I like this line: Be dazzled by Ploy.
No, I don’t mean “ploy” as in “a calculated action to frustrate an opponent”… but rather “Ploy” as in “gems” in the Thai language. Yes, all that are glittery and dazzling are represented in Ploy… from the glitzy shimmering cushions to the gem-cut facet motif on its signage and wall covering. All these blend to give a cool modern almost-simplistic touch to the interior decor which on first impression, spells “hip” and even “chic“. Take a seat in their private dining room – known as “The New York Room” and you’d be surrounded by furniture and decor items reminiscent of the retro-chic era.
As far as its cuisine is concerned, Ploy is all about Modern Asian cuisine. Inspired by the gems of Japanese and Thai cuisine, the interplay of the various flavours – sweet, salty, spicy, sour and umami – their meticulous preparation results in dishes that leverage on the best of those inter-mingling flavours. This restaurant is the brainchild of Jared Lim, an Asian private equity investor by day, avid food fan by dinnertime.
I was privileged to be invited to taste some of Ploy’s offerings recently. We started with some Nibbles of Crispy Baby Squids and Lotus Root Chips. True to the description, both were crispy crunchy titbits to get the appetite going. We were pretty amazed by the thin-ness of the lotus root chips, which I was told, the chef sliced manually without the aid of any slicer!
Ploy prides itself at its mastery of blending different flavours in a single dish and none can attest to this any better than their salads. The Pla Duk Fu – Catfish & Mango Salad – and the Pomelo Salad were excellent examples of sensory palate explosions of sweet, sour, spicy and salty!
As mentioned, Japanese and Thai cuisines play the bigger influencing role in Ploy’s offerings. This is most evident in their Raw Bar and Sushi selections. Their Caterpillar Sushi showcases the skillful hands of the chef in shaping cute sushis into realistic-looking “cocoons” using avocado slices. Regular sushis with deep-fried jumbo prawns, unagi and softshell crabs were given creative names like “Chill with the Eel” and “Enter the Dragon“!
From the Rice & Pasta items, I like the Kimchi Fried Rice for its delicious bits and pieces of sourish spicy kimchi and succulent beef tenderloin slices. My fellow diners also agreed that the Kimchi Fried Rice was the winner in this category. For the 2 pasta dishes – Linguini Mentaiko and Spaghetti Spicy Lamb Ragout, I found the pasta a bit overcooked – I prefer my pasta to be more al dente. While the mentaiko in the Linguini dish lent a very umami flavour to it, the chef was a bit heavy-handed on the sugar in the Spicy Lamb Ragout.
Of the 2 Mains that we tried, the Crispy Skin Salmon scored more points than the Duck Confit. The salmon was done really well – its skin was nicely crispy while the salmon retained its fresh sweet flakiness. The duck thigh was suitably tender but somehow it didn’t quite hit the mark with me.
If you prefer thin-crusted pizzas (preferably with minimal dough at the base), then you will love the pizzas in Ploy. What’s so special about their pizzas is that there is no dough in the pizza base! They use tortilla sheets as the base and avocado paste to cushion the toppings. Both pizzas served were good but if I were to choose one over the other, I would go for the Pepper Tuna Tataki, mainly because I love the sweetcorn scattered on top and the smoked tuna slices were superb… slightly chewy and flavoursome – just the way I like it.
Did I say the food at Ploy is also playful and adventurous? The Durian Panacotta was excellent … smooth, aromatic with the king of fruits and not too sweet. There’s a Raja Kunyit home-made durain icecream on the menu too! The Sticky Date Pudding could do with a wee pinch of salt in its caramel sauce and that was the only thing I could fault it on.
Do check out some of Ploy’s trademark cocktails, with playful names like “Tomyumtini” (Absolut Blue, spiced by chilli padi, enhanced by lemongrass, ginger flower, kaffir lime leaves & lime) and “Pardon my Pandan” (Captain Morgan’s,with added flavours from rhubarb, lychees, cucumber and pandan leaves, of course). Unfortunately, this was not available that evening… and this gives me reason enough to return to Ploy, besides the promise of other adventurous dishes on their pretty wide menu.
Jalan Changkat Semantan
50490 Kuala Lumpur
Open Mondays-Saturdays: 12.00pm-3.00pm; 6.00pm-12.00am
Closed on Sundays