One of the reasons I love being a blogger is getting to do food review with my family. I recently received an invitation from Mr. Tan, the owner of Nine Chefs Malaysia and I had the privilege to try out a food review session at their restaurant. What's even cooler is Mr. Tan had no qualms with me inviting 2 additional persons to join my family in our food review session! Unknown to Mr. Tan, I had invited my eldest brother in law (he's a region sales manager and travelled often and tasted tons of delicacies all over the world and his best friend who is a good cook as well. Unknown to them, their feedback helps in my review as well hahaha... Without further ado, check out my review below...
About the company:
"Nine Chefs was started in December 2015. The story behind why the restaurant is named Nine Chefs is because our team travelled to nine different states within Peninsula Malaysia to learn and bring in the specialty dishes of Malaysia under one roof. Our main objective in creating Nine Chefs is to serve all Malaysian goodies under one roof. Regardless of race, religion or color, if you are a Malaysian, you know our food. "
We arrived at the restaurant at about 1.45pm, in time for lunch. Total 4 adults and 3 kiddos under 8 years old. After a brief chat with the owner, Mr. Tan, we were greeted by a waitress in the restaurant. I can't recall her name, Adeline or Adlin or something like that. She is very attentive and friendly and guided us through our selection of dishes from their menu.
Feedback on Menu:
My brother in law commented that their menu should have a glossy finish as the current matte look does not do the images of the dishes any justice. I personally did not notice any difference until he mentioned that hahaha...
My hubby on the other hand commented that there is just too many varieties of dishes offered and that he personally preferred if the selection is kept to as less as possible so as to allow the restaurant to focus on a few key attractive dishes.
Feedback on Our Choice of Food and Drinks:
As the 3 men are still deciding what to eat, I proceeded to order the Mango Milkshake for our 7-year-old-boy, an Oreo Cookie Milkshake for myself and a carrot + orange juice for our 2.5-year-old-girl. Our 4.5-year-old-girl rarely drinks fruit juice or any other drinks except plain water so I didn't get her any drinks hahaha...
Hubby and my brother in-law's best friend both ordered the Vanilla and Banana Milkshake while my brother in-law ordered the Fresh Coconut Milkshake. The drinks arrived promptly and eagerly sipped by all of us. Very yummy, I can taste the rich milk taste in my Oreo Cookie Milkshake and it is not too sweet either. The Mango Milkshake was yummy as well, a bit sweet for me though (maybe it is because I just drank the Oreo Cookie milkshake) while hubby's Vanilla and Banana Milkshake was delicious as well, the banana flavor is rich and strong as well!
I ordered the Fish Ball Noodle Soup for myself. Personally, this is the one important dish that I use to test whatever food outlets I go to. Ever since I could remember, I've been on a quest to look for a place that can serve this Fish Ball Noodle Soup that reminded me so much of the ones I used to have during my childhood years back in my late mum's hometown in Batu Arang, Selangor. Maybe because so far in my whole life, I have only come across 1 other place (it is in Jalan Alor Bukit Bintang) that can so-called be almost on par with the Fish Ball Noodle Soup that I cherished so much in my childhood years. So to be honest, I've already set my expectations very high for this simple dish and have unfairly compared it to the one served in Nine Chefs Malaysia. I would be lying if I say the noodle soup is exactly what I had in my mind. I was actually a bit disappointed when I see it. Totally crushed the image I have beautifully conjured in my mind (darn you Batu Arang noodle shop!!!!).
Then I reminded myself that the quest is still on-going, and it doesn't mean that I should pass other chances, who knows this might taste good as well? The portions are a lot for a simple dish. Lots of fish balls floating in the big bowl, with lots of fish cake slices as well as vegetables.
Anyway, I tried the soup first. I remembered telling my brother in-law earlier that the soup makes or breaks a fish ball noodle dish. For me, if the soup is not good, there is little chance I would enjoy the remainder of the dish I ordered.
The delightful aroma of spices of the soup is inviting and easy on the throat as well (unlike others that I have tried which leave your throat thirsty for water, possibly due to MSG), the gravy is rich and noodles are springy enough. The fish cake slices are fresh and good however I don't quite like the fish balls. I would've preferred those bouncy texture type. My 7-year-old-boy whacked half of my noodle soup and he enjoyed the noodle with some soup and the fish cake slices as well. Overall, my personal rating of this dish would be 7 out of 10.
Hubby's Nasi Minyak with Lambshank Masala arrived few minutes after mine. I managed to snap a quick picture of it while he proceeded to devour the dish together with his brother and his friend. For me, that lamb shank looks hugeeeeeeeeee but since the 3 men are sharing it I guess it's okay hahaha... According to my hubby, the spices permeated the meat nicely and that the meat is not too overly soft that it fell off the bones (he expected that) but it was a nice combination that he enjoys very much. He did mention that the gravy is not enough for his nasi minyak hahaha (he is a person who enjoys gravy type of dishes)
Grilled Stingray Portuguese Style, our next dish arrived and the 4 of us quickly took some ourselves to try it out. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the best dishes we have in our food review that day. Hands down. All of us were singing praises and raining compliments over this dish non-stop. I can't remember how many times my brother-in-law repeatedly feedback to Mr. Tan and the waitress that the Grilled Stingray Portuguese Style is just so very fantastic! I think my photo taking skills does not do a proper justice for this dish. It is really good and you MUST order this if you decide to check out this restaurant. The portion is VERY generous, the meat is very juicy and fresh and perfectly grilled with the sauces and spices nicely marinated, very value for money and simply mouth-watering! The dish was gone in minutes! We were like a bunch of locusts over this dish I tell you!!!!!
While multitasking between making sure my son does not mess his clothes while whacking my noodles and then trying to grab some more stingray for myself, the first kid dish we ordered arrived. We ordered the Chicken Nuggets and Chips but what arrived was Chicken Drummettes and Chips. The drummettes are HUGE, I seriously think even as adult, we would be having problem finishing it! Nevertheless, we let our 4.5-year-old-girl tried out the dish first, if she doesn't like it, we will eat it hahaha. She had a few mouthfuls of the drummettes and then told us it was spicy. She sometimes said this when she had something with pepper on it. Am not sure whether this is the case as we all tried the drummettes and it was fine for us.
We then informed the waitress that we would like to get the Chicken Nuggets and she quickly processed our order. Our girl happily whacked all the nuggets without any complains and actually wanted second helping after that! Our youngest kiddo meanwhile alternates between eating the big sized chips and also had some of my noodles as well.
Our next order which is the Salted Egg Soft Shell Crab with Spicy Tomato Coulis arrived and the men devoured that quickly as well. I had a bite of it and my preggy self can't take the succulent crab taste in my mouth after that. I had to pass the rest of the fleshy crab portion back to my hubby.
Immediately after that, our order of the Asian Snack Platter arrived. The platter came with 6 sticks of satay (we choose chicken), otak-otak, fried fish cake & keropok served with satay dip. I only managed to have a slice of the fresh bouncy fish cake and some of the crunchy keropok as the rest were quickly devoured by the 3 men!!! Hubby loves the otak-otak (one of his favorite dishes) but he has to refrain himself from over-eating it as he had allergic reaction to them long time ago. My brother-in-law and his best friend don't quite like the satays as they said the chicken meat is overly marinade with the sauce and a bit hard.
The second kid's meal we ordered, Fish and Chips arrived. The fish portion is HUGE again and this time I was seriously wondering how is this restaurant going to make money by dishing out such generous portion for kids' meals?! I would've ordered this dish for myself and don't think I could finish it! I quickly cut the fish into bite-sized portion, our 7-year-old boy had some of it and liked it. Our girls are full by then and I helped myself to finishing most of this dish. I loved it! The fish meat is fresh and very juicy! The sauce has some chunky fruits pieces in it which makes the fish more flavorful! The 3 men had some of the fish as well and they loved it too! Again, they too agree that the portion is too huge for a child!
By now, all our main dishes have been completed and as we sat there continue chatting and enjoying the atmosphere, we also chatted with Mr. Tan, relaying our feedback on the dishes we tried. The 3 men ordered coffee (I'm really full by then) and they loved the coffee as well. The aromatic coffee is not too sweet and very value for money as well.
We capped off our lunch by having Nine Chefs's famous Pisang Cheese Combo. Mr. Tan recommended this dish to us as it is one of the popular orders from his restaurant. The toppings decorated the bananas beautifully and there is a generous portion of grated cheese all over the bananas as well as the chocolate toppings and sweet sauce at the base of the bananas. The batter coated the bananas nicely, crunchy, crispy and not too soft when we eat it.
Personally we feel that the bananas flavor overshadowed the toppings (Oreo and grated cheese). We did suggest some other ideas to present this dish so as to best preserve the flavors of the bananas as well as the toppings to Mr. Tan and I can see, he's taking mental notes while he listened to our feedback.
Feedback on Service & Ambience:
As mentioned earlier, Adeline or Adlin, the waitress who attended to us is very attentive and friendly and guided us patiently through our selection of dishes from their menu. She is consistently good and fast considering the fasting time when we were having our lunch there. Foods and drinks were served promptly one after another without us waiting too long for it.
The decoration around the restaurant is tastefully done, nice setup though I'm personally not a fan of yellow colored lighting. There is an area near the bar section where you can wash your hands and I can see many Ikea's children high chairs stacked neatly against the wall next to the washing area. There is also an area where you can sit and overlook outside view as well.
I also quietly snooped around and snap some pictures of the kitchen from outside. I can see about 3-4 chefs inside the kitchen cooking and washing up. All neatly dressed in their uniforms. Equipment and utensils are arranged neatly and looks clean and orderly from where I'm snooping at hahaha...
We do have a minor feedback on the background music being played in the restaurant during our lunch there. The volume is a bit loud (but then, we were the only family there during the fasting time) that sometimes we have to raise our volumes a little higher in order to chat with each other. Mr. Tan noted our feedback on this when we highlighted it to him.
Thank you again Nine Chefs Malaysia for inviting us! We really enjoyed our lunch very very much!
Portions was so much that hubby and I skipped our dinner that night!
Will definitely introduce to friends especially the delicious Grilled Stingray Portuguese Style and Nasi Minyak with Lambshank Masala!
Thumbs up from all of us!
Nine Chefs is located at GE11, Ground Floor, IOI City Mall.
You can find out more at http://ninechefs.com.my/
Do note that I received no monetary compensation for this review, I was provided with the products in order to facilitate my review. All opinions expressed in this post are my own. Please do your own research when purchasing products, as your opinions may differ from mine.
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