Residency ― the gourmet purveyor Delicious Ingredients and luxury steakhouse DISH.
Delicious Ingredients gave the Klang Valley a taste of gourmet pleasures when it brought in sauces, jams, spices, cheeses and much more, from all over the world. You also had pastries, cakes, meats and seafood.
That was where I indulged in my guilty pleasure of the Amedei chocolates from Italy as they were the only ones bringing in the artisan brand.
Adjoining the purveyor, you had the luxury steakhouse DISH. This was headed by Englishman Steve Allen who once worked with Gordon Ramsay at the Claridges Hotel.
We got a taste of roasted bone marrow, foie gras and steaks. One of my favourite items was his coconut panna cotta that saw local flavours reinvented into delicious wobbliness.
In 2010, E&O bought Yong's remaining shares and they parted ways. Yong would later start the BIG group and Allen spearheaded the management of the Delicious Group.
Under Allen's management, he revamped the Delicious restaurant's menu, injecting new items like beef short ribs herbal soup that stood side by side with their pasta and local favourites.
In 2014, he started the spin-off Simply D that offered a fuss-free menu with their mix and match pasta bowls, burgers and cakes. We had a taste of Allen's tribute to the Malaysian favourite spicy pan mee and there was even the crowd favourite, salted egg pumpkin.
As E&O's owners decided to concentrate on other ventures, they sold the Delicious Group to Envictus International Holdings Group in 2018. The company had experience in F&B ventures such as Texas Chicken and San Francisco Coffee.
They undertook a massive rebranding exercise, replacing Delicious' iconic turquoise colours with a deeper green hue. The outlets at Bangsar Village, 1 Utama Shopping Centre and St Mary's Place were also infused with the stunning designs of Lisette Scheers depicting various elements of Nature.
Sadly, the Delicious Group has now exited the scene altogether. Goodbye, Delicious. You have fed us well. Thanks for the memories.
The Delicious Group