If you are as old as me, you’d probably recall that well-known and popular western food chain restaurant called “Mamachops & Papagrill” which used to draw large crowds due to their delicious offerings and very affordable prices. Fast-forward many years – due to a management change, some of the people who ran those outlets have rebranded the business and have now set up The Gravy Factory which is located in NU Sentral.
The casual eatery spots rustic open-brick walls, simple metal chairs and plain tables with laminated tops. There’s also plenty of al fresco seating outside on the terrace with a superb view of the skyscrapers scattered all over the Kuala Lumpur skyline.
The menu is not all that extensive as they pride themselves in serving what they do best. As their name implies, their gravies are listed at the top. Customers can choose from the list of 6 special gravies prepared from recipes honed by Hainanese chefs during the colonial days. It may be difficult to choose from gravies like black pepper, mushroom, brown, garlic mushroom, BBQ and spicy cajun.
To get the appetite going, we had their Salted Beef Salad (RM15.90) which turned out to be a good choice. The serving came with slivers of salted beef topping crisp green and red coral salad, cherry tomatoes, crunchy croutons and drizzled with Caesar dressing. It’s a hearty comforting salad, a good combo of protein and vegetables.
Without a doubt, the Hainanese Chicken Chop (RM22.90) is the signature dish in The Gravy Factory. It’s a delectable East meets West dish of deep-fried battered chicken thigh with a gravy smacking of sweet and tangy oriental flavours. It’s good to note that the gravy is served separately and you pour as much as you like. It’s served with well-seasoned crisp potato wedges which we couldn’t stop dipping in the gravy.
When we spotted Baked Crab (RM22.90) on the menu, we just had to order it. It’s a dish that’s synonymous with Hainanese heritage, something that we’ve missed for some time. The serving came with fresh crab meat seasoned well with spices, stuffed and baked in 2 crab shells covered with a layer of golden melted cheese. It’s served with garden salad by the side. While we have tasted better ones, these were commendable nevertheless.
The Grilled Ribeye (RM39.90) was also executed well. Seasoned lightly with just salt and pepper, the piece of ribeye was grilled nicely and didn’t disappoint in terms of taste and texture. With onion rings and saute’ed vegetables by the side, it’s indeed a value-for-money item.
The Gravy Factory does offer a variety of mains. Besides chicken and beef, there’s fish and several local dishes as well. For something light, we had the Fish Concalaise (RM28.90) – baked Emerald Fish fillet served with white cream fish sauce served with mash. Flavours were light and this would definitely go down well with small eaters.
We tried two local dishes: Hainanese Curry Chicken Rice (RM13.90) and Nasi Lemak Ayam Berempah (RM14.90). The curry chicken was forgettable and was nothing like the version cooked by my late father-in-law, a true-blue Hainanese. The nasi lemak fared much better – fragrant coconut rice accompanied by tasty fried spiced chicken and a very decent sambal.
Hainanese Curry Chicken Rice
Nasi Lemak Ayam Goreng Berempah
Desserts came mainly in the form of homemade cakes in the chiller. Except for the Nutella Cheesecake (RM11.50) which turned out to be pretty good, the Chocolate Coconut Cake (RM11.90) was too sweet and the Tiramisu (RM11.50) was just average.
Chocolate Coconut Cake
THE GRAVY FACTORY
Lot 5.05 Level 5, NU Sentral
Jalan Tun Sambanthan