Most of us know Alicafe as the tongkat ali infused canned coffee drinks. In fact, it is my favorite driving companion to keep me awake whenever I’m on one of those balik kampung drives on the highway.
There’s more than just drinks when it comes to this brand, now there’s an Alicafe TigaRasa restaurant. I was one of the lucky few who was invited to get a taste of what they have to offer just a few days ago.
Update 3/1/2016: this place has since closed
Alicafe Tiga Rasa restaurant, at USJ Taipan
Located at USJ Taipan, Alicafe TigaRasa restaurant offers Malay cuisine in a contemporary setting and pretty good range of menu. The restaurant is tastefully decorated, giving it a bit of a kampung feel, but of course, dining area’s air conditioned.
The kitchen area is separated by glass, you can actually see your food being cooked (side effect: they always have to keep the place spotlessly clean).
here’s the TigaRasa secret – sambal lemak, gulai lemak, and hebi-hiam
Now here’s how this restaurant got it’s name, tiga sara (three flavors) – from the three different traditional Malay sauces:
- Gulai Lemak – the creamy coconut based sauce with kunyit, sambal, and lemongrass. Rich and flavorful
- Sambal Lemak – a classic with plenty of chili, garlic, some coconut milk, and other spices
- Sambal Hebi-Hiam – now this one is interesting, hebi means dried shrimp and hiam translate to spicy in Hokkien. So yah, this is inspired by Nyonya cuisine and prepared with dried shrimps, curry leaves, onions, garlic, and more.
ikan pari, grilled lamb, and grilled chicken in different sambal, vegetable
You can then mix and match the three sauces with ikan pari (stingray) or ikan selar (yellowtail scad), grilled lamb chop, grilled chicken, mixed grill, or mixed vegetables. For those who like it even hotter, you can always customize the order with added chili padi too.
I tried the three sauces with pari, mixed vegetable, and lamb, and it is pretty difficult to pick a favorite. Each one offers a different experience, but they share the same characteristic of being rich and flavorful. I like the fact that terung (brinjal) and other vegetable is added onto the meat/seafood dish too. Goes well with steamed rice.
siakap tomyam, curry fish head, and fried chicken
Other than dishes prepared from those three sauces, Alicafe TigaRasa offers dishes such as siakap tomyam, curry fish head, fried chicken and more.
Saikap tomyam (barramundi) is deep fried but served with spicy tomyam sauce, and the curry fish head reminds me of my mom’s style of cooking, the Nyonya version of curry that is slightly milder (unlike some Indian style would) yet plenty delicious.
The fried chicken has a hint of belacan to it, a very different style from some of those “KFC copycats”, and definitely a taste that I’m familiar of from the mixture of Nyonya-Chinese style of food we get in Penang.
this whole set for 4 can be had for RM 69.90
To be honest, I’m quite impressed with the food at Alicafe TigaRasa, they do fill a niche by offering mostly traditional Malay cuisine with some mixture of other tastes that is still very close to home.
For the puasa month, there’s special promotional set that starts from RM 10.90 that includes a drink, kurma dates, a main course, and Hokkaido cake as dessert. For family of four (or 5), a RM 69.90 set gets you siakap fish, fried chicken, scrambled egg, TigaRasa mix grilled vegetable, Hokkaido cakes, kurma dates, and Alicafe’s homemade Pati Kurma Madu drinks.
the desserts, and the leng lui is of course, Hanis
I can’t wait for them to have more branches!
Alicafe TigaRasa Restaurant
No.8, Jalan USJ 10/1H,
Subang Business Centre,
GPS: 3.04817, 101.68677
Tel: 03-8011 9412