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.

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Designer Touch

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.

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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.

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Cakalang Saos

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).

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Mie Cakalang

‘Mie cakalang’ (RM8.50), comprising noodles with fish & fried spring onions.

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Tangy Sup Asam

‘Sup asam’ that’s tangy with tomatoes & lime, a clear broth made complete with meaty chunks of fish.

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Tender Ikan Bakar

‘Ikan bakar,’ tender & prepared to order, served whole on the plate.

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Spicy Creations

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).

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Savoury Ayam Tuturuga

Don’t skip the ‘ayam tuturuga,’ a savoury-sourish coconut milk curry with chicken & creamy potatoes.

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Vegetables are not an afterthought here; we like the kangkung & other ‘rica rado’ varieties stir-fried with sweet corn.

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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).

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Desserts

Old-school ‘kuih’ to wrap up a memorable meal – ‘kukus kelapa’ (coconut tart) & glutinous rice filled with fish flakes.

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Beverages

Papaya & lemongrass beverages to help us cool down; ‘es teler’ mixed fruit beverages are available too.

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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.

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Roa by Jovian Mandagie is open daily, 8am through midnight – the most convenient business hours imaginable.

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Location and Contact Details

Roa by Jovian Mandagie

1A, Jalan Kristal K/7K, Section 7, Shah Alam

Tel: 03 5524 4486

Daily, 8am- 12am

Find: Roa by Jovian Mandagie directory page here.

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