Jiang Nan prawns (RM40 for 2 pieces) were fingerlicking good
People & food - that's a formula which works all the time. Every weekend, when we do our chores and drop by the pet shop to stock up on cat food & litter, the conversation always seems to turn towards food. "Where's a good place?" and we'll end up trading recommendations. One of these recommendations turned out to be this interesting place - a restaurant based within the confines of a residential condominium.
Venicia's version of sang har yee meen
Eateries housed within condominiums are not a new thing - they kinda cater to the residents for quick and easy food. As word gets around about their food, outsiders also start walking in to try their food. Great examples of condominium eateries we love are the value-for-money Japanese restaurants at Vista Kiara and Mont Kiara Pines (they're related and also own Zakuro at Plaza Mt Kiara), Bijou with its breezy and great pool view at Mont Kiara Damai and etc.
buttery crabs with a hint of mild curry powder
This particular place was way off the beaten track for both of us - all the way in Selayang. Luckily with all the network of highways (even though you pay through your nose, no wonder I can earn that 20% rebate!), you get here relatively quickly. The original restaurant Venicia is housed within a pretty spacious condominium known as Casa Venicia (there's a kinda pond there, which I guess they're trying to pass off as a canal).
salted egg yolk crabs
Even though we're quite early (about 7pm), it's almost packed with families munching down their Sunday meal. Everyone's table has similar items - the deep fried freshwater prawns, butter crab in a startling brown yellow sauce and etc. We have our list given to us by our friends and it almost matches what's on their tables. Food arrived quickly (within 30 minutes) despite the many tables. We loved the Jiang Nan prawns - deep fried till very fragrant but a little oily. I detected just a hint of Chinese herbs, that added a lovely aroma to the sweet prawns.
one huge claw
Our order for the clams in superior soup (siong tong lala) - RM7 for small portion, was mediocre, maybe we should have ordered the kam heong style. Last but not least came the butter crabs (RM32 for 1 crab) coated in a thickish rich sauce with a hint of mild curry powder taste. While I didn't think the crabs was very fresh, I enjoyed the buttery sauce with rice. The mild spicy taste seemed to cut through the richness of the sauce, making it easy to drizzle loads of the sauce on the white rice and gulp it down.
1. fluffy sotong, 2. sweet potato leaves, 3. twirling the noodles
Rather than just try the Selayang place, we decided to also try out their Bangsar outlet, just opened about a year ago. It seems the restaurants are a family business (the brother runs Bangsar while the sister takes care of Selayang). Due to its location within the condominium, they don't serve pork and instead an emphasis is placed on seafood dishes. I kinda suspect they started with seafood because of their proximity to the seafood shops/restaurants in Selayang.
The Bangsar Puteri restaurant is a little better than Selayang - less stuffy looking with an option to dine on a deck that leads to the swimming pool. There's not much to the interior of the place - looking like it still harks back to the 1980s! Green tablecloths seem to be their trademark, as we spotted them in Selayang and on certain tables in Bangsar. Food is also the same but we decided to try other items, I've read about in other blogs. Sang har meen (RM15 for 2 prawns) was a big surprise. I expected the eggy version with crispy noodles but got a braised version with yee mee, which turned out to be quite good. Even the salted egg yolk crab (RM55) was very different - coated liberally with egg until it stuck to the shells but it had very little salted egg yolk taste. We both enjoyed the crabs as it was very fresh and sweet tasting. Deep fried sotong (RM8) wasn't the crispy type but still very enjoyable as the fluffy fried batter was nice and light. I also enjoyed the sweet potato leaves (RM6) topped with teeny weeny fried anchovies.
If we had to compare both places, I reckon Bangsar is better, as it's so much nearer for us. Even though it's slightly more pricier for the food (drinks are more expensive in Selayang though!), I felt the food was nicer, the ambience a little more nicer. Since spying on other people's food is always a great way to know what else is good, I spied the butter prawns - peeled prawns in the butter sauce the crab was cooked in. Am sure that will taste good, so that'll be the next order, for the next round. More pictures are in the Flickr set.
1st Floor, Casa Venicia Club House
Jalan Bukit Idaman 1/3
Tel: 03-6136 2010
(Pork free. Open from 12-2.30pm, 6-10pm for Monday to Thursday, 5.30-10pm for Friday and Sunday.)
41-02-02, Level 2
Bangsar Puteri Condominium
41, Jalan Maarof
(Pork free. Open for lunch and dinner. Closed on Tuesdays and Sunday lunchtime.)
*Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here is entirely based on my personal tastebuds and may vary for others. This review is time sensitive; changes may occur to the place later on that can affect this opinion. The reviewer also declares that she has not received any monetary or non-monetary compensation from this place for writing the review.
Tagged with: Selayang+ Bangsar
- Karen Khim's blog (in Mandarin)