The time between futsal session and dinner on Sunday evening is always a torture. Thinking of what to eat can be a lengthy and frustrating affair. The body is telling us to go somewhere near and get it over and done with. The stomach is telling you to get something delicious and in huge proportion to kill the hunger, and your head is telling you to go somewhere new and different to try and blog about it.
Two Sundays ago, few of us guys were once again cracking our heads, thinking of a place that can satisfy our body, stomach and head. Wee Kuan insisted we go somewhere with air-conditioning, so that pretty much ruled out a lot of choices. Then Samuel and her suggested a place near Atria, apparently a “tai chow” restaurant. Me and suingau promptly agreed, as it was already 7-ish and we were dead tired.
After a short drive from Section 13, we reached Damansara Jaya to found out that the restaurant is not opened. Not wanting to travel anymore, I suggested the nearby Restoran Ma Ma’s (not to be confused with Restoran Mama’s Kitchen in TTDI) that we drove past earlier. As you can see in the photo, they boldly proclaim that this restaurant offers home style cooking. So with the risk of exorbitant price, we walked in with faith.
First thing that you will notice when you walk in is the antiques and some really old photos showing some Babas and Nyonyas. But some decos like “fortune cats” and some dolls are slightly inappropriate? But overall, this place is cosy and the lightings are calming.
The place was already half-filled when we walked in. And most of the tables were mostly occupied by families. Looking at the menu, we were pretty clueless what to order as none of us is really familiar with Nyonya delicacies. But lo and behold, Michael Chuah the owner came to our rescue. He patiently recommended and explained few choices to us. Wanted to order everything he mentioned, but there were only 4 of us, so we decided to order 4 dishes this time round.
Our drinks arrived shortly after, served by one of the few Burmeses/Thai waiters there. The Cincau (RM2.00++) is alright. Not very different from the normal ones you can get elsewhere. But a good and refreshing choice when eating “heaty” food like Nyonya’s.
All four of us were mega tired. And it was quite awhile before the food is ready on our table. So imagine our facial expressions and our stomach reactions when the Curry Fish Head (RM46.70++) was put on our table!
Goodness me, it smelled so good! Served in a sizzling hot claypot, the curry was bubbling before our eyes. And there was no escaping as the aroma of the combination of spices in the gravy floated around in the restaurant. *slurp* Besides the fish, there’s lady fingers, brinjal and “tofu pok”. The gravy is both tangy and creamy at the same time. It tasted so good that between the 4 of us, we walloped 8 plates of steamed rice (each bowl of rice cost RM1.20++).
To satisfy the carnivore in us, we ordered the “Inche Kabin” (RM12.70++), recommended by the owner himself. A popular (not to ignorant people like me) Nyonya snacktime dish apparently, it is actually deep fried chicken with spices. Unlike those bland fried chicken elsewhere, this one is very aromatic and you can really taste the different spices used to marinade this chicken, before being battered and deep fried. The chilli sauce that came with it is simply fantastic too.
The Egg Belanda (RM9.70++) is basically egg omelette with some kind of gravy poured on top of it. Nice but in the end, its just an egg omelette so nothing to shout about (don’t stone me dear egg-lovers out there).
Then the surprise star dish of the day came. Since all four of us like brinjal (egg plant), we decided to order a plate of them (name forgotten, sorry). Unlike the typical Nyonya Brinjal Curry, the one here is of completely different style. I have no idea how to describe this dish, but please believe me, it is really really really *gasping for air* really really really nice. We sapu-ed it finish in a blink of an eye (ok I’m over-exaggerating).
The food here is definitely not cheap, but it’s not easy to put a price to such a hearty, satisfying home style cooking. All cooking here is done by the owner’s wife, and both of them hailed from Penang (of course).
We had a pleasant conversation with the owner, and he was more than happy to tell us about the history of the restaurant. How he named the restaurant in remembrance of his mum. How our beloved (I mean this sarcastically please) Prime Minister came and eat here frequently, and sometimes tah pau it all the way back to Putrajaya (no wonder he wants to build the controversial KL-Putrajaya highway). And also told us about his story of being a national ten-pin bowler. He was the runners-up in the World Ten-Pin Championship in Mexico back in 1982 (a feat not repeated since then by any Malaysian male bowlers).
Food might be pricey, but great service and such a nice and friendly owner? Priceless…..
Restoran Ma Ma’s
Address: 36G, Jalan SS 22/25, Damansara Jaya, 47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor (same row as Domino’s)
Telephone: 03-7726 0776