Chinese omakase at Chef Photographer Andy Ong

A spin on the omakase experience, with reimagined Chinese classic dishes. Are you game? At Chef Photographer Andy Ong in Jaya One, PJ, you only get to know the menu when the food arrives. Andy is a little whimsical, a little temperature and as ardent in his cooking as his photography.

Once a sought-after photographer for fashion magazines, he’s exchanged his lenses for the wok, choosing to immerse himself in his current passion of reviving classic Chinese dishes. It’s a small world indeed, as it turns out, I met Andy almost 20 years ago for in my other life when I was writing for fashion. a shoot overseas. Who knew we’d meet again as chef and foodie.

The resto’s  interesting interior was recently updated, resembling a scene from an olden-day Chinese home, illuminated in soft diffused light. Besides the ornate furniture, there are shelves lined with products that Andy himself produced with such as garlic ginger condiment, preserved saba fish and soy sauce.

Andy likes to start with Braised Chinese Cabbage in Consommé, an incredibly clear yet deeply flavourful soup that’s been simmering for hours with pork and chicken bones, and Yunnam ham. The natural sweetness of the soft cabbage and lingering umami of the broth is pure joy to the senses.  

His unique spongy crispy-edged Pan-fried Fish Maw sits in a yellow thick gravy, coloured by the fat of pan-fried village chicken. The stock base of Chinese ham, pork, chicken, dried scallops and Shao Xing wine was scrumptious; we slurped up every drop. The simple but very tasty Steamed Threadfin yielded sweet flesh drenched in superior stock soup mixed with fish jus.

My fav tho was the gorgeous Crispy Duck. How not to be impressed by the glistening skin, bathed in hot oil till cracker crisp? Andy carved the crispy skin at tableside and later, pieces of flesh to go with condiments. My only regret was not getting him to leave the bird with us as I would have happily gnawed on the rest of it! Even the next day, I had vivid memories of the delicious duck, I dare say, the best I’ve had.

We also had charcoal-grilled A5 Miyazaki Beef that was then tossed in a wok with fried garlic on a bed of fried shredded burdock root – tender, juicy and lip-smacking good. Carb was Kerabu Meehoon, an accidental creation with Nyonya accents – fried ikan bilis with chopped onion, coriander and lime juice, plus smashed cucumber chunks for added texture.

Andy’s repertoire also includes Stuffed Pig’s Stomach with Chicken and Shark’s Fin, Stuffed Banana Peppers with Squid Ink Fish Paste, Fried Wild River Ikan Parang Fish Balls and Fried Rice with Crispy Egg. 

Prices range from RM350++/pax (min 2) to RM250++/pax (3 or more). Reservations are needed as chef needs to prepare ahead. This meal was quite the culinary adventure – if you like unpredictable and culinary experiments, check out Andy Ong’s skills.

G21, THE SCHOOL AT JAYA ONE, Jln Profesor Diraja Ungku Aziz, Petaling Jaya. call: 012-539 7660