Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Restaurant Chef Choi @ Jalan Ampang, KL

An understated Chinese restaurant in the shadow of KLCC....

Oops, sorry - forgot to post this up. My article on Chef Choi came out in The Star about 2 weeks ago. :)
(Thanks for pointing it out, Kenny! *hugs*)

I’ll be the first to admit it: My parents drive me crazy sometimes, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love them.

I try my best to spend some quality time with them every week, which in the Malaysian context more often than not means making the time to have a good meal. Recently, I decided to take them to Restaurant Chef Choi, which is located in an understated two-storey building off Jalan Ampang between the MCA building and Restoren Pelita.

This restaurant is not new, having opened back in 2003, but somehow I had never got around to trying it till I was brought there recently by some foodie friends. By the way, a nice bonus is that the spacious parking lot around the restaurant is free of charge, as long as you dine there:
Outside Chef Choi: A nice bonus - the spacious FREE parking area around the restaurant....

It was quiet for a Sunday night, which made my parents panic, as they are strong believers that empty restaurants are a sure sign that there is something wrong (either not tasty/ fresh or just too expensive). I assured them that there was nothing to worry about and soon they relaxed in its comfortable, classy but unpretentious setting:
Inside Chef Choi: Classy but unpretentious setting....

Service was friendly and quick, with our mains arriving quickly - the Braised Garoupa Fish with Beancurd Rolls (RM 108++) and the Smoked Baby Pork Ribs (RM 35++):
The Garoupa Fish: Much too big for us 3 but tasted even better the next day....

The baby pork ribs: Not very big but was tender and tasty, down to the bone....

Of course I much preferred the pork ribs with its fairly tender meat steeped with a appetizing sweet, sour yet savoury flavor and enhanced by a slight smokiness. My parents preferred the fish with its uncomplicated sauce that was savoury without being too salty.

We also ordered some vegetables to balance out the meal - Fried Sliced Lotus Root with Water Chestnuts and Celery (RM 23++)
The Fried Lotus Root: A simple dish that my parents loved....

This simple dish turned out to be my parents dish of the night. Overall, its flavor was very "ching" (crisp/ clean) and there was a nice textural mix between the moistness of the different mushrooms against the crunchy lotus roots, water chesnuts and celery.

The thing about Chef Choi is that you don't necessarily need to spend a bomb to eat there. There are a variety of delicious fried noodles available at Chef Choi, with my current favourite being the Tomato Meehoon (RM 24++), which is actually not on the official menu:
The Tomato Beehoon: A "secret" item that's not on the menu!....

If you prefer the deepfried beehoon crispy, then eat it quickly, or let it rest for a while to let the sauce seep in. Either way, I find this piquant sweet and sour dish very appetising, and also love how juicy and fresh the accompanying prawns and squid is too.

We did not have any desserts that night as we were already too full by the end of the meal, but I have tried the crème brûlèe before.

It’s kinda strange to find a classic French dessert at a Chinese restaurant but they know what they are doing. The flavour of fresh vanilla beans in the cream and a not-too-thick layer of caramelised sugar make this a winning item.

The three of us had a really good time that night, and in the end my father was in such a good mood that he ended up paying, even though it was supposed to be my treat.

This was not what I had in mind, but, well, I’m not complaining. :)

So it's: Friendly service, free parking!, fairly wide range Chinese dishes ranging from the affordable to the expensive BUT nothing really bad, just that the surrounding area can be a bit jammed during peak hours......

Restaurant Review
Summary Sheet:

Restaurant Chef Choi @ Jalan Ampang, KL

No. 159 Jalan Ampang,50450 Kuala Lumpur.

Taste: 7
Ambience : 7
Service : 8
Price** : RM 65++ per person
Parking: OK

** Approximation - 3 course meal, excluding drinks
Telephone No.: 03-2163 5866
Opening Hours:
Lunch: 12pm–3pm, Dinner: 6pm–10pm



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  1. ... and so near my office, too! :D

  2. I went there when i was 16. the place was quite quiet on a sunday too...

  3. ooh, i've brought my family here before, once upon a time too. i think they were ok with the food, but said the prices were kinda high, heheh :D

  4. aren't you still on holiday in the states? can't wait to post ah? :D :D

  5. To Dahling Kenny: Go try the noodles there if u can. They r yummy! :)

    To Michelle: wah but amazing how it can last so long despite the quiet-ness...

    To Sean: it's definitely not what I would consider normal everyday dining.... But ok for special-er occasions... Prices are comparable to the likes of Overseas restaurant...

    To Timing: haha yeah I'm still on holiday.... But this post is kinda late already so I thought I should publish it :)

  6. Yeah, Tomato Meehoon rocks!

  7. to PureGlutton:
    Yarrrr. Luv it luv it! :)


Appreciate your thoughts, opinions and feedback. :)