Friday, May 9, 2008

Champ's

We left with almost resonating burps. The folks were happy. That was all that mattered that Saturday night. Champs really delivered. In huge portions.

As we leave, I managed to really observe the surrounding for the first time that night. A rather ordinary pub with tables and chairs spilling out of the restaurant. The CTVs were displaying ESPN’s highlight of the latest soccer matches. Hordes of families slurping gigantic bowls of noodles. Adults’ cacklings versus children’s clatterings of utensils. Boys watching the screens while their girls watched over them, in annoyance. Ambiance.

It was the last dish to be served as it needed 25 minutes to cook. The Pork Baby Back Ribs (half rack (500 g above) - RM38) was every bit worth the wait. Grilled to perfection, the meat was slightly charred, tender and succulent. The most exciting part being the sweet/savoury marinate. I thought there was a hint of essence of rose (typically used in Chinese cooking for the aroma and as a tenderizer). Or was it the caramelized glaze? Anyhow, it tasted wonderful. There were also sides of corn and broccoli.

A slight disappointment, the New Zealand Chilled Lamb Rack (480 g raw - RM45) was. Though the meat was tender, sweet and succulent, there was a slight generic frozen smell that can be found in most lamb chops. Still, the meat was above average as compared to many wannabe-grillers out there. Oh, their mint sauce was dense, sour and a must to go with the lamb.

Tickled by curiosity (or si fart hunt - itchy a** in Cantonese), we ordered the Vongole Pasta (RM21). Although the ingredients for this dish included fresh shitake mushroom, shrimps, bacon, coriander, shallots and dried chillies, the ensemble was rather bland. Perhaps there was a lack in seasoning. The choice of seafood was nonetheless, fresh. We'll stick to the recommended dishes the next time.

'Damn Shiok' Hokkien Prawn Mee (RM18.90)! Convinced by the name (and the price), I was damn looking forward to a damn good bowl of prawn mee. The broth was dense and burst with the flavour (and aroma) of a truckload of cooked prawns. The pork was soft and flavourful while the vegetables (water spinach/convulvus and beansprouts) provided a nice crunch. I loved the garnishing which consisted of crunchy fried shallots and...thinly sliced lard! And the large prawns placed on top of the noodle were just a tip of the iceberg. Dig deeper and you'll find a whole chunk of peeled shrimps! Damn shiok indeed!

A Babitarian needed his dose of pork. So, he ordered the infamous Chee Yok Fun (pork noodles) at RM16.90. WHAT, you said? Uh huh. And was it worth the hard-earned ringgits? UH HUH! The soup was rich and every sip oozed the sweet and savoury essence of the adorable animal. The amount of pork included in the dish was staggering. Dig into the dish and you'll most probably find more pork than the noodles itself (circa pre price hikes of everything under the sun). I hope they still maintain this fantastic ratio. Babitarians will be happy to know that it also comes with a huge amount of crunchy intestines and fried lard bits. Porkilicous!

The rather unadventurous folks of mine opted for the Kampung Nasi Lemak (RM17.90). We had both the chicken and beef rendang versions. The rice was served piping hot and was fluffy as well. The chicken was rather unremarkable but the ribeye strips (of South American origin, they claimed) were surprisingly good. The meat was tender and the coating curry was packed with the richness of coconut milk, the spiciness of chillies and aroma of the kafir lime leaves/lemongrass/turmeric/onions/garlic mixture. My folks, my Gordon Ramsays were right (this time).

Over the phone @ 7.15 pm:

Condemner: Wei, I just passed Canton-i. Champ’s is in the old wing, right?
Condemnee: (o_O)!!! Where are you now?
Condemner: One Utama lah!
Condemnee: I never said it is in One Utama.
Condemner: (-_-)!!!
Condemnee: It’s at Centrepoint, Bandar Utama lah!
Condemner-turned-condemnee: Ok.
Condemnee-turned-condemner: Sleeping ar?


It was rather embarrassing how we reached Champs at a late (well, to the poor old folks, at least) dinnertime of 8.00 pm, I must say.

And we arrived...with “famished” written all over our poor faces that night. My fault.

Champ's Restaurant
Lot F10, 1st Floor
Centrepoint, Lebuh Bandar Utama
Bandar Utama,
Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
Tel: (+603) 7722 5800

Other reviews:
KampungBoyCityGal
Daily Rantings
Cumi & Ciki

30 comments:

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

sigh..u from sg also try this..me stay in kl..haven try this..aiyaya..shows how efficient and kiasu err..singaporeans r nowadays..

Xiu Long Bao said...

Have to admit that it was really fun turning from a condemner to a condemnee. At least I know MY WAY in msia :)

Kenny Mah said...

I've only been to Dragon-i and Secret Recipe at Centrepoint, guess there's more for me to explore...

And ape ni, condemner/condemnee? Haiya, sometimes people get blur-blur on weekend ma, after a week of hard work... no? :P

J2Kfm said...

haha, si fatt hun? :) whats derriere got to do with craving for pasta? I wonder ... though the pork ribs looks well worth every minute of wait ...

Nic (KHKL) said...

joe, i salivated reading bernsy's post on the ribs...and xlb told me the food was good..quite easily acessible somemore...so, i gave it a shot lar! hey, kiasuism is not a bad thing lar... :)

xiu long bao, ya lor. one man's suffering is another man/woman's pleasure hor? YOUR WAY? really?? how to go to sungai wang from mid valley ar?? :P thanks anyway for the recommendation.

kenny, oh, there's also pizza uno there! centrepoint's a great place for food, away from the mad One-U crowd.

it's karma lah, bro. one shalt not condemn another too much. this is the akibat lar...i hope i dont return as a pig in the next cycle! haha!

j2kfm, ohhh, that...hehe...well, i already knew that the vongole pasta was not a signature dish but my derriere got itchy and i went ahead and ordered anyway. well, nvr try, nvr know, right? lol!

Kenny Mah said...

Yup, have heard about Pizza Uno there but never had the chance to try... And I do agree about it being an oasis away from the 1U madness... I avoid that place at all costs normally. :P

CUMI & CIKI said...

ru in KL???!!! :)

durianberry said...

Droolicious! Baby back ribs :b~ Ribeye strips in nasi lemak :D~

Nic (KHKL) said...

kenny, ahh...oasis' the word..hehe. i heard bernard's good as well (directly below champ's). havent tried though. hehe...eh bro, u nvr notice anything weird abt my post ar? try reading it from below to the top..hehe...

cumi & ciki, nope, but i'll be in less than 6 hours time...well, i come back to kl almost every weekend...really! :D

durianberry, ohhh, ok! now i know how to type the drooling emoticon oredi :P~ thanks, thanks! and yes, the ribs were fantastic! :P~

Big Boys Oven said...

Oh! that baby pork rib is a must! oh I am totally melted! sucha temptation!

christine said...

oh!!!baby pork ribs..saliva dripping dy...

Bernsy said...

syiok nya i read your post...

I have heard a lot about their chee yoke fun, and their har meen... wah really gotta go back and try them...

Some they serve nice imported beers...

Jun said...

the sight of the pork ribs looked familiar-- and then i remembered i've been here recently ;p nothing too special tho.

PureGlutton said...

The Prawn Noodle is still tops on my list whenever i go to Champs. The last time i tried their Pork Ribs, it was dry and overdone. Anyway Champs still remain a firm favourite hangout makan place for me.

team bsg said...

at one time some years ago , they had 3 or 4 branches in town and boasted of the best prawn mee anywhere.

we find the fat heads-up owner obnoxious at one time and promptly avoided him like the plague but not his more down to earth brother's place downstairs which sells some excellent Penangy didhes too

ling239 said...

argh... must go try d Pork Baby Back Ribs!! >.<"
btw avoid the fried hokkien mee, the big fat dark noodle, it is sweet and full of MSG... the last time i tried ~

Bren Herrera said...

i felt like i was at the resto with you, all the way from the US!! the last pic looks like Cuban picadillo and carne ripiada... both of which I cook a lot and are staples in our cuisine...

Bren
http:/www.flanboyanteats.com

Bren Herrera said...

felt like i was at the resto with you, all the way from the US!! the last pic looks like Cuban picadillo and carne ripiada... both of which I cook a lot and are staples in our cuisine...

Bren
http://www.flanboyanteats.com

sc said...

i hang out at centerpoint whenever i've nothing to do..it's a couple of minutes drive frm my place. oh, i usually get my dose of philipino pork ribs at Cagayan's and Champ's for prawn mee. the ribs in champs looks yummy too!

Nic (KHKL) said...

big boys oven, looks good hor? it's so near somemore...let me know lar if you wanna go makan! i can nvr say no to pork...hehe

christine, oh, the ribs were good. i could have finished the whole slab by myself! lol! check it out if you're in the area! :)

bernsy, hehe, bro, i actually got to know this place from your post! so, thanks for the recommendation! hehe...

oh, both the chee yoke fun and the har meen were solid....so much pork lar!

if i'm not wrong, they do serve imported beers like paulaner. great!

jun, issit?? i thought it was rather good, in terms of taste and texture. hmmm, i know where i can get cheap and nice ribs...cafe cartell! hehe...

pureglutton, really? hmm, looks like they are not so consistant, eh? but yeah, i agree, the prawn noodle was good...perhaps it's the amount of prawns/shrimps they used.
i'll be back...haha!

team bsg, oh, really? i didnt know they had branches before. i saw pics of the owner...seems like he's a sportsman or something.

penangite food?? ok, noted! to bernard's i go the next time i plan to dine at centrepoint!

ling239, oh, thank you for the tip! the hokkien mee lover me was sooo tempted to order already that night...wah, luckily i stuck to the signature dishes...nyek nyek nyek.. :D

bren herrera, at the resto with me? wow, cool! wish you were here :D and yes, the nasi lemak is kinda similar to the picadillo. well, i guess the spices used are different and we use coconut milk for the rice...but the concept's really similar!

sc, i find centrepoint less stressful to stroll as compared to the ever chaotic One-U. philipino pork ribs at cagayan? ok, noted! so many new discoveries at centrepoint! am glad i put up this post...haha!

fatboybakes said...

its not japanese? i had to relook at the url to see if i got the correct blog. you are evil, you know...EVIL...here i am, minding my own business, rather pleased with myself for having had a healthy lunch, (cameron highlands pearl corn and a handful of almonds), AND you throw pork lard in my face??? AAAAAAAAAAARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

PureGlutton said...

Well, maybe i was there on a Bad-Pork-Ribs day. Perhaps i should give them another chance, eh?! Yeah, Richard the owner can be perceived as quite "lun-see" if he doesnt know you!
Hmmm..maybe i should go for Cagayan pork downstairs after all!
Oh by the way, I have linked you in my blog :-)

~Christine~Leng said...

The Pork Baby Back Ribs was 'damn' good looking!!

Hazza said...

That prawn mee looked great but seems very expensive considering that you can get this a lots of other places nearby. Should have taken a picture of the surroundings which may justify the price.

Nic (KHKL) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nic (KHKL) said...

fatboybakes, evil is contagious...like how u teased everyone (me included) with those gorgeous pics of those tantalising zhangs! luckily i had some of that goodness yesterday morning and not some grains... :D

and yes! japanese month is over. sad, but i guess it's time to move on.

pureglutton, oh, second chances are good! :) oh, abt the owner. i didnt see him that night. lucky me or what, eh? haha!
yeah, cagayan seems to be hitting the right cords with our food bloggers. will check it out as well! thanks for the link! will update mine too! :)

christine, yupe, besides the 'damn shiok' prawn mee, the ribs were 'damn' good as well..hehe...hey. check out this place before you head to Scotland lah! :)

hazza, yupe, it's kinda expensive but the portion was really huge...and the amount of ingredients (shrimps included) was incredible.

oh, about the surrounding. it was quite a typical bar setting. it was so dark, i had to use my flash for the food pics. and everyone was looking at me already..lol!

Simon Seow said...

Don't say you la Joe, I stay 20 mins drive to Centerpoint also haven't try la.

Nic, you're consider ok already better late than never. That day I literally ffk SC on the Pan Heong trip.

Nic (KHKL) said...

simon, hehe, since i only come back for the weekend, i thought i should fully utilise my time. in other words, die-die must try..haha!

yer, u left sc in the lurch ar? so bad.. :P

Precious Pea said...

I have been dying to try the pork noodle but I very sure my hubby will say I babi gila to pay so much for a bowl of pork noodle. But so much good review and so many gila babis out there...hehehe...why not add one more hor?

Nic (KHKL) said...

precious pea, welcome to the gila babi club!!! hehe...give it a try, you wont regret it! i think u can share with your hubby lar, cos the bowl is rather huge (justifies the price lor). i shared the noodles with my folks as well...