Getting stuffed at Ah Ma KITCHEN
Right, let’s this off the ground and start the Eating!
Half the time during weekends, the usual question is, “What shall we eat?” While it would be nice to be able to indulge in a luxurious spread, we can’t do this all the time. The Chinese have a saying: “Yau Pang Yau Lang,” which means “cheap and good”. Not an easy mission to fulfil, for sure, but being practical, it makes sense to opt for something affordable that would encourage a return trip as well.
So, the plan was to have lunch at Menya Shi Shi Do Ramen in Jaya One, Petaling Jaya, specifically the Pork Bone Spicy Mala Ramen, but when we got there, there was a long queue already and it was a 40-minute wait for a table, so we decided to eat elsewhere instead. (Note to self: Yes, I will be back to check out what the fuss is about!)
Walked up one floor and stumbled on Ah Ma Kitchen. Since we only had an hour before the next appointment, we settled for this – something simple, and hopefully, quick.
The menu was straightforward enough – an assortment of noodles, either with curry (or dry style), versions of wantan mee, pan mee varieties, and rice with either one meat dish or soup.
Dumpling Wantan Mee held no surprises – dependable and hard to go wrong – the dumplings were slightly larger than the usual miserable two bites offered at most hawker stalls, which was a good sign.
The Curry Mee was alright, palatable but not outstanding; the broth could have been thicker and lacked character. We also ordered a dry version and this was disappointing as the curry taste didn’t shine through and it felt like somebody forgot to put enough of everything. A case of looking better than it tasted, this definitely missed the mark. The noodle portions were large though, and each bowl probably enough for two small eaters. The wantan mee itself was the highlight for me, as the thin, yellow noodles were springy and not soggy, and had a nice bite to it.
Usually not a fan of carbo, I ordered a rice dish for a change since everyone else had noodles and had Braised Pork Belly with Spiced Egg. It came with A LOT of rice, and very generous pieces of pork too. The flavour could have been amped up a notch as the fragrance of the caramelised dark soy sauce was not apparent, however, given the price and portions, I cannot complain.
Ah Ma Kitchen also sells Chinese desserts such as tong sui (sweet soups) and small bites. Prices range from RM9.90 to RM11.90 for rice and noodles, while desserts start from RM4.90. We had Sesame tong sui and some yam springroll thingy, which was a little surprising as I had expected it to be savoury like ‘wu kok’ (deep fried yam dumplings you find in dim sum shops), stuffed with some char siew. Instead, this was sweet with some pumpkin stuffing in the centre. Interesting!
A meal for the four of us came up to about RM60 (USD15), which I consider reasonable, given the mall setting.
Service can be a bit suspect … my rice dish took a while and only came when the boys were almost finished with their noodles, after reminding them. Another irate customer was ranting to a waiter how her order never arrived despite asking a few times. Generally though, they try and orders arrive pretty fast. With a busy crowd, it’s understandable that sometimes some orders get forgotten along the way.
If the name is supposed to denote homestyle grandmother’s cooking (that’s what I gather from the name Ah Ma, anyway), then no, this is not ‘it’ as the food lacks wholesome hearty flavours and is hardly reminiscent of homecooked food. But for a decent meal that leaves you enough change for candy, Ah Ma Kitchen rates high enough as an eatery in a mall.
Add: Block D, The School, Jaya One, 72A, Jalan Universiti, Petaling Jaya