It’s true when people say that weddings are great places to meet new friends. I got to experience this first hand when I worked with baker Big Boys Oven, when they catered the sweet mouth-watering delicacies at Lis & Ivan’s wedding last month. Ever since, they’ve been indulging us with more of their sweet creations and making sure we keep “fat” rather than fit.
Being food enthusiast themselves, we naturally got along talking about different kinds of food and it was nice of them to invite me to join them for dinner at a Mongolian joint a week or two back.
Situated across the street from the famous Pudu Jail, Restaurant Inner Mongolia, serves up authentic Mongolian food. The restaurant was rather subdue in decor (good I thought, no extra charge for ambiance). Actually decor here looks like leftovers from Chinese New Year and they might just keep it up til the next new year comes. Now that’s out of the way, we can talk about their food.
To be honest, I’ve never really have been a big fan of Mongolian food. I always associate it with tribal food with servings of yak-this, yak-that and all the yak-ity-yak-yak! But as we entered the place, a strong aroma from boiling spices greeted us. And from that moment, you can call it “love at first sniff”. I was just instantly hungry.
Inner Mongolia’s General Manager, a beautiful Ms. Bai Yan (means ‘White Cloud’ in Mongolian) greeted us. She then introduced us to their famous Twin Hot Pot Steamboat. She explains that it’s more like the Japanese shabu-shabu, where we should ‘swish’ our thinly sliced meat (imported from NZ and not Mongolia) into the simmering hot soup in a quick swishing manner to cook them. Our choices was a clear broth (Ching Tong) and a spicy hot soup (Lat Tong)
The cooked meat is then to be eaten with the accompanying Sesame Sauce which was made from a combination of sesame seed, sesame oil, fried garlic, peanut butter, chive and some Mongolian spices.
What I really found very very interesting was their the two cups of tea served, regular Chinese black tea and Mongolian Milk Tea. Actually it was the latter that was the ‘interesting’ variation. Thing traditional Mongolian recipe is highly regarded by tribesmen and nomads for it’s nutritional values. It was a combination of tea, which is good for blood circulation; goat’s milk, which was good for the bones; and salt, which is good to cool the body from the desert’s sun. The taste? Interesting to say the least.
The highlight of the meal was the BBQ Lamb Skewers. Little cubes of heavily spiced lamb meat grilled to perfection by their chef leaving the meat crispy on the outside and succulent on the inside. The chef’s highly skilled considering that there’s not an ounce of fat seen in the lamb bits.
And to end the meal, the chef impressed us again with the Caramelized Milk Skin dessert. Milk skin’s actually the sheet of curded up milk that’s found lying on the surface of a cup of milk that’s left outside for a period of time. That thin sheet is then ‘harvested’, battered, deep fried, rolled in boiling hot sugar+honey+oil mixture and and dipped in ice cold water before it’s served to us. The result, it’s a hard candy like exterior and burning hot on the inside. It’s like toffee apples, the Mongolian version. Yummy!
I’m sure this ain’t the best Mongolian food there is, but for its price range and choices on the menu, Inner Mongolia’s got this monkey’s yummylicious seal of approval.
RESTAURANT INNER MONGOLIA
No. 290, Ground Floor, Jalan Pudu,
55100 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03 – 2144 9688