Travel: Our Macau/Hong Kong Getaway (6D/6N)!

Follow our 6 day, 6 night adventure in these lands of amazing food, awesome culture and astounding sights. See how we ate, shopped and laughed our way through Macau and Hong Kong! :)

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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Food: PLOY @ Changkat Semantan, Damansara Heights

Sorry about the lack of updates. Like the rest of the nation, we've been too busy with the election fever!

Honestly, before this review we had never known or been to Clearwater at Changkat Semantan. Thank goodness we made the effort to attend a review at PLOY, or else we'd have continued in oblivious bliss!

PLOY is billed as a Japanese-Thai inspired restaurant. I'm never the biggest fan of fusion food, but we'd heard some nice things about the place. So, we were excited to give their new menu specials for 2013 a try!

Getting right down to business, we started off with 2 salads. One was the Golden Needle Salad (RM 15), comprising tofu with avocado, brocolli and wafu dressing. If you're curious about what golden needle is, it's also known as dried lily buds (some of you may have had it with Chinese vegetarian stir-fries or noodles; it's got a slightly acid taste and is quite chewy when not deep-fried). Don't confuse it with golden needle mushroom, because that refers to enoki mushrooms! =D

We thought this salad was okay, something light and refreshing to start a meal. The slithery tofu was nice and smooth, and the stringy golden needles were an interesting addition.

Salad number 2 was the Tuna Wakame Salad (RM 23), consisting of tuna cubes, avocado and sesame  shoyu dressing. This salad was more substantial, with the addition of fresh tuna and seaweed while the sesame shoyu dressing gave it a distinct Japanese flavour. I thought it was well done, since the dressing was mild in flavour, not too strong. We preferred this salad.

After the salads came the other snack appetizers. We thought this Tempura Surprise (RM15) sounded unique, billed as seabass wrapped in oba leaf. If you don't know what oba leaf is, it's actually a big leaf commonly used when ordering sashimi to line the plate or bed of ice. In this case, it's been wrapped up with the fish and lightly fried in batter.

The Tempura Surprise (seabass) on the left & the Kabocha Tempura (pumpkin) on the right
While I did like the firm chunks of fish, the oba leaf was a bit disappointing, as there wasn't much flavour to it.

Continuing with the tempura dishes, next we had the Kabocha Tempura (RM 8.50), which was pumpkin tempura with salted egg. This is the kind of dish that has to be eaten fresh out of the fryer and piping hot, otherwise the pumpkin texture becomes hard to eat when cold, which was what we experienced. We were a bit disappointed with the salted egg, as it was just sprinkled on top instead of infused with the tempura batter. 

At this point, you might be wondering where the fusion stuff is, since everything so far has been quite Japanese. Well, there are also these Magic Puffs (RM 32), a luxurious-sounding combination of homemade puff pastry paired with goat cheese, truffle oil and wild rocket.

Alas, there must have been a blackout in the kitchen, causing a sudden disappearance of ballot boxes filling, because the puffs were actually hollow inside! The goat cheese, truffle oil, and rocket were all neatly placed atop the puff pastry, with nothing inside. The toppings had a nice earthy flavour, no doubt thanks to the truffle oil, but we felt pretty surprised since we were expecting something more inside the puff. Perhaps the chef still has something up his sleeve? =)

For something that looks a lot less Asian, how about the Smoked Duck Breast and Chicken Ham Pizza (RM 28), an addition to their Ploy-za range? The crust was extremely thin, so this is at best a snack, where you don't have to worry about being filled up by the pastry. The green base is not wasabi (thankfully!), but avocado, a running theme in their menu at PLOY.

But wait! Our favourites of the meal are coming up. There were some very bright spots, like the Crab in a Wrap (RM 28), which is a maki of soft shell crab with mango, avocado and spicy kani. Of all the dishes we tried that night, this was one of our favourites. There was plenty of that spicy kani which provided a great, spicy kick, and just the right amount of soft shell crab in each piece. The overall texture was well balanced by the avocado, leaving us sighing with contentment at every piece! =D

Nearing the end of the meal now, we were treated to the more substantial items on the menu, like this Godfather Special (RM 22), which was made up of a salmon don with ikura, avocado, royu and nori in crunchy tempura flakes and seaweed slithers. This, together with the Crab in a Wrap mentioned earlier, were our top 2 favourites for the night.

We were thoroughly enthralled by the combinations in this spicy bowl of rice. The crunchiness of the tempura bits, coupled with the crisp 'popping' texture of the ikura, and the creamy ever-present avocado (which I was getting scared of after so many avocado dishes but Wendy was still enjoying it) with the fragrant flavour of sesame oil, make this a bowl of rice we don't want to leave unfinished. Perhaps most suited for sharing with one other person, although we dare say there are some who could put down one bowl on their own. =P This is the must-order off of their new menu.

And to wrap up the meal at PLOY, we had a taste of the Pasta From Heaven (RM 28), a simple combination of sakura ebi angel hair in truffle oil. For this dish, we found the inconsistency between the 2 plates of pasta that were served a little strange. One had a healthy topping of mini fried shrimp, while another had just a few pieces, like as if it was placed there as an afterthought. One plate had parsley garnishing on top, while the other didn't. Hopefully something confined to just that night.

Taste-wise, it was not our cup of tea (or our plate of pasta, in this case!). Take note that this is a cold pasta, so don't expect a hot dish. We could taste the hint of truffle oil, but you're someone who's keen on a cold dish pasta (perhaps those the likes of those who like cold soba?), we wouldn't really recommend it.

Finally, the feast was over and we were completely stuffed, but you know what they say, there's always space for dessert - to wrap things up, we were treated to a trio of sweet treats by the kind folks at PLOY:

The Creme Caramel (RM 10.50) was a good try, but does not match up to my original favourite of those served in coffee shops in Ipoh. Still, should satisfy one who's craving for some creme caramel - you sure don't see this often in the Klang Valley!

The Sticky Date Pudding (RM 8.50) was small, but could be too sweet for many of you. Best shared.

The consensus on the desserts was that the best was the Durian Panacotta (RM 10.50), wobbly and delicate and full of flavour from the musang king durian. A delight for durian lovers!

All in all, we had an enjoyable time at PLOY that night, especially since the ambiance there is very chic and peaceful, even though it's just off the main road. While not every dish in their new 2013 menu struck a chord with us, the existing menu is already very wide on its own, making us think about when we're going dedicate one night to test the other interesting items on offer.

Chef Daniel, who came out to meet with us diners at every dish, acknowledged some of the inconsistencies that night and mentioned that they had a rare, untimely logistics issue with the kitchen that day and personally assured us that this was only one-off. All the more reason that we do not mind returning again, especially for that Godfather Special!

*The full set of photos can be found in our Facebook album here.

PLOY | Site
Lot G-02, Ground Floor,
[email protected], Changkat Semantan,
Off Jalan Semantan, Damansara Heights,
50490 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +6 03 2095 0999
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri, 12pm-3pm & 6pm-12am; Sat, 6pm-12am

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