Turns out, there really was a food review waiting for us at the real Exotic, tucked away in a corner shop at Desa Sri Hartamas....just across from Finnegans, actually. Courtesy of the Q guides and of course, the very friendly proprietress, Jesse. I really did not know what to expect, and I found out that like a lot of things in life, when one has no expectations, one is pleasantly surprised. Frat's alter ego and Aly of Red FM were having a puff at the entrance, when I arrived. We decided that it would nicer to sit outdoors, in a semi alfresco setting, which is where most of the crowd was. An obnoxious little kid came up to Aly and told her, "You Cannot Smoke", leaving as of us gaping speechless. Speechless coz she wasnt even smoking at the time. Kids!
That is Lemongrass straddling monkey's tongue. As in, a stalk of.....
And straddling the two glass is Frat, the Colossus of Rhodes.
The Exotic combination starter platter, which comprised Fresh Prawn Roll, Vietnamese Spring Roll (Prawn), Thai Fish Cake, Thai Treasure Bag, Mango Salad. The mango salad was lovely and tangy, the prawn roll was nice and crunchy, and the fish cake was authentic. RM22. But I am not sure if our portions were the standard size. If so, very reasonable!
Check out the mutant gigantic mint leaves. I've only ever seen the shrivelled ones here.... apparently they get it through a special supplier. I love mint leaves, and the mint and basil combination to eat the spring roll really gives the combination a lovely exotic flavour...excuse the pun.
Vietnamese Crepes, made from yellow bean flour, something like mung bean. At first we were wondering if it was a giant omelette, (like the giant mint leaves), but no. Actually its a crispy crepe...the texture is like the crispy apam. With chicken and bean sprouts within. Very addictive and went well with the beer.
Dips In Vinegar Broth...an Exotic Steamboat, so to speak. I think it has Vietnamese origins. The raw stuff is dipped into the vinegared broth in a pot over a flame, (the same pot that called the kettle black), and is then skillfully rolled up in a rice paper sheet, much like how we roll our popiahs. But finer. After a couple of attempts by ... cant recall who, that look like condoms stuffed with elephants, Monkey took over the rolling, and produced perfect rolls.
Grilled Beef Around Lemongrass Stick.... Personally, this I think was my favourite. The beef was tender, and flavoursome, and it was easy to eat. Like a beef lollipop.
Fried Rice in Young Coconut. Fluffy rice, fried to near perfection, and then served in a young coconut. Can't get more exotic than that. Well, its either a pineapple or a coconut.
Cambodian Grilled Squid. Oh, this dish was also very good. Against the backdrop of two swans carved from some vegetable... the squid's texture was perfect, and the marinate made it a perfect pairing with the beer as well.
Cambodian Stewed Fish in Young Coconut. This was probably my least favourite. I think the fish used was Catfish.
Almost like the Thai version of Tup Tim Krup. No complaints here. Frat's alter ego was saying the best version he ever had was in the Carrefour in Bangkok.... really ah? Yoo hoo, Unkaleong, can you verify this?
Frat behind the bush, with the two caramelised banana fritters.
Tapioca Cakes.... at first we thought it was mango puddings.
Well, you know, when you are with good company, half the battle is won, and food usually DOES taste better with good company. I was rather pleased with the meal, and would certainly like to revisit the place incognito, to see if it IS always that good. I hope it is! The full menu can be found here.
Thanks Jess, Fratmustard and Lisa of theQguides.