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One of the quintessential Malaysian breakfast is of course, nasi lemak, and sometimes nothing beats a good plate of nasi lemak with goreng ayam on a lazy weekend morning. I recently went to Ali, Muthu, and Ah Hock (AMAH) at Ara Damansara Oasis Square to try their version while having a chat with Colin, one of the co-owners of the restaurant.

Ali, Muthu, and Ah Hock (AMAH)
Ali, Muthu, and Ah Hock (AMAH)

The restaurant is located within Oasis Square, a place that starts to look like a very nice commercial area with ample parking, good pedestrian walking space, and many restaurant choices. AMAH is one of the more unique restaurants that serves local delights such as nasi lemak, mee rebus, roti jala, Hainanese chicken rice, and so forth.

None of the item on the menu exceeds RM 10.

nasi lemak ayam at AMAH
nasi lemak ayam at AMAH

The nasi lemak ayam (RM 9.50) comes with sambal, ikan bilis, kacang, a few slices of cucumber, fragrant rice cooked in coconut milk, and a full 1/4 fried chicken.

The rice was proper, and I was surprisingly impressed by the sambal and chicken as well, which was properly seasoned with a hint of tumeric and has a crispy skin while being juicy inside. A few asked how is this compared to the famous Village Park nasi lemak, and I’d say that they are on par, with AMAH offering a much more pleasant dining experience.

map to Oasis, Ara Damansara

Address:
Ali, Muthu and Ah Hock
Lot B-G-01, Oasis Square Ara Damansara, 
2, Jalan PJU 1A/7A, Petaling Jaya
GPS: 3.11352, 101.574612
Tel03-7832 3138

One of the men behind AMAH is as mentioned earlier, Colin Soh, born 1978, who is one of the prime examples of a Malaysian success story. An entrepreneur with a good vision, strong passion, and who are willing to work hard and get their hands dirty to build up their business.

Colin is co-owners the co-owner of several F&B businesses, including TDH, Hoofed, Ali, Muthu & Ah Hock Kopitiam (AMAH), and The Royal Flush.

Born and grew up in KL, Colin finished school locally before obtaining a degree in Marketing and Management with Middlesex University, UK. He then spent 3 months working at Leo Bernard before deciding to be an entrepreneur.

The first business started by Colin was actually a laundry back in 2002, with a lot of late nights, early mornings, detergent, and washing machine. It grew from a small shop to a commercial laundry factory, and by 2008, the business was sold and not long after that, TDH was born with a few other friends.

Like any other business, the F&B industry has its challenges. There are always new concepts and innovating ideas on the market. Colin and partner always try to be versatile by staying relevant with current environment and receptive to new ideas.

Other than the above mentioned restaurants, there’s also Crazy Crabs, a new restaurant that is currently being built as of writing, and a TDH flagship outlet in the pipeline.

Colin & KY
Colin & KY at Ali, Muthu, and Ah Hock

All these hard work and dedication has brought Colin and partners awards and recognitions as well. TDH has recently been named Winner of Best Pub Grub 2013 by the Time Out Food Awards. Apart from that, The Royal Flush was also nominated for both the Best New Restaurant and Best Chinese Restaurant, respectively.

In his free time, Colin likes going to gym, biking, running, and fishing.

You can find more inspiring stories like these at malaysiaresume.com, a site for contemporary Malaysian success stories.

A few weeks ago my buddy Terence called up and then passed the phone to Colin, and I was invited to a food tasting session.

At first I thought it was for TDH (Tom Dick and Harry’s), the popular watering hole at TTDI, but when I reached there with a hungry stomach a couple weeks ago, it turned out to be the restaurant right upstairs of TDH – Hoofed.

interior of Hoofed is tastefully done
interior of Hoofed is tastefully done

To be honest, I hadn’t know there’s a restaurant above TDH despite the numerous visits there. I guess it doesn’t help that one rarely gets to leave TDH with very clear vision at the end of the night.

Hoofed is a tastefully decorated restaurant, with an ambiance that rivals many a five star hotels. I particularly love the old school subway style ceiling (Colin had to personally put them on one by one).

Hoofed at TTDI food review session
Hoofed at TTDI food review session

In order to maximize the number of dishes we get to try, Hoofed prepared the dishes in small doses. I thought this is a pretty good way of handling food review, much better than having a bunch of people splitting several dishes and everyone ended up having to fight for the good stuff.

The night started with a plate of pretty interesting duck salad that comes with duck breast, century egg, 7/8 boiled egg, and fresh  vegetable in vinegrete dressing. A refreshing taste that I haven’t had before, it was pretty good actually.

Hoofed prides itself in serving pork dishes, and they have suckling pig too! (whole piglet at RM 170). I was given a portion, and it was really as good as they come.

roast pork, tenderloin steak, pork ribs, pasta with roast pork
roast pork, tenderloin steak, pork ribs, pasta with roast pork

Other pork dishes I tried when I went there again for a little xmas gift exchange session last week were the really awesome roast pork, pork ribs, and pasta with fried roast pork.

I’m hesitant to say that it is the best roast pork I’ve had, but it is tough to rate it any lower than the one at Wong Kee, Pudu. They are essentially different, the version here is softer and goes well with mustard, while Wong Kee’s roast pork has a crunchier skin and fatty midsection but slightly tougher meat. They’re equally good in their own way.

Same can’t be said about the pork ribs I ordered though, while it was tender and juicy, I thought it was a tad too sweet for my liking, that kinda masked out the savory part of the meat a little.

Those who had the pasta with roast pork though, swore by it. I didn’t manage to steal some from Winnie, but boy it sure looked good.

lamb shank, grilled fish, tenderloin
lamb shank, grilled fish, tenderloin

Since I didn’t bring the bigger camera for the session, these two collages were actually hand-me-down photos from Hoofed.

The lamb shank is best enjoyed by two person as Horng ordered and couldn’t really finished it all by himself. Haze had the tenderloin steak that turned out to be slightly more cooked that she would have liked it.

I had the grilled fish during the review session and it was very good though.

dessert, fried rice, pasta with roast pork
dessert, fried rice, pasta with roast pork

To me, the most surprisingly dish at Hoofed has gotta be the fried rice. Though this place doesn’t really concentrate on a particular cuisine, fried rice seems to be an unlikely entry in their menu, and it is a damn fine plate of fried rice at that. This, and the pasta with roast pork, should be the must-try dish at Hoofed.

I’ve only tried the brownie with ice cream as far as dessert is concerned. It was good, but to be frank I’m not a big dessert person and would almost always stuff myself with more roast pork instead.

xmas gift exchange with TDH gang
xmas gift exchange with TDH gang

To be frank, not everything at Hoofed is spot on. I love all the pork dishes with the exception of ribs, the fried rice and fish were pretty awesome too. Some of the other dishes however, are still a work in progress, but I am sure with Colin’s attention to detail and constant communication with diners, they will improve in time.

Dishes at Hoofed is priced at a tad above average, but the ambiance and the right dishes do make up for it.

map to hoofed at ttdi

Address:
Hoofed
No 18A, Lorong Rahim Kajai 14,
TTDI 60000 Kuala Lumpur

GPS: 3.15455, 101.62289
Tel: 03-7728-8567