Monday, August 18, 2014

Simply D, Nusentral

Brainchild of my favourite British chef residing on our shores, Simply D is Steve Allen's newest concept in dining.  Located in the swanky Nusentral Mall, anyone plying the route passing Aloft would be blind not to notice the very catchy exterior of Simply D as you veer the corner on the road.

The cheery exterior which is highly visible from the road after ALOFT....

The media invite clashed with another event I had so I felt quite morose, but fortunately, once again, Makan Fairy Godmother came to the rescue, and with one fell swoop and wave of her wand, presto, we were rescheduled for another day.

The concept is really quite simple.  According to the press release, it's meant to be a compact version of Delicious (yes, did I mention they are from one and the same family? The Delicious group),  concentrating on bestselling items.

Basically, diners can choose from a variety of soups, and noodles, which results in so many possibilities.  Let's see, if you're a stats student, you might be able to figure out the possible permutations, (and that excludes the ADD ONS), and seeing as to how I only got a "terminating pass" in my 2nd year stats class, I'd off hand say that the number of permutations would be 11x7 = 77.....

Not quite something for the indecisive I can foresee.  Fortunately, I usually can zero in on exactly what I want, by simple process of elimination of things that I know for sure I don't want.  More women should learn to think and reason like me.

The charming Steve Allen, the Chief Executive Officer of the Delicious Group. Being CEO, it's a rare treat these days to be able to actually sample his cooking directly.  Sigh. If you are observant enough, you'd notice that the spiral words in the backdrop are actually a carbonara recipe.

Anyway, to order, one goes to the counter, and orders, I can foresee the potential problems of me losing my patience standing behind indecisive customers... I mean, how does one choose from these soups or sauce..

There's a

  • Carbonara
  • Dry Tossed Sambal
  • Simply D Laksa
  • Chilli Chicken Pastamee 
  • Vietnames Salmon Pho
  • Beef short ribs herbal soup
  • Salted Egg pumpkin
  • Roasted Garlic & Sundried Tomato Aglio Olio
  • Teriyaki Salmon
  • Sweet Basil & Cashew Nut Pesto
  • Spiced Red Pepper and Tomato

and a choice of
Linguine, Angelhair, Spaghettini, Flat White Noodles, Fusili, Soba Noodles, Yellow Mee....

with a further choice of add ons of
Chargrilled chiken, ikan bilis, grilled lamb kofta, shaved parmesan, smoked salmon, spicy chicken sausage and tea egg!!!

Anyway, since there were only 3 of us, it would not have been possible to try too many items although that still didn't stop Samantha Sam, the Assistant GM of Marketing & PR of the Delicious Group, from going overboard and ordering WAYYY too much food.

They take pains NOT to overtly name the dishes after popular and established street food names, to avoid any preconceived expectations, but you can more or less guess the inspiration of each dish.  This chilli chicken "pastamee" , with the bits of crispy ikan bilis, that lovely chilli oil paste, and the runny egg is a dead ringer for pan mee, and the choice of linguine as the accompanying noodle is actually a rather natural choice.
This was my choice, Beef Short Ribs Herbal Soup which Samantha recommended be paired with Soba Noodles.  The soup is of course, Beef Kut Teh in disguise, a combination that actually works well, which now makes me wonder, why not more people make Beef Kut Teh, which could possibly be a hit with the non pork eating community.

I loved the herbally flavour and the firm texture of the soba, which I think was buckwheat.  I'd definitely go for the broth again!

This is my 2nd favourite, Salted Egg Pumpkin with Fusili.  So much so I replicated the sauce at a dinner the following weekend.  The added curry leaves chops through the richness of the yolk and the mushrooms give added texture.

A clearer view of the Carbonara recipe.  Incidentally, Malaysians being the boring old farts that they are, ...Carbonara is one of the MOST popular sauces in this whole shebang.  How sad is that!

Vietnamese Salmon Pho, with flate white noodles, aka KUEH TEOW, ...okay, I have to state here, that some things should not venture too far from it's original, such as the stock for Pho.  I did not like the cooked salmon in the soup, and thought secretly (ok, maybe not that secretly) that they should have stuck to the usual Beef Pho.  Maybe after such an outcry from MFG and me, they might consider beefing it up.  Otherwise, the texture of the noodles, and flavour of the soup, was very good.

Caesar Salad With Tea Egg... the Caesar salad is conventional enough, and the tea egg gives it that slight herbal tinge, but not very noticeably.  I wouldn't mind if they had those Japanese boiled eggs, where the yolks are still golden and runny, but the whites cooked.

The 100% Beef Burger, ( I guess in this day and age of processed food, one has to specify that it IS 100% Beef and not a combo of horse and what not), which actually was rather good, although at a glance, it might look dry and tough.

A throwback to the retro days when ice cream sandwiches were all the rage.  The ice cream itself was tangy and refreshing, more a yoghurt like texture rather than creamy, which gives the illusion of being more healthy.

Love the casualness of this place and the very novel idea of the food and drink combinations. Yes, you can do the same for drinks, choose a style, and choose a flavour, and I had the peach tangerine iced tea, which was marvellously refreshing.

Oh, and as a parting thought, if you add the add ons in the permutations and allow any number of add ons in any combination, apparently the formula for number of possible outcomes is 11x7x(77). (Special thanks to my Actuary friend who works nearby there, for the formula)..which totals 63.4 million combinations. 

Lot G9, Nusentral Mall.


Ciki said...

wow ahpa.. u explained it so succinctly - u really did ur homework (for once):p

Yah, we missed this review too.. so we had ours last night. was so impressed with the soba beef ribs and the dishes in general! Can't wait to try more.

Poh Lin said...

Have eaten my way through the menu and back. And still enjoying the beef short ribs best! With flat rice noodles though. Love the texture.:D