Sunday, September 11, 2011

Simply Mel's

Returning to Simply Mel's for more delicious dinners. Earlier entry: July 18.

Simply Mel's has finally unveiled its full menu, featuring about 50 recipes to sample. Kids might enjoy the "macaroni boats" _ doughy delights topped with curry-spiced minced chicken. It's not potatoes & it's not quite pasta either, but it's a real pleasure.

Epuk-epuk, a Cristang cross between Malay curry puffs & Nyonya pai tee (top hats). Essentially shredded turnips, carrots, prawns & chicken wrapped in fluffy pastry. Faultlessly prepared, without a trace of excess grease.

Black is beautiful: succulent squid cooked in creamy, subtly spicy squid ink sambal.

Threadfin (ikan senangin) in a galangal-&-coconut curry with pineapples, an aromatic fish concoction with tropical fruit overtones. Reminiscent of "gulai" recipes.

Soy limang terung: pan-fried aubergines in dense soy sauce gravy sauteed with onions & topped with chopped chili, spring onions & coriander leaves.

Sambal ikan binagre. Firm & fleshy black pomfret (bawal hitam), deep-fried in a richly tangy, thickly vinegary sambal.

Prawn petai sambal, with plenty of not-terribly-stinky beans. Also wonderfully executed, with the petai retaining an almost juicy crunch. No overcooking here.

Freshly picked crab meat, prawns & minced chicken stuffed in crab shell. Tastes lovingly homemade; soft and fluffy, with diced carrots, onions & turnips for extra texture. And hurray for any crab recipe that doesn't force us to use our fingers to scrape for flesh.

Chicken sehbah. Super-succulent stuff, braised in a slightly sweet, mildly spicy sauce.

Beef ambiler kacang. A whopping amount of meat in pleasantly sourish curry with long beans (though that's one of our least favorite veggies, unfortunately).

Kembung rebus. Salted mackerel slathered in sambal. This one reminds me a lot of my own grandmother's cooking back in Malacca.

Sambal buah keluak, an intensely pungent recipe featuring Indonesian black nuts fried with chili, onions & garlic. A convenient way of enjoying buah keluak without having to dig its pitch-black, paste-like filling _ which some call "soft tar" _ out of the hard-shelled seeds.

Black pomfret, prepared "chuan chuan" style _ deep-fried & doused in a Nyonya tauchu sauce. Also reminiscent of my childhood, though each family has its own unique recipe for this.

Cincaluk omelet. Could be more powerfully flavorsome, but still a tasty treat.

Ox tongue semur. Tender, meaty slices, gently simmered in vinegar-based gravy and partnered with potatoes. A wholesome stew that really satisfies.

Stingray, marinated in a complex sambal with savory hints of kerisik (coconut butter), turmeric & garlic before being baked in banana leaves.

Durian santan. A seasonal dessert that would be lovely all year round.

More of the King of Fruits: The Last Polka ice cream, made with pure durian flesh.

Fresh-cut fruits, providing a light touch to round off heavy meals.

Simply Mel's now also serves booze. Many items here go well with beer.

And of course, everything is better with wine.

Asam boi juice & iced lemon tea, both marvelous thirst-quenchers.

Simply Mel's,
1-1A, 1st Floor, The Sphere,
No. 1, Avenue 1, Bangsar South, Jalan Kerinchi, Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-2241-4525

This restaurant is available for bookings under TABLEAPP, which enables customers to make instant reservations at Malaysia's top restaurants, while saving time and money in the process. Reserve your table at this restaurant by clicking here.
Check out EAT DRINK, a new F&B website jointly run by The Expat Group (TEG) & Eat Drink KL. This website features all of our up-to-date reviews, plus exclusive weekly articles & a searchable database on restaurants in KL & Selangor:


  1. I love crab in shell dishes as well. No need to get my hands dirty but still able to enjoy it.

  2. Baby sumo: heheh, yeah, I'm always scared that I'd cut myself while struggling with the sharp, jagged end of a crab claw! I have thin skin :D

  3. Haha that's a great excuse :P

  4. Baby sumo: but unfortunately, the excuse rarely works in persuading friends to help peel some crabs for me :D

  5. looks like you have up your spicy level! Sean, believe if you print all your blog as a thick cover book, it would sell like hot cakes. Many sponsors would come too. I would q-up for a sign copy :)

  6. River: heheh, thanks very much, Huck :D ya, I think 70 percent of the food at this restaurant contains curry and/or sambal. luckily there's wine to numb the pain on my tongue :D

  7. omg it is scary looking at all the delicious food spread hehehehe..... how u guys can finish it all *faint*

  8. June: heh, these photos are actually a combination of three separate meals. We keep returning because the food is so good :D

  9. the food looks nice! (^^)!!!~
    looks expensive as well~~hahaha~

  10. Xijion: heh, prices are not too bad! Should be less than RM50 per person, including (non-alcoholic) drinks :D

  11. the durian in santan made me crumbleeeee

  12. Michelle: I hope that's a good thing! But ya, it's yummy :D

  13. You've practically tried everything on the menu! Hehe.

    And oh yes, the durian in santan is simply divine at Simply Mel's. We had ours after dinner yesterday and it keep us smiling all night long... ;)

  14. i want buah keluak! time to get my ass over! LOL

  15. kenny: heheh, notchet! still haven't had the corned beef stew, the chicken curry captain, mama mercy's fish croquettes :D and happy to hear that no traffic jam or diarrhea kept you from the divine durian :D
    ciki: they're open seven days a week, 10am-10pm, so it's super-convenient! hope you get the buah keluak soon =)

  16. Oh myy.... LOL.. the most return-visited restaurant on ur blog so far?

  17. rebecca: and i still need to return for some more dishes! addictive, heheh :D

  18. I love the food here. Must go back next week :)

  19. Qwazymonkey: heheh, I wonder if there'll be any cool specials next week :D

  20. Hi Sean!! THanks for this 2nd review, you are awesome! We are delighted that you have enjoyed the food here.

    This weekend's special is Mama Mercy's Fish Croquette, and I'm happy to inform you that the Curry Captain is now available everyday. Also exiting is the 1st of 3 items available for sale, 'Mel's Saltfish Pickle'(lovingly packed by yours truly, and I guarantee over 25 yoummy morsels of saltfish in each 200ml jar (priced at RM16 each). Coming soon are Mel's Chili Pickle stuffed with papaya and Mel's Homemade Kaya, which should be available by end-month to take home. We are considering your advice re the durian have it as a staple item. Am now sourcing a regular supplier for XO durians, which is the only kind we use.

    We are deeply touched and appreciative of your support for our restaurant. Rest assured I will keep you informed of upcoming exciting specials.

    Mum says to let us know when you are visiting us next so that she can prepare the final few missing dishes for you to enjoy...:)

    THanks again, take care!

  21. Cheryl: thanks for the info and the tips! it's my personal mission to try every item on the menu (including the veggie recipes, which I've mostly skipped so far). Hopefully I'll accomplish it before the end of 2011 :D

  22. d stuffed crab available daily? Cose my mum just loves them...thinking of bringing her for a visit :)

  23. Ulric: ya, available everyday, but when u call to make a reservation, best to call to reserve a portion of the stuffed crab too, in case they run out of stock. Hope u both enjoy it! :d

  24. Yay, finally tried the durian santan, I want more!

  25. a beer would be nice to go down with all the spicy food compared to a glass of wine.

  26. Ckiong: hope u manage to get more durian santan as soon as u're back from vacation! :D
    Eiling: yeah, beer hits the spot for the food here! Though it makes it a very filling meal compared to a light glass of wine =)

  27. Call us over when you're heading there for the veggie dishes. We love our greens! :D

    P.S. And yeah, nothing could prevent us from having our divine durian santan, not even an evil Whatsapping food blogger. :P

  28. kenny: where got?! you loathe salads (as i recall from experience). but heheh, ok, simply mel's stir-fried cabbage, kangkung belacan, french beans and saltfish taugeh, here we come! :D
    p.s. gosh, that sounds terrible. a lot of evil food bloggers out there. be careful who you befriend!!! :P

  29. aaahhh.... i see hahahaha... tot you guys had this all at 1 seating ;)

  30. June: heh, I think we'd need a table of 10 for all this :D

  31. Think it's time to do lunch there one of these days. Been itching for a visit, but time's not right ... plans ruined everytime.
    Few items I'm eyeing, though it's impossible for me to try all those like how you did!

  32. J2Kfm: heheh, this is one of those outlets where it'd be best to order maybe 4-5 dishes per meal, and then keep returning to try all the other dishes! :D