A gaggle of local celebs, arty types and fastidious foodies seem to have taken a real shine to PLOY and its modern Asian offerings.

GOOD things come in small packages. One of the rare modernist restaurants to debut in the Klang Valley, PLOY in Damansara Heights seems to be winning over celebrities, advertising people and fastidious foodies with its dainty but delectable Asian offerings.


Opened just over two months ago, PLOY — meaning “gem” in Thai – appears as refined and appealing as its namesake.

Owner Jared Lim is not restricting his maiden restaurant to just one type of cuisine. Instead, he has opted to go against the grain by transforming familiar Thai and Japanese specialities into fresh, contemporary gems that please the eye and excite the palate.

Hence, you’d find a selection of imaginatively presented snacks, salads and easy-to-eat specialities like sushi, pasta, rice and mains that are subtly infused with French-Italian influences. We were relieved to find that many of the dishes come in portions that let diners sample and share.

Creative and arty types will feel right at home at PLOY. Its stark and raw concrete-finish interior is dominated by a long bar amid clusters of sturdy wooden chairs and tables. Tucked discreetly behind a blond-wood feature wall with three-dimensional protrusions that mimic gemstones lies a cosy lounge (check out its funky overhead ceiling adorned with hundreds of incandescent light bulbs!) and an adjoining private dining area that can fit 20 persons comfortably.

CF0AA5CA91724C78AD4E17BFA50DE8C2Tasteful:The interior of PLOY.

Similar jewel-inspired elements are incorporated into the table placemats, outdoor patio stools and a black wrought-iron partition that divides the main dining area from two semi-private rooms.

In today’s culinary landscape where most fusion attempts result in confusion, PLOY gets it right. Never mind that the best dish happens to be Durian Pannacotta (RM10). I couldn’t recall when a mere whiff of dessert last put me on cloud nine even before I laid eyes on or had a taste of it. I’m confident all die-hard durian lovers out there, if they know better, will beat a path to the restaurant’s door just for this decadent treat.

Caterpillar sushi.

Coming in a close second is the Black Fried Rice (RM25) — so called because the rice is rendered coal-black using squid ink. Think of it as a drier Asian risotto. The piping hot grains transform into a sinfully rich and delectable gooey mass once you quickly stir a whole raw egg into the mix.

The Linguini Mentaiko (RM21) is a blissful marriage of East and West – plump pasta strands lusciously enfolded in a dollop of fresh cream, marinated pollack roe and finely shredded laver seaweed. This hearty dish with spicy overtones should leave you satisfied after just several forkfuls.

We suggest washing down any residual cloying aftertaste with PLOY’s inventive tipples. Our top vote goes to Pardon My Pandan (RM25) – a sublime concoction of Captain Morgan rum with sour rhubarb, lychee, cucumber and pandan juice with gula melaka (palm sugar) syrup.

8C2BA51C0F5B480986E19D6F712C2814The Durian Panna cottagetstop marks.

But the Pink Bubble Bath (RM29) is no pushover either. In spite of its frivolous name, the cocktail also packs quite a punch due to its heady mixture of Sagatiba Pura (a Brazilian multi-distilled, refined spirit from fermented sugarcane juice), mixed berries, lime juice and gula melaka.

Chase these chilly concoctions with irresistible snacks like Crispy Baby Squid (RM9) – slightly chewy little squids glazed with a slick, caramelised soya sauce and sugar coating flecked with sesame seeds – or how about Caterpillar Sushi (RM18)? These are dainty rolls of sliced avocado with spicy tuna filling and a topping of flying fish roe.

Another unexpectedly good find here is the Thai Pomelo Salad (RM16). The juicy chunks of the fruit and tender smoked duck with its well-balanced mélange of briny, sweet, tart and spicy flavours are definitely something to write home about.

5536426C5F2846249440E04236EEA840Crispy chicken with Onigiri rice.

The PLOY team has this innate ability to hone a familiar dish into something finer. Instead of letting melted ice shavings water down the popular Thai dessert of tab tim krob or Red Rubies (RM8), they add two scoops of coconut juice ice balls to the ruby-red water chestnuts and jackfruit strips. As the icy orbs melt down, they don’t dilute the dessert.

Not everything on the menu is as polished, though. The Pink Lady Sushi (RM16 for four, RM30 for eight) with its unlikely filling of strawberry, deep-fried soft shell crab, avocado and cucumber is unusual but hardly earth-shattering. Ditto for the Crispy Chicken with Japanese onigiri rice (RM22).

Still PLOY has shown enough promise that we, and those in the know, have taken a shine to it.

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