WHEN the craving for seafood strikes, little else will do to fill that need.
Locally at least, most people will look for the typical signboard with a big “red crab” in neon lights beckoning from afar.
In recent years, the local dining scene presented the option of enjoying seafood on plastic-covered tables without the need for plates and cutlery.
The best part of savouring seafood this way is getting one’s hands dirty and digging in to the meal without inhibitions.
While the trend has slightly simmered down, Ombak Kitchen is pushing against that wave with a faithful tribute to the Louisiana seafood boil-in-the-bag cooking style.
A decorative big blue crab is the restaurant’s preferred way of welcoming customers to its confines in Lucky Garden, Bangsar.
“We decided on using a blue crab to challenge the perception of a typical seafood restaurant, ” said Arena International Services Sdn Bhd group chief executive officer Sharita Loo.
She said that some restaurants wok-fried crabs, allowing the crustacean’s natural juices to flavour the sauce, hence why the sauce was tastier than the seafood itself.
However, the seafood at Ombak Kitchen is treated differently with the boil-in-the-bag method sealing in the shellfish’s natural flavours.
Preferring this method to retain and present freshness of its seafood, the sauces which are prepared separately are poured over only when an order is ready to meet the customer’s palate.
Diners will not find the usual kam heong and sweet chilli sauces here but will have novel options such as the restaurant’s signature Ombak Crazy Cajun as well as Cheesy Zesty Lemon, Buttermilk Curry, Creamy Tomyam, Peranakan Seri Nyonya and Apple Cilantro to look forward to.
“Locals can never get enough of spicy food which is why we have a fusion of east and west in our sauces with the exception of the signature Cajun sauce that features Western ingredients, ” said Loo.
The Cajun sauce, she said was cooked with butter with a sprinkling of Cajun spices, paprika powder and lemon pepper.
She added that a fusion approach was adopted when creating the menu because Ombak Kitchen has every intention of being around for a long time as the go-to place for mouth-watering seafood dishes.
There is a certain satisfaction derived from eating seafood cooked this way, almost like an honest to goodness feast even though combo options offering up portions good for two diners are available.
Ombak Kitchen’s The King Emperor Combo (RM249.90) for two presents a 600g Canadian lobster, 450g crab, extra large prawns (200g), mussels (150g), Hamaguri clams (150g) along with cuts of cheese sausage, potatoes, corn, broccoli and rice for two.
The Crazy Cajun sauce with its mild to strong level of spiciness following a wave of flavour was indulgent and almost addictive, especially with rice.
The fresh crabs, prawns, crayfish, mussels and clams in the signature Ombak Crazy Cajun sauce were enjoyable, thanks to the punchy flavours that complemented the seafood’s sweetness.
The Cheesy Zesty Lemon is a safe choice with its fragrant and creamy profile with ingredients such as lemon juice, black pepper and mozzarella cheese while the Buttermilk Curry will suit more adventurous palates with its nuanced layers of flavours due to the inclusion of milk, lemongrass, curry leaves and English curry powder.
Notwithstanding the sauces, just being able to savour the shellfish alone was equally satisfying as each piece retained its natural flavour and juices.
The Cheese Baked Pacific Oysters (RM89.90 for six pieces) is a great starter and a must-try.
The silky smooth texture of the fresh oyster combined with aromatic cheese and crunchy purple cabbage proved to be a real treat as an appetiser.
There are also a variety of fresh seafood options a la carte such as crowd favourites, Alaskan Giant King Crab and Snow Crab as well as cooked options like the Calamari Squid with Salted Egg, and Soft Shell Crab Tempura with Cilantro Lemon Sauce.
The restaurant’s family-friendly decor leans towards fun and casual with its nautically inspired theme, making it a popular place for celebrations and events.
A unique complement to any gathering is its Signature Art Dessert which features a selection of fruits, fried doughnuts with hazelnut filling, crushed peanuts and frozen fruit coulis.
OMBAK KITCHEN BANGSAR,
12, Lorong Ara Kiri 2, Bangsar,
Kuala Lumpur. (Tel: 010-216 5946)
Business hours: Noon to 10.30pm (Monday to Sunday).
This is the writer’s personal observation and not an endorsement by StarMetro.
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