Eateries come and go and in the bustling thoroughfares of Damansara Uptown, restaurants jostle with each other competing to see who can attract the most number of double-parked cars at their premise-front: a sure sign of the restaurant’s popularity. Along the road where Auntie Sim Kitchen is located, you will never find an available parking lot easily and more often than not, cars are always double-parked there. Such was our dilemma when we were there recently to dine at Auntie Sim Kitchen.
To many, Auntie Sim Kitchen is a familiar sight in this part of town. After all, the restaurant has been established for a good number of years. Like many other eateries in the area, the setup is simple and functional. There’s private dining space upstairs, a little quieter but still spotting a simple modern decor. Traditional Teochew family recipes are the mainstay of the menu, peppered with many Cantonese-influenced dishes, thanks to their Hong Kong chef. As proudly relayed by Elaine Sim, fondly known as “Auntie Sim”, her family’s age-old recipes inspired her to share their well-loved dishes with others. As we settled ourselves in, we waited eagerly for the food to come.
First to arrive at our table were two appetisers: Traditional Teochew Prawn Balls and Szechuan-style Salt & Pepper 3-Combo. Encased in beancurd skin, minced prawns with chopped vegetables deep-fried to a lovely crisp, the prawn balls were really good to get our appetite going. The salt & pepper deep-fried combo of brinjals, squids and fresh shimeji mushrooms dipped in light tempura-like batter were equally good.
A big tureen of Double-boiled Soup came next. In it were dried pitaya flowers, topshell, dried scallops, pork and to add a touch of sweetness, fig and honey date as well. Using only mineral water and double-boiled for 3 hours, the natural tasty flavour of the nourishing soup warmed our tummies well.
As we have heard so much about Auntie Sim’s Seafood & Tofu Broth, we just had to have some. Branded as “Mom’s gracious soup”, the thick broth was full of fish maw, shrimps, squids, mushrooms and tofu and every spoonful was slurp-worthy and comforting.
Tilapia braised with bittergourd reminds me of how my mother used to cook fish. My mom used to love braising fish with either tofu or bittergourd, flavouring the dish with either salted black beans or the usual fermented soy beans. Hence, Auntie Sim’s version of Braised Tilapia with Bittergourd in Claypot certainly brought back many happy childhood memories as I savoured the familiar comforting flavours of home. To make the dish even more aromatic, the claypot has been heated up intensely, some shiaoxing wine splashed against the sides and then quickly covered. When the cover is lifted at table-side, the heady mouth-watering aroma prompted everyone to quickly dig in.
I had high expectations of the MunCheong Chicken Rice. Inspired from the “Wenzhang” chicken in Hainan, Auntie Sim’s version had poached farm chicken served with rice cooked fragrantly with ginger and lemongrass. Served with chilli dip and a ginger & spring onion dip, this chicken rice may not be the best I’ve had but the wholesome homey flavours evoke a sense of comfort.
To round off the meal, Auntie Sim’s Dry-fried Yee Mee with Freshwater Prawns made a grand entrance. The huge succulent prawns took centre-stage but for me, I think the noodles stood out more in terms of taste and texture. I happily wolfed down a bowl of the umami noodles as the sweetness of the prawns had completely soaked into them.
Dessert was a smooth velvety ice-blended avocado in Thai King Coconut – something that should not be missed at Auntie Sim Kitchen.
Whether it’s for a simple family meal or a more extravagant celebratory event, Auntie Sim’s extensive menu can cater to your budget.
AUNTIE SIM KITCHEN | 24 Jalan SS21/58 | Damansara Utama |47400 Petaling Jaya | Tel: +603-7731-0926
Monday-Thursday: 11.00am – 3.00pm ; 5.00pm – 10.00pm
Friday-Sunday: 11.00am – 10.00pm