Panda Peeks – Jom Makan Cafe
“Jom, makan!” meaning “Come, let’s eat!” is every Malaysian’s favourite phrase, I dare say. We Malaysians love our food and we happen to be very proud of its cult status too. It is definitely fitting then to name a restaurant serving quintessential Malaysian dishes as Jom Makan Café – it’s a name that will surely be on everybody’s tongue!
When we were there, it was almost closing time, but the chefs were gracious enough to serve us up with not one or two, but SIX dishes, replete with hot steamed rice and mixed vegetables! It’s no wonder that Jom Makan Café has become such a hit with KL office-goers and yuppies, with its presence in four major high-rise commercial spaces.
The first dish I tried was the Salted Egg Yolk Chicken, with some rice and sunny-side-up egg. It immediately hit me as home-cooked food, as there was no strong MSG taste and they definitely allowed the salted egg yolk to hold the distinct taste of the dish together. I thoroughly enjoyed the dish and I can say it whetted my appetite good!
Next up was the Rendang Chicken, based on a traditional Malay recipe and one of my favourite dishes of the day! The lemongrass and chili amalgamation of the dish was perfect, and the chicken pieces were tender and full of flavour. I can say that the only rendang I’ve tasted that was this good is my mother’s version, and that’s a huge compliment!
From the intense rendang, I moved on to the mild but equally tasty Herbal Chicken, which was very Oriental inspired. The thick gravy was wonderful with just the right amount of herbs and spices and one of my colleagues told me that it reminded her of her grandmother’s broth. That’s the specialty that Jom Makan possesses: it’s a home away from home for food.
The last chicken dish we tried was Ayam Masak Merah, which literally translates to Red-Style Chicken. It was spicy, flavourful and tasted like the kind of dish you would get in a village home, not in an office building in the heart of KL. It complemented the rice and vegetables perfectly, and this was one of the dishes which were wiped clean before the end of the review!
The next two items were the Dry Curry Chicken Wantan Mee and the Nasi Goreng Kampung (translates to: Village Fried Rice). The springy noodles was topped with creamy curry and chicken bites, and it was definitely a crowd-pleaser. The fried rice was a lovely surprise, as it had cut down on the salt and was dependent on the anchovies for the salty bite. The seafood in the fried rice was fresh and I daresay I’ll go back and order this again!
If she’s not busy writing, Yogeetha is usually researching fan theories about Game of Thrones characters or having a cup of coffee in solitude. Also, she loves doughnuts as much as she loves puppies!