Eat Drink KL: Mooheebaa, Plaza Arkadia: Broths, BBQ & Meats

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Mooheebaa, Plaza Arkadia: Broths, BBQ & Meats

A barnstormer of broths, a maestro of meat: From beef bone broth that's been on perpetual simmer for eight months to lamb slow-cooked in a stew and duck infused in ramen, Mooheebaa harmoniously compiles a soulful, succulent feast for carnivores. If ox lips, lamb belly and duck feet are up your alley, order a takeout or delivery from Mooheebaa's first outlet in Desa ParkCity's Plaza Arkadia.

Remember, remember, the broth of November: Mooheebaa's star is bodaciously bovine - a boldly deep and dark beef broth that began simmering in November 2020. It was sold from home under the brand All About That Moo for four months before travelling to Plaza Arkadia and transitioning into Mooheebaa in April 2021. It’s still fundamentally the same broth, whether you slurped it up in November 2020, ladled out from the home kitchen, or slurp it today out of Mooheebaa’s kitchen. 

Powerfully, pungently aromatic, the stock for this broth is consistently replenished with beef trotters and knuckles to preserve its full-bodied, collagen-powered flavour. Its richness seems increasingly amplified as the months go by.

The Moo ‘All-In’ Carb-less Set (RM28) is the ideal introduction, no holds barred, with no carbs to distract from offal in all its glory - chunky handmade beef balls, tender brisket, crisp cumin-spiced lung, ox tongue and lips, Australian honeycomb tripe and New Zealand tendons. 

It's a beef bowl in the best sense, a top-notch exploration of tongue-to-tripe textures, from fragrantly fleshy to generously gelatinous, from tongue that slips and slides to tripe with a pleasurably chewy bite.

The broth comes in several varieties, promising something for every preference, such as the Balls Only with no fewer than eight beef balls to the Triple Treat that's extra-loaded with tongue, tripe and tendons. Add-ons of your favourite parts are also available.

For a more completely balanced meal, check out the rice or noodle pairings, the first an homage to the rice dishes of Malaysia's northeast coast, the other a luxe tribute to Seremban's braised beef noodles.

Nasi Air Pantai Timur Set (RM20) is a fuss-free ensemble of fluffy steamed white rice, veggies, fried shallots, shallot oil, garlic crumbs, spiced up with Thai vinegar chilli sauce that cuts right through the broth with beef balls and tendon and Thai finely grounded chilli 'gunpowder' that brings a fiery bang to the broth. Eat the rice and broth separately or sink everything into the broth, transforming it into true Nasi Air.

If silky-smooth egg noodles are your slurp-worthy choice, the Ooey Gooey Beef Noodles (RM24) goes down easy and fuels you for the entire day, submerged in the same hyper-concentrated broth with brisket, honeycomb tripe and tendons for a trio of contrasting, comforting textures, crowned with bok choy and braised daikon, jazzed up with Mooheebaa's Manjalara chilli sauce, a tangy rival to sriracha-based dips.

Mooheebaa tackles other meat with equal flair, thoughtfulness and gusto. 

The Lamb FUyu Stew (RM38) evokes the sultry, steamy street stalls of Macau, brimming with thickly saucy, temptingly savoury lamb belly and shoulder in bone broth made super-robust with fermented beancurd, rounded out with tofu puffs and sheets, scallions and shiitake mushrooms, sumptuous for rainy-evening sustenance. Pair with rice or noodles, plus a spicy FUyu sauce or mild sesame peanut sauce.

The Kamosutra Ramen Bowl (RM26) puts a distinctively ducky spin on East Asian noodle bowls. Its secret weapon: A 10-hour-cooked duck broth that's ultra umami-laden, crafted with duck feet and other parts, worthy to be poured out of a respected ramen restaurant.  Slow-roasted sliced duck, channelling classic Cantonese roasts, keeps this recipe devoted to duck, decked out with ramen essentials like ajitsuke tamago, shiitake, pickled nai pak and togarashi chilli oil.

While we're eager to eventually dine in at Mooheebaa, deliveries are nicely done. Ingredients are individually packaged, with easy instructions to reheat. Bring the broth and meat to boil, turn off the heat, then add noodles and vegetables. Microwaving for three minutes is possible too for the broth and meat, followed by 20 seconds with the noodles and veggies. Like your broth a little lighter? Just add water.

It's not all soupy stuff at Mooheebaa - addictive snacks, suitable for sharing, include fowl finger food like the Cantonese Crack Duck Tacos, showcasing slow-roasted duck in toasted soft tortillas, enlivened with pickled bok choy and fresh scallions, playfully bringing together East Asia and Central America (RM22), and Frankie Goes 2 Jalan Alor, another cross-cultural creation, coating chicken wings in a punchy combo of hoisin BBQ sauce and Frank's hot sauce, as lip-smacking and finger-lickin'-fabulous as chicken wings get (RM18 for eight pieces, RM32 for 16).

Mooheebaa x Millilitre: Beef broth and black coffee might not sound like the most instinctive coupling, but it works. Mooheebaa offers drip coffee sachets from local brand Millilitre, a breeze to brew with nothing more than hot water and a cup. The Millilitre house blend is nutty with Colombian, Sumatran and Brazilian notes, while the Sumatra Mandheling is chocolaty with hints of strawberries and the Vietnam Dalat is a bit more bitter, its dark chocolate nuances brightened by dried raisin dynamics.

You can also order bottled cold brews by PURO, which sources beans from smaller, independent plantations and donates 10% of proceeds to the World Land Trust rainforest conservationists. Sip on a Smooth Black (RM14), White Coffee (RM16; silky-milky) or Belgian Chocolate (RM18; like drinking melted chocolate ice cream).

Many thanks to Mooheebaa for this sampling.

B-G-11, Plaza Arkadia, No. 3, Jalan Intisari, Desa Parkcity 52200 Kuala Lumpur.  Daily, 10am-730pm.
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