Friday, 13 May 2016

Of Heroes And Food At Gee & Geek

first published in The Malay Mail Online, 13 May 2016

The skies poured as makan kaki Melody and I arrived at Gee & Geek. Earlier, one of our dinner companions Instagrammed a video of the place. Odd, that there was so much daylight. Turned out they'd been there for about an hour already.

Not long after we arrived, copies of the menu were pounced upon, while peckish Melody also entertained herself with the nacho crumbs left by our companions. All of us had been here at least once before.

The sign at Gee & Geek wasn't lit until after I took a few shots.

Located near the Taman Bahagia LRT station, Gee & Geek boasted specialties made with their house-made bacon and roast pork belly. We joined Pat; her boyfriend, Ted; and Windy (yes), a mutual acquaintance of Pat and Melody's. Ted was also scouting for venues for a Mother's Day dinner; he would book a table at G&G for it later.

We decided on picking five items and sharing these - quickly, because at least one dinner party would be arriving and Melody was hungry. "Order now!" she went, "before the other guests overwhelm the kitchen!"

Names of menu items went back and forth among us. "The salted egg yolk pasta?" someone piped up, referring to the G&G crown jewel, a pasta drenched in a sauce of salted duck-egg yolk and garnished with curry leaves, slices of cili padi and a few chunks of roast pork.

"That is a must-have when eating here," Ted assured us. "Always on the list by default."

G&G's Creamy Bacon Pasta, with egg and creamy wobbly yolk.

Drinks were a bit trickier. When the lone waitress came for our order and Melody asked for a flat white, I asked whether it would be okay to have my Frosted Mint Chocolate later. At her hesitation, I caved and said, "Okay, bring it now."

Said waitress would come back to confirm our order, tell us that the roast pork was still in the oven and would be piping hot when it came out. They also gave us small plates with cutlery, knowing we'd be sharing. Wished I'd left a bigger tip.

I liked the flat white - sorry, Melody's flat white. Strong, with a double shot of espresso. At a coffee appreciation session in KL earlier, Pat was informed that flat whites generally don't have milk foam on top and, hence, no latte art. "Many cafes in KL add that layer of milk foam," she added. "And cold-brew coffees have more caffeine than espresso-based drinks."

Isn't it typical of some Malaysians to have breakfast around the clock?

Still, this coffee was too strong for my current mood. So I much preferred the Frosted Mint Chocolate. I even asked for another after we were done with the meal.

When the Creamy Bacon Pasta arrived, Pat got Ted to swirl the plate to wobble the yolk of the poached egg on top so that she could shoot another video. I cut short the debate on who should break the yolk by driving my fork through it.

Stop looking, guys. It's not like I just killed someone.

I found chunks of what tasted like roast pork belly in a sauce I thought was a bit sweet for a carbonara - probably to balance the savoury bacon, which wasn't terribly salty. No complaints all around.

Grilled Salmon Steak, with garlic cream sauce, butter-poached
vegetables and coleslaw.

Most of the smartphone cameras rushed to grab shots of the GG Big Breakfast when it arrived. Somebody (me, I think) complained of the low light. Though the helpful waitress suggested moving the dish to a better-lit table, Windy volunteered by turning on her phone's flashlight feature.

Not much can be said about the breakfast set - nothing bad, anyway. But Melody was impressed by the scrambled eggs sitting on the toast. Few places, she would say, can get the eggs right.

We did feel bad for the A La Goma Grilled Chicken Pasta, which remained mostly neglected. It's not bad by itself, though the goma (Japanese for sesame) sauce and chicken paled in comparison with the other items on the table.

G&G's signature Roast Pork and Salted Egg-yolk Pasta

The last time I came here, I surprised Melody by ordering the grilled salmon. I was craving a little fish after eating land animals for a long stretch. This time, we got one large salmon steak instead of the two small ones I was served, and more broccoli. The fish was fine, though the sauce might be a little salty to some.

(For some reason, there's another "Grilled Salmon Steak" on the menu, perhaps a no-frills version of the one we had.)

Generally, "house specials" are rarely worth the hype on the menu. Not the salted egg-yolk pasta, however. Reminiscent of Chinese "butter cream-sauced" dishes, with the cili padi and curry leaves, it hit all the right notes.

The roast pork provided a hearty meaty touch to the dish, and the skin was delightfully crunchy, pairing really well with the rich, creamy sauce. I thought it could have used more chilli.

By now, none of us could take another bite. Almost every dish had cream in it. So I recoiled when Ted, at one point, dipped his spoon into a pool of amber-hued oil in the plate for a taste.

You're in medical research, dude. Shouldn't you know better? Knowing him, however, he'd just shrug and say, "YOLO."

What a wonderful evening. The rain had stopped when we'd nearly emptied our last round of drinks.

As if G&G's staff couldn't be more helpful, Melody got her milk tea done "Hong Kong style" by the barista. Of course, after she bombarded the poor waitress with questions about the beverage ("I want to know what I'm getting," Melody said, a tad imperious) and trying her luck with "Can you do it Hong Kong style?"

And when I stopped outside to take a photo, they turned on the lights to illuminate the sign.

Real heroes, this bunch of geeks. I almost forgave them for putting the Green Goblin on a list of superhero-themed drinks.

Gee & Geek
No 46, Jalan SS 2/4a
47300 Petaling Jaya



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