Ensconced on a second flooring shoplot in The Hub is Little Pig. The eatery is small and cosy with a big open kitchen taking centre stage.
Within the coronary heart of this kitchen is Yong Yu Khim, the chef-owner of the institution. Yong is a candy persona with a shy, prepared smile and a severe ardour for cooking – he even has the phrases ‘Mise en place’ (which suggests the preparation required earlier than cooking) tattooed on his arm!
Having spent almost eight years studying his commerce at famend Singapore eateries just like the two-Michelin starred Restaurant Andre (now shuttered), helmed by the eminent Andre Chiang and the now-defunct Man Savoy (owned by the eponymous Man Savoy who has a three-Michelin starred restaurant in Paris) in addition to Spanish tapas joint FOC – Yong felt the time was ripe for him to strike out on his personal.
“I noticed that Malaysia had an absence of Spanish tapas eating places right here within the Klang Valley, so I made a decision to return again and open a restaurant right here. And I selected this spot in Petaling Jaya as a result of a lot of the Spanish eating places are positioned in central KL or Bangsar, so there are loads of choices there already, whereas we’re one among only a few Spanish eateries in PJ, ” says Yong.
At Little Pig, Yong has put collectively a menu that suggestions its hat to Spanish tapas but in addition alludes to his Asian roots.
“I saved some very conventional dishes, like small bites however after all I needed to do some fusion with Chinese language meals, as a result of Malaysia doesn’t have a lot Spanish delicacies, so there isn’t loads of publicity to this type of meals. So I considered bringing some Chinese language and Japanese substances into the meals, ” says Yong.
Yong’s potato bravas (RM21) as an illustration, pivots from its origins within the sense that as a substitute of deep-fried potato cubes, he has as a substitute opted to stack skinny slices of Spanish agria potatoes atop one another and deep-fry this layered concoction. The result’s a thick potato plank that’s crunchy on the skin however melds fluidly right into a starchy-soft inside that can be delightfully gentle. The lightness is ingenious and evidently a results of the Yong’s rigorously calibrated stacking methodology. The one factor lacking here’s a smidgen extra salt.
Subsequent up, make a transfer in direction of underwater channels with the Cod Fritters (RM15). Right here, you’ll uncover little deep-fried balls stuffed stuffed with cod meat and elevated by a refreshing apple gel. Deep-fried meals is one among life’s most sinful pleasures (Paula Deen would heartily concur) – and these cod fritters fulfill that hedonistic high quality after which some. This can be a meal that can separate your pals out of your frenemies – as a result of solely a real pal would give you the chance recognise each the glitter of greed in your eyes if you first chunk into one among these plump little balls and concurrently sense the invisible ‘Preserve away’ signal signaling that it is a strictly no-sharing dish.
Yong has additionally give you some meals that function Spanish substances constructed round Asian favourites. His signature dish of Crispy Pork Stomach Eel Bao (RM34) as an illustration is made up of Spanish duroc pork stomach and grilled eel sandwiched between a home made bao that’s topped with egg yolk gel. The whole lot on this meal makes whole sense – the tender, doughy bao envelops melt-in-the-mouth pork stomach that boasts hearty, meaty flavours. This richness is countenanced by the smoky umami notes of the eel which ties this dish collectively superbly. It’s a transparent winner, one which shines by way of like a taking pictures star on a cloudy evening.
The Beef Cheek Bao (RM34) in the meantime is comprised of beef cheek braised in purple wine and moulded collectively right into a patty, with kimchi mayo to prime it off. Though promising in principle, in actuality, the meal is pretty pedestrian and doesn’t present the shine of brilliance that its different bao brother so deftly shows.
The Squid Ink Paella (RM40 for two pax) comes with a alternative of both conventional paella or fideuo (quick noodles) topped with clams, crispy pork stomach and squid. The noodles work surprisingly effectively on this iteration and elegantly absorb all of the squid ink, which in flip imbues every strand with wealthy aquatic flavours. The supporting forged of squid, clams and pork stomach additionally deserve a spherical applause as every performs it half effectively and finally, add texture and dimension to the meal.
If you happen to’re after one thing from the vegetable persuasion, attempt the Roasted Cauliflower (RM26). The large hunk of cauliflower has been slow-roasted and is enhanced with pippara peppers and Manchego cheese with a home made Romesco sauce rounding out this forged of characters. The cauliflower is classy – completely roasted with a young core that also boasts a agency chunk.
Pay tribute to the restaurant’s title with a hunk of pork within the type of the Pork Jowl Iberica (RM50) which options pork jowl marinated with cumin, coriander, sesame seeds, pistachio, hazelnut and almond flakes served with a burnt apple puree and pickled apple. The grillled meat is revelatory – the richness of every fat-riddled slice is offset by the toasted spice crust layered atop which imbues it with richly-flavoured Asian nuances that take up a pleasurable everlasting residence on the palate.
Finish your meal on a candy be aware with the astonishingly lifelike Mini Burger & Fries (RM20). Designed to resemble the actual deal, the dessert is made up of components like white chocolate, Valrhona chocolate mousse, ardour fruit, strawberries and mint leaves. It’s a enjoyable, irreverent dessert that ticks all the correct containers on each the seems to be and style entrance and is prone to rapidly grow to be an Instagram star.
Though Yong is clearly having fun with stamping his personal mark at Little Pig – like many younger cooks – he feels that one restaurant merely isn’t sufficient to flex his inventive muscle groups, which is why he says that shifting ahead, he’s hoping to open one other outlet specializing in fashionable Chinese language meals.
“Yeah, it can most likely be like a Chinese language tapas place, that includes modern Chinese language dishes. There are a number of eating places doing this, however my strategy may also give attention to the atmosphere and the vibe. It’s going to be a extra funky, enjoyable place for hipsters, ” he says with conviction.
Lot B1-06, The Hub SS2
46300 Petaling Jaya
Tel: 016-222 2708
Open Wednesday to Monday: midday to 3pm; 6pm to 10pm