Monday, February 13, 2006

(XoX) Haven of Un-Halal Food (XoX)

The Dinner:

[ Begin Edit ]
(Feb 07)
I've gone back to dine at El Cerdo recently at their new location, which is just around the corner from their old location
(Effectively, they're about 4 doors away from where they used to be)
(Now, they are on the same row as Frangipani instead of Sao Nam)

The food's still good but the restaurant's acoustics are terrible.
What do I mean?
Well, there are too many hard surfaces so all the sound (voices, music, etc) is trapped within the restaurant. Also adding to the racket is the new dish there, the suckling pig I think, which is incredibly popular: The interesting thing about this dish is that it's tender enough to be cut with a plate and you are allowed to break the plate into a bucket after the waiter finishes cutting it.
(I was attacked by flying plate bits twice that night)

Also, it really doesn't help that the tables are placed much closer to each other than in the old location - it feels a little claustrophobic.
(I have downgraded the ambience rating accordingly in the summary sheet)

I tried to take some photos of the new interior to update my review but they turned out badly because of the very dim lighting.
(So no new photos - sorry!)
[ End Edit ]

First of all, let's have a look at the restaurant:
1) From the outside....
... you will be greeted by a simple, understated entrance just off the main Tengkat Tong Shin area...

2) Inside the restaurant....
.... you will find a cozy, warm interior.

I do find their general theme slightly disturbing tho (but amusing nonetheless).
No, no... do not misunderstand: I like their ambience and colour scheme very much - the vibrant yellow and orange goes very well with their wooden furnishing...

It's the fact that there are a multitude of cute piggies, in different shapes and sizes, looking down at me as I bite into a yummy piece of pork that unsettles me ever so slightly...
(FYI: the restaurant name, El Cerdo, literally translates as "The Pig")

"I want THAT little piggy! ~ medium to well done please..."
Still,... what's important is the food, right?

Righty-O then.

The great thing about El Cerdo (aside from the food - I'll get to that soon) is the very personal touch when it comes to service. The chef here is very, very hands on. He will gladly recommend dishes off the menu if you have any trouble deciding, even variating the serving sizes to accomodate the size of your party.

That night, we started off with a delicious complimentary serving of Cream of Potato and Bacon.
Really Yummy Soup

It was really rich and full of flavour, with bits of bacon in it for that added texture - a great way to start the meal.

Then, we had a selection of starters: Pate', cold cuts and erm... various other piggy parts prepared in a variety of ways....which comes with a variety of interesting sauces which compliment the items very well.
The El-Cerdo Starters Sampler Platter & Close-up of "Head Cheese"

My favorite of the array was the pate'....
I usually don't like liver of any kind (mashed up or otherwise), but this was smooth and flavorful without being overwhelming (it tasted beautiful when eaten with the teeny pieces of bread served with the platter).

My least favourite?
Call me an uneducated philistine/ horrible person who does not appreciate high-class cuisine, but I just can't get used to the "head cheese"....
What is it?
It is all the parts of the piggy - ears/ snout and all - cut up and set in some sort of jiggly meat jelly.


Pattar loved it though.
(Mind you, he's French/Chinese so there ain't nothing he don't eat)

Moving on to the mains, the wonderful chef (kudos to you, Werner!) arranged for us to sample a little of everything:

The Pork Shoulder Steak & The Salmon Spaghetti

The Sausage and Meats, served with Sauerkraut

The Specialty: Crispy Pork Knuckles, served with Potatoes and Gravy

My recommendation, out of the above?
Well, if I had to choose only one dish, it would definately be the Pork Shoulder Steak.

On it's own, it's tender and well, OK-lah but when you eat it with a dollop of sauce and a sprinkling of the fried leek strips.... something magical happens....
I can't explain it but it just tasted SO good......!
(Anyway, just try it and you'll see)

Other very worthy mentions would be the Crispy Pork Knuckles and the Sausages.
(What about the spaghetti, you ask? Hmmmm... it was ok only)

After all that, we still managed to find some space in our bulging bellies for dessert...
(looking back, I think it was just pure, unadulterated GREED on our parts)
The sinful Chocolate Cake & delicious Pancakes
The Berries with Wine Jelly & moist Mango Tiramisu
and Pistachio Ice Cream ...................................

The Mango Tiramisu was interesting with the sweetness of the mangoes paired with the bitterness of the coffee.

The Berries with Wine Jelly was nice too with the tartness of the Jelly going very well with the sweetness of the ice cream.

Our favourites of the four though, would be the Pancakes and the Chocolate Cake.
The pancake - fluffly on the inside and ever so slightly crispy on the outside - when eaten with the vanilla ice cream was so deliciously simple... but a great way to end a dinner filled with complex flavours and textures.

The chocolate cake was a more complicated choice but really good too - rich and oh so moist, it melts in your mouth in the most sinfully delightful way...


And to cap it off, a picture of us from that night:
Everyone say:"That'll do, Babe... That'll Do"!

And thus ends the long overdue review... presented to you ever so early on a beautiful Monday morning.

Parking, as usual, is a pain in the Jalan Alor/ Tengkat Tong Shin area. The solution if you want to dine at El Cerdo is to park at the Radius Hotel, which is just a few doors away. We were informed that you can get your parking fee waived by validating your ticket at El Cerdo (I'm not sure if this is a seasonal promo so do call El Cerdo first to check, ok? - I don't want to be responsible for you getting an expensive parking ticket from the hotel)

Restaurant Review
Summary Sheet:

El Cerdo @ Tengkat Tong Shin, KL

Taste: 8
Ambience : 7 5
Service : 8
Price** : RM 55/++ per person
Parking: OK
** Approximation - 3 course meal, excluding drinks

Telephone No.: 603 - 2145 0511
Opening Hours:
Tues to Sun: 12noon - 2.30pm, 6.30pm - 10.30pm
Mon: Open for dinner only if falls on Public Holiday and Eve of Public Holiday.
(Mondays also open for private function, lunch or dinner)


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  1. Definitely good stuff..good service and although pricey i felt it was worth my money...The waitress was good at recommending specials, service trait that is quite rare here nowadays..

  2. to tihtahpah:
    Yeah... the waitress there (forgotten her name unfortunately) is a real darling - she's friendly and knows her stuff.
    (So very rare nowadays)

    I think the food is ok for the price - tastes so good!


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