Monday, March 17, 2008

Ah Yat Abalone

I sometimes wonder how people name their restaurants. Some names that have popped up that I thought were quite good, or interesting, for F&B outlets, are Just Heavenly, My Elephant, Cilantro (coz I used to think, wah, so exotic, before I found out it was just chinese parsley), Opus, A Passage Through India, Bar Savanh, Bijan (which I thought was pronounced with the French "J" as in bonJour, so it was BIH JHANNN, so classy sounding until someone hit me on the head and said, oi, its BIJAN la, as in Sesame in Malay! Plonk, there it fell from the Pedestal).... so, a name like AH YAT ABALONE is almost as unimaginative as AH KOW'S KOW YOKE, or NASI BRIYANI AHMAD...but it goes to show, the powers of marketing and branding.

They have moved from their premises at Swiss Garden, to swanky wannabe, but sadly, dead, Avenue K. For a supposedly 6 star shopping centre, the car park is eerie and dingy. One has to weave through a maze of passages to get to a lift that was functioning.

So, reaching the restaurant was like reaching an oasis after a horrendous nightmare in the desert. The occasion was a belated CNY dinner hosted by my favourite aunt, also coinciding with a visit by a Singaporean uncle.

Is it my imagination, or has the quality of ducks really improved by leaps and bounds in Malaysia? The London roast duck used to be THE golden standard by which ducks are measured, but these days, I am finding the roast duck served here to be rather delectable. Always fatty, with moist tender meat.... oddly enough, duck breast is lovely, whereas chicken breast is gross. Maybe all ducks are female. What's a female duck called by the way? A Duckess? Hmm, doesn't sound quite right. Anyway, the assorted meat platter was lovely. The suckling pig (I'm sure suckling pigs are outlawed in some countries) skin was crispy, and the jellyfish complemented the dish perfectly. The charsiu might have been a bit forgettable.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Deep fried crab claws, very appetising, and easy to eat. Probably wrapped with some fish paste. Despite the spa treatment in a deep fryer, the claw emerged none the worse for wear in terms of greasiness.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

The signature dish of Ah Yat Abalone, which is abalone. A braised baby abalone, but very sweet, tender and juicy, with a lovely gravy to go with it. I know of people who go, "what's the big deal about abalone"....well, I personally happen to love it, especially the good quality ones, cooked correctly. These days, you never know when you're buying some clam that resembles abalone, or the real thing.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

A cholesterol platter shouting out, "I'M A CHOLESTEROL PLATTER", if I've ever seen one. A platter of beheaded prawns, with the heads used as ornaments decorating the perimeter of the plate. Rather dazzling sight to behold, but if you were Buddhist, you'd seriously be contemplating the bad karma from all that beheading.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Some kind of fish, it escapes my brain net now, what fish it was. But it was tasty, condimented by lots of fried spring onions. Nice fish, not "sang" at all, and easy to eat.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I THINK this was a waxed meat fried rice, but again, when you're 42, anything past 24 hours becomes a hazy memory, and you might as well ask me what I had for my 3rd birthday party and if I enjoyed the cake. From the picture, I'd say the dish was good, but I recall a lot of guests were too full to finish their portions, so there was a lot of ta pau.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I distinctly remember my mother commenting that the santan for this cendol jelly was out of a can. It's true, there's something about canned santan, that reminds me of fake whipping cream. The synthetic aftertaste. That should be comment enough.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

A refreshing fungus soup. What do you call those crunchy nuts? Not ginko, though God knows, I need them.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

A great meal, despite the lack of creative naming, but who cares, we're chinese right, and what matters is the food.


JOjo said...

Wah, the pictures are so BIG see until my eyes got glitters.haha!!!!!!!

Recently i started to adore chinese food too, after all the heavy cream of Western, "artery-clogging" santan of Indian and Malay, carbo-loaded Japanese. I think it's in the blood,Chinese blood.Hehez...

Rarebeet said...

Hilarious post as usual! "I AM A CHOLESTEROL PLATTER". I think I am a result of too many cholesterol platters. :-o

I love abalone too! I love the texture and subtle taste. Avenue K is depressing as hell. Will def give this place a visit since its so close by.

Hazza said...

I have seen a lot of Ah Yat promotions whenever in KL/PJ, but never tried them. One main reason is I rely on parents to drive me around, so can only go where they go. The dishes here looked delish! Never knew London duck is the standard, maybe that is why I seem to prefer the roast ducks in the UK. We get suckling pigs here too, but only big ones. Pigs under 8 weeks old are not allowed to be killed for food. As for abalone, are they fresh? I only ever had the dried or pricey canned ones, have always loved them but too expensive to eat all the time. Love the pics of all the food you took, does not help that I am looking at them with an empty tummy!

fatboybakes said...

hazza, thanks for dropping by. pigs under 8 weeks cant be killed....i think its the same in australia, hence their suckling pigs are more like teenager pigs rather than suckling...

paps (smack forehead), how could i forget bijan..have edited the post to include that. glad u were amused by the post.

jojo, huh? only RECENTLY start to adore chinese food? what are race you?

Tummythoz said...

Enjoyable read, as always. *Brushing proprieties aside* So how much was it?

HairyBerry said...

yeah, yeah, what's the price like ar? i plan to go there next month and need to know when to start starving.

i think those crunchy nuts are lotus seeds.

the cholesterol platter kinda reminds me of another discover channel documentary on some massacre within our region which i think is quite unappetising and absolutely irrelevant to your wonderful and gorgeous dinner!

lovely dishes!

JOjo said...

Ingredients:100% pure chinese.
Country of origin:Made in Malaysia.


Big Boys Oven said...

lovely food from heaven! lol!

fatboybakes said...

BBO, yalor hor, no one does abalone like the chinese.

jojo...yar, i figured that out when i was visiting your blog.

nickhkl, oooh, which massacre was this? the killing fields one ah? i didnt host the dinner leh, so i am not sure how much it was, but it was a set, so i think it probably was about RM120++ per head. there was also that very "politically incorrect" dish which was excellent, but cannot show pics here la.

tummythoz, awww, how sweet of you to say so.

Precious Pea said...

Confirmed, those are lotus seeds. The meal looks good. I tried their individual set meal,not bad although the servings too small.

Bernsy said...

Next time you go there right, they offer you free Valet service for patrons of Ah Yat....

The Valet counters are situated on the Right Side(looking from KLCC) of Avenue K, free parking, so no nid go park in basement all la.. hehehe