Tham Jiak means in some way "love to eat" in Hokkien. I am a Malaysian Hokkien and truly love to eat.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Chill at Uncle Chilli's

If you're looking for a place to chill with good booze and music, yet still have a hearty meal, Uncle Chilli's is the place for you. I came here once when we had the previous food review Toh Yuen, which has to-die-for Chinese food and if you have not read about that yet you must here, and that time I had a had a great time, performances were great and drinks kept on coming! But it had never occur to me that one can have a complete meal right at this place itself while still enjoying the drinks, the atmosphere and the crowds.

I must say it is a bold concept by the Hilton PJ folks, but the bold achieves great things right, so hopefully this concept works out. I had a great time there and had been thinking of right occasions to bring my friends as well. This is the kind of place where you just want to go for a good meal, have a good chat and then continue to party without adjourning to elsewhere. Beware though if you plan for a quiet night of talking, you would need to leave at night before the live performance starts.

So with bold concept of the place comes bold concept of food? Not quite so but I must say I totally enjoy the unpretentious and hearty meal that they offered here in Uncle Chili’s. We started off with Caesar salad, I for one was never really a fan of this salad, but this one here has the right balance on balance of creaminess yet fresh, but I think the winner was the perfectly cooked egg, just the right softness with slightly gooey yolk, ah who would have thought the best food in life is one of the most basic one at that, and it could only have been better if it was a perfectly poached egg instead. Hah, pardon me.

Then on came the Crab Bisque, such indulgence for an appetizer, but nonetheless it was delightfully rich, creamy and smooth to the palate. I would definitely order this if I come again, only that this time I might request for less salt.

Then came the excruciating decision making part, where we had to decide between seemingly delicious mains – Uncle Chili’s burger with guacamole and spicy salsa (just typing this makes me want to have it now) or Tomato glazed black cod with seared scallop in saffron broth (sounds truly elegant and inviting) or braised lamb shank with onion confit (definitely sounds like comfort food to me). So after gnawing and gnawing on my fingernails, I came to conclusion to go for the black cod, but of course after we had a compromise with the rest to order burger and lamb shank for sharing. Ah, how apt, this tham jiak was excited at the prospect of trying everything!

But first with her choice, she was very please indeed, as it was definitely the best of the three, at least for her, as the saffron scented broth was really flavourful while the cod and the seared scallop was exquisitely soft yet toothy. The beans were also a clever addition to the texture dimension of the entire dish.

As for the rest of the mains, the Uncle Chili’s burger holds true to its name for being a signature dish, standing tall and wide, it holds promises of huge juicy meat patty with loads of generous filling squeezed in between it. The fries were also addictively good as it were crisp and nearly devoid of oil. Though I must say I would have preferred better kick of salsa and guacamole, the main star as we can quite see was actually the burger itself.

Besides that, the lamb shank was good, as the meat was soft and juicy while swimming in a good measure of broth. The sunny side up egg gave it a little perk too.

Of course then, after a full and satisfying meal, will then come the next favourite moment for this tham jiak – the dessert! I find it that, no matter how full one can be from all the food, there is always a spare room in there that has the space for desserts. Is it only me or is it so for everyone else as well? I hope you would agree cause it would be quite a shame to miss the dessert here as the one we had was pretty good. Nicely assembled was the warm chocolate pudding with amarulla pudding, which is topped with a peanut butter crunch and then piled on with macadamia nut ice cream. Is your mouth watering yet? The whole assemble was cleverly thought out, with enough crunch, slightly warm creaminess and chocolatey sweetness atop with some cold ice cream.

So there goes, a nice dessert to end a nice meal of the night which was started with some nice appetizers, but of course the most important of all, was accompanied by a nice bunch of people to make it a truly enjoyable dinner. Once again thanks to the lovely people in and Zest PJ for having this tham jiak enjoy another wonderful meal at Hilton PJ.

Hilton Petaling Jaya
No 2 Jalan Barat,
46200 Petaling Jaya,
Selangor, Malaysia
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