You know when you enter a place, that even the door knobs are embellished with pictures of cute little piggies, that it is an establishment not kosher. When wall upon wall are filled with more portraits of those cute pink babes in all shapes and sizes, you know that these slitty chinese eyes, that were made to gaze upon char siew and siew yoke, light up like when one shines a torch into a dumb blond's ears.
El Cerdo, on Changkat Raja Chulan, same row as Frangipanni is one such establishment. There's so much pig QI in the air, I swear I'd grown a curly tail and grunted to the wife by the time we left.
I only saw one non pork item on the menu, which was oxtail. I guess fish would be quite safe here, if they wanted to live. The place was packed, for a Monday night, with pockets of large crowds. All oldies lah. Fortunately for us, Young Lawyer in our party, being quite the gourmand, has eaten extensively in the area, and was no stranger to the place, and knew exactly what to order. There is something indescribably wonderful when someone takes over the ordering, its like a sudden release of pressure from an over inflated tyre. Suddenly the mind switches off, and enables us to focus on the other aspects of the dinner, such as the gossip about a high profile murder trial. I suspect this is why some women love it when a man takes over during a date, and does the ordering.
Anyway, to start, we had a little cup of mushroom soup.... I'm not sure if it was on the house or not. (oh oh, we had this fiasco with mineral water...I am one of those strictly against paying RM18++ for a bottle of imported mineral water....so voiced my objection loudly to the manageress, but soon enough, we were served ice water in carafes. (but not before two bottles of Panna had already been opened).
That was followed by the most sublime thin slices of parma ham and rockmelon. I have to say it was a first for a jakun like me, though I have seen many pictures of parma being served with rockmelon. The saltiness of the ham marries with the sweet rockmelon, making it a match like Thelma and Louise. Plebs that we were, all asked for butter for the bread, which was actually meant to be eaten with the ham.
Next was a pork medallion kinda thing, with some saurkrautish potato, which was nice, but not outstanding. Very yummy was the bacon wrapped around some paste with anchovy. A trite salty, and bad for the blood pressure, but what the heck. Tasted gorgeous.
Then came the piece d resistance, imho. The paella. Now, nothing like good old PORK to really add taste to a dish. Not normally a paella fan, (to me, its like soggy fried rice...maybe coz I've never tasted better), I was wowed by the burst of flavours in this particular one. Large succulent prawns, pork sausages, saffron arborio rice, what's not to like.
With that outstanding carbo out of the way, we could now refocus on their specialty, roast suckling piglet. They're even smaller than the chinese ones, but let's not go into the whole issue of when and what age is it humane to slaughter an animal. Very interesting dish, because the owner comes around, with a plate, and uses the plate to chop up the piglet into slices. Then, in some european tradition, he smashes the plate. (into a bucket).
The meat was tender and perfect. The skin could have been crispier, but overall, it was a gastronomic pigging out feast.
Then came my favourite part, dessert. Actually I have no idea what the stuff was, but it was a lovely mixture of summer berries, ie, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries in a thick cream, which I wasnt even sure was ice cream or just cold cream, but it was divinely good. It was served as below at first, doubling as a "birthday cake" for our friend.
The one above was a rum and raisin pancake, with vanilla ice cream. Also very good. The pancake was thick, and had lots of body. I would have preferred more taste of rum, as my own raisins are perpetually soaking in a tub with rum. (now now children, by raisins I meant the real thing, ie, dried grapes).
To finish off, we were given these shot glasses of something that vaguely resembled a margarita.
What a lovely meal, thanks to our three gracious hosts.
On a separate note, my dear insurance agent dropped this off for me yesterday. A very superb range of corn that can be eaten raw. I was a bit sceptical at first, but yes, it indeed can be eaten raw, and tastes very sweet. But halfway through one cob, I felt very jelak. I think I prefer mine cooked. Can anyone tell me what species of corn this is? Probably GMO.