Wonder-Ful Mama Friday

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My friend was running late. We were supposed to meet in front of Village Grocer @ Bangsar Village. She called to say she was stuck along the notoriously congested Old Klang Road and suggested I grab a table at the restaurant-which-name-she-couldn’t-remember-but-was-next-to-Plan-B-and-served-Nyonya-food.

Okayyyy, should be easy enough to find since Plan B was right there at the entrance. There was only one restaurant next to Plan B and that was Wondermama (I immediately thought of Wagamama and wondered if they were somehow related but I doubted it). Sure enough, there was a menu on a board outside indicating that there was the ubiquitous Nasi Lemak and Nyonya staple, Laksa available.

There are rows of long tables inside and al fresco seating but the only people who’d sit outside on a hot afternoon are smokers. I was ushered to a corner of one of the long tables. The decor reminded me a little of Reminisce @ MidValley. Tiffin carriers and obviously new tableware that was designed to look old, pre-1960s design of plates/bowls/cups. A grille divider also designed to look like it came from the pre-60s era provides the partition between the inner and outer seating.

The menu is reasonably extensive as there are Nyonya favourites as well as sandwiches and salads for those who prefer lighter meals. There’s a good selection of teas (hot/cold) and coffees. The very friendly waiter made a few recommendations such as the Chicken Pongteh with Rice (RM15.90++). Some of the beverages caught my attention as they comes with their home made coffee jelly (prices range between RM6-6.80++).

I noticed there’s a flight of stairs at one end of the restaurant so I presume they have upstairs seating but since the downstairs area was hardly crowded, none of the patrons headed upstairs. There are smaller tables for 2 pax and these are at the innermost part of the restaurant where there is a cabinet of new “old” tableware.

There are 4 cold drinks with coffee jelly, choose between coffee (black), tea (with milk), cham and white coffee. The coffee jelly comes in one chunk and doesn’t add any flavour to the drink but is quite nice. The drinks come in those old-fashioned tin mugs which my late grandmother used everyday for drinking, boiling eggs and rinsing her mouth. The mugs are generously sized and I was really surprised to see how much was in there as I didn’t expect much in terms of quantity. The tea was good to the last drop and I would re-visit Wondermama just for these drinks alone. Forget the coffee franchises. These are the best thirst quenchers on a hot day! As I type this, I wish there was another mug by my side.

The salted egg yolk fried rice (RM14.90++) came in a big bowl but there wasn’t much of it, just a bowl at most. It was rather average, there wasn’t many chicken pieces and they was too much skin on the chicken. There wasn’t much egg yolk either and it didn’t taste as good as another restaurant’s version. The sauce which came with it didn’t do much to improve the flavour. I wouldn’t order this one again unless I can be assured it’s been improved. Definitely not worth the price for both quantity and quality.

Now the chicken pongteh (RM15.90++) was something else. I only tried the gravy since I didn’t order it. Thick, flavourful and delicious! Two generous portions of chicken, so much better value than my salted egg yolk fried rice. I would order this on my next visit.

Nyonya Laksa Melaka Style (RM13.90++) comes in a big bowl. It’s not spicy although it might look so. If you like non-spicy laksa, then this could well be your bowl of laksa. I believe only “mee hoon” (vermicelli) is available for this which is fine by me as I only like “mee hoon” laksa.

Durian crepes with ice cream (RM6.90++) come in tin mugs which makes them a bit difficult to tackle. Would have been better if they came in bowls. My dining companions ordered them. I’m not a fan of anything with durian flavour and yes, I’m not crazy about durians. I could smell the durian even before the mugs were plonked on to the table.

Finally, there was tacos with minced beef and chilli with a piquant garlic sauce (RM13.90++) – another alternative is a curry sauce. I’d recommend this snack to anyone who loves tacos as it’s so yummy with or without the minced beef thanks to the garlic sauce. I even asked for more garlic sauce. This dish had the “wow” factor several times over.

They had a lot of staff, service was excellent and prompt especially from the 1st waiter who took our order, food and beverage were generally above average and I like the ambience of the place so I would re-visit. However, I am a little confused by the menu as they even have “la la” in clear broth which seems a bit out of place.

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