By now I think it's quite obvious we spend a fair bit of time roaming SSTwo Mall (not that there's much to roam in there..). We've previously written about J Tean Kitchen, Henry Cook, and ChaTime that are all located in the mall. This time we look at another Chinese restaurant, Chyniis, that has been generating a lot of buzz lately.
Chyniis is obviously targeted towards the medium-large sized Chinese family. Majority of tables there are large round ones, and can seat big groups of people. We happened to be sat next to a group of 12 that were comfortably seated round a big table - now that's something you don't see in many Chinese restaurants! What was even more laudable was the maid and children's table next to it, so all the kiddos and their nannies could have their own meal in
We don't usually take pictures of standard tidbits in Chinese restaurants, but this is something you don't see everyday, so we thought it worth mentioning. These were fried shrimp, very tiny and very crispy. It did a great job of whetting my appetite for the meal ahead; I would have even called another plate if I didn't control myself.
Mum likes soup, and Chyniis happens to have quite a unique selection of soups. This here is the Tawau Special Fish Maw with Chinese Wine (RM 18). Fish maw to me is another name for fish stomach, and online search results will say it's the air bladder of the fish. The texture of fish maw is chewy and usually quite tasteless. In this soup there were generous helpings of it, and other bits and bobs like tofu, crab meat and mushrooms to make it complete. The soup was quite thick and gooey, reminiscient of shark's fin soup. Overall it was very tasty, but may not suit the taste buds of all.
Besides the fish maw soup, we also tried the Braised Lotus Root, Crab Roe & Meat Soup (RM 18). This soup is clearer and not as thick as the fish maw soup, so I'll recommend this for those who want a more traditional recipe. Overall this soup was very refreshing and flavourful and full of crunchy lotus root bits, but I don't really think it's worth the RM18 price tag unlike the fish maw soup which is more unique.
This is the Crispy Honey Squid (RM 20 for a small dish). Most items on the menu in Chyniis have 3 size options, ranging from small medium to large. We thought that for 4 people the size should be medium, and we thought we were right when we saw the size of this portion. But when the bill came we realized it was only a small portion! So do take note that portions here are big enough to feed quite a few people.
As the name says, the squid was really crispy to perfection and nicely glazed all over with honey. Definitely something addictive that anybody fond of sweet & savoury mixes will like.
For our green quota, we went for a simple vegetable dish, Stir-Fried "cheng chau" Potato Leaves ("fan shu yip" in Cantonese. The vegetables used were not old and tough, which is another plus point. The anchovies provided that extra bit of saltiness to the veggies; certainly a great combination.
We were recommended the Tea Smoked Village Chicken (RM 38 for half a chicken) by the waiter. This is definitely something out of the ordinary, because smoked chicken is barely a traditional Chinese dish. This dish was good because it had sauce, and the chicken wasn't too salty, as can be the case sometimes with smoked meat. Tender and infused with a smoky tea flavour, this one will be an interesting dish to try.
The final dish we went for was the Pork Belly served with Fried Man Tou (We can't recall the exact name of the dish nor its price, so ask your waiter for some help if you'd like this one). The dish comes with a portion of lettuce that takes up about half the plate. Fresh and crisp, the lettuce was the perfect balancing factor to all that belly pork.
The pork was very tender, and the sauce just nice, in terms of sweetness, make it the perfect companion to white rice. I would probably wish for more sauce though, since that amount poured over the meat isn't nearly enough for the 4 people that can share this dish.
Unlike Fatty Crabs at Seputeh, the fried man tou here isn't free flow! But then these mantou-s are so fresh, fluffy yet crispy on the outside - so good that I don't mind paying premium for it. Naturally, it goes without saying that they blended very well with the man tou sauce. But again, with the not-so-generous serving of sauce, some form of rationing has to take place ;)
Finally for dessert we had Fish Scales Jelly and Yam Jelly (free!). But wait! Fish scales?? When we first heard it we were quite wary of it, but upon tasting we realised there was no big deal to it at all. There's no sign of any scales inside, and the fish scales were actually only used in the boiling of the jelly. The texture of the jelly was firm, with a slight ginseng tinge to its flavour. If no one had told us it was made from fish scales we wouldn't have noticed anything out of the ordinary! The yam pudding on the other hand, was more conventional. I don't usually like the taste of yam, but even I didn't mind the the mildly pleasant yam flavour.
So is Chyniis really worth the hype? I'll say the food here definitely is of quality, and there are many other innovative dishes that we didn't get the chance to try. We saw other interesting dishes - majestic-looking fried fish, vivid red-shelled crabs and sang har meen - coming out of the kitchen, so that's something to take note of too. Prices here aren't the cheapest in the area of course, so I won't call this the simple down-the-road joint. But if you're looking for a place to bring the family for a special occasion, Chyniis should be near the top of your list. =)
Chyniis | FacebookG45, 46 & 47,
No. 40 Jalan SS2/72
47400 Petaling Jaya
Selangor Darul Ehsan,
T: +603 7956 7288
Opening Hours: Daily till 10 p.m.