Sheltering in a section of PJ's SS2 neighbourhood where parking is a picnic on some evenings & the crowds feel far away, Private Kitchen works well for customers searching for Hong Kong-inspired cooking in a comfortable, family-friendly setting.
The first-floor outlet is calm & casual, with a well-considered decor - a nice backdrop for the food of HK-origin chef Lam Fai, who recently introduced a speciality called 'Ding Ding Grilled Fish Steamboat.' Many thanks to Jacqui & Private Kitchen's team for hosting us for a tasting of this unique recipe.
Private Kitchen's steamboat is served in striking fashion, with the fish lightly grilled on its top side, simmering in a massive tray that's brimming with broth & veggies, cooked at the table on a portable stove. One serving of Red Pearl fish, a farmed variant of tilapia - sufficient for two or three customers - clocks in at RM58.
Choose your soup base - the Typhoon Shelter version is spicy & garlicky, while the Tomato & Corn is lightly tangy & sweet. Both easily complement the fresh, firm & fleshy fish, surrounded by the likes of bean curd puffs, sprouts & zucchini - ideal for fans of fish who want to try a different way of enjoying fish.
The steamboat fun continues even after you've finished the fish - add a vast variety of other ingredients that you can toss into the still-bubbling broth. Our best bet might be the 'sea urchin balls' (RM6.80 for four balls), which taste like fish balls stuffed with a creamy-soft paste that's evocative of salted egg yolk with an extra brininess.
House-made pork balls (RM6.90 for four), pork belly slices (RM11.90), fresh beef slices (RM16.90), cuttlefish or prawn balls (RM6.80 for four), fish dumplings (RM4.80 for six), pork wontons (RM4.90 for six), bean curd skin (RM4.90), enoki, straw or abalone mushrooms (RM4.80), vermicelli noodles (RM2), siu pak choi (RM4.90) - a full, fulfilling feast can be savoured here.
As with any satisfying steamboat, the nuances of the refillable broth evolve - becoming increasingly rich & robust in flavour - as the meal progresses. But even if you're not into steamboats, there are plenty of other dishes to order at Private Kitchen, from Typhoon Shelter fried sea prawns with chili & garlic to honey pork ribs with longan.
Private Kitchen @ SS2 Chow Yang
First Floor, 20 Jalan SS2/10, Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Open for lunch & dinner, closed on Thursdays. Tel: 03-7874-8399
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