I’m sure you’ve realised how little I’ve posted over the last two months. I blame work for taking up my daylight hours, and procrastination for ruling my nights. For a while I was too lazy to lug my camera around (I so need one of those tiny and chic system cameras) and on days which I did, I was too tired to actually take it out and shoot anything. Which clearly explains the use of Hipstamatic pictures in the last few posts. And to top it all, I kept revisiting old favourites and comforted myself in their cooking. So there wasn’t much to write about. Really.
Now that my European counterparts are busy baking themselves in the summer sun, I’ve decided that it is time to get back into some serious foodie action and scour our city’s rich offering of new eateries. And what better reason to get started than the celebration of two birthdays, at one go. My birthday was in the middle of July while my BFF’s falls somewhere towards the end of August (I better look it up on Facebook again, so I wouldn’t embarrass myself for not wishing her on the actual day). We therefore decided to do a double celebration in a new place no less (Lord knows how we BOTH needed some new materials for our blogs) and found PLOY through EatDrinkKL (who else right?).
Ploy means ‘gem’ in Thai and is the brainchild of Jared Lim, an Asian private equity investor by day and an avid food fan by dinner time. Culminating from years of travel, experimentation and unadulterated gluttony, the restaurant is a study in neo-modern Asian cuisine. At the heart of its kitchen, their dishes are inspired by the gems of Japanese and Thai cuisine – the interplay of sweet, sour, salty, spicy and umami flavours, marrying the meticulous preparations from both countries with the use of the freshest ingredients. But their inspiration doesn’t just stops there, apparently it spans over 4 continents and resulted in dishes which caters to the palate of those who crave for Asian spices in not-so-Asian dishes. That is, of course, a long winded way of saying that they serve fusion *cringe* dishes here.
There is no denying that the menu is as creative and playful as its uber-swanky interior (I heart the private dining room most!). Our meal started with an addictive serving of Crispy Nori Tempura with teriyaki sauce. It was almost like eating fried unagi without the buttery eel. Before Queen Lemongrass and I could actually finish snapping the first dish, along came our orders of Warm Wasabi Mashed Potato (mildly flavoured), Mini Drumstick Karaage (a good munch and crunch), and a crispy and wafer-like crusted Blue Crabmeat Ployzza (Ploy’s version of a pizza), quickly filling up every inch of our table top. Nibbling of salads also came flooding in as we struggled to work our rusty photography skills. The Yummy Pla Duk Fu, a familiar crispy and pounded catfish eaten with a fresh helping of mango tossed in a sharp and tangy lime juice dressing. Personally I preferred the Ploy’s Pomelo Salad with roasted duck, fresh lime, mint leaf and chili dressing much better.
Most of the dishes here are served in lilliputian portions. So, it was recommended that we order a huge variety and share them within the table – Asian style. However, that didn’t mean we gave the kitchen a license to liberally flood our table with orders all at once. Because at this point of the meal, the service staff just went into hyperdrive and started bringing out the rest of our orders (much to our annoyance), even after being told to slow down. I have no idea why they were rushing us when the place was hardly filled.
Well, rushed or not, we moved on to the visually captivating Ploy’s Black Fried Rice. This rice dish, fried with squid ink, seafood, sprinkles of crunchy sweet Thai basil and topped with a raw egg – which we had to stir it in ourselves – was as lovely as it looks. A good balance of taste, neither the squid ink nor the holy basil overpowered each other. This combination was well matched with the silky and creamy texture from the raw egg. Fans of Japanese marinated roes of pollock will find joy in the Linguini Mentaiko, with loads of popping orange beads stirred into the pasta together with strips of seaweed and dollops of fresh cream. Well-seasoned, the dish would have scored highly if the pasta wasn’t overcooked. Now, if you think these dishes seem vaguely familiar, it’s because the chef was previously from the now-defunct Pla Dib in Sri Kembangan.
Our main event, the Tender Beef Ribs - a promise of ribs braised for over 12-hours in the chef’s signature (kinda tom yam-ish) sauce – didn’t quite bring out the big hurrah from us. Perhaps it needed more TLC, but at the same time it was hard to complain when it was priced at only RM36.00. Honestly, that amount of meat on the bone was already a bargain. Sushi rolls were quite unique. It was lovely biting into the Pink Lady – a gem consisting of soft-shell crab, avocado and cucumber and wrapped with slices of fresh strawberries on top. Mr. Big was a velvety texture of tuna, salmon and avocado wrapped in rice and nori sheet.
If you thought that was enough to stop us from consuming more, well think again! We added an order of Kimchi Fried Rice and Crispy Japanese Kare Rice. The former was a flavourful mixed of rice with fermented Korean cabbage and tenderloin beef strips, which Po absolutely lapped up. The other queen and I were both bedazzled by the latter instead, a giant crispy rice cake dish smothered with chicken curry roux. The menu tells us that the dish was originally introduced to Japan by the British when India was a colony, and it is now a beloved Japanese national dish. I’m sure if Queen Lemongrass ruled over this country, this too would be our national dish.
It seems Ploy is quite the popular spot for birthday celebrations. Our own celebration, with a devilish cake no less, was separated by a thin curtain from that of one celebrated Xandria Ooi (who coincidentally shares the same birth date as I do!). We skipped desserts for the evening (phew, I don’t think we could have eaten any more), but we managed to toast with some creative cocktails like the spicy Tomyamtini (Absolut Blue, lemongrass, ginger flower, kaffir lime leaves, chili and lime), a sweet Pardon My Pandan (Captain Morgan’s, sour rhubarb, lychee, cucumber, pandanus leaf and gula melaka) and a harmless Spunky Monkey (pure chocolate mocha and milk). No prize for guessing who had the mocktail.
You hardly need to break your bank to dine here as prices are quite reasonable. Currently, the gorgeous and exclusive private dining room (easily fit 20-pax) can be booked with no minimal spend charges. Set lunches are also available from Monday to Friday to cater to the office crowd around its vicinity and affordably priced only RM19.90.
Work @ Clearwaters
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