THE question of whether siew yoke can be paired with just about any dish crossed Randall Chen’s mind when designing his restaurant’s menu.
At Pallets and Pans Cafe by Concept Catering, each speciality dish with siew yoke in it seems to be popular with diners.
Located at the corner of Jalan SS22/25 in Petaling Jaya, this unassuming cafe featuring wooden pallet tables offers a variety of dishes uniquely crafted with siew yoke.
Being a siew yoke lover himself, Chen said it was not common for the meat to be paired with dishes other than Chinese food.
“My idea has always been to infuse our ingredients with Western dishes,” said Chen who discovered his passion for cooking when spending time with his grandfather in the kitchen in his hometown in Ipoh.
Chen who studied culinary arts started Concept Catering in 2015 before opening a place in SS2 last September, before moving to SS22 in March.
When we tried the Salted Egg Yolk Pasta, we discovered that it went really well with the tender and juicy thickly cut crispy roast pork.
“Our roast pork is homemade so that we can control the quality and its taste,” said Chen.
His version of Johor laksa is topped with siew yoke.
Garnished with cucumber, polygonum leaves, mint, long beans and torch ginger, the laksa’s gravy was not too thick or rich but still flavourful.
“I was given this recipe by a very experienced chef from Johor,” said Chen.
“When I first tasted his laksa, I loved it so much that I learned how to make the dish from him.”
Besides roast pork, Chen also served his signature Whisky Flamed Pork Ribs.
Whisky is poured onto the slab of meat and then flambed with a blue flame dancing on the meat.
Though the skin was not as crispy compared to it being grilled, the smoked and braised pork ribs were soft and full of flavour.
The slight whisky flavour enhances the taste of the ribs, served with a side of potato wedges and greens.
For those not too enthused about pork, Chen’s grilled rib-eye is recommended as it has bagged him two awards.
He won gold for it in the Battle of the Chefs competition in Penang and took home silver at the Hong Kong Food and Exhibition contest in 2015.
To end the meal on a sweet note, Chen brought out his signature waffle dish and sizzling brownie on a small hot plate.
Do eat them fast though, because both are served with vanilla ice cream which melts really fast.
Pallets and Pans also has lunch sets catering to the office crowd, priced from RM9.90 to RM14.90 with a drink and dessert.
There is also a daily lunch pasta buffet that is served on weekends and public holidays, too.
For only RM19.90 on weekdays and RM23.50 on weekends and public holidays, diners can savour as much pasta as possible from 11.30am to 2pm, including free flow of soup and salad.
With nine different varieties of pasta to choose from, dishes are prepared upon order to ensure freshness and quality.
“We also have a contest where diners who beat the current record of the number of pasta dishes eaten in one sitting, will enjoy the meal on us,” he said.
During our visit, the number of pasta dishes eaten in one sitting was 16 plates.
PALLETS AND PANS CAFE BY CONCEPT CATERING, No 28, Jalan SS22/25 Damansara Jaya, Petaling Jaya (Tel: 03-7496 4959) Business hours: 8am to 1am daily. Non-halal.
This is the writer’s personal observation and not an endorsement by StarMetro