IN A quieter part of Kelana Jaya, a new hotel has sprung up right next to a mall and overlooking the Damansara-Puchong Highway (LDP).
The New World Petaling Jaya Hotel opened its doors in March but has kept a rather low profile.
To begin with, there is no prominent signage from the LDP and not many people know of its existence unless you happen to live or work around the SS7 area.
So when there was a chance to visit its rooftop restaurant, I was more than eager to find out more about this lesser-known spot.
I decided to park at Paradigm Mall as the hotel’s main entrance is located next to the shopping mall.
The lift at the carpark took me to level 30 where PJ’s Bar & Grill is located. The hotel’s rooftop and pool are also on this floor.
PJ is short for Petaling Jaya as the hotel owners felt it was apt to keep the name informal among locals in the city.
The restaurant’s outdoor area is the perfect spot to take a sunset Instagram-worthy photo after 6pm.
The after-work crowd was slowly trickling into the restaurant at that hour too, and soon almost all outdoor tables were taken.
Guests were seen enjoying the view while sipping cocktail or cold beer.
In the kitchen, executive chef Alexander Chong was busy preparing our dinner while coping with orders from other diners.
Our food arrived shortly after, featuring a host of popular grilled delights with a local twist.
“Most of our dishes come in sharing portions. We want our guests to come here, enjoy the view and share a meal together like how you would at a hawker centre,” said Chong, adding that sharing food, which is common among Malaysians, promotes bonding between co-workers as well as the family.
Chong was trained in Chinese-cooking during his three-year stint in China, specifically Cantonese food, but decided to shake things up a bit when he was posted back home to help in the opening of the Petaling Jaya hotel.
“We expect more local guests as our location is in the middle of a residential and commercial area, familiar to people living and working in this neighbourhood,” he said adding that the menu has more Asian-inspired dishes.
We started our dinner with Mesclun Salad which came with grilled salmon and sesame dressing, followed by a comforting bowl of Creamy Lobster Bisque with crab meat and herb oil which I relished with naan.
Chong went on to spoil us with Steamed Red Grouper Nyonya style, Seafood Spaghetti Pomodoro and Sambal King Prawns which was accompanied by a small serving of homemade sambal belacan which we kept on the table to go with Chong’s other dishes.
In fact, another fellow reviewer enjoyed the sambal so much that he decided to have it with the Batter Fish Goujons, too.
Frankly, the tasty savoury sambal went well with everything, especially the Jumbo Satay skewers of tandoori chicken and beef!
My favourite was the chef’s take on the Chicken Tikka Pizza. Here, Chong replaces pizza dough with naan bread, giving the dish a fluffier texture.
We ended our meal with two desserts, Classic Vanilla Creme Brulee and Chocolate Ganache Tart, accompanied by balsamic grenadine strawberry, honeycomb and macadamia ice cream.
PJ’s BAR & GRILL New World Petaling Jaya Hotel, Paradigm, 1 Jalan SS7/26A, Kelana Jaya, Petaling Jaya, Selangor. (Tel: 03-7682 0000). Business hours 11.30am to midnight, daily.
This is the writer’s personal observation and is not an endorsement by StarMetro.