I’ve been away battling with…stuff…and only recently had the opportunity to review a restaurant. Why is this restaurant special? To be blunt, it serves fancy organic food in a relatively relaxing ambiance by a little corner of a shopping mall away from general crowd madness.
We are talking about Opika.
I’m cutting away the fat and getting right into review mode here folks; I have only 15 minutes to jam this baby out!
First dish: Pumpkin Soup
Using in-season Japanese pumpkin and flavoured with roast capsicums, this is a neat treat on a cold evening (and it was pouring outside!). Sweet, medium-bodied and with a dash of cream this soup makes for a great start to the meal.
I love a good quinoa salad and this is a creative local take on the Peruvian Andes seed common recipes. This is a Malaysian salad presented as a tartare sans raw salmon whilst retaining the chopped avocado and mango base. The nuttiness of quinoa is complemented by the spicy tang of a dash of Tabasco, add to that a crispy daun kadok tempura and freshly scalded prawns for a light and refreshing starter.
Pan Seared Scallops with Mango Wasabi Sauce
This has to be my favourite starter – so much so I’d like to upgrade it to a main. Scallops are pan seared with a sesame crust, speared with a lemongrass stem and served with mango wasabi sauce, an Asian pesto and a cucumber, onion and tomato salad. Eating this with finesse is a waste of taste – my theory is that one ought to jam a whole scallop in the mouth, bite through the crispy sesame crust to reveal the butter scallop within. The mango wasabi is not overpowering and the Asian pesto was bizarre to me; a bright jade green that tastes like crab roe. But excellent nonetheless!
Beef & Wild Mushroom Ragu in Walnut Pastry Shell, Walnut Cream and Mushroom Jus
A very pretty dish this one! Pastry case is buttery and rather dense, but not unpalatable. Cut through the beef and mushroom to reveal a ‘surprise’ layer of mashed peas and potatoes at the bottom. The side of sautéed vegetables are lightly cooked, so expect a crunch to your carrots and a bite to the zucchini. I particularly enjoyed the bits of baked walnuts which were coated in a sweet caramelized crunch. Don’t let appearances fool you though, it doesn’t look like much but it can be quite filling. Recommended for the meat and potatoes guy and definitely recommended for the walnut enthusiast.
Nasi Ulam with Ayam Percik
It wouldn’t be a Malaysian restaurant if there wasn’t something on the menu to represent and the Nasi Ulam with Ayam Percik does justice. The chicken is braised, although this means that the meat falls off the bones and makes for great comfort food. Served with homemade salted egg, fried anchovies and a side salad, this is one for the big eater in your team.
Apple Cake with Walnut Crumble with Vanilla Ice Cream
I like my apple crumble runny, so this was quite a surprise. Not in a bad way, mind you. This crumble is reminiscent of a traditional German Apfelstrudel with generous chunks of crumble on top. Cut through that to reveal a light sponge cake embedded with lovely apple pieces that soak up the melting ice cream on the side. By the way, Artisan ice cream is the ice cream for ice cream lovers watching the scales. The white silky cream is flecked with ground Tahitian vanilla pods; texture is light and velvety.
Thanks to Opika Organic for hosting this delicious dinner review.