Friday, May 20, 2011


Ricetaurant's name might evoke thoughts of Penang's curry-soaked nasi kandar, Madrid's saffron-scented paella or Bangkok's fluffy, fragrant khao pad moo, but the BIG Group's latest venture takes an unforeseen route, exploring the soul of old-school Chinese cooking instead.

Ricetaurant (we love saying that name!) replaces For Goodness Sake, ensuring that puns continue to have a place in Bangsar Village. This dimly lit eatery is meant to conjure impressions of alleyway food stalls from a bygone era, romanticized in contemporary pop culture via movies like Wong Kar-wai's "In The Mood For Love."

Ricetaurant (there's that name again!) hosted a preview dinner on the eve of its opening this week, treating nearly two dozen guests to a feast of simple but mostly satisfying fare such as these steamed mixed root veggies.

Lotus root & peanut soup. Always adored this when my grandmother made it more than two decades ago; still love it here. Comfort food for all ages.

Be sure to order at least a half-portion of Ricetaurant's fantastic fowl: the house specialty of chicken, aromatically smoked to succulent perfection.

"Four Kings" belacan veggies. Not a smashing success, mainly because the belacan lacks oomph compared to the full-bodied versions we grew up with in Malacca.

Another standout: wok-fried cod with soy sauce. The fish seems like some kind of miracle _ immaculately crisp on the outside, achingly soft and flaky within.

Criminally addictive salted egg prawns with curry leaves.

King Toh beef steak. Tender slices of meat, cooked medium well and slathered in a rich sauce that's a little sugary, a little savory, a little nutty _ but very much Chinese.

Red curry duck confit with lychee. More Thai than Chinese, but we can't complain. The curry is the thick, relatively dry kind, somewhat similar to rendang.

Omelet with bitter gourd. One of the cheaper items on the menu; except for the soups, which cost about RM6, most of Ricetaurant's dishes start at slightly over RM12.

Braised tofu with chicken & salted fish. Too bland to really recommend; basically comparable to what a mediocre "chap fan" stall might serve.

Putting the 'rice' in Ricetaurant: claypot chicken rice. For now, there isn't all that much rice on the menu here, aside from several fried rice recipes.

Red bean soup. Perfectly calibrated in both taste & texture: not too sweet, not too watery.

Pomelo juice and apple, elderflower & lychee juice.

2F-29, Bangsar Village 2, Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-2287-1566


  1. Oh yummy! But i dun see pork hor?
    well.. chinese cuisine centers ard rice a lot, so that could b the only reference i can think of for the name ;p

  2. Oooh.. Benchinese! LOL... Must go try now.

  3. tng: ya, just like all of BIG's other outlets, they made this one totally pork-free. the closest thing to pork on the menu is chicken char siew! :D
    qwazymonkey: heheh, i wonder if we'll ever see Benindian or Benmalay :D

  4. Which part of BV2 is this?

  5. I think I'll skip this...can get better food at my local coffeeshop restaurants... :D

  6. Actually I expected to see more rice dishes haha since its called Ricetaurant.

  7. I was about to exclaim "Where's the rice?" until I spotted the claypot rice pic... Could certainly do with more rice dishes, given the name of the restaurant, no?

  8. nice the concept but imagine this a non halal place, the things he can do with zhu yao char fan..hmmmm..

  9. michelle: the newer wing, second floor, just across from borders bookstore =)
    ulric: heheh, i think reunion is still the top choice for chinese food at bangsar village, but ricetaurant is ideal for a more casual meal :D
    baby sumo: yeah, before i found out it was a chinese restaurant, i had been expecting briyani, nasi dagang, risotto, heheh =)
    lfb: yeah, hopefully they'll add more rice items on the menu later! so far they've got salted fish fried rice, yong chow fried rice, belacan fried rice... :D
    lfb: oh yeah, i guess they figure there are enough chinese porky outlets at bangsar village, with reunion, chatterbox and village duck. and since their sister restaurant, canoodling, next door is pork-free too, maybe it's easier for them this way =)

  10. Sounds like all the sorts of rice found at a good dai chow. Promising.

    But perhaps they could do some fusion Canto-French/Italian rice dishes? Say sang har risotto? :P

  11. lfb: excellent culinary idea! are you sure you weren't julia child in your previous life?!? (and speaking of rice, maybe they should have a promo for the upcoming glutinous rice dumpling festival too!) :D

  12. Oh that's a brilliant idea. They should do Nyonya zhang with Kurobuta Pork! :D

  13. thanks for the post. Yay going to try this soon

  14. What a name for the restaurant! I can't get it out of my head now. LOL! I am really drooling over the Cod fish! What a way to prepare it .. and the way you described it also makes it so much more tempting!

  15. lfb: yerrr, why such premium ingredients wan. nothing wrong with simple zhang with seremban pork and ipoh salted egg yolk, heheh :D
    edina: hope you enjoy it! it's always nice to see a new outlet at bangsar village =)
    iamthewitch: heh, yeah, it's a catchy name; i wonder if any other restaurant in the world has the same name! :D and ya, my favorite dishes here are the cod fish and the smoked chicken =)

  16. Liddat also can. But I was just thinking outside the box ma. :P

  17. lfb: i like my box. it's warm and cozy and it has a tropical fruit platter inside :D

  18. With a name like that and WKW inspired deco, who can resist?! I am so there!

  19. Ciki: yaa, it has lotsa potential! They just gotta fine-tune the menu some more to maximize the hits and minimize the misses! :D