Saturday, August 29, 2015

WHEN NYONYA MEETS THAI AT BIBIWOK




 
Rarely do you come across a restaurant serving both Nyonya and Thai food so this is the unique factor which makes Bibiwok different. The contemporary space is outfitted with just the right amount of ornate cultural elements, evoking the feel of a Peranakan home without too much kitsch or antiquity.

Our ravenous dining party was happy to nibble on the generous Nyonya Thai Combination Entrée (RM40) while waiting for the mains to arrive. Laden with Thai Serai Sticks (flavourful minced chicken on lemongrass skewers), Pie Tee (DIY crispy ‘top hats’ with fillings of shredded yambean and omelette), bite-size Vegetable Fritters and a serving of shredded cucumber salad topped with robust chilli sauce), the quartet has enough textural and flavour interest to keep us satisfied and looking forward to the chosen repertoire.

A savoury-spicy-tangy dressing and crunchy dried fish (similar to anchovies but bigger in size) lent the local starfruit salad - Kerabu Belimbing (RM12) – a stimulating lift to whet the appetite further.

Although our visit wasn’t a strictly Thai meal, we can’t bear to omit the Signature Tom Yam Soup with Seafood (RM24 – small, RM41 – large). It was an invigorating choice as the fiery-sour-briny broth brimming with seafood and fresh herbs packed an assertive punch and sweat-inducing heat that ‘singed’ the palate lightly.

Forget about eschewing carbs when you dine at Bibiwok. Most of the homespun dishes call for copious amount of rice. The fluffy Otak Omelette (RM13) and zingy Sambal Brinjal Special (RM12 – small, RM18 – large) were raveworthy enough to induce repeat helpings.

Redolent with complex spicy accents and a touch of citrusy nuance (from threads of fresh kaffir lime leaves), Bibiwok’s sublime speciality of Nyonya Chicken Rendang (RM18) should endear itself to spice fiends who like their curries slightly dry and voluptuously bursting with big, bold flavours.

Less indulgent but equally piquant on the palate was Thai Assam Curry Steamed Fish (RM40 onwards). Immersed in tangy-spicy gravy laden with okra, long beans, eggplant and beancurd puffs, the seabass’s flaky meat was deliciously sweet.

The coarsely sambal blend for the Nyonya Chili Garam Prawns (RM26 – small, RM46 - large) boasted earthier, lusher flavours which went like a dream with the springy crustaceans.

Like two mismatched leads in a movie, the Thai Green Curry Duck (RM26) failed to make any impression no thanks to the dry chunks of roast duck in it. While the aromatic curry passed muster, it was a dish which tasted out of sync.  

If you like something sweet to round off your meal, possible dessert options include Thai Ruby Jack Fruit (RM5.90), Chendol Gula Melaka (RM4.90), Steamed Banana with Gula Melaka (RM7) and Sago Gula Melaka (RM4.90). Again, they weren’t something you’d write home about.

For reservations, call RESTORAN BIBIWOK, tel: 03-8068-6284. Address: 16 Jalan Persiaran Puteri 1, Bandar Puteri Puchong, Puchong, Selangor.

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