Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Peranakan Place @ 1U

Restoran Peranakan Place
Lot F221, 1st Floor
1 Utama Shopping Mall
Bandar Utama

Petaling Jaya

Tel: 03-7728 8728

A last-minute lunch invitation a couple of days ago had me ending up in this Peranakan Place - a nyonya restaurant in 1U. The pictures may not be very good as the lighting there was dim & yellow, with no open windows (it's a centre lot) for natural light. I hate taking pictures in such conditions because if I use the flash, the pictures turn out very "white & bright" (you can't see the details much!) and if I don't use the flash, they turn out kinda "yellow" and not-so-sharp.

So, let's just make do with the best that I had...

One of my colleagues just had to have the Mee was just the normal spicy fried meehoon, with a twist of sourish lime juice on it. Served with a topping of shredded vegetables, half a boiled egg and a dollop of sambal, it looked pretty although the taste was quite mediocre.
The Beef Rendang was pretty good... chunky bites of beef had been cooked to soft tenderness - they were not chewy at all. The fine paste of spices for the rendang had been totally infused into the meat over a long cooking process...and what was served to us was this melt-in-your-mouth fragrant dish...went very well with white rice!

Perut Ikan - a very traditional typical nyonya dish. This was the first time I tried this... honestly, I couldn't really distinguish the pieces of "perut ikan" (translated: "fish stomach") from the mish-mash of vegetables in the spicy curry. It looked and tasted like the usual vegetables curry - there were long beans, brinjals, tomatoes, pineapple and cabbage in it.

A refreshing choice was this Kerabu Mango. The julienned pieces of fresh mango were crunchy...mixed with some crispy fried ikan bilis, peanuts, bombay onions, mint leaves and pieces of lethal chilli padi - definitely very appetizing!
Hmmm...their Ju Hu Char was quite disappointing. Seriously, I can cook a much better version of this. What was served to us was this bowl of sliced sengkuang cooked with some slivers of dried cuttlefish, some dried shrimps and a few strips of carrots (for colour?). It was pretty bland and certainly forgettable (erghh...even the picture turned out bland!)
Their steamed Ladies Fingers with Sambal was palatable. What would have lifted this simple dish above average would have been a more kickass Sambal. Their version of the sambal lacked the "ooomph" factor - not enough chilli hotness, not enough belachan and not enough limejuice. I always think that if you want to make a memorable sambal, you should never stinge on those critical ingredients.
Their Grilled Stingray was good. The medium-sized pieces of fish had been marinated well and grilled to perfect tenderness. The cooked sambal doused all over the fish tasted better than their ladies fingers' sambal.
We enjoyed their Prawns Curry which had been cooked in a very lemak spicy sauce with huge pieces of pineapples which lent a very pleasant piquant sourish twist to the curry. So, although it was lemak, you don't really feel "jelak" - the pineapples did a good job!

Now, for must try their Durian Chendol (if you are a durian fan). This is because they serve it with a huge topping of fresh durians! The picture didn't turn out very well, but believe me, the chendol & durian was really good!

I tried their Sago Gula Melaka and was kinda disappointed as they served it in a very watery version - like a thong sui! To me, a good version would be: sago should be made into a jelly-like consistency and then doused with thick santan and gula melaka! However, what was served here looked like this...

So, there you go...there were misses and hits in this place. Maybe I'll go back just for the Durian Chendol.

My rating: 6/10

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