1.Red GingerI first stepped foot into Red Ginger at the Plaza Damansara outlet in May 2007 when my dear friend from cyberspace, Msiagirl, and I met for the very first time. It was a friendship that was headed in the right direction, and when we met up, there was only a very comfortable familiarity and a lot of excited twitters between two very old birds!

“Metaphorically, my life was rich with new experience like reading poetry in Malaysia, a country I had exiled myself from for so long. I was attending with my new blogger friends, another rich and rewarding experience: new kindred is a rare and valuable thing, and here it was in abundance where I never knew it could be found.” From Msiagirl: Let Me Eat Cake

I should have blogged about this experience then, but somehow, I got caught up in my day-to-day affairs and only now have time to kick back my shoes, push back the stray hairs that fall on my face, turn off the music and enjoy the silence in which such memories permeate.

“Tucked in my chair at Marmalade – light and open to the sun – Kenny and Spiffy before me and Lyrical Lemongrass at my side, where she had been all day; well, we ate cake. I finally and truly felt at home. Eating cake that evening was the perfect experience. A coming together. An alchemy. We picked up the threads of our blogs and we smoothly turned them into real and very truthful people. We laughed and told each other lots of truthful things and all it made was a good difference. Kenny was burning bright with adrenalin, tired from his move and working so much, he still made some time to come out. Spiffy had a sore throat and felt ill with flu and I said have honey, have honey and we all worried about her getting home to rest. Lyrical Lemongrass had ferried me everywhere, gone to blogger’s breakfasts and lunches with openminded aplomb, for she is a formidable writer and reader too. Here I was among them, drunk on cake and companionship.” From Msiagirl: Let Me Eat Cake II

We had started the day together by being late for the Breakfast Club (true to my style), followed by lunch at Red Ginger (with Xeus, Eric and Spiffy), desserts at Just Heavenly Pleasures, Readings at Seksans, tea at Marmalade and finally dinner at Umai-ya. A lot of food was consumed, but that is how Malaysians are. Our lives are intertwined with…no…hinge on food. When a special visitor announces his intention to visit, we immediately think of the best restaurant to entertain our friend. Get the food organised first, we say, and everything else falls into place.

nasi lemak prawn fritters sang har curry noodles

And that was how I first discover Red Ginger.

“I will take this day and store it in my jewel box.” From Msiagirl: Kenny, Reads, Leaves

As I have.



Red Ginger Red Ginger

Elizabeth ChenI am glad for that first experience at Red Ginger, because it gave me a basis for comparison. Elizabeth Chen, the proprietor of Red Ginger, had invited several food bloggers to sample her menu at the recently opened outlet at Mid Valley North Point. I noticed that the menu was identical to the one at Plaza Damansara, but Elizabeth was quick to point out that she had just introduced several new dishes, not on the previous menu, which were to be enjoyed with rice.

stirfried beef chicken cooked in wine

The beef, stir-fried with black pepper, were cut into thin slices and quickly blanched in oil before being stirfried, thus retaining its juiciness. Being a fan of chinese herbal preparations, I enjoyed the steamed chicken cooked with wine, dates and wolfberry. Despite the saltiness of the sauce, I couldn’t resist helping myself to several more pieces of chicken as I found that the flesh had fully absorbed the flavours of the ingredients, resulting in a natural sweetness of the flesh while still remaining firm to the touch.

pomelo salad
chicken lobak stuffed yau char koay

Of all the starters, I enjoyed the fruit rojak (RM7.80) the most. What made it special was the sauce which had the right amount of prawn paste and a very nice consistency. The dish also had a generous amount of chopped peanuts thrown in. The stuffed yau char kwai (chinese crullers) (RM5.50) was special. It contained an aromatic fish paste filling and was drizzled with mayonnaise. I found the chicken lobak (RM8.90) rather salty and was unable to enjoy more than one piece, while the pomelo salad (RM8.80) tossed with fried shallots, chopped peanuts and fried grated coconut was refreshing, albeit a little mild in flavour (probably lacking in sweetness?). The otak-otak (steamed fish paste in banana leaf) (RM9.50) made with dory fish was surprisingly firm in texture and very tasty too.

hor fun soup
curry noodles hor fun soup

One would think that at this point, Elizabeth would have stopped serving us, but as it turned out, we weren’t even halfway through our meal yet. The generous lady brought out the mains next. My personal favourite was the Ipoh hor fun (RM13.80). The noodles were very smooth and complemented the soup stock, wonderful in its multitude of flavours. The laksa lemak (RM11.80) won top marks for the generous portion of cockles (and what is laksa without cockles anyway!), which still retained its juiciness (translated: bloodiness) despite being dunked into the hot curry. Some may find the curry a little too creamy (and it certainly was very thick), but I say, to each his own.

fried rice Sang har dry curry noodles

The Red Ginger fried rice (RM14.90) contained raisins and salted fish, and I can see how these two ingredients complemented the entire dish as the combination of sweet and salty and spicy came together very well. Eating the dry curry sang har noodles (RM23.90) was a treat. I had tried it before, and I can vouch that the taste is the same, whether or not one pays or gets the food for free! The fried koay teow (RM13.90) in Red Ginger is no ordinary fried koay teow. This one is fried kam heong style with a certain amount of spiciness together with curry leaves, bell peppers and bean sprouts.kasturi pomelo drinkWe downed the food with lots of very refreshing, tangy kasturi pomelo (RM7.50) drinks.

Red Ginger (Mid Valley)
Block A, Mezzanine Floor, Northpoint Offices
Mid Valley City, KL

Tel: 03-2287 0890

Red Ginger (Plaza Damansara)
Medan Setia 2, Plaza Damansara
Bukit Damansara, KL

Tel: 03-2095 3118

Closed Sundays.