Thursday, January 17, 2013

Checkers at Damansara Heights

SP had more than one reason to celebrate. So he bought us dinner - all 13 of us. And it was one heck of a meal.

Checkers is located at 19 Lorong Setia Bistari 2 in Damansara Heights, Kuala Lumpur. Co-ordinates N3.1444, E101.6562. It is really not difficult to locate. But  if you are looking for a name board when you get there, forget it. They don't have one. This is one restaurant that does not publicise itself. You just look for a shop that looks like this...

... and walk in. This place apparently has no name. You have no clue that you are in Checkers until they give you the menu.

Inside, it was a cosy little restaurant, brightly and cheerfully decorated and with lots of memorabilia on the wall. The tables were elegantly clothed but the chairs were plastic. There were not many of them for the space was limited and crammed. I had problem getting in and out of my seat to take pictures and to go to the loo. I kept backing on the people at the next table. 

We started our feast with some mini pizzas. There were mushrooms, bacon and herbs in them. They were delicious. A superb starter. They gave us 3 of these to be enough to pass around the 13 hungry mouths. I managed to grab 2 slices. 

Next was the mesclun salad. It was an assortment of greens with bacon and lots of sesame. It came in French dressing. It was very pleasing. Again, they served us 3 portions. But unlike the mini pizza, they took a longer time to disappear.

These were bacon wraps. Another fabulous starter. The bacon was so very well done. I think you may almost sniff the aroma from my picture. It was that very good. 

This was our final appetiser before we got down to earnest eating. It was baked mushrooms. The mushrooms looked uncooked when they landed on our table. They were really quite pleasant. I didn't know they can make mushrooms like this. My first time.

Our first serious meat was this roast pork loin. It was also the best meat of the meal. The loin was roasted to perfection. It was not overdone and the meat was tender and succulent. It was served with peas, salad, sauerkraut and mashed potato. It was pork at its finest. The crispy skin was simply heavenly - almost something to die for. The dish was served with a sauce of cauliflower. This roast pork loin is going to be a must for my next visit.

The Jamaican chicken looked very overdone. It was 2 grilled drumsticks with an equally over-grilled plantain (banana). It was served with some salad. The plantain tasted quite good - very popular and quickly snapped up. But the chicken was just so-so. To me, the overdone char was a bit of a turn-off.

This roast pork knuckle was a bit of a disappointment. Roast knuckles everywhere else in the world are so much to hype on. I was looking forward to the crispy skin. But it was not to be. The skin was flaccid and the meat was somewhat overdone and hard. I felt the accompaniments tasted better. Like the roast loin, it came with sauerkraut and mashed potato. I particularly liked the mash potato. It was buttery smooth and very delicious.

Our final meat was the Lord of the Ribs (LOTR). As the name implied, this was meant to be the finale. It was a rack of pork ribs, marinated and roasted. It was accompanied by an array of salads, slaw, sauerkraut, chickpeas and mashed potato, and 2 types of sauces. The meat was very well done. But I did not think it matched the roast loin. I felt it was over-marinated and I could not taste the essence of the meat. I actually enjoyed the accompaniments more. 

By this time, we were all ohs and ahs with meat. Could we still manage dessert? Not forgetting there was still a cake to cut. But the cendol in this place is renowned. SP went ahead and ordered a few bowls to share. It was absolutely awesome. It was easily the best cendol I had ever tasted. It was cendol in ice-cream and rum. In it were nuts and beans, topped with some almond waffles. The rum gave the cendol a slight bitter aftertaste - a real nice feeling in the mouth. But it was also the most expensive cendol I ever had. At 22 bucks per bowl, it is spoonful by spoonful to relish.

What a meal. We walked out of the restaurant with a normal week's fill of meat. I wish SP has more occasions like this to celebrate. 

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