Sunday, November 23, 2008

Memphis Bistro

Last Saturday, in the company of good friends, we checked out this place in Puncak Dana, somewhere near Ara Damansara. It was like a leap of faith, following the directions given by KTT, because the area is fairly new, and there were like NO other shops operating at that hour. So imagine, going to a deserted "Bangsar" and to be told that at the end of the 2nd left turn, there is a fully functioning restaurant. It reminded me of Indiana Jones' last obstacle in the holy grail show, where he had to take a leap of faith into the abyss whereby a magic bridge just opened up once he took his foot off the rock.

So anyway, apparently this place has been featured in the papers recently, and wasn't as deserted as the general neighbourhood. Old Vinyl covers embellish the place, that made friend, (King of England) remark that the place was like a time warp. I said, duhh, that's the idea ma. Memphis, hallo.

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The chit chat began, as the bottles of wine started accumulating, each guest arriving bringing one or two bottles. Our table probably had more bottles of wine than the entire stock of the restaurant.

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I'm more a whisky person myself these days.

Pet groomer remarked that she enjoyed reading this blog, and she never knew I could write. WHAT THE FATOOSH!!!! Hallo, how can she not know? I thought my sms-es to her would have clued her in as to how eloquent I am. "weiiii, see tou poh (boss lady), why so long never see one? watchyew up to dis days ah?" or, "i where got horny one, u ah, simply say only leh"....Goes to show, you can know a person for years, and not really know them. With the advent of computers recently, how many of us can actually identify our friend's handwriting? Gone are the days where we used to gape at beautifully handwritten letters, and our tongues get paper cuts from licking stamps and envelopes.

Somehow, escargots (ass car gots) always remind me of the show Pretty Woman, and while I bear no resemblance to Julia Roberts in any way, I have always wanted to recreate that scene where a snail flies off my hands onto someone else's plate. You see, I am very un-the-cultured one, so I delight in showing of my plebian roots.

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I don't know how the escargots came about, but it must have happened when the waiters, all elderly gentlemen, but gainfully employed, and Hainanese, of course, muttered to me that the shrimp starter was not available, and asked if I would like [mumble incoherently] instead. I guess I must have unwittingly nodded to the snail dish. But no loss, that the cultured Tai Tais on the table whacked it like a sailor downs his rum from a hipflask. Very flavourful, and the texture just right.

The other popular starter was the chicken skewer with a peanut sauce, in our local language, known as SATAY. Chicken being the most politically correct carnivore staple, you can't really go far wrong, although I didn't care much for this particular dish. The use of breasts in any culinary caper hardly takes my breath away, and I would rather be breastless.

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The baked crab was yummy. That potent symbol of small sized fiery women, the chilli padi, is more for decoration, adding a dash of scarlet to an otherwise colourless but tasty dish. Which I guess is applicable to women and make up too.

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Grilled Portobello Mushrooms, gratinated. Rather tasty, but I found the mushroom a wee bit undercooked. Some people like it that way, but I am not one for raw mushroom, unlike steak, and prefer mine cooked through and through.

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Crab cakes. A delicious starter, (though one of the gals on diet decided to have it as her mains...oh, with half a lobster), it had generous amounts of crab meat, and not too much of those undefined fillers that one usually gets. By the way, it has been said, that peeling crab for someone is the greatest expression of true love.

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The soups are definitely noteworthy. Very reasonably priced, (which makes me think that in some other establishments, we're paying the rent when we order soups), and very good. Hearty wholesome thick but yet not starchy. One of the Soong Sisters had the mushroom soup, which was smooth and silky and mushroomy.

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The seafood chowder tastes like Lobster Bisque, which of course, is a good thing. For RM9.50, I'd tout this as the best value for money chowder so far. Thick, prawny, full of gumbo-tion, so much so one of them wanted to order another one.

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I decided that I should treat myself (on other people's money), after having given birth to 4 children (vicariously), to a lobster, as the occasion was in honor of ahem, I ordered the lobster..... priced at RM185/kg. I was expecting only half a lobster actually, so I was shocked to get a whole one. I also made the mistake of ordering a Thermidor. Whilst these fancy sauces are delicious in the first few bites, it becomes too rich (like carbonara) after the 4th bite, and you feel like you're shovelling saturated fats down your throat with a bulldozer. Should have opted for the plain grilled one, but the good thing about lobster is, there's never any shortage of takers, so wife and godma were the major beneficiaries of my greed.

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The grilled lobster is definitely more palatable for the long run.... although as I said, the first few bites of Thermidor were divine.

There's something to be said for good old fashioned steak and chips, which the wife ordered. It was funny how something as insalubrious as french fries is actually THE major hit....everyone started picking on the fries, and eventually, ended up ordering another plate of just fries. These days, its too fancy smancy....steaks are served with all kinds of unpronouncable things.... and a list of saucery that would put a witch to shame.

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I was so touched that KTT offered to bake me a cake. And even more impressed when I saw the finished product. Following a Donna Hay recipe, from the Classics II book that we gave her years ago, she succeeded in producing a lovely blueberry swirl cheesecake. The plump fresh blueberries were supposed to be plastic surgery for the tak jadi swirls, but I thought the cake on its own would have looked fine, but then again, I am hardly the highest bar when it comes to cake decor.....

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The cake was perfect in sweetness, texture just right, although I think a reduction in cheese would not have noticeable. The three blind mice would have been able to sniff out the cheese here. Lots of it. An excellent effort by KTT...

2 bottles of white, 2 bottles of red and 3/4 bottle of Macallan later, we all left Memphis with amazing grace, high spirited and basking in the warmth and knowledge that yes, life is good, and wealth is measured by the love of friends, not by money....(so say the sour grapes).

Happy Birthday, to ME...... (talk about your syiok sendiri post eh, HB ;))


Steve said...

Hey Fatboybakes... Happy birthday mate. Sounded like a sensational birthday bash, if that's what it was. The baked crab and the Grilled Portobello Mushrooms were the dishes that got my attention. Lovely.

Many happy returns. Will have a red wine in your honour tonight.

CUMI & CIKI said...

happie burfday again, fbb:) really cute post! why is that photo of the mushroom soup blurr in the front, in such an odd manner...?

Nic (KHKL) said...

Hehe, when i read the word memphis, i thought of either egyptian cuisine or TGIF-alike playing elvis presley all night long...haha!

woah, you really know lotsa royalties hor. From King of England to the Soong Sisters. Tabik.

oh, and welcome to the shiok sendiri club!!! but of course, yours is more articulate, witty and stylish. fantastic!

GFAD said...

Got take your marder out for all the pain you caused her in the labor room xx years ago or not?? :D
And while you're at it, on top of her own birthday, dun forget to buy B a gift and take her out during each and every child's birthday.

I read too fast. I read that you gave birth to 4 lobsters..

If I ever had to be responsible for getting you a cake, I'm ordering it from Nigel. Your standard too high ler..

Life for Beginners said...

"escargots (ass car gots)"

LOL. Nearly dieded at that one. And yes, thank goodness you look nothing like Julia Roberts. I dun think anyone save the Pretty Woman herself can manage hair that BIG. (Maybe Diana Ross, but definitely no one else.)

Selamat hari jadi, sekali lagi, Tuan Pembakar Kek Yang Kurang Kurus. Sorry I've been dead busy of late. Let The Devil Wears Prada and me take you out for some munchies once I've stopped running around all over Negaraku tercinta, ho-kay? :D

Bangsar-bAbE said...

Happy Birthday FBB!

I like your description of the lobster lah. Especially the "shovelling saturated fats down your throat with a bulldozer" part!

fatboybakes said...

bangsar babe, thanks. heh heh, but its true wor, re the sauce.

LFB, glad u were amused. aiyo, no need to take me out la...shy only.

GFAD, now why or how would i have given birth to 4 lobsters? snigger.... yes, nigel's cakes are always welcome.

hairy berry, indeed, one hobnobs with the royalty, or tries to. hoi polloi like me wonder when i'll be thrown out of the A list.

ciki, ooh, how observant. there was a glass in front...thanks again for greetings. whatever gave u the idea i was sick? however, mulut masin or what, i was sneezing a lot this morning, had to pop an antihist...

steve, thanks for dropping by. hey, are u the same pavlova steve from tasmania? coz in ur blog, u certainly aint in tasmania now...hahah.

fatboybakes said...

oops, my mistake steve. i thought the HFB blog was yours...didnt notice it was under "blogs I follow", so you may well be the pavlova steve.

550ml jar of faith said...

Happy Birthday!! That lobster looks ill man! Like, good ILL, not sick ill.

treasure memories said...

Hi CY,

Happy Birthday! I've been following your blog quietly. I thought someone promised to bake free cake for one whole year?

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

the only time when u dun c the price tag when u order hor..looks like it was indeed the fine way that 1 should celebrate their birthday..lots of food, jokes and alcohol!

Life for Beginners said...

Free cake for one whole year? Where do I sign up, man? :D

Tummythoz said...

GFAD said ..gave birth to 4 lobsters.. Now those birthdays will be most memorable. Hahaha. FBB, hapi b'day!

daphne said...

u lucky man..seafood, pretty soups and cheesecake! Hope u had a GREAT bday!

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

Your pet groomer friend is so lucky that she doesn't get the kind of smses that I get from you....the usual words being "dead ar?" and "thamby". But despite all that, being the motherteresalike sista that I am (i.e. Forgiving with a capital F), this is for you:

Happy Birthday to yew
You're my tangechi through and through
But the glue that keeps us together
Is the foie gras that we chew.


fatboybakes said...

daphne, thanks. yes, it was a good enough day...

tummythoz, i'd definitely need an epidural then... thanks for bday wish.

LFB, u first have to do me a favour that would save me thousands of ringgit...alas, no free THATS a lesson in life for beginners hor...not u la.

nipples, no lah, usually i am a very considerate guest one, i dont indiscriminately order the most expensive item on the menu just coz i not paying. in this situation, everyone was ordering it, so i thought, aiya, might as well la. indeed...the most important component is the C2H5OH..

treasure memories, hahahaha, you never utilize the voucher ma. how i know what cake u want. some more u are an accomplished baker. how to bake for u?

550ml, thanks thanks. yes, the lobster was ill indeed.

fatboybakes said...

AWOL, how u know she dont get sms like "dead ah?" thank you for the lovely rhyme, i feel so blessed by the gods of poetry today, i might just go and get myself a dose of ..... err who are the famous poets ah? mother goose? ooh, that sounds delicious. duck king here i come...

thenomadGourmand said...

worth turning a year older hor? my, where do u get that killer wit from!

jasmine said...

haha, thought it was going to be an elvis inspired dinner :P

many happy returns of the day!

fatboybakes said...

jasmine, come to think of it, i wonder why they chose the name memphis.

nomad, what killer wit? ;)

PureGlutton said...

Hey, Happy Birthday to you! What a nice makan party you had, altho i do wonder how come got satay in a Memphis restaurant??!
I really enjoy the humour in your food adventures... and for that i have given u some "awards" - please check my post lah...

Steve said...

Heya FBB.

Yes "Pavlova Steve" here. I love that - the first new nickname in a decade!

And yes, I've moved from Tasmania to Singapore a couple of months ago. Just a taste test to see if the country is really where I want to live for a while. (And so far, I'm still madly, deeply in love with it).

Will be making a trip to KL next month to have a weekend of checking out recommendations from your blog (and AWOL's). I think that your latest post - Shang Palace is definitely on the list!

I hope your birthday was a treat mate.


fatboybakes said...

hey pavlova steve, you must give awhiffoflemongrass a call before you get here. she's the master organiser for bloggers getting together with visiting bloggers... it would be nice to meet up.
eeeks, how can you choose to reside in singapore instead of malaysia?!!!!

pure glutton, arrgh, thanks (or not) for the meme!!! hahahah, i've been tagged so many times these few months. i'll wait for my other compadres to do their first....

Anonymous said...

do you have the number for this bistro?

mob1900 said...

Infact I have the 'booklet' here, the address & Tel is:

Memphis Bistro,
D6-7-G, Blk7,
Pusat Perdagangan Dana 1,
Jalan PJU 1A/46, PJU 1A,
47301 Petaling Jaya,
Selangor D.E.

Tel: 603-7843 6818

Map to the location, Pusat Perdagangan Dana 1:

Enjoy! and great review fatboy!

fatboybakes said...

thank you very much, mob1900.

anonymous, sorry didnt respond earlier...but there you got your answer..

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