Wednesday, November 19, 2014

M.A.D! @ PV128, Genting Klang

We're conflicted about M.A.D! - we like what it stands for ('Modern Asian Diner,' a name that has also reliably served eateries in Singapore & Jakarta in recent years) & its experimental spirit, but it might be struggling with some tricky teething troubles.

Maybe we were here on the wrong night; the restaurant was packed & its kitchen was likely swamped. Staff members looked sullen & harried, muttering that items we sought to order were unavailable - no nachos with chicken rendang, no chilled smoked salmon soup, no nasi goreng istimewa with unagi. That's sort of OK - there are still dozens of other dishes on the menu, though it might ultimately be better for M.A.D! to maintain a smaller, more manageable selection of its best recipes.

M.A.D! strives to fuse the classic with the contemporary. Our fave order here: this reinterpretation of the Sichuan mala hotpot. Pleasantly flavoursome enough for us, though it might not exactly be what some patrons want - it's not very spicy & it's not the soupier sort of hotpot. Our choice was chicken (RM19); beef (RM22) & seafood (RM24) are offered too.

M.A.D!'s char kuey teow (RM13.50) sounds fairly promising on paper; the menu says it comprises three noodles, without individually identifying them. Basically it's kuey teow, mee & bee hoon, though in a sign that the kitchen was stressed out, our order initially came without bee hoon. A competent version but not the kind that inspires pilgrimages to Penang. Bonus context: M.A.D! is founded by a former executive chef of Penang's Suffolk House Restaurant.

 The peanut butter chee cheong fun (RM9.50) might work better with a more robust & less one-dimensional recipe for its sauce.

Porridge with raw fish is a proven combo that's known to be memorably mouthwatering, so this can still be saved - the congee need not be this bland & the salmon sashimi has to be better (this serving tasted like a supermarket cut for cooking). RM15.50.

Very respectable marks for presentation: Chicken rendang sandwich (RM14.50). But the theme that prevailed was that the kitchen wasn't operating that night to the fullest of its potential & capabilities to create remarkable fare with exciting flavours. The promise was there, but the spark was missing.

Smoked duck breast salad with watermelon & rambutan (RM18). Again, relatively hampered by the use of middling ingredients, put together on a plate without a palpable sense of purpose. But who knows, maybe we simply ordered the wrong items - perhaps if we had gone with the teriyaki chicken rice, seafood tom yum kung, beef fondue & lamb shank rendang instead, our impression might have been very different.

M.A.D!'s drinks include a signature matcha soya (RM6 for cold), alongside desserts like cinnamon toast with gelato. All in all, once the outlet finds its footing in the future, it may be a force to be reckoned with in this neighbourhood; we wish M.A.D! well.

M.A.D! Modern Asian Diner
G-13, PV128, Jalan Genting Klang, Kuala Lumpur.
Daily, 11am-11pm (1am on Fridays & Saturdays). Tel: 03-4144-4567

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18 comments:

  1. Eat edi became MAD MAD..
    cos the food is below par ^_^

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    1. Melissa: heheh, either mad or sad, but too bad :) i think they have the potential to improve as time goes by though :)

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  2. peanut butter chee cheong fun is consider mains or dessert? hehe :P

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    1. Choi Yen: heheh, maybe neither ... maybe starter :D

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  3. Your first three photos really shows the madness there...good advice to streamline their menu...not to be too ambitious when it's obvious that u can't maintain the quality =)

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    1. Ulric: ya, both floors in this two-level outlet were packed! maybe that jeopardised the quality of the food. i like wacky interpretations of asian recipes, so i really wanted to like this restaurant :)

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  4. Hmm the only thing that I'm interested is the peanut butter chee cheong fun.
    Maybe add some fried shallot? Hehehe

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    1. CK; that could be an idea for the chee cheong fan ... though i think the sauce itself also needs to be thicker and more complex :)

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  5. The food looks interesting, Sean, and your aerial views are making me dizzy! LOL! :)

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    1. Linda: oh yes, some interesting ideas here :) heh, it was fun taking some photos from the first floor :)

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  6. Very playful, we do have one peanut butter chee cheong fun here in Pg, with shrimp paste and sweet sauce of course.

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    1. Ken: ya, the famous island glades peanut butter ccf, heheh :D

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  7. wah, long time i didn't go genting klang liao~

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    1. Happy walker: yup, i only manage to head there once every six months or so too :)

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  8. I <3 the chandelier lightings that they used as a decorative piece. ^^ Smoked duck breast salad sounds like it's worth a try; I mean, it's like protein and vegetable being served on one plate, lol. ^^

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    1. Waverly: heheh, ya, i like chandeliers too, even if they can be dangerously cheesy sometimes :D ya, i think with the right dressing and maybe a few changes in the choice of veggies for the salad, it could be enjoyable :)

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  9. HI Sean, I think we should gather some friends and go over for a makan session. Heard they've redone bits of the menu and have no settled down to send out consistently good food.. what say?

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    1. Nazeen: sounds good; am really glad to hear about the improvements, and would love to return soon :)

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