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Friday, 16 December 2016

Nong & Jimmy Thai BBQ @ Ampang

I remember visiting this restaurant in one of my makan trips with my (then) colleagues (now ex-colleagues) more than 5 years ago when they were still located in Taman Cahaya, Ampang.  I remember us having their famous charcoal-grilled crabs and those little "yau char kwai" (fried dough fritters) served with their homemade kaya...but I also remembered being bothered by the hot and stuffy atmosphere in that zinc-roofed shack-like place.

Now that they've relocated to a more conducive environment and a bigger premise (since middle of the year), I knew a revisit to Nong & Jimmy Thai BBQ @ Ampang was on the cards since it wasn't too far off from where we stay.  The restaurant has a small parking space of their own in front making it pretty convenient.  If that's full, there's still an empty piece of land next to the restaurant with more parking spaces.

It was super busy when I was there with my family for a Sunday dinner.  The indoor dining area was almost fully occupied.  There's an outdoor seating as well towards the back of the restaurant.

Walking into the restaurant, the first thing that greets you is the sight and smell of the charcoal BBQ pit where I can see goodies like crabs, squid, cockles and fish (wrapped in aluminium foil) being grilled.

Right after we sat down, the tableware and chilli condiments arrived...two plates of fiery concoction.  The one in the foreground, with just minced bird's eye chillies and vinegar (I think), was numbingly hot, hot, hot!! The other one in the background is supposedly the one with added crushed peanuts and probably less spicy but I couldn't taste the difference after sampling the fiery one.  I could only handle these sparingly.

Well, first things first, an order of Seafood Tom Yam (you have a choice of Red or White, we had red) @ RM25 (RM39 for big) is a prerequisite, right?  The bowl was filled with quite a few decent-sized prawns, squid, fish fillet, abalone mushrooms and aromatics of lemongrass, galangal, onions, bird's eye chillies and Chinese coriander.

The soup had a nice balance of salty and sour flavours with a good amount of heat but still tolerable and not blazingly fiery.  The fish and squid pieces were ok but the prawns could be fresher as the meat was slightly mushy in texture especially around the head.

Of course, we had to have squid (me and my son's favourite) and they do it simply grilled, fried, cooked in Thai curry or salted egg.  We chose the latter, Salted Egg Squid @ RM32 (a bit on the expensive side I have to say for the small portion we got).

The squid pieces were tender with a hint of heat from the bird's eye chillies and fragrance provided by the fried curry leaves.  They weren't shy with the salted egg yolk either which brought a creaminess to bind the whole dish together.

Then there was the perennial staple in any Thai cuisine, Pandan Chicken @ RM20 (RM40 for big).  There were 5 pcs on the plate and I was shocked to see just how big one was...it was twice the size of a tablespoon! ^.^

Unwrapping it, I liked that it revealed a well browned and caramelised outside with tender juicy meat.  How often have we unwrapped a pandan chicken only to find a pale looking piece of meat inside?  Too often >_<

We also ordered a plate of Belacan Fried Rice @ RM20 meant for two persons (RM10 per head) but easily sufficient for four small-eaters if you ask me.  The platter of fried rice, topped with prawns, came nicely presented with all the condiments served on the side.

It had sliced raw onions, julienned green papaya and mango, shredded omelette, savoury minced chicken, diced cucumber, chopped raw long beans and finely diced red bird's eye chillies.

I was delighted it was presented this way as it had a lot of components and some of us were obviously not fans of each and every component.  This allowed us to pick and choose the exact condiments (and how much of each condiment) we wanted to tailor-make our own individual portions...nice! ;)

As always, we must end with a plate of greens and I went with Stir-Fried Paku with Belacan @ RM12.  The edible ferns were a bit soft that day, I prefer it a little crunchier, but still tasty nonetheless.  Other choices of vegetables include kai lan, keledek, petai (yikes), kangkong, "sei tai tin wong" and Hong Kong choy sum.

You'd probably need (like we did) a glass of Ampula Juice with Sour Plum @ RM4.90 (also known as ambarella or kedondong) to distinguish the fire in our mouths.

I didn't order any crabs this time coz my family (me included) belongs to the group of people who is too lazy to eat crabs.  I don't mind it but won't crave for it.  They do the crabs in a few different styles though their simple BBQ crab is the most popular here.  I also didn't get to eat BBQ cockles as I'd have to eat them all by myself! :(

My Personal Opinion

I wouldn't say the food here is exceptionally good but certainly decent enough if you're looking for some grilled seafood and Thai specialities.

Since it's location is pretty near and convenient for us, I wouldn't mind returning to sample more dishes....but next time I better bring a crab-&-cockle lover to share some charcoal-grilled cockles and crabs with me! ^_*

Restoran Nong & Jimmy Thai BBQ
298C Jalan 15 
Kampung Baru Ampang
68000 Ampang
Selangor
Tel: 03-4280 0535

12 comments:

  1. I have fond memories of this place visiting with family and friends - in the old location. I'm yet to try the new.

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    1. Ah, the new location is a lot more comfortable...at least not that warm but may have to contend with a couple of flies! :(

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  2. I like that pot of Tom Yum with Belacan Fried Rice and refreshing Kedondong juice. I often wondered whether that Salted Egg Squid is a Thai dish as I had never heard of this delicious dish all my growing up years in Thailand. It has been a trend here like a decade ago.

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    Replies
    1. I think salted egg squid is probably not a Thai dish but salted egg 'anything' is so popular these days that they have to jump on the bandwagon too :)

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  3. Nice! I am no seafood fan but I will eat if it is served in front of me and if I don't have to get my hands dirty hee..hee... I like the Belacan Fried Rice with all the fixings on the side. Interesting that raw onions and raw long beans are part of the sides. I happen to love raw onions, so I will "semua taruh" if I eat the rice. The pandan chicken came in quite a generous size. So far the ones I have had are so tiny.

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    1. Yes, I've also had tiny...and more pale looking ones so far until this. I actually don't like raw onions and long beans but I "semua taruh" just for the sake of the pic...haha! XD Then I picked them out (including the red cili api)...kekeke! :D

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  4. i'm a cockle lover! i do have mixed feelings about grilled cockles though, cos they sometimes tend to turn out a bit drier than i like them ;)

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    1. So I see you like them really red and bloody...hehe! ;D

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  5. If the food is still of comparable quality then all is fine. Sometimes when these places move to "better" and more comfortable locations, the food quality is affected...

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    1. If my memory serves me right, I'd say the food quality is about the same :)

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  6. Always want to pay this place a visit but Ampang not really a vicinity that I usually frequent :P The generous amount of salted egg yolk make me drooling~~

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    Replies
    1. The salted egg yolk was indeed very generous....and yeah, Ampang is a bit far off for you.

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