Roa by Jovian Mandagie at Shah Alam: Restaurant Review
Manado cooking is set to make its mark in Malaysia, thanks to this red-hot new restaurant that specialises in fiery fare from the capital city of Indonesia’s North Sulawesi province.
Roa by Jovian Mandagie in Shah Alam is the first F&B enterprise by popular fashion designer Jovian Mandagie, whose family’s roots stretch back to Manado. This is a restaurant with a reassuringly personal touch in everything from the food to the keepsakes that form part of the shaded alfresco setting.
Herbs & Spices Rich Food
Worth heading all the way to Shah Alam for? If you’re a fan of every sort of Southeast Asian gastronomic tradition, then yes; the food here is distinctive, pretty rich with herbs & spices; as a bonus, the restaurant’s manager, Hasnidah, is wonderfully warm & helpful, enabling customers to enjoy their time here.
Many of these are recipes that Mandagie’s grandmother once served at a shop in Jakarta; fish is a big deal at Roa – which means garfish – with numerous dishes dedicated to finny fare, from ‘cakalang saos,’ smoked skipjack tuna vibrantly cooked with a sambal of chillies, shallots & garlic (this serving costs slightly south of RM10).
‘Mie cakalang’ (RM8.50), comprising noodles with fish & fried spring onions.
Tangy Sup Asam
‘Sup asam’ that’s tangy with tomatoes & lime, a clear broth made complete with meaty chunks of fish.
Tender Ikan Bakar
‘Ikan bakar,’ tender & prepared to order, served whole on the plate.
The restaurant’s namesake garfish, fried in morsels with rice & ‘ayam rica-rica,’ another spicy creation cooked with coconut oil & lemongrass (RM10 for this plate).
Savoury Ayam Tuturuga
Don’t skip the ‘ayam tuturuga,’ a savoury-sourish coconut milk curry with chicken & creamy potatoes.
Vegetables are not an afterthought here; we like the kangkung & other ‘rica rado’ varieties stir-fried with sweet corn.
Eggplant With Fluffy Egg
Pleasurably soft eggplant with fluffy egg (note though, Roa’s food is for folks who don’t fear obvious oil on their plates).
Old-school ‘kuih’ to wrap up a memorable meal – ‘kukus kelapa’ (coconut tart) & glutinous rice filled with fish flakes.
Papaya & lemongrass beverages to help us cool down; ‘es teler’ mixed fruit beverages are available too.
We enjoyed Roa by Jovian Mandagie, especially since we’re all in favour of wider culinary diversity – while Sundanese & Minangkabau cooking might be more familiar in Malaysia, Manadonese fare deserves to take its place alongside its peers.
Roa by Jovian Mandagie is open daily, 8am through midnight – the most convenient business hours imaginable.
Location and Contact Details
Roa by Jovian Mandagie
1A, Jalan Kristal K/7K, Section 7, Shah Alam
Tel: 03 5524 4486
Daily, 8am- 12am