Aly's Food Review

Aly takes you on a culinary journey through some of KL’s best restaurants.

Ecoba – Eat, Chill, oOgle @ PJ Trade Centre

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Ecoba – Eat, Chill, oOgle @ PJ Trade Centre

Imagine you’ve had a long day at work. Staring at the computer screen, on the phone, back and forth with emails and all you want to do by 5pm is pull your hair out. Don’t do that… Go to Ecoba instead.

There, you can eat, chill, and oOgle.

Ecoba is 7 weeks old, and it’s a breath of fresh air. In a city where good bars and restaurants tend to be jammed pack into small shophouses, or housed in pricey and sometimes stuffy hotels, this is just what KL needs.

Located on the ground floor of Block B at the newly opened PJ Trade Centre in Damansara Perdana, it has everything you need to wash your stresses away. It was raining when we went, or we would have sat al fresco in the largest outdoor patio in KL. Sitting inside was just as good, as the ceilings are high, the wooden tables sturdy yet comfortable, with ample space between each dining party.

The island bar has an eye catching work of art that makes the ambiance of the place that little bit more special.

It’s stylish, yet understated, and reminded me of a much bigger version of laid back bars in East London. With chill out music playing in the background and a large selection of beers on tap, the scene was set for a night of merriment.

Mojito’s are on top of the list for cocktails.

As are pints of Hoegaarden…

JD & Dilly (Red Breakfast), Terry (Red Evenings), Frat Mustard ( BOOK, EAT, BE REWARDED) and I were entertained by part owner Kean Au, who confessed to being a bit of and IT buff before venturing into his true passion. Kean has a great sense of humour, and with such a creative team in place they manage to make working fun.

Right now, there are about 50 items on the menu, but it’s still growing. You can choose from tapas items, Western Dishes, Asian Specialties and delectable desserts. Chef Fauzi Basir comes from a hotel background, and made the transition to Ecoba after setting up the kitchen at a reputable hotel restaurant.

“I’ve been in the hotel line for 20 years, and it felt like the right time to change. The food here is simple, hotel ‘coffee house’ food, but I’ve jazzed it up a little and I’m presenting it in a ‘restaurant’ way.” Ecoba uses no artificial preservatives or additives. All ingredients are fresh, and everything is made from scratch.

All our food arrived at once, which was a little overwhelming as I suddenly couldn’t see the tabletop anymore. Terry, of course, was ecstatic, as we had two portions of everything which means he could start eating while we photographed the other plates.

Salad – Get fresh with these Beauties

Not really knowing where to start, we decided to go for the Kerabu Seafood Nusantara (RM 12.00).

It was a good move. A generous helping of fresh squid, prawn, and mussels, tangled with clear rice noodle and tossed in a tangy, spicy Thai style dressing. Watch out for those birds eye chilli’s! They’ll get your temperature up! This was definitely Dilly’s and my favourite. Happy faces all around!

Soups – Pucker up and blow

Off to a good start, we moved on to the Indonesian Spices Oxtail Soup (RM15.00).

From the other end of the table Terry was shouting “Aly! You have to try this!” and JD was busy slurping away saying “Mmm… so good…”.

It a savoury, fragrant beef broth, exploding with spices that don’t overpower the flavour of the succulent Australian ox tails. Delicious.

Tapas/Bar Food – Patio quickies

From the Tapas menu we tried some great snacks that are perfect to accompany a few ice cold beers. The Nachos – Chicken or Beef with Chilli Con Carne (RM 15.00) were irresistible.

A mixture of mince, onion, red and green chilis spread over a bed of crunchy nachos and baked with a very special parmesan and cream.

Make sure you try the Spicy Tuna Bruschetta (RM 12.00).

Fresh French Baguette topped with onions, mayonnaise, tuna, red chilled and cheese, grilled to a sloppy perfection. With other great Tapas items like Spicy Prawn, Meat in Button Mushroom, and Calamari with Tempura Sesame Butter & Chili Flakes, you are spoilt for choice.

Western – drive em’ buds wild with joy

For our main courses, we had the Trio of Lamb Rack on Paulie Hunter Sauce (RM 28.00).

“What’s a Paulie Hunter Sauce?” I asked Kean, to which he replied, “I don’t know, but it’s good!”

Tender rack of lamb smothered in a herby mash potato crust, with asparagus and cherry tomatoes. The sauce had a lovely peppery aftertaste.

We also tried the Roasted Spring Chicken with Creamy Mushroom Veloute (RM 23.00)

* The term velouté is from the French adjectival form of velour, meaning velvety. It’s a light stock (one in which the bones used have not been previously roasted), such as chicken, veal or fish stock, is thickened with a blond rouxWikipedia

As the menu states, the chicken is tender and moist, and yes, you won’t regret messing with this chick!

Asian – xXxxOoOXxX the locals!

From the Asian section which is highly recommended, you can choose from Nyonya Laksa, mee Mamak, Nasi Lemak Daun Pandan, and a few different styles of fried rice. We tried the most popular item, the Chef’s Special Fried Rice with Fried Chicken (RM 15.00).

A secret recipe, of course, but we could really taste the fragrant spices. The chicken was coated in a special ‘rempah’, and the aroma itself was very inviting. Thumbs up for this uncomplicated yet satisfying local favourite.

Just before dessert, Terry & I took the opportunity to take some snapshots with little Frat Mustard.

Dessert – Sweet on Ecoba

You’ve got three desserts to choose from, all priced at RM 8.00.

The Black Glutinous Rice with Vanilla Ice Cream, the Crispy Banana Fritter with Ice Cream, and an Assorted Fruit Platter. The banana fritter’s were crispy and sweet, topped with strawberry ice cream. Unusual, as I expected vanilla flavour, but it worked.

With so much to choose from the menu and such a wonderful, relaxing setting, I recommend Ecoba for a seriously laid back evening with friends. True to their tagline, you do get to “Eat, chill, and oOgle.”

As we were leaving, we caught sight of a sign on the door that read:

We most certainly did, and we definitely will.

You can try Ecoba too! All this week, tune in from Eleven2Three to win RM 100 vouchers! The Big Red Food Review with me Aly. Only on Red FM. Today’s Best Music!


Ecoba Restaurant & Bar

B-G-02, Level 1, Menara Bata

PJ Trade Centre, No. 8 Jalan PJU 8/8a

Bandar Damansara Perdana

47820 Petaling Jaya, Selangor.



Written by alyredfm

May 24, 2010 at 10:49 am

Posted in Reviews

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