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.
Condemnee: It’s at Centrepoint, Bandar Utama lah!
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.
Lot F10, 1st Floor
Centrepoint, Lebuh Bandar Utama
Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
Tel: (+603) 7722 5800
Cumi & Ciki