When I first read of pla dib in the papers the previous weekend, the thought of Thai fusion kinda disinterest me as Capt'n Hook is rather a errrm traditional person who doesn't like his food to be messed up. When I received an invite from Nigel via Anna Chew of Venus Buzz for food tasting at pla dib, I was in dilemma. To go or not to go??? Not to go when a place that is finally so near home is kinda hard to resist, so in the end I accepted the invite. On that day, Capt'n Hook picked me and I left on the dot at 5.30pm from the heart of Kuala Lumpur... braving the jam which is surprisingly quite smooth except the turn off from Seremban Highway towards the Selangor Turf Club/Palace of the Golden Horse. Guess what... we reached The Heritage Village around 6.15pm!!! Ample time for us to scoot over to The Mines Shopping to pick up a card reader from the IT center which is like huge (my first time here), yeah lots of stuff here, don't need to go to Low Yat Plaza!
The rest who came later complained it took them like an hour from various destination like Shah Alam, Bangsar etc well that's also because the sky decided to take a heavy dump. So in actual fact, only the mind is telling us that Serdang is very far! On weekends, if you decided to do a Cuti-cuti Malaysia with your family, you can actually take a KTM Komuter ride to Serdang station via Seremban route. Cross the pedestrian bridge and walk towards the white blocks of buildings with Chinese influence roofs and you'll be at The Heritage Village. Take a short walk through the tunnel and you'll reach The Mines Shopping. If you have kids, take them on the boat ride. We took one last year and it was surprisingly quite fun to ride such a huge water elevator!
Opps, back to pla dib... just drive into the compound and the security guard will issue you a parking chit, bring the chit to your dining destinations in The Heritage Village to be stamped and parking will be free, otherwise it'll be RM3 per entry. pla dib is located at the far corner of the building towards the lake which seems to be a great destination for an outdoor party or function. Reminded me very much of our wedding reception next to the lake at Palace of the Golden Horses, minus the water fountain.
I finally met up with Anna after being in touch over the years. She introduced us to our hostess, Sherlene, of BluWater Estate. Sherlene explained to us that everything in pla dib are fashioned and designed after the Bangkok restaurant. The bulk of the furnitures and furnishing are imported from Thailand! The stools we sat at the outdoor area are extremely heavy and sturdy. Quite comfy actually.
Whilst waiting for the rest to arrive, we were offered imported Phuket beer which is surprisingly quite light for a 5% alcohol beer. It's served with a lemon wedge but Anna claimed it's nice without it as well. Kinda unique too to drink from such a slim glass.
As explained to us pla dib means raw fish but putting them together it also means freedom of food which explains the fusion cuisine here. I checked through the menu, there seems to be quite a number of raw seafood dishes here as appetizers. The menu rage confusion as one can find Japanese kinda appetizers, pasta, pizza... I see French influence in a duck confit! Prices were very decent with the ingredients and portion served with nothing above RM30 except for the large pizza. Please note that pla dib has separate lunch and dinner menu where dinner menu has more items available and that's with where the raw items are.
Once everyone - PureGlutton and hubby, Nigel and Allan and FBB arrived we were ushered inside. Aly joined us later. The air-conditioned interior exude a very clean and modern environment. The chairs were again very chic and heavy to boot!
They started us off with some appetizers. This is Salmon Labb (RM10) which is slices of salmon drizzled with shoyu, chili flakes, roasted rice and lime juice. The zing on the first bite is kinda strong but I really loved the roasted rice on them.
Next came the Raw Shrimp in Fish Sauce (RM15). I've eaten this before in a Thai restaurant but never with such an interesting marinade. The explosion of chili, lime zest and juice is simply amazing coupled with extra fresh and crunchy shrimp. Whilst Capt'n Hook squirms when he sees this but I loved this appetizer the most. However, he being a great sport, he took one but that went shivered down his spine!
Mixed Four Raw Seafood (something new) came in a long platter with mounds of raw chopped shrimps, tuna, octopus and salmon topped with a mysterious sauce that tasted like fermented soybeans (tau cheo) was served. Perhaps this is made from miso?
Everyone who was drinking beer seems to like this Single Sun Beef (RM15). Slices of beef are marinaded with salt and pepper before they're sunned until dry. The beef slices are then deep fried with garlic, chili flakes and Thai basil. Fantastic finger food this one.
One can't go really wrong with deep fried soft shell crabs. What more when it's served with healthy greens in mayobi (mayonnaise and wasabi) dressing (RM15)!
We were served a series of 3 pastas. This is Creamy Capellini Angel Hair Pasta with Ebiko (RM18). A tad too creamy but loved the burst of ebiko upon each bite!!!
Black Spaghetti with Seafood (RM18) is my favourite pasta for the night. The spaghetti is blacken with squid ink tossed lightly in olive oil and topped with squid, prawns and fish slices.
After a black pasta, we were served a green spinach fettucini with mentaiko. Mentaiko being cod's egg are served along with a dollop of cream under the nest of toasted seaweeds strips. This is my least favourite pasta for the evening as the above 2 worked more for me. However, Capt'n Hook liked this one... funny eh when it comes to food... everyone just have their own personal preference and more on this later.
We were then served the 2 special drinks (RM9.50 each) available here. A green coloured Mint Soursop Blast which is made from soursop puree, mint leaves, pineapple juice, fresh lime and syrup. Everyone seems to love this sweet minty drinks. I preferred this over Pladib Art. Pladib Art is concocted with peach, pineapple juice, grenadine, yoghurt, fresh lime and syrup. To Capt'n Hook and Nigel, this tasted like cough syrup but when it comes to food and drink... one man's meat is another man's poison as FBB liked this more than the green drink. Puzzling isn't it?
We were showered with 3 main dishes. First up was Grilled Lemongrass Chicken with Roasted Rice (RM20). Loved how the lemongrass marinade worked extremely well with chicken. The creative part here is the rice which is mixed with eggs, shaped and roasted. The rice cake is soft on the inside with a layer of crisp on the outside. The rice has springy texture which we thought is made from Japanese rice but we were all wrong. They were Thai fragrant rice!
This interesting plate of rice came and we went wahhhh all cos of the egg placed on top of the rice. This is Black Fried Rice (RM20), rice blackened with squid ink and fried with pieces of seafood and chillies bits served with a ring of deep fried basil leaves. One has to mix in the raw egg into the hot rice before eating. Gosh the raw egg really worked the rice into a slight creamy texture and this by far one of the best item we have eaten at pla dib. Eggcellent!!!
At this juncture, a side dish of Mashed potatoes and Wasabi (RM8) were served. FBB and Aly were eggcited cos they both loved mash potatoes. All round murmurs of "hmmm I love this mash" can be heard. If you're worried that wasabi might give you a heart attack, don't worry here. The mash has just a light hint of wasabi.
Opps the fish here looked bellied up hehe but what the heck! Rainbow Trout in Lime Leaf and Steam Rice (RM28) has fresh trout that came from New Zealand which has a natural sweet flavour. The fish is stuffed with ginger and lime leaves, topped with cherry tomatoes and assorted mushrooms and wrapped in parchment paper and baked. Funny, my serving has lots of ginger and lime leaves strips where else the rest just have fish. I chewed on the leaves and find it's a very fragrant kaffir lime leaves (daun limau purut in Malay).
By now, I'm really stuffed but just can't resist the Smoked Salmon Pizza (regular RM30, large RM36). We really wondered how on earth they manage to roll the dough so thin!!! The outcome was splendid as the crust is crispy. We smeared the egg all over the smoked salmon slices before digging in. The tomato based sauce, rosemary and mozzarella cheese gave the extra flavourings here. A rare combo but they do really melded well.
By now everyone is yearning for the dessert but when I see Thab Thim Krob... I scrunched up my face. Everyone except me were waiting for the jackfruit in the Thab Thim Krob (RM8) until the dish was brought out and introduced. Eeeekkk no smell and I was really really very happy when told pla dib version does not have jackfruit :p It was victory indeed but you should have seen the other scowling faces.
Pla dib's version is very special indeed. The finely shaved ice came from a block of frozen coconut milk so you won't get a watered down version as the ice melts. The crunchy chestnut chunks here are on the larger side and has strips of young coconut on top of the ice. Very refreshing and good till the last drop, yes last drop cause I did a very unladylike thingy here... I excused myself to the rest and had a "maggi mee" moment :p I tipped the bowl to my mouth and emptied the bowl!!!
We were served a very rich and moist Marbled Spice Cake, brought by Nigel. He mentioned it's a test cake but we're not complaining. We begged him not to tell us how much butter and egg yolks were used but he let on that each of us would have one egg yolk in our piece of cake *fainted*. This loaf cake will be made available by middle of July at Just Heavenly and their outlets.
The next item Homemade Durian Gelato is silky smooth! Now, durian... I like and it's not smelly heh. FBB and Nigel find this so weird of me hahaha. The durian used was generous in portion but this is not in the menu, so just asked for it as they do not make it in a large batch to keep freshness at bay.
To sum up the entire evening... the company no need to mention as always is great. The food seriously if pla dib is consistent with the quality, then we'll be happy campers since coming here will be a breeze for us and it has food that BoiBoi will like. I now take back my initial reservation about Thai fusion as the confusion here really rocks!
There's another thing I would like to mention here... Sherlene, the Chef (we didn't get his name but he's local and trained in pla dib Bangkok, Prakash and staff did a fantastic job. I've never attended a review that worked like clockwork where everything run in perfect precise movements. If you're a PR agent or restaurateur reading this, do take note.
This was how the review was done... Prakash brings out the actual dish for us to take photos, then he proceed to explain what's the dish and opportunity is given to us to ask questions. Then the dish is taken back to the kitchen to proportionate it into individual portions as shown in the pic below. This way, we got to take the photos in peace without having to scramble for the food from the main plate. Absolutely fabulous!
pla dib is located in 1/1 soi Areesampan 7, Pharam 6 Road, Bangkok where else in Singapore they're known as Raw Kitchen Bar which is interestingly located in an old firestation at 276 Upper Bukit Timah Road.
Thank you so much to Sherlene, management, chef and staff of pla dib, Nigel, Anna and everyone else for such a wonderful evening. We'll be back, promised ;-)
G-13 & 14 The Heritage Village
Jalan SB Dagang
43300 Seri Kembangan, Selangor
(opposite Mines Shopping Fair)
Business Hours: 12.00pm to 3.00pm; 6.00pm to 10.00pm
Closed on Tuesdays