Dinner with Auntie Sim
9 September, 2020
IT’S dinner time. My Best Friend and I are in Damansara Uptown and our immediate problem seems to be getting a parking spot. When we see a car pull out, we quickly grab the spot. As we get down, we find ourselves outside Auntie Sim Kitchen. Parking is also available in the building across the road. Neither of us had been to this restaurant but why not?
A short tale in the menu talks about restaurateur Elaine Sim, who works “magic in the kitchen to turn ordinary dishes into the extraordinary”.
Her personal Teochew specialties fill part of the menu but, with a Hong Kong chef in the kitchen, there are lots of Cantonese choices too.
We start with Szechuan Style Salt & Pepper 3 Combo (RM25-RM45). Eggplant, shimeji mushroom and squid are coated in the lightest batter and deepfried to a crisp. You’d barely notice the batter but for that “crunch” when you bite in. These are tossed with salt, pepper, Szechuan fah jiu, dried chilli, fresh sliced chilli, black bean and scallions.
MBF, who is not fond of eggplant, gives it the thumbs-up as there is none of that slimy texture associated with eggplant. That the chef is a master in fire control is evident as it is not easy to maintain the softness of eggplant and yet attain a crisp on the outside. The sliced and scored squid is fat, fresh and juicy.
Then we try the Vietnamese Style Deepfried Tilapia (from RM38). Again, the frying is so well done that despite the fish being doused with sauce, it remains crispy right down to the bones. The mildly hot sauce has aromas of a nyonya kitchen and is cooked with onion, lady fingers and a sprinkle of curry leaves.
As much as I love Iberico pork, the panfried Iberico is a little disappointing, though perhaps this could be because we had allowed it to go cold while we oohed and aahed over the Szechuan Style Salt & Pepper 3 Combo.
We try two noodle dishes, Teochew Fried Kway Teow (RM20-RM40) and Typhoon Shelter Hong Kong Yee Mee (RM25-RM58).
I’ve not had Teochew fried kway teow before. The flat rice noodles are fried with prawn, mushroom, chai por (preserved radish), egg, diced kai lan, beansprout and a sprinkle of chopped chilli padi.
The chef doesn’t use dark soya sauce, so the noodles look bland and tasteless. Once again, don’t judge a book by its cover as the taste is worth making the trip for, with the various ingredients lending their flavours and textures with aplomb.
Next to this, Typhoon Shelter Hong Kong Yee Mee, stirfried with salted black bean, deepfried garlic, chopped prawn, beansprout and scallion, pales in comparison. But in all fairness, it would have stood out well on its own.
For greens, we pick Nai Bak with Dried Sea Prawn & Black Fungus in superior soup (RM23-RM42). One of my favourite vegetables, this comes in a delicious chicken stock with chunks of premium dried prawns (har kon or 蝦乾), goji berry and black fungus. I just love the taste of the har kon. Unlike local dried shrimp (har mai) these dried sea prawns are sweet and flavoursome.
We end the meal with Ice cold Thai Coconut With Avocado (RM16). The avocado puree is silky smooth, with a nice al dente contrast in the sago pearls. If you’re lucky and get a young coconut, scrape off the coconut flesh to eat with the avocado puree. Even better, it’s not too sweet either.
AUNTIE SIM KITCHEN (non-halal)
24 Jalan SS21/58
Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Monday-Thursday: 11am to 3pm; 5pm to 10pm
Friday-Sunday: 11am to 10pm