Porky Face-Off – Nambawan vs BellygoodApril 21, 2010 | 15,365 views
The Porky Face-off Separated Miles Apart – Nambawan @ Taman Sri Manja, Old Klang Road VS BellyGood @ Sunway Mentari, PJ
First day of work this week (cool huh?) and I had already stuffed myself crazy with the astonishing array of Yong Tau Foo (Yong Liew) over at Gunung Rapat’s Kedai Kopi Kwong Hong. Seriously, if you’ve never tried their thousand and one creations, you do not know what you’re missing! And the range of beverages there, from the ultra thick Umbra juice to a bowl of sinfully refreshing Cincau (grass jelly), I swear you’d be delighted from a brunch/lunch here. We went twice in two weeks, and we’re not even working around the vicinity.
By the way, we are working in Ipoh’s ultimate treasure trove of food; Ipoh’s Old Town. So excursions to eateries elsewhere in Ipoh is a very rare phenomenon, in case you’re wondering.
The 100% Home Made Pork Burger @ RM6.90/USD2. Top that, anyone?
But enough about my lunch. Burp. Let’s talk some other highly prized delights, not as universal (in Malaysia at least) and definitely something which can’t be found that easily here in Ipoh, shall we? I’m talking about PORKY GOODNESS. Yup, last week I was rambling on Klang’s Famous Bak Kut Teh and this week we divert westward (cuisine-wise) to seek for grilled pork belly and pork burgers.
Nambawan Restaurant & Cafe was brought to light after repeated doses of poisons (read : blog entries) from the food Gods over in the Klang Valley. Bellygood, on the other hand, is also known as the “Pork Lover’s Paradise” (as in their tagline), situated at Sunway Mentari, opposite of Sunway Pyramid. The charming little bistro was previously known as Wendy’s Bistro, for those who have not been visiting for quite some time.
A rather unusual Potatoes Salad with Mayonnaise, they cut them into cubes, when lightly boiled, followed by a drizzle of tangy mayo, a dash of fresh pepper and chopped cilantro. (RM3.40/USD1)
The first visit to Nambawan was met with disappointment. Not so much because of the food or the lack of patronage, for we were not even seated in the first place. The restaurant closes for a short break between 3-6pm, hence be warned.
And knowing this fact after some repeatedly frustrating rounds around Taman Sri Manja, off Old Klang Road. But we vowed to return, and there we were on one fine evening for dinner.
Stone Charbroiled Pork Belly @ RM13.90/USD4 for a rather generous portion. Can I scream now?
Strange enough, business was slow albeit on a weekend. Only a table or two of guests, and if you have not heard about Nambawan before, I bet you won’t walk in without an idea on what they serve.
But trust me, park your gorgeously plump derriere on any of the tables, and glance through their menu. But better yet, be wowed at the prices, then practise your best pointing skills. Order away to your heart’s content and I guarantee you won’t need to pawn your undergarments for a fulfilling meal here. Really.
For RM13.90, I was astounded at the succulent, and marvelously charbroiled piece of meat. The lean portion being slightly pinkish yet without the icky, raw taste of uncooked pork, topped with a layer of fat that begs to be relished. And you can park your worries at home, for it’s not really pork without the FAT. The accompanying brown sauce was good, not overwhelming yet complemented the pork belly to a tee. By the way, not shown in the picture above was a dollop of apple sauce, providing a contrasting tarty flavour to the smoky piece of goodness. The fries and sweet potatoes completed the ensemble, but none that screamed for extra orders.
When you’re a substitute, stunt, kelefe (go ask your Chinese friends), or merely filling in the gaps, there’s no spotlight on you.
Tastefully marinated pork patty, the juicy piece of pork belly doused in the creamy, sweet brown sauce, and the fresh pineapple juice.
Not fond of caloric-laden horror? Go for the smaller, yet equally tantalizing Homemade Pork Burger. Yes, with REAL pork patty, infused with the flavourful and enticing marinade; promising a bite that will steer you closer towards carnivorous nirvana. The toasted buns were mere generics, but the patty was nothing short of delicious. I was surprised, for the burger priced at RM6.90 had my expectations set to almost zero. You know for the same price, you can only get a dry, grilled “Macau” style pork burger at any of those random Hong Kong’s Char Chaan Teng (cafe) in Malaysia.
There were so many other sumptuous-sounding items on their menu, and everything’s priced so lowly. Yup, for a Western joint in Kuala Lumpur, you’d be hard-pressed to find a slab of pork belly at anything less than RM15. Seriously.
Now, ready for the competitor? Here comes Bellygood – The Pork Lover’s Paradise.
Baked Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms with Bacon and Cheese (RM12.50/USD3.50)
This lunch took place almost a year ago, in August of 2009. So apologies in advance if the prices fluctuate, the menu revamped, or even the place closed or shifted. But I vowed to clear all the backlogs, hence I managed to dig deep and came up with these shots. “Belly Good of Me eh?” …… 😉
Mixed Platter with Mashed Potatoes and Coleslaw (RM23.90/USD6.80)
At Bellygood, you get pork belly, pork ribs, baby back ribs, and tenderloin. And so much more, in fact. All porky goodness you’d be rubbing your eyes or pinching yourself silly you’re not dreaming. Really.
They open from 11am until 11pm without any break in between, hence you can casually waltz in for a late lunch-tea time treat without worrying about sitting it out in front of the restaurant and cursing away.
The stuffed portobello mushrooms are one of their signature starters, pairing those juicy and earthy fungi with melted cheese and porcine haven in the form of chopped bacons. Two pieces for RM12.90, rather pricey if you’re comparing to Nambawan, for that same price can almost net you a slab of grilled pork belly. But not comparing apples to oranges, the portobello variations are indeed premium mushrooms, compared to the enoki, shiitake, etc.
The Mixed Platter arrived in a portion enough to be shared. Grilled pork belly and ribs, smothered in their patented House Special Sauce – a charred, smoky flavour permeated with a slight tangy tinge. BBQ sauce with a twist? But the slabs of pork satiated even the most hungry of soul. No complaints here, for RM23.90 was money well spent.
SO, WHICH ONE CAME OUT VICTORIOUS IN THE END?
No one. Hahaha … seriously, one can never have enough of real good porky deals. Especially for one Motormouth from Ipoh. Yeah, here we’re blessed with only pork sausages on pizzas, pork satay (infamously), rather disdain but can-lah pork burgers, roasted pork/pig’s offals porridge, and pork noodles.
Yeah, I came to the knowledge of Brewster’s in old town serving roasted pork knuckle, but have yet to give it a try.
For the time being, I can only dream about the next PORKY invasion-excursion-walloping session over in Kuala Lumpur-Selangor. Anyone? 🙂
Addresses & Contact Numbers :
NAMBAWAN RESTAURANT & CAFE
No 10, Sri Manja Square One,
Taman Sri Manja,
Jalan Klang Lama,
46000 Petaling Jaya,
Telephone : 6016-224 1533 (Yap), 6013-263 2772 (Gilbert)
Business Hours : 12.00pm – 3.00pm, 6.00pm – 10.00pm
Closed on alternate Mondays.
No 20, Jalan PJS 8/18, Dataran Mentari,
46150 Petaling Jaya,
Telephone : 603-5630 1699
Business hours : 11am – 11pm
Closed on Mondays.
Here’s a GOOGLE MAP to both Nambawan Restaurant & Bellygood Restaurant.
Directions : To get to Bellygood is rather easy, for the restaurant is situated at Sunway Mentari, the business area opposite of Sunway Pyramid Shopping Centre. Make a few rounds and you’re bound to bump into Bellygood. That is, if you do not fall for the temptation of the many other steamboat restaurants within the vicinity.
To find Nambawan is slightly difficult, especially if you’re not from KL (like yours truly). Using the NPE (New Pantai Expressway) coming from Federal Highway/Sunway direction towards the east (OUG/Puchong/KL direction), turn right into Jalan Sri Manja/Taman Sri Manja. Then go straight until you reach a traffic lights with a police booth (pondok polis) on your left. Turn left and you will see the Sri Manja Square One business centre on your left.