Ampersand

Yee sang

Bringing home a meal this month from Damansara Uptown’s Ampersand by Culinary Rebels: The restaurant’s Chinese New Year Yee Sang – ravishingly designed to resemble a colourful pair of koi fish – was one of the tastiest, most textured tosses we’ve enjoyed in 2016, with no fewer than 18 ingredients, filled with the freshness of jicama, purple cabbage, carrots, pumpkin, chewy fu-chuk and more, with crunchy sweet braised shredded pork to replace the customary seafood – it conveyed a more substantial savouriness in each bite compared to the typical yee sang, but it made for a nice, nuanced change from the norm.

1. Ampersand2. Ampersand Yee Sang 3. Ampersand Yee Sang 3.0 Ampersand Yee Sang

Succulent chicken, pork and sweet mashed potatoes

A strong start to a dinner that also included Ampersand’s increasingly renowned chicken wings (CCB Belacan and Devil Szechuan Peppercorn Oil) and super-succulent pork ribs (fennel-rubbed), partnered with the double-carb whammy of Japanese sweet potatoes and chive-mashed potatoes.

4. Chicken wings CCB Belacan 5. Chicken wings Devil Szechuan Peppercorn oil 6. Pork Ribs7. Japanese sweet potatoes & Chive-mashed potatoes

Pasta

We over-ordered, so we ended up with leftovers – that’s not to disparage the pastas, which were both well-prepared (the aglio olio is above average, and the kimchi with cumin cream is an interesting experiment).

10. Aglio Olio 11. Kimchi with cumin cream

Indulgent snacks

Talk about guilty indulgences – the bacon-wrapped pork balls with mozzarella cheese were total calorie bombs; but in the end, the eating was worthwhile, thanks to surprising pleasures like the deep-fried sliced lotus roots – order these for certain; they’re almost guaranteed to be gigantically crowd-pleasing in any group that loves the Chinese New Year season’s arrowhead chips.

12. Bacon wrapped pork balls 13. Deep fried lotus roots

Cafe 5

Yee sang

Pearl International Hotel’s Cafe 5 was a conveniently located choice for us to attempt a takeaway spread; we’re thankful that it turned out to be a (mostly) satisfactory choice for a reasonable budget of below RM500.

14. Cafe 5 15. Yee Sang 16. Yee Sang

Seafood poon choy

The Yee Sang with jellyfish and baby octopus could have been skipped (too cloying), but the Seafood Poon Choy was a worthwhile bet for slightly south of RM300, brimming with a total of 10 sizeable prawns, as well as sufficient dried scallops, mussels and sea cucumber, plus slices of smoked duck, chicken, lotus roots and broccoli too.

17. Seafood Poon Choy 18. Seafood Poon Choy

Herbal chicken and lotus leaf glutinous rice

Again, the food proved too much, but in any other situation, we’d have utterly devoured the fall-off-the-bone herbal steamed whole chicken (coupled with chunks of arrowhead, a distinctively flavoursome alternative to the common potato) and lotus leaf-wrapped glutinous rice (an addictive match with pieces of punchy waxed duck).

19. Herbal steamed chicken 20. Lotus leaf wrapped glutinous rice 21. Lotus leaf wrapped glutinous rice

Location & Details

Ampersand by Culinary Rebels

First Floor, 19, Jalan SS21/37, Damansara Utama, Petaling Jaya, Selangor. Above Restoran Khalifah.

Monday-Tuesday, Thursday-Friday: Lunch and dinner. Saturday-Sunday: Brunch and dinner.

Tel: 03-7732-9711

Find: View directory for Ampersand by Culinary Rebels

Cafe 5

Batu 5, Jalan Klang Lama, 58000 Kuala Lumpur

Daily: 6am – 10pm

Tel:  7983 1111 ext. 3205

Find: View Cafe 5’s directory here

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