It is my mother’s birthday. Brother made a reservation at Violet Oon’s Kitchen and the whole family went down there for her birthday dinner. Even though it was only 7pm, the place was already crowded and we had difficulty finding a place to park the car.
I found out later that it was Restaurant Week and there was a special set menu because of it. It could also explain the crowds.
For appetizer, all of us had the Nyona trio sampler which consisted of beef rendang, nasi kuning and mango kerabu with baby sea bass felet.
Of the three dishes, I like the beef rendang best. Like all rendang, the meat was cooked slowly in coconut milk and a paste of spices until the liquid was almost all gone. This resulted in flavorful and tender beef . Despite the color, it was surprisingly not spicy.
Nasi kuning is rice cooked in coconut milk and turmeric. There was a light flavor of coconut milk in the rice and served as a good companion to the beef rendang.
The sea bass was lightly battered and deep fried. It was accompanied by a tangy salad.
There were three choices of main course and between the four of us, we had all of them.
I had the pepper prawn pasta. It came with a large heap of loose arugula on top. It made the pasta a bit difficult to eat. When I tried to reach the pasta and prawns underneath, the whole green pile shifted and looked as if it was in danger of scattering all over the table. The pasta had a nice peppery taste of black pepper. The prawns were fresh and juicy. According to the description in the menu, the inspiration behind this dish was the black pepper crab dish.
Mother had the buah keluak ayam which was a nyonya chicken curry with the buah keluak nut. It came with white rice, sambal belacan and homemade atchara pickle. Mother liked the curry. Not so much for me but I had never liked the taste of buah keluak.
Brother had slow cooked beef brisket which was cooked in the oven for six hours. The two huge portions of brisket were so tender that one could cut it with a fork. They sat on top of a bed of mashed potatoes. There was also a grilled tomato on the side.
There were two choices for dessert. Brother had the bubor cha cha panna cotta. Instead of milk, coconut milk was used, giving it a lighter taste. Brother said that it was refreshing and not too sweet.
The rest of us had the bread and butter pudding with whiskey and custard sauce. The bread and butter pudding was dense and moist. It was a heavy dessert and I felt the portion was a bit too much for one person. There was a slight taste of whiskey in the sauce but it did not overpower the sweetness of the custard.
The food was good and I liked mixture of local and western cuisine But the location made it unlikely that I would come back again without a car.