It is HELLO!’s soft launch today and though I shy away from new outlets especially during their first week of operations, I made time to drop in at Hello! today since I have always held both chefs (Chef Johnny and Chef Sherson) in high regard.
Besides, I was curious about the menu; in addition to my wish of extending my support to both of them.
Johnny and Sherson are not new to the industry and had in fact appeared in numerous TV (food) shows and orchestrated many prestigious dinners in Klang Valley.
A guest of some of the mentioned dinners myself, I was certain that lunch would be good and worth the Friday jam.
Being online friends with both also means being occasionally left salivating over the pictures of their creations, be it at work or at home.
Over time I noticed that both chefs, for all that they are adept in fancy, modern preparations of food, both hold traditional simple meals close to their heart.
Hence I was curious; now that Hello! is solely theirs, and they are no longer confined by their employers’ wishes, what would both chefs choose to serve for their first restaurant?
The curiosity spurred me to brave the infamous Friday jam and step into Hello! on their first day of operations.
A single page menu listed quite a varied spread of Asian and western mains. Soups, salads, Asian and western repertoires peppered the menu, albeit with a slight twist in preparation for some.
Desserts are mainly permutations of the humble brownie.
Freshly made pasta in 3 flavours anchor the pasta section, while the tapas category seemed to be the chefs’ playground where they threw in a mishmash of grub that include chicken gyoza, soy bean chips and drunken chicken liver pate to tortilla seafood pesto pizza and home salted duck egg calamari.
To please the masses basic protein in the form of chicken, beef, fish and lamb took up a small corner of the page.
I however, ignored all of that.
Since pasta forms a large part of their menu and they had taken pains to make them fresh in-house, a pasta dish was naturally one of my pick.
Next, I zoomed in on the “Pak Johnny Mee Rebus“.
Ah, a local dish! With his name on it too. Low carb diet step aside, I’ll have to try this!
This dish, priced at RM14 + 10% service charge and served with angel hair pasta, tofu, eggs, fresh vegetables and dried shrimp floss is clearly not your average Mee Rebus.
The highlight is the thick, robust prawn stock, quite unlike your standard potato-based starchy mee rebus gravy. While I love the presentation and serving method with a cute teapot and all, its overall flavours required a much needed lift from lime juice, of which I squeezed from a several wedges of lime.
Brownie points goes to Ah Pek Fried Rice (RM12 + 10%) for its generous portion. This came with 3 mid-sized prawns, a few pieces of “fuyee” (fermented bean curd) fried chicken, a quenelle of their signature Aunty Ann Sambal, some shredded lettuce and a fried egg.
This could be considered fairly priced, since by comparison, an almost similar fried rice in Pappa Rich or Old Town White Coffee is smaller in portion yet higher in cost.
Tastewise it is an acceptable plate of fried rice, though not beyond that. It did possess the necessary wok-hei (smokiness) and it wasn’t overly greasy, which is a plus point.
So how was their freshly made pasta?
We enjoyed the Vongole (RM24 + 10%) in spicy clam jus with white wine, local clams and seasonal herbs.
It was in fact the best dish of the lot, with all the flavours in place plus added sting from chillies which I appreciate.
There were at least 15 of these clams in one bowl, I kid you not, so yes, Hello! by Kitchen Mafia took pains to ensure that their patrons leave fulfilled, at least in terms of portion size.
Now if only these clams were all conveniently open for us to devour the flesh.
Ah yes, before I forget, the fresh pasta.
The texture of the noodles were commendable; slightly chewy with bite and it picked up the flavours from the clam jus well.
We were stuffed at this point, for like I said, the mains were generous in both portions and quality ingredients.
Still, we made space for this delectable brownie which Chef Johnny kindly set upon our table.
Chocolate fans will approve, for this is a rich brownie layered with smooth mascarpone filling generously studded with big chunks of walnuts.
The brownie options at Hello! are blondies ( white chocolate), Latinas (milk chocolate) and Exotic (dark chocolate).
For the Nutty Mascarpone Sandwich (RM22 + 10%) as below, you can select your brownie of choice. Ours was the Exotic.
Hello! by Kitchen Mafia is in its infancy and I’m giving it another few weeks before my next visit. Judging from the service and food today, the kitchen and service team are getting into the groove as you read this.
The space is cosy and perfect for those seeking a quiet venue for simple, tasty food. A plus point is that they offer Puro Coffee, a fairtrade and organic brand. I think it would be the ideal match with the delectable brownies here.
Below: A wall with a message : “Don’t need silver fork to eat good food“, true enough yes?
Congratulations again to the Hello! team and keep up the good work!
Hello By Kitchen Mafia
BG7, Jalan 17/ 13, Happy Mansion, Section 17,
46400 Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
Mon: 8:00 am-11:00 pm
Wed-Sun: 8:00 am-11:00 pm
Tel: +60 3-7932 1929
Halal: No. Pork-free. Serves alcohol.
Service: Warm and helpful. Your orders are served to you.
Ambience: Comfortable. Casual.
Outdoor seating: Yes.
Powerpoints for charging: No.
Parking : Challenging during lunch hours. Limited.
Payment: Eat first, then call for bill to pay.