Sepiring is one of those restaurants – if you can even call it one – that occupies the broadwalk space between two rows of shops in the shopping mall. As to be expected of outlets of such ilk, the menu is usually ... predictable.
Nasi lemak, curry laksa, rojak. Tra la la. Everything about Sepiring is unsurprising ... until you take that first few mouthfuls.
For an outlet that claims to serve delicious Malaysian fare, Sepiring actually walks the talk. I didn’t expect the Nonya Nasi Ulam with Ayam Percik (see top image) to taste like it does.
The fragrant nasi ulam with bits of torch ginger flower, kaffir lime leaves, onion and cili padi is served with Kelantan-style ayam percik, Terengganu-style keropok lekor, salted egg and winged bean salad.
The rice is fluffy, the chicken is tender and the percik sauce is thick and flavourful. And priced at RM20.90 this dish with the “chef’s recommendation” logo is worth recommending to others. It’s everything that is good about Malaysian food and more.
“This is one of our top-selling dishes, and pretty much has everything that Malaysians love in it. That is what we aim to do, to serve our customers what all Malaysians love,” says TCRS Restaurants Sdn Bhd marketing communications manager June Song. TCRS also owns The Chicken Rice Shop, Dubu Yo and Pancake House.
Rebranded four months ago, this Sepiring outlet was formerly known as Sweet Chat. There is another Sepiring outlet at The Mines in Seri Kembangan, and plans are underway to open more around the country.
Nevertheless, at whichever Sepiring outlet one frequents, the taste of the food will be the same – or so they hope.
Sepiring does not have a central kitchen, which means that each dish is cooked on site using fresh ingredients that are delivered daily.
“Our R&D team spent months to create the recipes. We have a rigid standard operating procedure that goes into making the dishes. It is so detailed that anybody who is not a chef can still follow the recipes to create the food. The R&D team had made sure that the recipes are idiot-proof,” says Song.
Although the research team created the recipes, the ideas behind the dishes came from TCRS owners.
“Our bosses have Peranakan roots and they suggested some of the dishes they grew up eating. The taste of our Nonya Laksa and Bubur Cha Cha is the taste of their homecooked food,” adds Song.
The bosses however realised the need to stand out from their competitors, and thus have given slight twists to these local dishes. The Nonya Laksa uses asam laksa noodles, while the Curry Laksa uses la mien, also known as Shanghai pulled noodles.
“We just want to give different textures to the dishes. It works, doesn’t it?” asks Song. It sure does. The noodles are springy and smooth, and the Curry Laksa is my favourite of the two.
The curry is thicker and spicier than that of Nonya Laksa. While the Nonya Laksa comes with shredded steamed chicken and prawns, the Curry Laksa comes with slices of sweet BBQ chicken and sizeable prawn wantans.
Wait a minute – doesn’t that sound like the topping for wantan noodles? It’s a mishmash here folks, but I’m so loving it! What can I say? I think it works. At RM15.90 each, you can’t really complain, can you?
Another twist done right is their Spicy Smoked Beef Pasta (RM15.90), made in Negri Sembilan-style masak lemak. The spaghetti is bathed in the goodness of coconut milk and turmeric, and gives you the best East-meets-West fusion on a plate.
Spicy, rich and creamy, the sauce is definitely the star here. The beef slices are tender, despite looking like they have been through the worst smoking process.
“Since we make the dishes on site to individual orders, we get to use fresh coconut milk without having to worry about the food going bad,” explains Song.
The taste of santan is strong in the Bubur Cha Cha (RM6.90) with its chunks of sweet potato, taro, tapioca and sago pearls. It is not cloyingly sweet and may entice one to go for a second bowl.
Durian lovers will absolutely love the Durian Pancake (RM11.50) that is basically D24 durian flesh and whipped cream wrapped in a thin pancake skin.
“Our supplier assures us that there will be ample supply of D24 durians throughout the year,” says Song.
Sepiring also serves Gula Melaka Latte and Gula Melaka Affogato that may not appease coffee purists, but excite novelty chasers.
The departmental store opposite the outlet and its strategic location in the mall promises lots of foot traffic for Sepiring, but it would be its honest to goodness food that makes its customers return for more. I, for one, definitely would the next time I find myself in the Mid Valley Megamall.
Lot FK010, First Floor, South Court
Mid Valley Megamall
59200 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2287 2798
Opens 10am to 10pm daily