I thought I'd better get this over and done with, because check out the competition with their large equipment....I can't beat that, and if I don't post this quick, I'll have zilch readership.
The event, organised by the enterprising and illustrious, Timothy Low, was a food sampling at 888 Cafe & Bistro, which in a nutshell, is named after the brand of 888 Coffee and Teas, which is a subsidiary of Thong Guan, a public listed company. Of all times to forget my handphone, I did so last night, and it was only my photographic memory and brilliant sense of direction that helped me recall the map posted by Tankiasu, as I navigated my way to unfamiliar territory beyond the border of Ikano and the Curve.
Located in Dataran Sunway, in Sunway Damansara, it's a nice corner lot, brightly lit and easy parking for now. I was one of the latest floggers to arrive...these people take these things very seriously.
First on the menu was Itchy Chicken, according to Lianne. Actually it's Inchi Kabin. Basically fried chicken marinaded in a cornucopia of spices... probably 5 spice, tumeric, etc etc. Cameras zoomed in as if this was some rare fowl on the brink of extinction. I often wonder how the public sees us. Well, at least we don't shoot to kill.
Inchi kabin, passable as a starter, for hungry palates. A bit on the dry side, but I find with chicken, some parts are prone to be drier than others anyway.
My Michael Jackson drink.... I was forewarned that the soya bean is from a can, not homemade. But the cincau is homemade. Strange. I thought it was easier to make soya bean than cincau.
The next two items that came along were the Brain Brain, (Otak Otak), and a shrimp toast thingie. Actually, I didn't even know what cuisine to expect, as Tim listed "ex la bodega chef" as one of the credentials, so I guess mentally we were expecting tapas-y kinda food. But the name 888 should have been a dead giveaway.
Otak otak was palatable. Smooth, and didnt have that fibrous content that some otaks do. The toast was unevocative, not something I'd order deliberately.
Then came the nasi lemak, which looked good. I love those broad ikan bilis, that are fried to a crisp. The condiments to the dish were good, but the rice itself was a bit vapid, and lacked the santan taste. It's actually quite a substantial meal, this, on its own. Got fish, beef rendang, egg, water convulva, (kangkong), okay, convulvulus, nuts....all the food groups represented.
Sizzling away on the platter was Mary's little lamb. A lamby aroma that I dont care much for assailed our nostrils. However, the lamb was surprisingly tender and tasty, and didn't taste like it smelt. I guess the sizzling effect might have elevated the odour molecules to a higher energy level.
OH NO!!! I didn't get a picture of the star of the night. Shucks, that's like going to Gwen Stefani's concert and only getting pictures of the back up dancers. In my opinion, the star of the night was their signature Nyonya Laksa. In a luscious creamy but yet not overly rich coconut gravy, some say a cross between curry laksa and assam laksa, because of the slight tanginess, the soup was excellent. It comes with all the necessary prerequisites for a good laksa, ie, cockels, aka see ham, prawns, sambal. Highly recommended.
Hmm, by now, I am beginning to sense a familiar pattern in the food. Where have I seen this kind of food repertoire before? Penang village? Kluang Station? But anyway, these are foods truly Malaysian and no one can really lay claim to exclusivity. Chau Kueh Teow. With crab meat. Yum. Alas, by the time National Geographic was done photographing it, the dish was colder than a glacier in Finland. I imagine it would taste a lot better piping hot.
Forgive our sins as we forgive those who sin against us..... Above, spaghetti bolognaise, which Teckiee proclaimed (with as much authority as JAIS raids khalwat couples) was CHICKEN, caused much stir was non beef eaters like Jackson and Lianne merrily tucked into it like happy kids with lactose intolerance found dairy free ice cream..... only to be told that it was BEEF. Luckily Lianne was busy talking to me about something, which distracted her from placing large chunks of cow into her mouth.
The non Beefatarians were compensated with a Seafood Aglio Oli, which actually was rather good. Just the right amount of olive oil, and nicely flavoured with chilli and garlic, it was actually a far better alternative.
And another sizzling dish, chicken this time. The sizzling chicken went well with the aglio olo pasta.
Meanwhile, Jackson Kah, sitting in the middle of the long table, (like a central figure in the portrait of the last supper by Davinci), was commanding a lot of attention. Considering we were celebrating his birthday nearly 2 months ago in King Crab, it's amazing that we were still celebrating it last night.
There's a large poster detailing the history of the 888 brand.
This came much later, this rice with more inchi kabin....by which time I was full, so didn't try it.
Meanwhile, we had a debriefing session with the chef, whereby all the floggers put in their 2 cents worth of compliments, criticisms, etc, which was apparently all captured as can be seen by this monitor.
The night ended (for me anyway) with Jackson cutting his 10th or 11th birthday cake. Sidney of BBO was commenting how many cakes he's (JK) had.
Very drama hor.
Anyway, if you are in that neighbourhood, the 888 Cafe is at 1-1, Jalan PJU 5/10, Dataran Sunway.
Thank you Tim for organising the event.