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Thursday, 5 May 2016

Ong Lai @ Sunway Pyramid

We came to Ong Lai @ Sunway Pyramid one Sunday morning as I wanted to try the prawn mee that was positively reviewed.  This is their first outlet (opened in August 2015) with the second outlet just opened in The Earth, Bukit Jalil (in April 2016) and a third outlet opening in Da:Men, USJ (in May 2016).

"Ong Lai" is Hokkien for "prosperity comes" and it also refers to pineapples ("wong lai" in Cantonese).  I suppose it's an auspicious name for a restaurant...so, I was expecting to see pineapples featured on their menu (there were some) or as part of the decor (but there weren't any conspicuous ones).

The layout of the restaurant is such that the air-conditioned seating area (and the kitchen) was sandwiched between two alfresco dining areas, one in the front and one at the back (or you can call it side).  Our route from where we parked somehow brought us to the back of the restaurant which I initially thought was the front actually (until the waitress led us to the centre).

What greeted us the moment we stepped into the restaurant was their play on colours of red, orange, yellow, green and blue from the wall decor to the colourful tiled table tops and chairs to the special handcrafted lanterns hanging from the ceiling.  I liked that the decor was very colourful and vibrant.

Glancing at their extensive menu, it's obvious they specialise in local cuisine with porky stuff taking centre stage from Ong-some Rice to Ong-thentic Noodles, Egg-stra Ong-dinary Egg Noodles, Ong-licious Porridge, Ong-gevity Double Boiled Soups and Ong-spicious Snacks (from Pork Ribs Prawn Noodles to Malacca Pork Satay, Pork Curry, Pork Intestine Porridge, Roast Pork Belly, Pork Dumplings and more)!  If you're unsure of what to order, just look out for the "ong-items" (or must-tries) highlighted with a pineapple icon.

I came all the way here to try the Prawn Noodles with Pork Ribs @ RM14.88, so that was inevitably my first order.  The bowl of beehoon mee was filled with a whole hard-boiled egg, fish cake slices, kangkung, bean sprouts and just two pieces of tender pork ribs.  Of course, there were some prawns but they were so shrivelled up it was hard to see (at first) until I dug into the bowl.  [#Note: The reason was because they halved the prawns (lengthwise) to make it look as if there were more (which was understandable) since many places do that too.  But what they should have done is to half the prawn after it has been cooked (that way they stay nice and flat) and not half the uncooked prawn first (coz they'll curl and shrivel up making it look even smaller than it is).  It's Prawn 101...LOL!]

The prawn broth was acceptable but not good enough (to make me say I want to have it again) as it needed a fair bit of the cooked sambal (which was good) to get it going.

I also wasn't appreciative of the fried shallots that were sprinkled on top as they didn't taste like the freshly fried kind but rather store-bought mass produced ones.  The positive for me was the generous portion size which can be easily shared by two (and I did with my mother-in-law).

Next, I ordered the 3-Combination Roasties @ RM33.88 for sharing.  You have an option to choose either roast pork belly, honey roasted pork char siew, roast duck or chicken.  It was also great to see it served with pineapple slices (aside from the usual cucumber) and I liked the fresh chilli sauce that accompanied the meats.

You can eat it with Oiled Rice @ RM2.88

Or Plain Wantan Noodles @ RM4.88
(the noodles were thin and springy)

Of the three meats, the roast pork belly was my favourite and the best of the lot (if I had to choose).  It had a crispy crackling and the meat had the right ratio of lean-to-fat.  The honey roasted pork char siew didn't have that lovely caramelisation I desire and the meat was also leaner (though tender) and sweeter than I would have liked.  The roast chicken was fairly decent.

From the Ong-spicious Snack menu came the Pork Dumplings with Spicy Sauce @ RM9.88 featuring thin skinned dumplings with a hearty pork meat filling but...watch out....the Szechuan-like sauce is really spicy! >.<  There was a layer of chilli oil swimming on the top, so you have to lift out your dumpling carefully taking as little of the chilli oil as possible, otherwise you'd be having a mouthful of oil and spiciness.

Our final snack for sharing was the Malacca Pork Satay @ RM12.88 (for 6 sticks).   I liked that it came well charred with a distinctive flavour of lemongrass.  For a pork satay that has generally lean meat,  I was expecting it to be chewy and dry but it turned out more tender than I expected.

It went well with the nutty satay (or peanut) sauce with a dollop of pineapple puree for a light sourish pineapple infused taste.

For drinks, we went with a smoothie of The Pineapple @ RM7.88 made up of pineapple juice, pineapple ring, santan and nata de coco with palm sugar.  I didn't quite like the drink as I tasted more of the santan and less of the refreshing pineapple juice.  My mother-in-law thoroughly enjoyed their recommended signature drink of Cham on the Rocks @ RM6.88 featuring black coffee ice cubes, mixed tea, evaporated milk and palm sugar which was not overly sweet.  I felt it tasted a bit chocolaty.  

My simple Fresh Orange Juice @ RM6.88 where as the mocktail of Melon & Lychee @ RM7.88 consisted of watermelon juice and lychee syrup.

My Personal Opinion

So, was it Ong-somely delicious local cuisine?  Well, some of it were!  My top favourite was the roasted pork belly with a super crispy crackling and tender, flavourful meat.  I wouldn't mind having their pork satay with pineapple infused satay sauce again but certainly wouldn't revisit their prawn noodles though.

Prices are....well..."mall prices", so expect to pay a little more.  The food is fairly decent but not Ong-licious enough to make me want to dash here every so often...maybe just once in a while.

As they say (Ong Lai's motto), "Ong comes to those who eat".....and I couldn't agree more! :D

Ong Lai
OB.K9 Ground Floor Sunway Pyramid
Jalan PJS 11/15 Bandar Sunway
47500 Petaling Jaya
Selangor
Tel: 03-5613 6678

16 comments:

  1. Too bad the prawn mee did not live up to expectation. But it was a good thing that you enjoyed the roasted pork (why am I not surprised hee..hee...) and pork satay. Which reminds me that I have a pork satay recipe handed down by my auntie. Hey, I gotta give that a try one day, eh?

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    1. Ya, I'd love to see your pork satay recipe...but how are you going to grill it? Nothing beats the charred flavour of a charcoal flame! ;D

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  2. Hmm... the name, even the logo looks familiar. There was a certain Ong Lai restaurant that opened in Penang last year too, but quickly went out of business and closed down. I have never tried it before so I don't know what dishes they served...

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    Replies
    1. Oh dear....hope it's not the same one!

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  3. From your review, I will try the pork satay. Pineapple drink with santan - that sounds weird as I would say pineapple juice is a refreshing drink but I always associate santan with being jelak if too much so how could the two go together?

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  4. Some fun decorations in that cafe - I always seem to have a better experience if the environment is attractive. :-)

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    1. I couldn't agree more....food always tastes better when the ambience is nice.

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  5. sounds like the pork satay should be the order for me, since i'm from malacca ... and i definitely miss the awesome variety of satay in malacca (including the pork intestine satay and pork liver satay) :D

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    Replies
    1. I definitely saw the pork intestine satay on the menu...the pork liver satay, I'm not so sure.

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  6. I love pork satay anytime, must be pork, not chicken and not mutton, and must have some fats

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    Replies
    1. Yes, a little fat will help make the pork juicy and caramelised :)

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  7. The pineapple satay sauce, I had once at Malacca which is without peanut but purely pineapple and chili, pretty good stuff I would say :)

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    1. I'm imagining how refreshing the dip will be...spiciness from the chillies and sweetness from the pineapples :)

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  8. They definitely need to beef up their professionalism in the F&B field.

    Dined @ the earth branch in the A.M. last Saturday- the staff had sleepy looks while another half were playing smart phones .One uniformed local layaning his breakfast in front on his laptop - ( I assume this is the supervisor as he was also the cashier ) .

    Food wasnt great. The broth was lukewarm..not hot. Not worth the price and not worth visiting.

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    Replies
    1. Sorry to hear that your experience was not positive.

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