On another fine Sunday night, Dad suggested this "new" place in Bangsar Village 2. He said it was a new Chinese restaurant. When we got there we realized Ricetaurant was indeed new, but it was a part of Canoodling, which has been there for awhile now.
We hadn't tried either place before though, even though we have seen our friends post pictures of their time there. We decided this was as good a time as any to give Canoodling + Ricetaurant a try.
We say Ricetaurant is a part of Canoodling because even though the decor is different, customers can sit at either side and be presented with menus from both places. It's a kind of best-of-both-worlds sort of thing. The menu from Ricetaurant deserves a mention, thanks to the creative use of the good old mathematics exercise book back in primary school! Where a school logo should be, the Chinese word 'Rice' is there. There's even a section to write name and class and teacher! A very cute idea that I had never thought of.
We sat on the Canoodling side, where yellow is very obviously the theme colour.
Wonder if any police mistook this for a Bersih hideout..? The chairs are yellow, bowls are yellow, and even the lighting is yellow. Certainly gave us a tough time taking pictures because everything turned out so warm.
At Canoodling, presentation is placed at a higher-than-average level of importance. For example, this is how the condiments were placed on the table. After we had sat down. It was quite amusing watching the waiter make sure everything lined up in a row to look like that. The same meticulous placing had to be observed for the cutlery too, including our bowls and chopsticks. All very interesting stuff.
Since we were presented with menus from both places, obviously we wanted to try a bit of each. This picture is the Red Curry Duck Confit Noodles (RM 13.90). It's a bit hard to see the duck but you can vaguely make out the drumstick doused in curry sauce. This dish came highly recommended by the waiter so we decided to give it a go. Nothing prepared us for what came out though!
Yes, there was a whole crispy duck leg, and that was nicely marinated and quite tender. The curry was also aromatic, and had a nice flavour that accompanied the duck well. But we weren't prepared for the black charcoal noodles! Although it looked very unique, in the end we all felt it tasted just like regular yee mee. But by far the most strange part of the dish were the lychees. I mean, seriously, lychees in curry? We tried very hard to like it, and despite duck and lychee being a very common recipe combination, we finally just decided lychees are best left in the fruit and dessert section. (Unless anyone has a good suggestion for us to give it a second chance?)
Another recommended dish was the Thai Belachan Mango Fried Rice (RM 12.90). It's served the way you see in the picture, so obviously there's a lot of DIY mixing to be done. As with most Thai dishes, the rice was very fragrant. It also had a very 'raw' feel to it, since most of the ingredients were uncooked like the onions and tangy strips of green mango. The rice was definitely cooked well though, and it was full of "wok hei". Same goes for the chicken, which tasted a lot like tender "char siu" (barbecue pork).
One of the highlights of Canoodling that is widely promoted is their steamboat to share, so Dad decided we should give it a try (RM 29.90 per pax). The soup consisted of simple chicken broth that had a hint of rice wine (no fancy half-half steamboat although you could choose beef or tom yam base if chicken isn't your thing!). Although simple, the broth was very pleasant and soothing. The steamboat ingredients itself were more standard fare though; we didn't see anything that really set it apart from cheaper steamboats. The usual suspects - prawns, fish balls, foo chok, cabbage, tofu, etc - were all present. The one exception to that statement would be the beef bakso balls! They were really tough, and the taste didn't agree with any of us at the dinner table. I understand it's a very popular dish in Indonesia, but for the life of me I just can't understand why!
Finally, because we felt we hadn't ordered enough food, we added on this Claypot Loh Shu Fun later. It's a special dish that is only available on Sundays. There are other special dishes on other days, so be sure to keep a look out when you're at Canoodling! For this Loh Shu Fun, we found it to be quite watery, more than the normal types we are more accustomed to (like SS2 Murni's or Chinese hawker stalls). There was also quite little mince meat but a lot of noodles, and the sauce itself had a slight hint of peanut taste. Wendy didn't really like it, but I found it okay. Even then we couldn't finish the whole bowl, partly because in the end it was just a lot of noodles left.
So all in all, it was an interesting experience at Canoodling, and now we can cross off another place of interest on our never-ending list! However, I think the both of us are just too boring to enjoy very unique food like this, so it'll take an adventurous night before we venture back again. =P
2F-29 (opposite Borders), Second Floor,
Bangsar Village II
No. 1, Jalan Telawi Satu
59100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: + 6 03 2287 1566
Canoodling's Opening Hours: Daily, 11am-10pm (last order 9:45pm)
Ricetaurant's Opening Hours: Daily, 12pm-3pm (last order 2:45pm) & 6pm-10pm (last order 9:45pm)