Sunday, March 30, 2008

Checkers, Kuala Lumpur

I asked the owner: "Is this place halal?"
He looks at me straight in the eye and deadpans: "Halal? This is checkers!"
It's Checkers, a hole-in-the-wall restaurant hidden in a suburb in Damansara Heights, Kuala Lumpur and they've got the best pork i've ever had in this city.

Praise the Lard and satisfaction will be upon thee! Says one of the many charming little signs that adorn this one-room 30-seat affair.

There's little in the way of ambience here and the steel fold-up chairs leave much to be desired but I'm going to forgive these poor choices of furniture because the food and service more than make up for it.

What to order? You definitely must start with the mushroom galette (MYR 19) which is just a fancy term for "yummy thin crust mushroom and bacon pizza". (I think it's a misnomer because galettes are usually more like crepes...) The base is crispy, thin like a cracker and the cheese is sticky and the toppings are generous. But don't just eat the pizza on its own-- ask for the homemade hot sauce simply called After Death Chili Sauce!

That stuff will put hair on your chest.

On to the mains-- if you're in a big group, you must try Lord Of The Ribs which features a whole rack of ribs that redefines finger licking good. And the sauce-- oh the sauce! The BBQ sauce it comes with is for amateurs-- ask for the mustard vinaigrette with its tangy kick that literally (literally!) made my mouth water. (If you're dining alone, try the smaller version-- "Porky's Best". It comes with fresh salad and corn.)

To keep yourself young (you'll die early), order the pig trotters (MYR 25) which is very similar to our crispy pata. Thick, crispy skin that you must pull off the deep fried bone with your bare hands. And as you pull it, your fingers become sticky from the melted fat underneath. Tasty but not for the faint of heart (pardon the pun).

Pasta aglio olio (MYR 18.5) is a good choice to accompany all this porky goodness coupled with their house red wine (MYR 85).

For dessert, I recommend their chocolate mousse (MYR 17) garnished with fresh mint and strawberries. If you want something cool, try the rum dessert thingie (MYR 15) which is similar to ice kacang but with rum.

The service is very personal because the quirky hands-on owner Sam bustles about. He does have a bit of a strange sense of humor and can seem abrasive and aloof but I like the guy. He also has three Filipino staff so if you can speak Filipino, greet them with a hearty kamusta and you'll see their faces light up.

Rating: 0.5
Four and a half pawikan points! Bonus points because there is no corkage (yes you can bring your own wine to drink for free).
Minus points because the place is hard to find-- and this is by design! Sam doesn't want too much customers because he says it's too much work. They've got a big Checkers signboard but it isn't lit so good luck in finding it.

Interested? Make sure to call first (+603-2095-3304) and make a booking because of its limited seats. Ask for directions so you can locate 19 Lorong Setia Bistari 2, Damansara Heights. (More reviews: pasankia, food-4-thot)

1 comment:

Philippine hotel said...

Delicious!!!! But Kuala Lumpur is go far from the Philippines! Kidding. Hehehe. Would you take me there? I guess, Malaysia is a nice country for traveling and food adventures. Nice post for this one! Five pawikans for you.