Saturday, 7 November 2015

Feelin' Down? Get Stuffed at Fork D World

first published in The Malay Mail Online, 07 November 2015

I recently returned to Damansara Perdana, where I spent almost two years writing for a now-defunct publication, following an online lead that hinted at a near-mythical object: pork biryani.

But what kind of place would prepare and serve such a cryptid of a dish?

An ordinary one, from the looks of it.

Fork D World promises comfort food in a homey setting

Just months old, Fork D World promised porcine-punctuated comfort food within its somewhat threadbare confines. A staircase at a corner led to the washrooms.

I perused the menu after taking my seat. To my dismay, I was informed that the pork biryani and other weekday specials were only available for lunch. Other notable delights included rice dishes with a stew of braised pork belly or minced pork patties, reminiscent of my mother's own (but probably not as divine); and something called yao mei fan, which can be interpreted as "this rice got flavour wan!"

Fork D World's menu features copywriting for the Internet generation

Parts of the menu was in millennial-speak. Copy for the Bacon Fried Rice goes: "picture a pig running thru (sic) a rice field in slow motion... weird but strangely satisfying, much like d generous sprinkling of bacon bits u find in our oriental fried rice. served wif a sunny-side up + a dollop of our homemade sambal."

"Slow motion", eh, Mr Pig? Dats Y U on de plate, mon.

While waiting for my order to arrive, I chatted up the lady boss. Jo Ann Tan had been in event management for over a decade before she went "Fork D World" and opened up this place. She wanted it non-halal so she can "cook without restrictions"; the yao mei fan is apparently her grandmother's recipe.

We were still talking when the appetiser, something called "Bacon Bombs", hit my table. But I only returned to my seat when the main dish -- a minced pork Bolognese fettucine — arrived a few minutes later.

Bacon Bombs, guaranteed to nuke your diet plans to kingdom come

I found the Bacon Bombs — eight bacon-wrapped pillows of pastry with a mozzarella centre, each skewered to a whole cherry tomato with a toothpick — visually appealing. The shine on the bacon fat, the creaminess of the cheese that pops in your mouth when you bite down, and the smell of salty, smoked and cured pork, followed by the cleansing freshness of the cherry tomato, flushing your palate for the next one...

...Fine, I was hungry. Hunger makes me wax lyrical.

Minced-pork Bolognese, meaty mouthfuls of OM NOM NOM — with
a piece of toast for mopping up left-over sauce

But perhaps I shouldn't have ordered the pork Bolognese, which was just fine; maybe I shouldn't pick dishes I can make myself. I barely tasted the bacon and button mushrooms in FDW's version because, well, so much flavour — and the aroma of various dried herbs. Still this is comfort food, and I recommend getting comfortable (like, loosening your belt) after a helping of this.

As a new kid on the block, FDW was having a slew of promos. On that evening, it included the option of a 50 per cent discount on a beverage or a complimentary dessert with a main dish or pasta. I settled for the latter and picked a plain crème brûlée, which I wouldn't mind being less sweet.

A version with coffee called the Espresso Honey Pot was off-limits; no caffeine for me after 5pm. Another dessert, a cheese tart dotted with butterscotch chips (two for RM5) was not part of the offer.

If the food hasn't killed your diet yet, the crème brûlée
will deliver the coup de grace

Later, I came down from the washroom upstairs to a dining hall perfumed with the scent of baking. Brownies, the lady boss told me. Well, I was told some of the desserts available were made on the premises.

So I didn't get to taste the pork biryani, which Jo Ann says used to be available in Damansara Uptown. (The lunchtime specials menu has since been changed — it seems they do it every month — so I probably won't see it again for a long while.)

Nor did my gut have any room left (bacon "bombs", indeed) for their fried mee hoon: a reminder of my childhood, made fresh with bacon and a sunny side up — now that's "East meets West." Made me wish I was still working nearby.

And those damn butterscotch cheese tarts were still singing at me...

What really guaranteed my return, however, was the complimentary glass of warm honey lemon. Noting my coughs as we spoke earlier, the attentive lady boss felt I needed it. Like everything else I had in this place, the drink hit the spot.

Fork D World Bistro
D2-G-3A, Ritze Perdana 1 Commercial Lot
Jalan PJU 8/2, Damansara Perdana
47820 Petaling Jaya



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