The deciding factor of my visit to Ong Lai was this, skewers of marinated pork named Malacca Pork Satay and from their FB page, promised to be the “real deal” with pineapple infused peanut sauce and all.
Further scrolling through the page showed me tantalizing images of everything porky, yet the menu remained steadfastly local with familiar comfort dishes as well as some unique items.
All in all, it promised to be quite an intriguing menu for an outlet in a mall, which prompted me to RSVP “Yes” to the invite for a tasting session.
Arriving early I took the opportunity to study the menu and to soak in the atmosphere.
The alfresco (outdoor) space was comfortably cool on a late evening and the furniture was a unconventional modern cum traditional blend of design and colors.
The outlet exudes a pleasant and welcoming feel, with touches of fun and modernity from the wall art and installations.
Ong Lai played on the nostalgic card too with a mounted vintage bicycle, bright traditional lanterns over the dining area and murals on the walls.
So, we have determined that the outlet is cosy and welcoming. Now, how did the food fare?
There are hits and misses for me of course.
The positives were the pork satay, intestines satay, the pork rib prawn mee and the steamed minced meat with century, salted egg rice.
I have friends who message me occasionally in search of good porridge/congee (yes, a funny craving I know) and ever since Hon Kee closed their branch at Damansara Uptown I’ve been at lost for a recommendation of a good, creamy pork ball congee.
Well, if you are seeking a good one with pork innards and all, you can head to Ong Lai to get your fix if you do not mind dining in a mall. Ong Lai is open from 10 am – 10 pm, unlike stand alone outlets or stall which may observe shorter operating hours.
I have much love for the pork meat balls since I prefer my meatballs to be slightly chunky in texture with good ratio of lean meat to fat. A plus point here is these are no measly little balls but large globes of meat!
There are about 2-3 meatballs in each serving with some deep fried pork intestines for RM12.88. All in all, “mall prices” but at least the quality and portion is justifiable.
Speaking of my love for meat, I eyed the roast meat platter with glee the moment I set my eyes on it.
A 3 combo deal with roast duck, char siew and siew yok, all my favourites!
Unfortunately the char siew turned out overly sweet while the duck was salty. Thankfully the roast pork belly was spared the affliction of both and it had the prerequisite crackly top plus alternating layers of fat and lean meat.
Anyhow, we were advised to savour these with rice or noodles as having them on their own was probably the reason we found them overly salty/sweet.
Texture-wise all three were tender, with the char siew boasting of melting layers of fat.
Happily for me, there was more of the siew yok for me on top of the wanton noodles.
I’m not a noodle fan but these noodles are of a higher grade than your average wantan mee so overall it was decent.
Springy and thin, the noodles has a good bite to and we couldn’t detect any unpleasant alkaline aftertaste.
You can choose to have your Ong-thentic noodles with horfun/bee hoon/yellow mee/egg noodles in soup/dry/curry/dry curry at RM13.88/portion.
Here is the dry curry version with pork curry.
I’m Penang born and bred so I am rather particular with anything labeled “Penang xxx“.
Ong Lai’s Prawn Mee with Pork Ribs (RM14.88) however, was a satisfying version with egg, 4-5 prawns and 3-4 chunks of spare ribs.
The broth is punchy and the portion is fair for the price. In fact, I’ll even go as far as stating it is a sharable portion for 2 small eaters.
Should your chosen main fail to fill you up, I’ll recommend adding an order of Ong Lai’s Pork Dumplings with Spicy Sauce (RM9.88). These are the real deal; meaty with thin skin!
If you haven’t realized yet, Ong Lai is really about enjoying all parts of the pork. Here is another recommended porky, one meal dish, the Steamed minced pork & century salted egg with rice (RM12.88 ).
A thick slab of minced pork with century and salted eggs sits on top of the rice. Similar to the meatball earlier, this ‘pork patty‘ had a good ratio of lean meat and fat so it wasn’t dry nor too fatty.
Tasty gravy flavoured the rice so overall it was a delicious, comfort-food dish!
You know a F & B outlet is serious about their food when every dish down to their sauces are prepared fresh and in-house daily.
We love the rich chunky peanut sauce for the satay. We were told there were added pineapples in it though I couldn’t detect any.
If you are in Sunway Pyramid and need a nice venue to enjoy a drink while having a short leisure/business discussion, I’ll suggest to ditch the Starbucks and head here instead.
Ong Lai’s signature “cham” is potently thick, not overly sweet and due to the use of coffee ice cubes, you won’t have to worry about your cold coffee getting diluted by the minute.
Instead of plain sugar, it is sweeten using gula melaka which imparts a pleasant caramelized sweetness.
Besides, it is half the price of your average Venti. The WIFI works here and like I had mentioned above, the overall ambience is comfortable enough.
Can’t decide on your beverage?
Turn the wheel on their interactive menu and let your ‘ong’ decide for you!
Sweet traditional desserts such as Ais Kacang, Bubur Chacha and my favourite Gingko with Barley are offered as well, all priced below RM10.
In conclusion, the preview dinner we had gave a good insight of Ong Lai’s potential. I did found some dishes to be excellent and I’ll be back to try others such as the Hainanese Pork Chop and the Pork Chop Bun, which I plan to wash down with one (or more) of their signature “Cham”!
“”ONG” comes to those who eat!” is Ong Lai’s motto.
Well, I concur. Enjoying good food is definitely an excellent form of prosperity!
OB.K9, Ground Floor, Sunway Pyramid
(opposite Blue Cube, besides Morganfields)
** Opening soon in 2) Da:Men, USJ
Contact: 03-56136678 (Sunway Pyramid)
Hours: Mon-Sun: 10:00 am-10:00 pm