Kai’s Plato, Kota Damansara

Kai Plato

My better half’s parents wanted to have dinner together last night so I thought of Kai’s Plato. Kai’s Plato is a restaurant specializing in seafood that subscribes to a no utensils and plates policy. The lobster, prawns, crabs etc comes in a platter and you use the table and your fingers to eat everything. It’s a pretty cool experience.

Kais Plato

I had wanted to come when it first opened but the queues were prohibitive. It’s still quite packed but you’ll be able to get in with a reservation. I booked a table for 4 pax at Kai’s Plato for 6:30 pm.

Kais

There is only 1 menu item here. The meal is standardized and goes according to the number of people. 2 diners will be served with a 3-tier platter while 4 pax has a 4-tier platter.

Writing Shell

You get shells to draw with from the server. These will be mounted on the walls with your customized message – the walls of Kai’s Plato is filled with these.

Watermelon Lychee

I ordered a Virgin Mojito (RM 8.90) while my dear had the Watermelon Lychee (RM 8.90). These two drinks are the house specials. I liked the Watermelon Lychee, it’s very refreshing. The mojito was decent too, they don’t skip on the mint leaves here. It takes up a full half of the glass!

Scallop Oyster

Our 4-layer platter came and was mounted on the jelly flame source. This is the first tier in the platter. There are 11 types of seafood in total here. I particularly liked the sea snails. It’s musky and sandy. Yum! The scallops are served with chopped ginger and spring onions. The oysters are topped with cheese and it’s pretty awesome.

Prawn Octopus

The second tier is filled with prawns, clams, mussels, bamboo clams and octopus. There is another type of clam called arc shell so there’s actually 3 types of clams in this layer. The bottom is lined with cabbage and the vegetables are edible. I preferred the broccoli from the first layer though.

Crab Lobster

The third tier is the best one! It contains the most premium ingredients – slipper lobsters, crabs, huge big head prawns, and grouper fish slices. I love the monster big head prawns. The brains are bigger than the size of my thumb when extracted! The mud crabs are super delicious too. I enjoyed eating the grouper and the small serving of vermicelli is infused with the flavors of the shellfish and seafood. It’s so bomb!

Seafood Soup

The fourth tier contains the seafood soup. You’ll notice that each layer has holes at the bottom to allow stray juices to drip downwards though each tier. This means the scallops, snails, oysters from the first layer drips down to the clams, octupus, mussels in the second layer which in turn goes into the huge prawns, crabs and lobster in the third layer and everything finally drains into this sweet, sweet broth.

Pasta

Kai’s Plato will give you a serving of pasta to eat with the soup. This is meant to fill you up but we were all very full from the seafood already. The soup was really nice though.

Seafood Pasta

I kept a little bit of the crab meat to put into my pasta and seafood soup. The soup is soooo delicious from the 11 types of seafood juices dripping down. It’s such a treat to finish the meal with piping hot soup. I like how the flame is kept going so the soup is boiling. The soup also serves as as steam source to keep the rest of the platter warm.

Kais Us

Kai’s Plato works out to around RM 86 per pax. I ordered the Captain’s Platter for RM 270++, which is what they call the set for 4 people. It’s RM 138++ for 2 pax or RM 390++ for a group of 6. We all enjoyed eating with our hands and using the table as a plate. I also learned that my dear’s dad is a collector of snail shells last night. The meal came up to RM 343.60 for the 4 of us which is reasonable for a meal with lobster, crabs, prawns and grouper. I’ll be back again but not for a long while since you can get sick of eating so much seafood. Haha!

B & Best Seafood Noodles, PJ SS4

Seafood

I discovered this haven for fresh fish connoisseurs way back in 2008. B & Best Seafood Noodles has a lot of different types of fish on ice and it’s one of the best places to eat a steaming hot bowl of fresh fish noodles. I was with my better half and her mom over the weekend and we decided to pop in here for a slightly luxurious breakfast.

B Best Restaurant

There is a wide range of premium seafood options for the taking – everything from grouper to huge prawns and scallops in the middle. The huge board above the stall lists down prices for every type of fish and ranges from RM 13 for Senangin to RM 26 for Estuary Grouper.

Red Grouper Fish Noodles

Red Grouper Fish Noodles (RM 15)
This is what my dear’s mom went for. You can opt for noodles or rice vermicelli or a mixture of the two. I personally think rice vermicelli goes better with all types of seafood due to the delicate nature of the meat but it’s personal preference. The fish didn’t disappoint, it was tender and the broth carried enough flavor while allowing the natural fish taste to shine though.

Queensland Grouper Fish Head Noodles

Queensland Grouper Fish Head Noodles (RM 26)
My better half had this one. It’s the special of the day. Queensland Grouper is just another name for Estuary Grouper. There’s only one fish head per fish so stocks are understandably limited. The fish head meat comes pre-sliced and it tastes better than regular body meat, at least for people who like fish. The texture of the flesh from a grouper’s face is a lot more pleasing – plenty of cartilage and collagen, I would highly recommend it over the regular cuts.

Napoleon Fish Noodles

Napoleon Fish Noodles (RM 26)
I had the humphead wrasse/so mei/蘇眉 with noodles. The fish is supple and yielding with a clean aftertaste. I liked it, but I exchanged a lot of my fish slices with my dear since I preferred the meat from a fish head. This place has a smorgasbord of fishes to suit all budgets from the humble mackerel (RM 13) to the midrange mullet fish (RM 20) right up to the Pearl Grouper (RM 26).

Whole Scallops

Whole Scallops (RM 18)
I also ordered a bowl of scallops to share. You can have this with noodles too, all the options are available with add-on noodles. The fat and juicy scallops are quite good, and fresh too. I chose this over the abalone since the latter comes in packs while the scallops are the real deal. They also have oysters, escargots, clams, and fish maw.

You’ll love this place if you enjoy a bowl of steaming fresh fish noodles. They have a range of species to fit every budget and you can even opt for the dry version (soup with seafood served separately) if you prefer. The prices are slightly higher than other dedicated estuary grouper fish noodle stalls like Ah Po Estuary Grouper and Min Yee Estuary Grouper but they have a wider selection of seafood here. The bill for the three of us came up to RM 84.50 but the fish portions are larger than it looks from the shock of green vegetables floating on top.

B Best Seafood Noodles

You’ll need to go early though. I made a Google Maps destination in my previous post, which I used to get there yesterday morning – I forgot how to go and the GPS marker is confirmed correct. :)

Yee Leng & Wing Fei’s 9-course Wedding Dinner @ Jaya Palace

Jaya Palace

I’ve been to their pre-wedding dinner, become a heng tai (brother) at Wing Fei’s Chinese wedding door games, and now it’s the night of the actual dinner at Jaya Palace.

Jaya Palace Restaurant

My better half and I actually went really early coz she had to do registration and I had to help her with the corsages and ang pow collection (sounds more glamorous than it is, I was little more than a glorified bodyguard at a place which didn’t really require it smirk).

Jaya Palace Wedding

Seriously though, I didn’t know there was actually a “money room” at the restaurant where you count ang pows.

Wedding Money

There’s actually a very good reason for this – bigger cities like KL has a larger element of crime, so the point is to tabulate the money quickly and pay immediately so you don’t leave with the cash. There has been robberies in the past so people just settle the bill with the ang pows on the spot. Learn something new every day.

The 9-course dinner at Jaya Palace was quite impressive:

Palace Four Season Combination Platter

Palace Four Season Combination Platter

There’s actually four (4) items in this classic starter despite the five (5) indentations in the platter. It came out with all the bells and whistles which is becoming standard nowadays – the dimming of the lights, the procession of waitresses etc. The sweet and sour pork was nice, as well as the fishballs flanking it. I also liked the fu chuk (beancurd skin) in the middle, but the most popular item was the baby octopus – it was yum!

Double Boiled Soup with Cordyceps Flower, Scallop & Fish Maw

Scallop Fish Maw Soup

I loved the large dried scallop inside. You don’t usually get ones as big as this from retail shops unless you’re willing to pay a hefty price tag. There were also two pieces of fish maw inside, a classic Cantonese double boiled soup with premium non-controversial ingredients. The broth is based on chicken, I was pleased to see it was dark meat from the thigh.

Roast Whole Suckling Pig

Roast Whole Suckling Pig

The best dish of the night! This is a *whole suckling pig*, but you only eat the crackling and a little bit of the meat underneath. The skin of a suckling pig is deep fried to perfection and re-arranged in the general shape of a porcine being on the plate. I picked up a piece with my chopsticks and dipped it into the plum sauce – crispy, crunchy and full of flavour. I wanted to have another but by then it was gone. Seriously, that was how good this was. I did get to eat the face of the pig though (it’s quite delicacy in my hometown, not so much here).

Steamed Estuary Grouper Fish w/ Fungus

Steamed Estuary Grouper

One of my favorite fishes for steaming. I’ll order RM 22 bowls of estuary grouper fish noodles when I’m craving for some. Estuary grouper (loong tan) is a very nice fish for eating – no bones to content with and a thick layer of collagen between the skin and the flesh. Jaya Palace slightly overcooked the fish but it was still a great dish.

Pepper & Salt Fresh Prawn

Pepper Salt Prawns

The obligatory prawns after the fish dish. I didn’t get to eat this as I was walking around taking photos for the groom and although a table-mate saved one for me, I unwittingly changed my plates for the next course (each course comes with new plates) so I didn’t know what it tasted like. I would have liked prawn.

Braised Sea Cucumber with Pork Knuckles & Mushroom

Braised Sea Cucumber

Lovely! People say sea cucumber don’t have a taste of its own, it absorbs the flavour of the gravy. This is partially true, but I know people who can tell where a sea cucumber comes from (Indonesia etc) so there’s gotta be a taste element in there as well. I’m quite partial to sea cucumber and they do it very well at Jaya Palace.

Steamed Glutinous Rice with Chicken & Mushroom

Steamed Glutinous Rice

This is lor mai gai – a rice dish to fill you up if you’re still hungry. It’s individually portioned and tasted pretty good to me although I noticed a lot of people didn’t touch theirs coz they were quite full from the previous dishes. It was also quite late at this point and one table beside us just tapau their food with them.

Special Fancy Pastries

Special Fancy Pastries

These are nostalgia inducing edibles – I remember dessert being a foreign concept in Chinese restaurants back in the day, this was all we had. It’s sweet red bean paste encased in flaky pastry and deep fried for a satisfying and sentimental course. There was also a kuih made with the squiggly green bits you see in cendol.

Sweetened Soya Bean with Gingko & White Fungus

Tong Sui

I liked this one too, probably coz I didn’t eat much during the previous courses. I ended up drinking more than my fair share since most of my table mates have left and it was just the 3 of us at the table. The white fungus works very well in this sweet tong sui style dessert. It’s very Cantonese to have something like this to mark the end of dinner.

Wedding Photo

Congratulations to Yee Leng and Wing Fei on their wedding! We managed to take a photo with them after everyone had left and we had settled everything. :)

A delicious home-cooked dinner for 8

Pork Belly Tongue

I wasn’t very hungry at that time since I had a very late lunch but the plate of beautiful pork belly slices and pork tongue was staring back at me, begging me to *ravage* it. It would be like saying No to the Borg, resistance is futile and all that. I packed a man tou (fluffy Chinese steamed buns) full of the fatty pieces of meat and tongue and dug in.

Stewed Pork Belly + Pig Tongue

Pork Belly Tongue Burger

This is a combination of fatty pork belly and the leaner tongue served with a side of raw onions, cucumbers and other vegetables which you can eat with rice, or with a Chinese bread called man tou. I opted for the latter and speared two huge pieces of the pork belly, added a generous slice of pig tongue and slapped on a few onion rings before topping it with gravy. Divine!

Stir Fried Cuttle Fish

Stir Fried Cuttlefish

I had eaten a similar dish by Jona during Chinese New Year – it was grilled on skewers then and it was the most amazing execution of cuttle fish I’ve ever had the pleasure of tasting. It was mind-blowing, how tasty that dish was. I think the recipe for that was scrapped due to the huge amount of food and thus this version was stir fried. It’s still awesome but the CNY one was epically delicious, like a culinary version of Homer’s Iliad.

Peas in a Pod with Garlic Sauce

Peas in a Pod

This is the plate of greens with lots of vitamins and fibre to complement the meat-based dishes. I quite liked it and was munching on these even after I’ve finished my dinner. It’s perfect with rice – the beans are tender, juicy and sweet – it’s like kissing the sweet lips of your lover when you’re both relaxed and lounging in bed just before you turn in for the night. :)

Baked Chicken Thigh

Baked Chicken

I’m calling it this but I don’t actually know what it was since I didn’t ask about this one. The marinade was fantastic though and it gives the entire chicken thigh a saffron like undertone. There were a lot of aromatic herbs thrown in too, and although I was quite full from the large pork belly and pig tongue burger I helped myself too, I managed to take apart one all by myself, picking at the flesh with my fork with nary a care for the faux pas I was committing with the tines of the fork coming into contact with the glass plates with a loud CLINK.

Grilled Garoupa

Grilled Grouper

This huge grouper is a 10 kg beast that was done really well. It’s quite hard to fry fresh and good quality fish well since it’s very easy to overcook it. I’ve eaten a great piece of breaded and fried cod in Sheraton which changed my mind about fried fish and this gives equal lip smacking satisfaction. This fish was freshly caught and bought from the source, and it’s treated with respect, just a short time on the grill caramelizing the sides and producing a white, flaky and moist interior.

There was also a very flavorful soup which I forgot to take a photo of and we had a bottle of wine which someone brought and single malt Scotch from Eddy’s bar to go with the long dinner. I was craving for a cigarette before I had taken my last bite, that was how much I stuffed myself.

Eddy Dinner

I had this wonderful dinner last night at my bro Eddy’s house. He’s a really solid guy, always there for his friends. He picked me up at the airport when I came back for Ching Ming and I saw the huge 10 kg grouper he bought for this meal. I was one of 8 invited over for a feast cooked by his wife Jona and it was one of the best home-cooked meals I’ve ever had, on par with the delicious lamb he came up with during Chinese New Year.

Ah Po Estuary Grouper, Ma Yau and White Pomfret Fish Noodles @ Kota Damansara

Ma Yau Fish

This is my favorite place to eat fish noodles! It’s really fresh as they source the fish directly from fishermen and slice it on-site. That’s a whole Ma Yau (Threadfin fish) above. You have to go really early in the morning before they run out of fish so the long weekend was a great time for me to eat all the types of fish noodles they have. Haha!

Estuary Grouper Loong Tan

Ah Po Fish Noodles carries a lot of different types of fish with prices ranging from RM 14 – RM 22. You can ask to have a peek inside their cooler to see what they have. Yes, one of those plates equals one portion of fish! This stall is actually at the *same* coffee shop as Min Yee Estuary Grouper. However, you get more options here and (arguably) better quality fish.

Estuary Garoupa Fish Noodles

Their flagship dish would be the Estuary Garoupa Fish Noodles (RM 22). This is RM 4 more expensive than Min Yee but the cuts of fish are better. Ah Po uses the prime cuts with lots of fatty collagen and it’s really good while Min Kee seem to use offcuts. I prefer the fish from this stall but the cleaner broth from Min Kee.

White Pomfret Fish Noodle

The cheapest fish noodle you can get here is the White Pomfret Fish Noodles (RM 14). This is a whole fish and since it’s a white pomfret, it can be really bony so watch out for bones! If you love eating fish noodles though, that wouldn’t be a problem.

Ma Yau Fish Noodles

The mid-range offering is Threadfin Fish Noodles (RM 18). This is better known as Ma Yau (馬鮫) or Senangin locally. This is pretty decent and the fish is pretty fresh but for that price, I’ll rather eat the Estuary Grouper Fish Noodles at Min Yee or fork out an additional RM 4 for Ah Po’s top of the line Estuary Garoupa.

Estuary Grouper Collagen

They also have Red Grouper Fish Noodles at RM 18 but it seems to be permanently sold out and the owner and owner’s daughter has confirmed this on numerous occasions (something to do with Chinese New Year and demand for the fish). I would personally suggest coming here for their awesome RM 22 Estuary Grouper (Malabar Grouper/Greasy Grouper/龙趸) as they have the best cuts in town!

Just look at the sheer amount of collagen in the picture! :)

Ah Po Estuary Grouper

Ah Po Fish Noodles
Restaurant Big Family
Lorong TSB 10A, Taman Industri Sungai Buloh
GPS: 3.166326, 101.569765

Min Yee Estuary Grouper Fish Noodles (RM 18)

Garoupa Fish Noodles

Min Yee is located at the same coffee shop which hosts Ah Po Grouper Noodles so it has some stiff competition. However, their estuary grouper fish noodles are cheaper at RM 18 compared to Ah Po’s RM 22. The portion seem to be slightly larger too, at least at first glance – this is due to them not slicing the fish too much and presenting beautifully thick slabs of fresh garoupa.

Min Yee Grouper Fish Noodles

They’re also known for their fresh handmade grouper fish ball noodles too! The Estuary Grouper Fish Ball Noodles are RM 6 per bowl and the fish balls have that prized bouncy texture:

Grouper Fishball Noodles

I ultimately found that each stall has its own charms. I’ll go for Min Yee’s Estuary Grouper Fish Noodles if I want a simple clear broth, untainted by soup stock, that allows the thick slices of estuary grouper (also known as “Loong Tan”/King Grouper) to shine through. The fish slices are equally fresh but this stall does it thicker so it’s more satisfying to eat.

Loong Tan Fish Noodles

I love eating fish noodles, and I don’t mind paying the higher prices, especially if it’s good fish. There’s a RM 30 fish noodle in Sibu but the fish noodles I’ve eaten here is a lot better, and more reasonably priced too.

Estuary Grouper Noodles Me

My current favorite is Ah Po Grouper Noodles but Min Yee Estuary Grouper Fish Noodles does a more than satisfactory job too, especially if you prefer a blander broth with no MSG that allows the estuary grouper fish slices to shine through.

Estuary Grouper Noodles

Min Yee Estuary Grouper Fish Ball Noodles
Restaurant Big Family
Lorong TSB 10A, Taman Industri Sungai Buloh
GPS: 3.166326, 101.569765

Buttered King Grouper with White Wine Reduction in Bouchees Poissons

fish inside fish

This is a dish that I made for my better half during our anniversary. It’s basically fish inside a fish pastry case! :) Bouchee is a small flaky pastry shell and the word poissons means “fish” in French. There’s apparently only one manufacturer who makes bouchees poissons from a Google Image search.

This is my interpretation of Bouchee a la Reine – a French pastry dish but without the bechamel.

bouchees poissons

I bought a 250 gram piece of King Grouper at RM 80 / kg. It cost me slightly over RM 20 and I like this fish due to the relative lack of bones. You will need:

  • Fillet of grouper
  • Dry white wine
  • Fish pastry shells
  • Lemons
  • Arugula
  • Applemint
  • Butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste

king grouper

I pan fried the King Grouper with lots of butter to produce a nice sear before removing it from the pan.

dry white wine

The next thing I did was to break down the fillet of King Grouper into smaller pieces so it’ll fit into the fish pastry shells.

arugula puree

I decided to play with my food processor and make an arugula and applemint puree. I had read up on it and blanched the arugula in hot water quickly before removing it and adding lemon juice so it retains that *bright green* color.

blancing arugula

However, the arugula and applemint puree turned out to be a bit of a disaster. There was just too little of the wild rocket leaves. 80 grams got processed into barely two tablespoons of watery “puree”. It did taste good though – the acidity from the lemons and the addition of applemint really makes it pop.

Sorry if that oft-repeated pretentious term made you cringe. It made me laugh while typing it too. smirk

arugula applemint puree

I had the impromptu idea of removing the insides of the bouchees poissons to the white wine reduction sauce and small pieces of King Grouper so there’s pieces of flaky pastry to soak up the liquid.

white wine reduction

This has the added benefit of heating up the fish before serving.

bouchee a la reine

I also plucked a bit of basil from our herb garden and added it to the fish pastry shells stuffed with buttered King Grouper. It was so good we finished all four (4) of the bouchees poissons – which has a net weight of 120 grams in addition to the fish! :)

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