Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Roa by Jovian Mandagie @ Shah Alam

Manado cooking is set to make its mark in Malaysia, thanks to this red-hot new restaurant that specialises in fiery fare from the capital city of Indonesia's North Sulawesi province.

Roa by Jovian Mandagie in Shah Alam is the first F&B enterprise by popular fashion designer Jovian Mandagie, whose family's roots stretch back to Manado. This is a restaurant with a reassuringly personal touch in everything from the food to the keepsakes that form part of the shaded alfresco setting.

 Worth heading all the way to Shah Alam for? If you're a fan of every sort of Southeast Asian gastronomic tradition, then yes; the food here is distinctive, pretty rich with herbs & spices; as a bonus, the restaurant's manager, Hasnidah, is wonderfully warm & helpful, enabling customers to enjoy their time here.

 Many of these are recipes that Mandagie's grandmother once served at a shop in Jakarta; fish is a big deal at Roa - which means garfish - with numerous dishes dedicated to finny fare, from 'cakalang saos,' smoked skipjack tuna vibrantly cooked with a sambal of chillies, shallots & garlic (this serving costs slightly south of RM10) ...

 ... to 'mie cakalang' (RM8.50), comprising noodles with fish & fried spring onions ...

 ... to 'sup asam' that's tangy with tomatoes & lime, a clear broth made complete with meaty chunks of fish ...

 ... to 'ikan bakar,' tender & prepared to order, served whole on the plate ...

 ... to the restaurant's namesake garfish, fried in morsels with rice & 'ayam rica-rica,' another spicy creation cooked with coconut oil & lemongrass (RM10 for this plate).

Don't skip the 'ayam tuturuga,' a savoury-sourish coconut milk curry with chicken & creamy potatoes.

 Vegetables are not an afterthought here; we like the kangkung & other 'rica rado' varieties stir-fried with sweet corn ...

 ... to pleasurably soft eggplant with fluffy egg (note though, Roa's food is for folks who don't fear obvious oil on their plates).

 Old-school 'kuih' to wrap up a memorable meal - 'kukus kelapa' (coconut tart) & glutinous rice filled with fish flakes.

 Papaya & lemongrass beverages to help us cool down; 'es teler' mixed fruit beverages are available too.

 We enjoyed Roa by Jovian Mandagie, especially since we're all in favour of wider culinary diversity - while Sundanese & Minangkabau cooking might be more familiar in Malaysia, Manadonese fare deserves to take its place alongside its peers.

 Roa by Jovian Mandagie is open daily, 8am through midnight - the most convenient business hours imaginable.

Roa by Jovian Mandagie
1A, Jalan Kristal K/7K, Section 7, Shah Alam

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22 comments:

  1. Thought you forgot the r in the name of that Katy Perry's song. Hehehehehehe!!!! Manado? Indonesian??? I'm in.... Yum! Yummmm!!!!

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    1. Suituapui: haha, ya, roa, the fish, not roar :D and yup, this is really appetising food here, especially for fans of spices and indonesian fare in general :)

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  2. That big smile of the cheery chef on his sign is something of a warm welcome! But it looks like he has reasons to be confident in his food.

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    1. YouHadYourLunch: yeah, that's a nice smile, and he certainly has reason to be proud of the manadonese cooking that's been handed through generations of his family :)

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  3. Sounds interesting, if ever I'm in Shah Alam!

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    1. Footfringe: ya, I think the food here is up your alley! :)

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  4. hmm... kangkung with corn kernels... not the usual combination.

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    1. Ken: a successful partnership, heheh :D

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  5. as for me, i would like to eat the noodles~ =D

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    1. Happy walker: ya, my friend and i finished the entire bowl of noodles! :)

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  6. The food looks nice, I miss spicy food.
    Next week when I go back to KL, I will eat, eat and eat! Hahaha.

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    1. CK: ooo, ya, all the curries and sambals are waiting for you here! welcome back :D

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  7. Nice presentations here, Sean, and I love the mural in your first photo.

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    1. Linda: very appetising colours for the food here :)

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  8. moving to shah alam next year so more of these sort of place will be good!

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    1. Ky: shah alam is quite bustling with new places, ya... You chose a good time to move there! :)

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  9. Lovely food and lovely prices! :D

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    1. Rebecca: heheh, yeah, three people can easily feast here for under RM80 :)

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  10. Food looks good..environment too is nice..
    I thought the food gonna be expensive looking at the environment...to my surprise the prices seems okay wor...

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    1. Melissa: ya, the prices are quite good ... we ate until we were really stuffed, but the bill was pretty low :D

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  11. Finally can enjoy my hometown food here in Malaysia!! >.< Thanks Jovian

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