Saturday, 14 February 2009
D Jamel Corner - Again
A coupla weeks ago I posted on how I stumbled onto D Jamel Corner, a warong with aspirations to become a family bistro that is located under a tree built on the sidewalk of a busy factory area street. As I mentioned in that post, they are open on Saturday nights and since today the family was a little busy with the elder's UPSR motivational course that ended later than schedule that my initial plan to try out Yellow Cab Pizza at Kampung Bharu sizzled out, this gave us a chance to try out the place at night. In addition I wanted to satisfy my curiosity as to how the crowd was in such an industrial area at night, and whether the quality of their food was consistent or not. I should not have worried as there was a good crowd of people already there at around eight, with family groups and young couples having started their dinner. Pak Jamel mentioned that they had actually started at eight, so these were the early dinner people and there was actually a constant stream of people coming in, either to dine in or to take away where for this a lounge chair was provided for the comfort of people waiting. Their upper deck seems to be a favourite place for family groups though we did not want to make an extra effort to walk up the hill. When paying the bill, I noticed that they actually had a night menu that is a little bit different than their lunch menu, so no wonder I felt a little strange when I ordered initially. The night menu included snacks like fried samosa and spring rolls, I guess to cater to the supper or karaoke crowd later. We however had a plate of the fried spring rolls and I must say it surprised me that these were freshly made and not of the frozen variety, so I must confess I neglected taking the photo of the three pieces of spring rolls. Simply made with julienned vegetables as the main ingredient, the skin was crispy enough to make the younger ate most of it. If only the chilli sauce it came in was also freshly made instead of out of a bottle, it would have been perfect.
I would however recommend you to order some of the snacks as an appetiser as the main dishes may take some time in coming. The first dish to arrive was the elder's order of fried cockle meehoon or glass noodles. Again the portion was substantial and the dish was fried the chinese way, ie with high fire so the wok hei taste was present to accentuate the taste. The noodles arrived steaming hot because of this and they were generous with their peeled prawns and cockles, though I must say the cockles were not as juicy as expected as I believed they use pre-shucked cockles instead of fresh cockles which would have made this dish so much better. Nonetheless their prawns are still top-notch, and I noticed again that these prawns are actually delicately cooked to preserve their sweetness that some may think they are undercooked. This shows the level of cooking skills the cooks here have and I hope that this style will continue as usually at Malay establishments the prawns served in a noodle dish are usually rubbery overcooked sorry specimens, probably to mask their lack of freshness.
The second dish to arrive was the Cantonese style kway teow, which the wife re-ordered as she wanted to share this with the younger. Nonetheless this time the wife said that although the gravy coating the kway teow was as good as previously, the noodles themselves were a little bit bland and needed an accompaniment of cut chillies in light soya sauce to make it perfect. Luckily for her the younger was more interested to finish off the fried meehon, so she was at liberty to add the soya sauce to enhance the dish to her liking. Anyway the last dish to arrive was my tom yam kung meehoon, and this is as good as at any thai establishment. They really do not stinge with their ingredient here as not only I get a good helping of prawns to make the moniker genuine, there was also sliced celery and button mushrooms in addition to the squid and chicken bits that you expect in a tom yam. And do not let the fiery red soup fool you, the taste was not that hot unless you bite on one of the chilli padis, but the piquant sourness can make you choke if you are not carefull. And again this was definitely cooked with high fire, as the steam clouding the photos stays in the soup until the end.
All in all an enjoyable dinner under the stars, with good music playing in the background courtesy of the open mike set up for those wanting to karaoke the night away, as while waiting for these karaoke fans to step up to the mike the DJ plays mood instrumentals just like a real bistro. But if hearing some wannabe singers croaking the night away is not your idea of fun, leaving early would be a sound move to make I guess.