Now, being a male and all, one of my greatest "pantangs" is calling for directions, and I pride myself on being able to map read with a photographic memory. I'd rather end up in Bukit Kayu Hitam than to ring the host for directions. Yeah, its called "Bodoh Sombong" in Malay. (proud and stupid). What I hadn't counted on, was my deteriorating memory, brought about by age-ing, and destruction of brain cells from the bad influences I've been hanging out with. So, when I read the directions, that said, "when you pass the Serdang KTM Station, do NOT take the right ramp up", what I did was take the right ramp up which almost led to another state, probably Pahang, resulting in me taking a different ingress into the Heritage Building, where Pladip is located.
The result was rather bizarre, a bit like the cartoon, Spirited Away. Having not followed the directions to the Tee, I found myself in a carpark, and area that no one else went to. I followed the passages of a meditation hall, espousing the concepts of karma, and found myself at an ornate wall with chinese carvings, and lo and behold, on the other side of the wall, were Nigel (the organiser) and gang...I could see them... so near yet so far..... (actually, I heard Nigel before I saw him). After a search and rescue mission, they managed to retrieve me from the hallowed halls of the Chung Hua Cultural Centre Canteen, so flustered as I was, is it any wonder I can't properly remember Sherlene's briefing?
As I began my sojourn, I was this...is it dangerous to take pictures while driving? It always warms my heart to see a rainbow, for it is a reminder of God's promise to mankind.
Salmon Labb, lovely slivers of raw salmon, as if for yee sang, but doused in a special thai fusiony sauce. Very tangy, a bit on the salty-soury side as well for me, but texture of the fish was great and fresh.
Ah, nothing like a cold beer, in this case, Phuket Beer, to calm the nerves from taking a wrong turn. A light beer, that complemented the meal the way a good bordeaux would complement a meal in ...Bordeaux.
Soft Shell Crab salad. I always love soft shell crab, and I love salad, so whats there not to like about this dish! Crisp green salads, a dash of mayo, very retro, hardly anyone uses mayo just like that these days, generous portions of yummy ebi ko, prawn roe, that burst like little bubble wrapped packages of goodness in the mouth.
A platter of four different kinds of sashimi, new age, of course, with special sauces etc. Tuna, salmon, squid and shrimp. All the ingredients were very fresh, and I love the texture of the raw stuff. There is something deliciously primal about gnawing on raw stuff, brings out the caveman instinct in me.
I am surprised a strapping lad like Hook, (BabeKL's other half) is squirmish about eating raw shrimp. Whilst not my favourite food, I can think of far worse things to put in the mouth, BUT I have to say, these raw babies were delightful. Springy, fresh, and sweet, and the sauce took away any fishiness that you might associate with raw marine life.
Commercial break. Pla dib exists in quite a few places.
Service was very good. After the dish is subjected to the paparazzi, it is then dished out to individual servings.
Single Sun Beef. Now, had it been on the planet Tattooine, with two suns, it could've been named Double Sun beef, but since we are on boring old earth, its just Single Sun Beef. However, regardless of the number of fiery orbs that dehydrated this beef, it is a fabulous snack to have with a Phuket beer. Chewy without being tough, and a fabulously preserved bovine flavour.
Two of their specialty beverages, a mint soursop drink, and a pladib art, comprising peach, grenadine, (which a lot said tasted like cough mixture, but I likey), and some other stuff. The soursop concoction is delightfully refreshing, and whilst the pink drink looks very feminine, and I usually wouldn't be caught dead drinking something PINK, I thought it was rather palatable.
Creamy Capellini Angel Hair pasta. Rich, and very filling, but I would prefer the angel hair more al dente. I do not think I could finish an entire plate of this myself. I find with creamy pastas, in my old age, the first mouthful is divine, but marginal utility plummets exponentially thereafter. Too rich. But if you like creamy, knock yourself out with this!
Individually served twirl of capellini.
Squid ink pasta. Now, I often wonder who on this earth had the foresight and guts to try squid ink in their food. Was it by accident? It falls into the same "GREAT FOOD MYSTERIES" category to me, like who thought of eating forced fed duck livers, or ox tongues, or chicken asses.
Having said that, just like all those other discoveries, (save for chicken butt), it was delicious. Now, this I could have a plate myself.
Spinach Fettucine with Mentaiko. Gobules of unborn cod. What with the ebiko, and mentaiko, and more egg later on, it really did make for a rather eggshilarating meal.
The interior of Pladip. Cosy surroundings.
The open bar/kitchen.
Squid ink fried rice. The raw egg is sploshed over the hot rice to cook. Actually, this dish surprised me the most, for despite its simplicity, it was excellent. Lovely thai fragrant rice in squid ink. Who'd have thought!
Wasabi mashed potatoes. Can't go wrong with that comination!
Grilled Lemon Grass Chicken with Roasted Rice. I love their innovative ways of presenting otherwise ordinary stuff. The rice is egged and roasted. The chicken, so simple, yet so effective. Moist, thigh meat. No breasts please.
Rainbow trout. Not from the rainbow I had seen earlier. In Lime leaf, presumably Kaffir Lime. Fresh enough, but not my favourite way of eating rainbow trout. It's difficult to make fish look attractive, because they look so dead on the plate.
My kinda pizza. Replace the salmon with pork bacon, throw some mushrooms on and we could have had an English Breakfast. But we were seriously STUFFED by the time this came along. That semi cooked egg really was an eggscellent idea.
To further stuff us, (like ducks reared for their livers), Nigel brought a heavenly dense almond cake. You could feel the butter clogging your esophagus as you ingested this slice of heaven. Too much, too much!
The Pladip version of Tup Tim Krob, which to Babekl's relief, had no nangka. Much to our disappointment. But the unique take on this is the way its prepared. Almost like as sorbet, so that the dish doesn't dilute when the ice melts. Ie, the whole coconut solution is frozen. Larverly.
And to finish it all, DURIAN GELATO. What a happy ending.
Food reviews are always pleasurable when there's good food and most importantly good company, which with Nigel and Alan, Pure Glutton and Derek, BabeKL and Hook, my DEAR ALY of Red FM, our fabulous hostess, Sherlene, and Anna who called us in the first place, it was a great night, and worth the trip to the Mines. I hope to be back soon, incognito. That squid ink pasta and raw shrimp are calling my name. Oh, prices are exceedingly reasonable too, hardly anything exceeds RM 30 on the menu!