Ong Lai

Special thanks to Ong Lai for extending this food review invitation.

This is our first visit to Da Men Mall, a shopping mall in Subang Jaya which is under the same management as Pavilion Kuala Lumpur. Our destination today is Ong Lai (旺). This restaurant specializes in local cuisine based on pork, offering a plethora of familiar dishes such as noodle, rice and porridge. Double boiled soup is well-received here too.
The dining section is illuminated with charming lanterns that hang from the ceiling. Dining tables are covered with colorful ceramic tiles, presenting a sense of classical nostalgia.
Our meal commences with Malacca Pork Satay (马六甲猪肉沙爹, RM9.88). Marinated with turmeric, the six skewers of barbecued pork tantalize our taste buds in a gratifying way. Meanwhile, the accompanying dipping sauce is a mixture of spicy peanut sauce and pineapple pulp. It is also interesting to find Pork Intestine Satay (生大肠沙爹, RM8.88) on the menu, but we have yet to try this dish.
Pork Wanton With Spicy Sauce (酸辣酱猪肉云吞, RM7.88) consists of five dumplings filled with minced pork. This appetizer is served in spicy sauce with subtle tanginess. However, I feel that the abundance of chili oil creates unpleasant greasiness on the lips and should be toned down. The non-spicy version of dumplings is also available: Pork Wanton Soup (猪肉云吞汤, RM7.88).
The next dish is Steamed Minced Pork & Century, Salted Egg With Rice (双蛋猪肉蒸饭, RM9.88). This rice dish contains a large piece of minced pork that is seasoned to the perfect level of savoriness. Contributing to flavor are two types of egg: salted egg (咸蛋) and century egg (皮蛋). Bok choy (小白菜) and scallion are included too. Last but not least, sweet gravy helps to bind all ingredients together.
Pork Intestine Porridge (猪杂粥, RM8.88) is served in a claypot. This Cantonese-style porridge is cooked such that rice grains have disintegrated into a thick emulsion. Besides a homemade meatball, the soup also contains pork offal like liver, stomach and intestines. Meanwhile, fried intestines and wantan wrappers (云吞皮) provide crispy mouthfeel. The porridge does not come with much seasoning by default, so customers may have to add soy sauce and white pepper to taste.
Prawn Bee Hoon & Mee (虾米粉面, RM9.88) is commonly known as Hokkien Mee (福建面) in Penang. Renowned for its rich shrimp broth, this dish goes best with a mixture of yellow noodle (黄面) and rice vermicelli (米粉). As per tradition, other ingredients are sliced pork, fishcake, shrimps, hard-boiled egg, water spinach and fried shallots. Chili paste can also be added as necessary. I cannot recommend this dish highly enough.
There are 15 types of double boiled soup (慢火炖汤) to choose from. Each type comprises of a combination of medicinal herbs that gives specific health benefits. As common in Cantonese cuisine, the soups are steamed in ceramic jars so that moisture is not lost during cooking.
Shown here are Pork Stomach, Ginger & White Peppercorn Soup (胡椒姜炖猪肚汤, RM10.88) on the left, as well as Green Papaya & South North Almonds Pork Ribs Soup (青木瓜南北杏仁排骨汤, RM7.88) on the right. At the back, Coconut Chinese Herbal Chicken Soup (椰子药材鸡汤, RM13.99) is presented in a coconut shell. I personally feel that the coconut flesh's sweetness has been overwhelmed by intense herbal flavors of the soup, particularly from American ginseng (洋参须). Perhaps the coconut bowl works better for a milder-taste soup.

Cham On The Rocks (鸳鸯冰粒, RM6.88) is a highlighted item on the beverage menu. The term "yuenyeung" (鸳鸯) implies a mixture of two drinks, which are typically coffee and tea. In this case, Cham On The Rocks is a mixture of black coffee (in frozen form) and red tea. This iced drink is sweetened with evaporated milk, coconut milk and gula melaka (palm sugar).
Next, Pineapple Iced Tea (凤梨冰茶, RM6.88) is the ideal choice for pineapple lovers. Using red tea as the base, the drink is also infused with orange marmalade, lemon juice and hazelnut syrup. Suspended in the fruity drink are pineapple pulp and nata de coco. A pineapple wedge on the rim serves as the finishing touch.
Speaking of hot drinks, Hazelnut Coffee (榛果咖啡, RM4.88) and Matcha Latte (绿茶拿铁, RM4.88) are recommended ones. The drinks are sourced from a supplier in Ipoh, a city best known for its unique blend of local white coffee.
Instant coffee can also be purchased for consumption at home. Sold in packs of 10 sticks each (RM14.88), the four varieties are White Coffee, Ceylon Milk Tea, Matcha Latte and Hazelnut Coffee. To prepare, simply empty each stick into a cup and add hot water. There is an ongoing "buy 2 free 1" offer at Ong Lai. Customers may mix different flavors together to enjoy more variety.
Barring several exceptions, we are generally satisfied with the food at Ong Lai. I am also impressed with the level of creativity involved in formulating the menu. As for pricing, the food here is very affordable especially when the restaurant's location and ambience are taken into consideration.

Name: Ong Lai (旺)
Address: LG-07, Da Men Mall, 1, Persiaran Kewajipan, USJ 1, 47600 Subang Jaya, Selangor
Contact: 03-8081-7288
Business hours: 11:00am-10:00pm
Coordinates: 3.05792 N, 101.59274 E
Directions: Ong Lai is located on Level LG of Da Men Mall, between Go Noodle House and The shopping mall provides parking at its basement levels.

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