Saturday, October 13, 2007

Red Ginger, Mid Valley City

Classic dishes with a twist

A refreshing salad prepares the taste buds for more pleasant things to come especially when the salad is citrus filled and crunchy, creating quite a first impression.

Such was the Redginger Salad, a generous serving of pomelo flesh, offering a pleasant balance of sweet, sour and bitter mixed with the crunchiness of ground nuts, dried shrimp and fried desiccated coconut.

Freshly squeezed lime juice and fish sauce does wonders to the pomelo pearls and to get the full flavour, incorporate the ingredients by tossing them together.

Classy: Red Ginger’s latest outlet is located at North Point in Mid Valley City.

The piquancy of the pomelo pearls bursting in the mouth is reminiscent of Thai salads prepared in similar fashion.

As we indulged in the salad, a thick square slice of Yam Cake begged to be tried but it had to wait its turn.

Simple yet tasty combination: The delightful Redginger Salad (top) is a bowl full of pomelo pearls garnished with ground nuts, dried shrimp and fried desiccated coconut and the appetising Yam Cake (bottom).

The Yam Cake is popular among Nyonya food lovers but personally, unless its exceptionally good, I tend to give it a miss.

However, the first bite was all it took to get me hooked as a merry medley of dried shrimps, lemon grass, chilli, salt and pepper with generous amounts of fried shallots complemented the yam cake well.

Proprietor Elizabeth Chen said yam cubes were added to the flour mixture so that customers could taste the yam.

Chen had also added her grandmother’s Nyonya steamed Otak-Otak on the menu and it is a must for those who enjoy this fish delight.

The Ipoh Hor Fun is the outlet’s signature dish due to the number of orders for it daily.

Thin long strips of rice flour noodles, similar to the Ipoh version sits in flavoursome chicken stock with the pleasant tease of white pepper lifting to the nostrils.

While this soupy favourite had its fan base, another popular kuey teow dish is the Kam Heong Fried Kuey Teow.

Chen said besides kuey teow, the outlet served Kam Heong Mee Hoon and Kam Heong Fried Rice.

This dish is aplenty with fish cakes, prawns, crabsticks and liberal amounts of bean sprouts cooked with aromatic kam heong paste.

Talented: Chen was a commis chef at Lafite in Shangri-La Hotel Kuala Lumpur a few years ago.

Plenty of curry leaves thrown into the wok during the sautéing process explains the inviting smell as well.

“There is dried shrimps and curry powder in the Kam Heong paste and it is very localised so that is why locals like it so much,” said Chen.

The dish was introduced on the menu after Chen and her friends tried a similar and popular Kam Heong Kuey Teow at a local hawker stall somewhere in Kuala Lumpur.

“We enjoyed it so much and it seemed like a good idea to introduce it on our menu.

“I got my chef to replicate the dish with his own Kam Heong paste recipe.

“When we first introduced the dish, we had a customer having it for lunch and dinner on the same day,” said Chen who was a commis chef at Lafite in Shangri-La Hotel Kuala Lumpur some years back.

After getting the experience of working in a hotel, Chen and her sister Karen decided to open a restaurant and Red Ginger was born.

The outlet did not only serve stir-fried or soup items, it also had ala carte options.

The Deep Fried Golden Pomfret with Soya Sauce garnished with lots of shredded ginger goes well with The Four Heavenly Kings, a dish of petai, ladies finger, brinjals and long beans cooked with belachan paste.

Red Ginger recently opened its second outlet at Mid Valley City at the North Point Offices.

The outlet with its classic sliding wooden and glass door is rich with woody accents and on its walls are handsomely framed bowls and Nyonya artefacts.

Chen said it was time for a second outlet as the first outlet in Plaza Damansara, Bukit Damansara was now five-years old and had its steady stream of customers.

The new outlet like the first, serves Nyonya and Penang cuisine.

It is located a walk away from Mid Valley Megamall’s North Court where the San Francisco Coffee outlet is located.

Take the bridge that leads to the North Point Offices and you will find Red Ginger.

  • RED GINGER, A-M-2, Block A, Mezzanine Floor, North Point Offices, Mid Valley City, 1, Jalan Medan Syed Putra Utara, Kuala Lumpur. (Tel: 03-2287 0890). Business hours: 8am to 10pm (Monday to Friday), 11am to 10pm (Saturday).
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