Thursday, December 11, 2014

MAD - Modern Asian Diner In PV128, Setapak...

When long time friend Nazeen sent me an email inviting me to this restaurant called MAD, I skimmed through the details, and thought, hmm, fascinating, chef previously from Suffolk House, trained with the CIA, etc etc...  I immediately said yes, for before this, most of Nazeen's invites had always clashed with my birthday, and I could never make it for her events.

Now, what I didn't read was the fine print, and LOCATION of this MAD place.  So, what exactly is MAD?


Take your pick....it could stand for any of the acronyms listed above, and more.

Where is MAD?

Well, it's in that neck of town I hardly ever go to, SETAPAK, at a complex called PV128, hitherto unheard of.  So it was with a bit of apprehension that Ciki and I wazed our way through village roads, passing the "River of Life", (yes, there IS actually a bridge near some Syabas outfit behind Jln Pahang/Jln Genting Klang that has that label), only to emerge back on the main road and subsequently to this hive of hustle and bustle.  Of course, I felt particularly ancient the minute I stepped into MAD, because the demographics of the place was clearly those who've eaten less rice than I have salt.


Bright, cheery and young....


The effusive chef behind this is Dave Looi, clearly a passionate, gifted and exceedingly nice chap, although he's Singaporean (but in his defence, his wife is Malaysian), who as I said earlier, has worked all over the place, including New York, and his last stop before venturing into MAD territory was at Suffolk House, Penang.




An assortment of canapes kicked off the evening, all very creatively presented, albeit a rather lavish use of ice cream cones...the mushroom cones with the cones coated in nuts was particularly good.  Oh, the place is waiting for it's HALAL certification, so there were no "naughty drinks" in sight, which meant we had to derive our entertainment elsewhere.


"Nazeen, you should have told me to bring my hip flask", I hissed under the table...


Okay, let's call a spade a spade, and this establishment, even based on its pricing, is certainly not meant nor does it pretend to be a fine dining place, or hipster cafe.  The pricing is such as to attract the younger crowd in the vicinity, and I have to say, it is damn good value for money.


Although we didn't know it yet when we took this picture, I am certain that Chef Dave and me are gonna be good buds, since he drinks, and very loudly proclaimed, "I AM LONELY"... you see, he IS a Singaporean who lived in Penang and has moved to KL, so has no friends.  On it's own, that plaintive cry would have fallen on deaf ears, but his inclination to libations...well... that almost seals a friendship for me immediately.  I'm shallow that way.

Kitchen Tour - The MAD kitchen is anything BUT MAD, it's rather orderly and organized and of course, spic and span.  I likey.  David was kind enough to bring us on a guided tour.

Dave showing his creation...

Our first dish was an interesting one...Peanut Butter Cheong Fun.  His Penang influence where cheong fun is eaten with prawn paste might have been the inspiration to try other dressings.  I thought the combination worked, and isn't as surprising as it sounds, ...think of it as a thicker satay sauce with cheong fun.



Mushroom cappucino.  We were served in little cups, so I wasn't sure if this RM9.50 dish was really served in such small portions, but turns out, it's actually served in a regular sized bowl.  I thought it was a really good mushroom soup.  The texture of mushrooms intact, very flavoursome and had a nice bite.  The froth that made it a "cappucino" gave it a certain lightness.  I'd definitely order this.

Seafood sambal at RM19.50.  With scallops and mussels.  Rice, I need rice.  But my personal opinion is, at the price, there's no need to luxurize it with scallops, (which in sambal is cooked to death and back anyway), and better to stick with "cheaper" but more substantial sambal worthy seafood like squid.


Chicken Curry With Roasted Potatoes - RM14.50- Okay, the curry, which is normally a bestseller, was a trite watered down, maybe because it was sold out....  the curry flavours had not infused into the chicken, so it tasted like blanced chicken with curry powder.  But Dave assured us that it wasn't normally like that, and usually this is a best seller.

Marmite Chicken RM13...certainly better than the curry chicken. Very tasty, crispy outside with that caramelized marmite coating, and a drizzle of crunchy sesame.


Undoubtedly the star of the show, the Seafood Ma Lat, with its spicy sichuan peppers really packed a punch.  It is their signature dish, and is really quite unique, unlike anything that you'd normally eat.  RM24.50, considering the ingredients, and unique ingredients, it's a STEAL.  No wonder the place was hustling and bustling.

Stir fried water convulvulus aka Kangkong, which we needed badly as there was no vegetation in sight.  RM11

Another must have is the Rendang Lamb Shank.  Priced at RM28.50, this is the most expensive dish in the entire menu, (some places, even the cheapest dish is double the price of this), and is well worth the ringgit paid.  Tender, falling off the bone, spicy lamb .

For desserts, carrot cake with cream cheese, mango mousse and baked cheesecake.


To end the night, seeing as to how we are in the yuletide season, bonus Christmas presents for the guests!!!!


The place has found a suitable niche, and given its pricing, more than above average food generally and some star dishes, I would certainly drop by if I'm in that hood again!

MAD operating hours:
Sunday- Thursday (11:00 am – 11:00 pm)/ Friday-Saturday (11:00
am – 1:00 am)

6 comments:

Ciki said...

Last foto.. trying to "Seem" from your spray by shielding our faces.. hahaha

ihsan said...

waw.. very delicious :)

Nazeen Koonda said...

Aiyaaah!! so kind la, posted my pic also! :) and called friend oso and came to m event oso.. Alamak I think I going to cry cry!

susana said...

Do you know this chef dave looi chong wee is the con con man still arresting by police in 5 countries. If you don't believe please check on web site.

yan li said...

Poor service!

Anonymous said...

This so called chef is a scammer....just look online. he has conned wonderful people out of a lot of money around asia. I don't think he has ever been to NY.

Ill find the guy soon. Then we will see has the last laugh!

your going to cop it David

anyone....search David Looi chong wee on google and you will see the real liar and conman for what he is!!!