Saturday, 6 January 2018

Tujoh Cafe @ SS2 PJ

For our next get-together, my friends and I wanted to grab some grub from ahong but our plans were derailed when we turned up late and by that I meant we arrived half an hour late at around 7.15 pm instead of 6.45 pm as we originally planned (the place opens at 6 pm).

By then (even at such an early dinner time), the place was already fully occupied/booked and there were no tables available.  We were told it could be more than an hour's wait before they expect a table to free up. Since we had already parked our cars (and it was still raining then), we noticed a cafe across the street, Tujoh Cafe @ SS2 PJ, and decided to eat there instead.

Their menu consists of brunch options (till 5 pm), nibbles, salads, soups, burgers & sandwiches, pasta and an all day dinner menu.

We ordered a couple of bites to begin with from their Nibbles menu.  Simple nibbles that weren't difficult to execute like Cajun Potato Wedges @ RM10 with sour cream....

.....and Calamari Fritos @ RM12, with wasabi mayonnaise that was obviously squeezed from a tube (kinda grose looking actually).  It somehow resembled cod fish sperm/semen/sac (aka cod milt, a Japanese delicacy...ewwwww!).

Next was a salad of Tuna Tataki @ RM20 with quail eggs, pitted olives, asparagus and a honey-soy glaze (as described in their menu) but there were no quail eggs or asparagus (in its place were lettuce, carrot and sliced almonds instead).  This was far off from what it looked like on their Facebook...nicely presented with quail eggs, asparagus and thinly sliced radish.

Worst still, when a salad arrives with such a sloppy presentation, you're not even attracted to eat it.  No restaurant or cafe would just throw large salad leaves and chunky carrot shavings on top...and cover the main focus (which should be the protein)! O_o  It was like the lettuce and carrot were an afterthought, replacements that were thrown on top the plate like they don't care.  I, for one, do not take kindly to ingredients being replaced at a kitchen's whim and fancy unless the substitution was advised/explained at the time of ordering.  This is made worse if the substituted ingredients are deemed to be inferior (lettuce & carrot vs quail eggs & asparagus!) as I'm a staunch supporter of you give me what I paid for.

From their pasta menu, we went with the Potato Gnocchi @ RM22 with beef bacon bits, mushrooms and wilted rocket in a cream and cheese sauce that I thought was a bit too much, too thick and, in the end, too heavy.  It probably needed a touch more fresh herbs too.

Their house-made gnocchi was alright, just that I'd prefer mine to have a bit more colour on them.  The ones here just didn't match up to the lovely ones I remember I had at La Casa that were well seasoned, nicely seared and beautifully browned! :P

For the mains, we went with a recommended dish of Tujoh Fried Chicken @ RM25 made up of a whole chicken leg served with a red cabbage slaw, chunky potato mash and a chicken demi-glaze.  Let's just say I wasn't expecting the fried chicken to look like that.  It didn't have that all round fried and well browned look with crispy skin.  In fact, it looked more like baked chicken which was seared on one side to give it a bit more colour.

I found the meat of the chicken to be very dry and bland tasting which made me think it could possibly be frozen chicken. >.<  I also felt that the chicken may have been partially cooked ahead of time for the meat to dry out like that.  Whatever it was, be it the quality of the produce or the cooking process, something wasn't right.  The chicken, being one of the easiest proteins to cook and get right, was far from juicy and moist like it should be. :(  The sides and sauce were probably the better things on the plate.

The Tapenade Salmon @ RM28 on creamy ratatouille with black olive duxelle and balsamic reduction came next.  Again, it didn't quite look like the ones I saw on blogs.  I've always thought of ratatouille in a tomato-ey sauce but this one had a creamy white sauce on top of yet another creamy texture of a potato and carrot puree.  It was creamy on creamy...and was screaming for some acidity (perhaps the freshness from a tomato-based sauce of the ratatouille could have worked better).

But the worse was yet to come.  One bite of the salmon and I knew it wasn't fresh (even the rocket leaves had a droopy demeanour).  In the end, we had no choice but to put in a complaint to the management as it was too fishy to render it edible.  The gentleman-in-charge (one of the bosses maybe?) was quick to take away the plate and came back to inform us that we were indeed right.  I certainly appreciated his honesty and for taking responsibility for his food (he subsequently reimbursed us for that plate of food).  I just wished their kitchen would better manage the freshness of their food (with proper quality control).

Our final main for sharing was the Australian Beef Ribeye @ RM39 with buttered root vegetables and a carrot and potato puree.  Again, the actual plate came without buttered root vegetables (mentioned in the menu) but two grilled tomato halves (and some rocket and lettuce leaves) instead.

When the dish arrived, I actually thought the sauce was some kind of black pepper/brown sauce until I tasted it and realised, to my horrow, that it was chocolate. >_<  I mean...I like chocolate as a dessert...but not in something savoury as I find that the flavour overpowers the meat (although one of my friends seemed to like it...she must really love chocolate)! ;P  I was once overly adventurous and had BBQ coffee sauce with beef...and made a mental note to myself not to pair steaks with overly strong sauces ever again.  But, in this case, I have no-one to blame but myself since the dark chocolate demi-glaze was clearly written on the menu (I just didn't see it).

Though the ribeye was executed right (medium rare) as requested, the meat had a bit of sinew in it which required more work from the knife to cut through.  I suppose I shouldn't ask for much seeing this wasn't an overly expensive piece of meat.  They were so heavy handed with the chocolate sauce that the beef + carrot and potato puree were drowning in them! O_o  Just imagine that combination all mixed together...chocolate, meat, mushy carrot, potato mash...does that sound appetising to you?  They seriously need to rethink their sauces...and their combinations.  Not only that, they need to do better with their food presentation too (with a keener eye of the colours on a plate of food).

Luckily, the coffees (Iced Latte @ RM11 and Hot Cappuccino @ RM10 saved the day night...they were at least decent enough.  Hopefully our second venue for the night can salvage our miserable evening so far (*wink wink*).

My Personal Opinion

Perhaps I didn't order the right dishes....perhaps the chef had an off day...perhaps it was his off day (and his kitchen comrades didn't execute his vision as well as he had trained them)....perhaps...perhaps.....

Let's just say I wasn't in seventh Tujoh...and leave it at that! :'(

Tujoh Cafe
618 Jalan 17/10 Section 17
46400 Petaling Jaya
Tel: 03-7992 3611


  1. Lettuce & carrot instead of quail eggs & asparagus - I'd hope they cut the price in half too.

    1. Unfortunately, this isn't the first time I encountered restaurants simply substituting ingredients in their dishes. I don't expect them to reduce the price of the dish but I do wish they'd tell us upfront or substitute them with ingredients that aren't deemed inferior or better manage their stock of ingredients to begin with.

  2. For a salad priced at RM20, i'll expect for more >.<"
    Seem like they had over-orsered rocket leaves because I saw them in every dishes, LOL
    OMG, thick chocolate sauce + steak, yucks!

    1. I've actually seen chocolate sauce paired with meat before on food shows. Maybe this one wasn't done right or it just didn't suit my taste buds. :(

      Hey, you're right...I didn't notice the overuse of rocket leaves in their dishes. Maybe they were trying to get rid of them since they were starting to wilt already.

  3. oh no! i've met the founder and the most recent chef here, so i know they do care about the food that's served to their customers. hopefully they'll take note of your constructive criticism and make sure the mistakes are rectified. i know restaurants run into supply woes more often than they'd like to, and that's not their fault, but yeah, it should be communicated to customers in the right way.

    1. While I do sympathise with their supply woes, from a customer's point of view, I think they can do better in terms of quality control (either reject the supply or discard the food that's past its prime). Or maybe it's time they look for a better and more reliable supplier that can give them not inferior but fresh produce.

  4. What a pity that you missed Grub due to the crowd. Ahong seems to be doing very well and that's good to know. Too bad that your plan B was underwhelming. Now we know where not to go if Grub is busy :)

    1. That plan B wasn't even an alternative plan to begin with. We just saw it...haiz! :( I should have known better as the place was barely filled when we went in but later did fill up (maybe from the spill-over customers that couldn't score a table at the other place?). We will definitely give Ahong another go another time :)

  5. Wow!! To my horror, I learnt that this would 'horrow' exists after googling online! I knew it was a new vocabs for me to learn as you are a very polished & meticulous writer and definitely checked line by line after posting! Thanks for teaching me something new.

    It was a horrow for me too when you mentioned chocolate being used. Sometimes I thought I was being old fashioned when the modern SPAs used chocolate and even coffee to smear their clients while massaging. Eeeee!

    It was like a sad & disaster visit for you to eat there. I would always wait until tables are available at good restaurants.

    1. I would too...if the wait is not too long (like half an hour).

      What?...chocolate and coffee for massages! Hey, this is a 'family' blog...kekeke ;)

      Ya, you got that right...I have a very meticulous streak in me. You can say I'm a bit OCD when it comes to that as I always try to ensure every piece is grammar and typo error-free. *_*


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