When I received an e-mail from a 'D'Cuisine', I went, "Who? What?" and found out that they are a restaurant with an Peranakan, Chinese and Western fusion menu. Golly, this fusion food business is no joke, hey?
I questioned my memory of my two visits to Plaza33, both which were to Noble Mansion for bestie's wedding dinner. Little did I realise that D'Cuisine is tucked in the space underneath the escalators leading up to Noble. Talk about clever use of space!
They are a part of the D'Group establishment of restaurants, which also includes D'Italiane and Ketchup. They started from a humble Italian restaurant in Section 9 of Shah Alam and from there, they expanded to Jaya33 in 2007, Sunway Giza in 2009, Paradigm Mall in 2012 and one year later, here in Plaza33.
From where we were seated, we had a clear view of the bar, which made ordering drinks pretty easy. We noticed that they recycle their coasters and corks into table numbers - creative and cost-saving.
Cocktails and mocktails come at the standard price of RM28.00 and RM15.00 respectively. As it was in the middle of the day and neither of us wanted to risk driving under the influence of alcohol (for me it was more of a case of avoiding falling asleep), we both ordered mocktails. I tried For Gordon's Sake, a concoction of Gordon's Gin, sake, elderflower syrup, grape juice, mint leaves and white wine. And I so beat myself up afterwards because I so should have ordered the cocktail version - without the alcohol, it tasted like juice. Alicia tried Stubborn & Peachy (what a name), a concoction of Don Julio Reposed Tequila, peach liquer, peach puree, ginger syrup, lemongrass stick and cinnamon stick. And she really liked the unique although a little peculiar taste! I thought her drink was more special, too, perhaps due to the combination of more herb-like ingredients.
We left the ordering to their recommendations. For starters, we were served the caramelised orange calamari (RM19.00), fresh squid battered and deep fried till golden crisp coated with fresh orange infused caramel. Beautifully presented complete with an orange, the squid was definitely golden crisp. We thought that it would have tasted better if we could taste more of the orange instead of the caramel. Also, we could hardly chew the smaller pieces of squid - more batter than squid. However, that said, it was rather addictive - kept popping into our mouths pieces of squid until the next dish was served.
The D'Cuisine Peranakan special (RM26.00) was a large serving of their signature platter combination of deep fried whole chicken leg served with prawn sambal and coconut rice. Very similar to the everyday nasi lemak but minus the spice.
We thought the salad was good enough to be served as is and that the presentation of the dish was inviting. We gave chicken leg four thumbs up - crispy on the outside, tender, flavoursome and juicy on the inside.
We were also served the yam and seafood hotpot set (RM32.80), fresh yam stone-ground and infused into a seafood stock with fresh seafood. We were too full to finish the entire set but did enjoy the combination of yam and seafood. Alicia liked the adorable green pot it was served in, too. As it was the first we have tried this combo, we asked which Chinese dialect this dish belonged to. The informed guess would be Hakka, as we Hakka like using yam in our cooking.
We both felt that the Chinese herbal soup gave it an additional home-like feel, as it is a commonly found dish of many home-cooked Chinese meals. We also liked how there were three sides that accompanied the main and understood that these sides were part of the set. However, without the sides, we felt that both bowls of soup with rice would have sufficed because the portion was super generous!
As we have tried a starter, a rice dish, and a set, they included a noodle dish to our list of must-tries. Alicia was ecstatic when they chose to serve us their grouper fish noodles (RM22.00), their signature noodle dish with deep fried premium group pieces in classic fish noodle soup with preserved vegetables, tomatoes and spring onions with a hint of milk. My mum would have loved this. Again, this was a huge bowl - if I came alone, I would not have been able to finish this. Alicia liked it, too. I normally take my fish noodles with vermicelli, no milk and non-fried fish pieces, which should I request, they would comply.
To complete our tasting session, we were served their chef recommended dessert of baked banana filo with butter caramel and vanilla ice-cream (RM16.00). Basically, it is a dish of fresh bananas wrapped in filo pastry baked and topped with screwpine infused butter caramel sauce, served with premium homemade vanilla ice-cream.
Alicia wondered if they were trying too hard to include too much 'fusion' into their menu - sometimes less is better. However, we both agreed that it makes a great place to chill, especially for after work drinks and for a cosy gathering with friends and family - service is friendly and quick and the ambience is inviting and clean, as well as no crazy loud go-through-your-body kind of music and no hold-your-breath-because-the-person-next-to-you-is-smoking.
Plenty of parking upstairs payable at either the pay station or by Touch n' Go. Do note that if you come on a weekday, you would have to go up to almost Level 7 or 8 before you would get a spot because the office workers have reserved car spots, which means limited parking for visitors. If you do not drive, it is reachable by bus, as there are bus stops on both sides of the road and I am pretty sure these buses connect to nearby LRT stations. If the bus stops on the opposite side of the road from Plaza33, fret not, there is an overhead pedestrian bridge that leads you directly to the door step of Jaya33 next door.
A big thank you to the people who made this complimentary tasting session possible. They were especially accommodating, as we were bouncing e-mails back and forth to postpone this session several times.
PG-D & PGE Level Podium, Ground Floor, The Plaza @ Jaya33, 1 Jalan Semangat, 46100 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia.
Tel: +60 3 7931 8985; Fax: +60 3 7932 0977
Daily 11:00am to 3:00pm & 6:00pm to 11:00pm