Friday, December 19, 2008

Champ's Bistro @ Centrepoint, Bandar Utama

Back in the days, the days of our parents (whether you are now only twenty or fourty for that matter), in the days of the wars or after the wars, the days of poverty perhaps.

Those days when a whole table of meat was rare and the luxurious staple diet only consists of rice.

And something else of course.

The common company for rice was zhu yao char ("fried pork lard").

The immense flavours coming from the cube of lard that has been deep fried to a crisp bite, was probably what your parents or their parents ate with rice those days.

I must thank the lucky stars that i didn't have to endure such hard days. Although sometime i do wonder what is is like to eat zhu yao char and plain rice.

Coming into Champs though, the liberal use of zhu yao char i suppose was not because the owner or you as the customer were broke and poor from any war.

It is the deep simple flavours of the miracle "pill", that we are here. (Plus the pork noodle, prawn mee and hokkien mee)

Presented with a bowl of complimentary DAMN SHIOK zhu yao char. Deep fried pork lard tossed in a dark soya sauce with a hint of fish sauce (maybe), generous amount of lime juice, raw onions and chilli padi (bird's eye chilli). One of us commented pork lard was foul and sickening, but ended up picking at the dish till the very end. It is THAT sinful and good. Or like the hokkien people say "Si Beh Shiok".

It is not on the menu, but if you are lucky enough like us to bump into the owner/chef Richard, try asking. Ask him about this, maybe he will personally go make a bowl for you. Speaking hokkien is a plus point or if you look damn pretty.

Obviously the word "Shiok" is very liberally used here.

The Prawn Mee may look like any other prawn mee one can get outside. The soup looks the colour, the prawns maybe larger than some. One would wonder why people would pay close to RM 20 for the bowl right? Thats because what you get is a chokeful of ingredients; prawns, pork ribs and etc etc along with a soup that has been boiled for hours with love and tender care (i hope).

The soup base is tremendously good and even if the noodles are not plenty, this will be like the default place for prawn mee despite the extravagant price.

The Chow Siew Yuk was equally as good. The sweet dark soya sauce that was stir fried in, was addictive along with the chilli padi. Good snack with beer, pity somehow we were not in the mood for boozing that Sunday night. A good cut of roast pork too, i must admit.

The Fire Something Pork Balls looked normal but packed a punch with the chilli padi inside. Another good appetiser that will suit beer very well.

The Hokkien Mee (or if i am not mistaken, the black worm). Laden with pork lard (not a new idea), pork liver slices, prawns and etc etc, the only complaint was the amount of noodles. A little bit on the stingy side. This though in a larger portion, would have sent me to heaven (literally).

Continuing with more pork but from the grill, the 1/2 slab of pork ribs. Although Richard mentioned it was just grilled (without any prior cooking preparation), it was succulent and came with a bite, not chewy and hard to digest. The sweet marinade with the sesame seeds was really the key to the mouth watering ribs. The huge chunk of corn and broccoli summed up the balanced meal.

A much later addition, the fettucine carbonara with loads of bacon sprinkled on the top. Done to suit the asian tastebuds, this was lighter on the egg yolk/cream, heavier on garlic and onion. The bacon though was delightful, how we wished for a bowl of bacon ONLY.

The western food generally costs around RM 20 plus to RM 40 plus, depending on the protein.

Address and contact details:

Lot F10, 1st Floor, Centrepoint,
Lebuh Bandar Utama, Bandar Utama,
Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
03-7722 5800
Open from 10:00am to 12:00am daily

Verdict: Solid 4 stars out of 5 stars. The pork lard has literally propelled this place to one of my favourite places to suggest to people. Another favourite that i have tried, the pork noodle is also heavily recommended. Forget the shopping centre upmarket hawker food, if you are willing to pay that kind of prices, come here instead.


J2Kfm said...

so much porky goodnesS!!!!

this will definitely be on my list come next KL trip. Centrepoint near to 1U ornot?

sc said...

ah, the famed expensive prawn noodles. but i guess the amount of ingredients makes up for the price eh? haha, this is a very porky place indeed. pork pork all the way!

Allie said...

The zhu yao char is so sinful.. but it's so hard to resist especially when bird's eye chilli is added.

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

allie: haha with or without chilli..its hard to resist!

sc: yes the famed noodles..i suppose this time around, u get ur money worth!

j2kfm: yes very near indeed..infact its just a bit further down from 1U

backStreetGluttons said...

Champs was once the darling of Penang food connoisseurs until he flap flopped and was left with only one outlet in centrepoint.We have never set foot upstairs but was a regular downstairs in the pub and bistro where the other brother is.
Those days we had a nightmare with the fat brother and vowed to write him off , maybe 2morrow who knows ?
hopefully he isn't the same cocky one...

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

bsg: hahah hes fat still alright..but the food is still awesome..

CRIZ LAI said...

Gosh! That's a high price to pay for a bowl of Prawn Noodles. I just took a trip to an island off Penang and the trip and noodles did not even cost that much. Tax free some more :P

email2me said...

You should try the Grandma Recipe Tau Eu Bak (Braised Pork) too ... it is authentic Penang taste ....

ck lam said...

Definitely will ask for the special bowl of zhu yao cha. Never tasted it in this way...must try.

Life for Beginners said...

Maybe a new tagline for the bistro? "The Place for Pork Lard!" :P

550ml jar of faith said...

Did I miss the official National Pork Day or something?! This meal is deliciously ILL!

Simon Seow said...

Wah liao eh, a pork lard dish on it's own.Really damn shiok.

Anonymous said...

oh my this is a place my son wey will sell his soul for!


"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

terri: haha really? more like just ask mom for money to eat here..

simon: hahah yes..imaginative hor?

550ml: haha its pork day..everyday!

lob: hmmm good suggestion..

ck lam: yeah shud give it a try..

email2me: will sure i will go back..

criz lai: well penang prawn mee with big prawns r already selling at big deal wat..

Bangsar-bAbE said...

Hokkien mee looks damn good la, and I haven't tried the carbonara...must go try these two things de. :D

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

bangsar: enuf to ask for a date liao haha..

Cynthia said...

Happy holidays Joe! Here's to much more eating in 2009!

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

cyn: to you too!

joycy said...

i've heard so much about this place... got to try it out

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

joycy: must try!

Selba said...

Pork lard... that's must be definitely yummy.. but scare to eat coz' of the calories! hehehe...

Nic (KHKL) said...

dude, must check out the pork noodle. it doesnt get any babi-er than that, i tell ya! yumz! ;)

leo said...

You know what.. I'm not really convinced with the emergence of new restaurants featuring pork as their "main act".

Whilst the use of pork is certainly great, most of the time the dishes are really lacking in thought in terms of culinary fundamentals.

I'm really sceptical when it comes to these kind of places unfortunately.. :)

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

leo: i dun think this is new..although i definitely know wat u mean..

nic: yes i think its as babilicious as it can get..

selba: remember to work out after that..

ling239 said...

The Hokkien mee tasted sweet the last time i visit them...XD

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

ling239: sweet from sugar??