Let’s have lunch…

Now that my girl has been posted to a school in town, close to home, we would not be going out to eat all that often anymore as there will no longer be any need for some food therapy like in the past when she came home on weekends. Other than that, we would not need to have a very early lunch on Sundays before making our way to her school in the jungle and once she had resettled somewhat, we would be making our way back home, reaching the house at around 3 or 4.00 p.m.

Last Sunday, however, I was thinking that perhaps it would be nice to make it our weekly routine and go out and have lunch to pamper ourselves a bit once a week and that was why we ended up here that day.

We were here last in February and in the meantime, I saw on their Facebook page that they had curry lamb shank on their menu and I was thinking of having that. Unfortunately, when we got there, we were told that it was part of their Gawai/Raya promotion and they did not have it any longer. In the end, we just browsed through their menu and ordered what we felt we might enjoy.

The instant the hua dan hor (RM13.80)…

Niang Jia hua dan hor

…was served, we knew right away that it would be good as we could detect the lovely wok hei fragrance in the dish. We certainly were pleased that we had picked that and enjoyed it to the max.

The broth for the pork and prawn laksa (RM18.80)…

Niang Jia laksa

…was just perfect, exactly like what Sarawak laksa should taste like though I can’t say I was impressed by the pork in it. I would very much prefer shredded or pulled boiled pork or chicken and thinly sliced omelette, not hard boiled, like in the authentic dish and I also missed the sambal belacan (prawn paste) dip with one calamansi lime by the side, the usual accompaniment one would get when going for Sarawak laksa.

Perhaps if they would like to come out with their own classier version of it, they could add a mussel or two instead of the pork. On the whole, though it was good and we did enjoy it, done in their own original way, I don’t think it is something we will want to order again.

I wanted to try their nasi lemak (RM15.80)…

Niang Jia nasi lemak

…as well so I asked for it but unfortunately, the rice was not lemak (rich in santan/coconut milk), barely so, in fact so I was quite disappointed by it. The sambal also tasted different from the usual but we thought it was nice plus it was spicy too so of course, we liked it!

My girl liked the prawns that seemed to have been fried coated with batter or something so we let her enjoy those while we had the ones in the other dishes. The crustaceans were all very fresh – I gathered that they would be delivered daily and they would use up all of them in a day and wait for the next delivery the following day. I was not all that thrilled by the grilled pork belly with some kind of sauce though. It would probably be better to have some kind or curry or rendang even if it is pork, as that would be more compatible with the nasi lemak.

I was afraid that there would not be enough to go round so I also ordered this grilled cod fish (RM21.80)…

Niang Jia grilled cod fish

…as well and everybody enjoyed that but perhaps, instead of the chili sauce that came with it, they could make a special dip of light soy or fish sauce with chopped garlic and sliced chilies like what I had seen done before in some Chinese restaurant around here.

On the whole, we enjoyed the meal very much and even though the servings were huge (I saw the people at the other tables asking for the leftovers to be packed for them to take home), we managed to finish everything!

The bill came up to RM70.20 but my very nice ex-student, John, gave me a 10% discount so in the end, I only had to fork out a nett total of RM63.20 for all that we had which I felt was pretty cheap and iced water/sky juice is free of charge here. We certainly would want to come back here again…soon!

NIANG JIA, formerly LADOREE CAFE & EVENTS (2.302891, 111.842997), is located at Wisma Liberty, Lot 4047, Block 3, Jalan Pedada (now Jalan Dr. Wong Soon Kai).