Thursday, November 27, 2014

Onde Onde

The onde onde is a popular Malaysian kueh that takes the form of bite-size pandan balls with brown sugar (gula melaka) inside and shredded coconut on the outside. It is a delightful snack. A bite on one produces a sweet squirt of gula melaka into the mouth and the coconut makes it a really delicious treat indeed.

This makan place in the Citta Mall adopts it as its name to reflect its Malaysian flavours.

Located on the ground floor of the mall in Ara Damansara, P.J. it is essentially an open restaurant serving breakfasts, lunches and dinners.

We first patronised the place several months ago when it had just started business. It was quite small and quiet then. 

And then its popularity picked up. They added more tables and their dining area expanded. But it apparently was not quite enough. We wanted to have dinner there after a movie at the mall one evening. We had to turn away because of a long queue waiting for vacant tables.

Now, let's have a look at some of their fares. First, the nasi lemak. I guess this all time favourite is a must in any Malaysian restaurant worth its salt. The nasi lemak here was delicious and complete - coconut flavoured rice, sambal, peanuts and ikan bilis, rembah deep fried chicken thigh, hard boiled egg, some salad and some crispy keropok.

Mee siam is another popular Malaysian dish. The fried mee-hoon was deliciously done and was served with a nice curry chicken.

This was another version of mee siam, with a variety of condiments - shredded chicken, omelet strips, peanuts, shredded cucumber, carrot, onion, pineapple and a couple of shrimps. When the condiments were mixed and tossed with the mee-hoon, it turned out to be a credible meal.

The mee curry was somewhat lacking. The curry just did not have the oomph.

This rather confused looking dish was char koay teow with duck egg. It certainly did not look very appetising. But the flavour was not bad at all. Not quite the Penang standard but better than a lot of char okay teows that I have had in the Klang valley.

The fruit rojak was not bad too. The sauce was good. The ground peanut sprinkling was adequate. I particularly like the keropok they had included. It made the rojak a lot more interesting.

This is a different kind of rojak - the pasembur. I had wanted to try it on our first 2 visits to the restaurant. But we were apparently too early. They only start preparing the pasembur around lunch time. When I finally got to eat it, I was disappointed. The all important deep fried stuffs in the pasembur were not up to standard. They were soft and soggy - not at all crunchy that they should be. Also they shredded the cucumber and sengkuang (jicama) too thinly. The sauce was okay, in fact quite good. It was the main ingredients that were disappointing.

They serve a variety of kuih muih. Their onde onde pictured above definitely lived up to the name of the restaurant.

And yes, roti kaya too. Prepared in the traditional coffee shop way.

They have a lot of other Malaysian favourites - laksa, Ipoh sar hor fun, hokkein prawn noodles, fish ball noodles, satay, ice kacang and so on and so on.

Onde onde is not the place for Malaysian holy grails. Some of the dishes we tasted were good. Some were mediocre. And some like the pasembur were disappointing. But their variety was impressive. It certainly is worth a visit.

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