Mr. D, a classmate of mine, had taken us on a Southeast Asian food tour, starting withMy Dining Place – a Singaporean restaurant, and the next stop was Food Fusion, a Malaysian restaurant.
Interestingly located at the top of a shopping mall, Food Fusion isn’t your typical mall restaurant. And the name Food Fusion, doesn’t help its case either, but what the heck. Plus, I was a bit late, since I had gotten lost in the mall. This is not an easy place to find. I wondered, initially, how this place would survive. Anyways, I had my trust with Mr. D.
The place looked as if the interior designer had taken a page from a Las Vegas casino with the fake palm trees and faux wood. It was kitschy, but this was also China. I guess things like that work in Shanghai. Again, I had my trust with Mr. D.
Since I had no idea what to order, I blindly relied on Mr. D’s selection. The first dish, which I believe was an appetizer, arrived – the Rojak 水果罗渣. The fruit and nut plate with some sort of sweet syrup, was different from anything I was used to. When you try new dishes, you strive to find something you had before, to relate it with your next bites. Otherwise, an unexpected dish/flavor/texture, might shock you. I thought of the Rojak as something like a room temperature sweet and sour pork dish – but just the pineapple part. I particularly liked the peanuts with this sauce – like a honey roasted peanut.
Then the barrage of mains flowed out, starting with the Nasi Lemak with Curry Chicken 马来椰浆饭配加厘鸡. As Mrs. J (Mr. D’s wife) noted, the green coconut rice makes this dish, all the difference from other curries. She was right. The non-sticky green rice (yeah, doesn’t sound all that good), had a good mouth feel or texture. The soupy curry produce a mixture of mild spiciness and sweetness – which is a winning combination. Next up, we had the Prawn Noodles 虾面. I instantly dove in the noodles, which were slowing soaking up the salty Prawn broth. I’m glad the noodles had still retained the hardness, not the yucky mushy kind – sort of al dente. I didn’t care much for the Prawn, not just this restaurant, but at most restaurants – I rarely will have shrimp or prawn. The Roti Prata 印度飞饼 – a favorite of Mrs. J, was a unique dish. It looked liked and tasted a bit like a Taiwanese fried pancake, yet with nothing inside. The tortilla like dough, which is fried, has little taste by itself. The accompanied curry is vehicle that delivers the flavor. The classic sandwich style dish – with the universally accepted hand held starchy carbohydrate and protein based combination.
This next serving was something for Andrew Zimmern, from Bizarre Foods. We had porridge粥and ‘Kung Po’ Frog Legs 宫保田鸡. There wasn’t any way I going to leave Food Fusion without tasting the Frog Legs, as it was Mr. D’s favorite. Yet after of couple of prodding’s, I almost reluctantly filled my bowl with rice porridge and looked for some appetible frog legs. The porridge is what you’d find in China, Japan, Vietnam, Korea, and anywhere else in Asia. But the frog legs, clay pot braised with onions, red peppers, and green onions in a thick soy sauce based broth. The broth by itself goes well in the porridge – that was a pleasant surprise. THe frog legs were also better than expected. Funny – it does taste like chicken, but more importantly it had the texture of chicken.
The other dishes we had the Fried ‘Penang’ Kway Tiao 槟城炒蜾, the Otak-Otak 鱼肉, and Chicken Satay 鸡肉撒爹 were all pretty good. Though Mr. D made exception to the Otak Otak, the fish cake had a funny taste and he throughly disappointed with them. Personally, i thought they were ok. I think the banana leaves covered up the smell
The desserts, the Chendol 椰浆甜品 and Assorted ‘Nonya’ dessert 娘惹点心 were also quite good. This is coming from someone without a big sweet tooth. I guess I’m a sucker for anything with coconut.
Anyways. . .the bottom line is that my trust in Mr. D was rewarded with a pretty good lunch at Food Fusion.
What to Order: Frog Legs and Porridge, Fried Penang Kway Tiao, Chicken Satay, and Roti Prata
What not to Order: Make sure you ask if the Fish Cake – Otak Otak is good.
Price Range 1 $/¥/NT
8/F, Parksons, 918 Huaihai Zhong Lu, near Shanxi Nan Lu
+86 21 6385 3906
L216A, Second Floor, Kerry Parkside 1155 Fangdian Lu, near Huamu Lu, Pudong district
+86 21 5017 7367
Food Fusion Malaysian Restaurant 融合马来西亚餐厅(百盛店)
Rojak 水果罗渣 is a fruit and nut appetizer. Quite yummy!
Nasi Lemak with Curry Chicken 马来椰浆饭配加厘鸡, with the green coconut rice, which contrasted the hearty curry sauce. I've always had a soft place in my heart for curry.
Prawn Noodles 虾面, the noodle texture was al dente - just right for my liking. The large prawn is always nice.
Roti Prata 印度飞饼, this was a favorite of Mrs. J. I can tell why after a couple or three or four pieces for myself. This would be a nice appetizer dish.
porridge粥. The porridge, a universal Asian dish, is served with the Frog Legs. It creates a nice milder mouthful bite with the savory sauce from the frog legs.
'Kung Po' Frog Legs 宫保田鸡 were Mr. D's favorite. This was probably the highlight of the lunch. You don't have frog legs for the meat, but rather for the taste. The sauce was heavy, hearty, and savory.
Fried 'Penang' Kway Tiao 槟城炒蜾, was probably my favorite dish of the lunch. These noodles are similar to that of Cantonese Chow Fun and Thai Pad-Thai noodles.
Otak-Otak 鱼肉 is fish cake that is steamed inside banana leaves.
Chicken Satay 鸡肉撒爹 is very good, some of the best I have ever had. Chicken satay on skewers originated in Southeast Asia, so naturally it has to been good.
Chendol 椰浆甜品 is a shaved ice dessert with red bean, coconut milk, and other sweet stuff. This was better than the other desserts.
Assorted 'Nonya' dessert 娘惹点心. These dessert are rice based, so they are sweet and sticky.