Damansara Heights, Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-2095 0999
Business hours: Noon to 3.00pm,
6.00pm to 10.00pm (Monday to Friday),
6.00pm to midnight (Saturday).
Closed on Sunday.
AFTER two weeks of staying off proteins and religiously adhering to a detox diet, it was time to get acquainted with some real flavours.
My destination for dinner was Ploy at Changkat Semantan, a restaurant that breaks away from the conventional norm of dishing out Japanese and Thai cuisine to presenting contemporary and elegant ideas on a plate.
The restaurant’s name refers not to the standard English definition of the word “ploy” but in fact, means “gem” in Thai.
Take a look around and notice the dark iron partition in a mash-like design or wooden faceted walls replicating a gemstone?s surface that are part of the interior, a subtle reminder of a precious stone but the real treasures here are its gastronomic ideas.
Its deco’s minimalistic approach is an invitation to diners to come in casuals or dressed up to party and if you decide to dine al fresco, then the view of the Petronas Twin Towers is an added bonus.
Joining us that night was The Clearwater Group communications manager Joan Cheah, who introduced Ploy’s Special Selection, featuring premium dishes for customers who want to spoil themselves over a meal.
Introduced six months ago, the special selection boasts of choice ingredients such as truffle sauce, abalone and lobster to fire up the imagination.
Cheah said that owner Datuk Jared Lim was particularly finicky about what was served here, and was fond of sitting down with chef Daniel Yong to fine-tune the taste of dishes, some of which he would have tried on his travels abroad and would try to replicate at his restaurant.
So, our adventure of taste was designed to pamper discerning palates and it began with the Spicy Miso Soup (RM30).
Served in a cast iron bowl, this piping hot soup with fresh lobster, mirin and bonito flakes adding depth to the Japanese inaka miso soup was a fiery offering that was simply toothsome.
The meal was a gradual unveiling of light weights to heavy weights, so each dish took its turn to stamp an impression.
The Truffled Hamachi (RM55) is pricey but there was truffle in it, with the pronounced aroma and taste of yuzu truffle sauce drizzled over five slivers of fresh yellowtail, giving off a delicate and tasty finish.
Exciting as it may have been, the hamachi’s elegance and flavour took a backseat when the Crispy Fish Basket (RM35) with deep-fried sole in Thai spices arrived before us.
This snack-like crunchy treat was robust in taste, with the flavour of kaffir lime, palm sugar and chilli flakes making it quite hard to resist as it was that addictive!
Even the basket, which was the fish?s bone structure, was edible with herbal notes even more pronounced in each bite.
To wash down the pungent taste of the fillets, we relished the Abalone Somen (RM55), an appetising treat but not a dish that caught my fancy.
However, the Emperor Burger (RM25) with its inclusion of nutmeg and pepper in its marinade for the Australian minced sirloin patty, then glazed with Japanese tiugan sauce and sandwiched in man tau buns, got my attention.
Yong said the idea for the burger came about after Lim had tried a similar offering in Spain and wanted such a burger to be served on the menu.
“My boss is very good at identifying ingredients and flavours that exist in a dish and he was happy with the burger I came up with, although it was slightly different from the one he had tried in Spain,” said Yong, who has had years of training specialising in American sushi in New York before returning to Malaysia. To get an understanding of Thai food, he spent several months in Thailand to learn all he had to know about the cuisine.
But what is Japanese tiugan sauce?
Yong, who was rather protective of his recipe, said it was a sauce he created that had a smattering of soy sauce, sugar, plum sauce and onions, without wanting to reveal too much.
So, do not bother looking for a recipe online, it will not be there.
The description of the Mussel Mania (RM35) spelt out a recipe for the perfect herbaceous seafood broth with a little drama thrown in, as the soup is cooked right before your eyes.
So, the waiter sets up the stove and throws in pre-cooked mussels, then adds mint leaves, lemon, chilli, lemongrass, galangal and basil leaves, before topping it off with coconut juice for what should have been an un-forgettable savoury dish but instead of packing the punch, the soup was rather bitter and cold.
Although the pot was warmed up for 20 minutes before the little cooking show, I suspect the amount of ingredients that went into the pot, topped with lukewarm coconut juice drastically brought down the temperature to result in an unattractive offering.
However, the Torched Sunrise Tuna (RM35), yet another dish with an element of entertainment, saw the waiter searing the tuna slices before us with a blow torch.
This presentation was quite lovely, with akami tuna over a bed of sushi rice mixed with flying fish roe for that perfect bite.
The Spaghetti Spicy Corn Beef (RM21), apparently a crowd favourite, featured strands of pasta generously coated with Brazilian corn beef with chilli olio, was a novel idea and an interesting find.
Stuffed after the eight-course encounter, I decided to skip dessert but my colleague Randeep Singh tried the Thai Red Rubies with Water Chestnuts and Shaved Coconut Ice.
The way he took to the dish, I am guessing it was worth every spoonful.
Perhaps next time, I might have a go at dessert.
This is the writer’s personal observation and is not an endorsement by StarMetro.