Review Score: 72 / 100.
Truth be told, I don’t typically review local restaurants and for various reasons. One such reason is that this category is sufficient covered in varying degrees by a throng of domestic food bloggers. The second reason is that I’m more comfortable reviewing restaurants abroad, since I spend the majority of my time gallivanting abroad and appearing smug (well at least according to my closest friends, whom I love!).
Anyway, this review is a step away from convention, and I’ll be reviewing a place that I’ve frequented regularly ever since my good friend introduced it to me. He is a very knowledgeable and excellent cook, and I would tend to trust him in all things food related.
This restaurant appears quite minimalist with little flourishes, but a comfortable space for families or friends to dine at. The menu itself seems rather straight forward, but the key here is the ingredient sourcing. The owner has a particular predilection towards procuring the best possible products and produce, which is arguably the toughest part of the equation in this business.
One example of excellent products is the highly coveted Iberico de Bellota, or Iberian pigs from Southern Spain which roam the land freely and feast on acorns and only what Nature provides. I’m quite familiar with Jamon Iberico de Bellota, which is glorious, but yet to try it in Rib form.
This, was quite something else.
We had the Slow and Tender ribs option, which is clearly apparent as the flesh easily gives way and still maintains the moisture and is absolutely tender. Initial impression is that the meat coupled with the fat has plenty of natural flavour, and the simple marinade of Shoyu and Sake provided some a sweetness to meld with the savoury elements. This is certainly very addictive, and the quality of the meat is clearly evident with each bite. The fat itself just dissolved into your mouth, and not in an unpleasant manner but rather added flavour and complexity as well. This is a good indication of the pig’s diet, which had fed primarily on acorns and other local vegetation, and apparently a good source of healthy fats.
Quite a contrast versus the run-of-the-mill, commercial spare rib joints which are doused and laden with sauces, rather than highlighting the quality (or lack thereof) of the meat. The ribs came with a side of nice, crisp lettuce and cherry tomatoes as well, which were also good.
Next, another simple but satisfying plate of Japanese Nama mushroom spaghetti. Hand made spaghetti (which seems more like fancy instant noodles, if I’m being truly honest) with Japanese mushrooms, spring onions, onions, garlic and freshly cut chillies. A good combination of umami and a nice kick from the chillies.
We also tried out the King mushroom and truffle oil pizza. Truffle oil is probably a bit overrated, but otherwise the pizza itself was pretty tasty with a good base. That said, the flavours were a bit one note, and could use a bit more oomph to bring it to the next level.
Overall, a very good meal which uses high quality ingredients, which is quite a rare find around these parts. Ingredient sourcing is notoriously difficult, and folks tend to procure subpar ingredients and mask the flavours with an overuse of marinades and sauces. Not here though, and there’s really nowhere to hide. Undoubtedly a good place to visit if you enjoy ribs, and also have an appreciation for quality products.
P.S. Remember to pre-order the Slow and tender ribs at least 1 day ahead.
Location: 4, Jalan SS 20/10 Damansara Kim, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. +60 3-7732 9552. Website.