Whats The Point?
Whats the point, you might ask if you were Chinese. Whats the point of going to a Chinese restaurant that doesn't serve pork? I'll have to say, because when you take pork out of the equation, you'll more likely try many, many, many other dishes. I've only heard good things from friends who have been to Maju Palace. Last Saturday, I found myself feeling somewhat car sick driving up the very tight circular ramp at Maju Junction that led to the restaurant. I was expecting to find a restaurant full of non-Chinese. How wrong was I? Not only was the restaurant full of Chinese, it was a full blown wedding with karaoke! After standing around like a jilted lover for about 5 minutes, I finally got hold of a waitress and was led to a room where my friends were waiting. It was a miserable looking room. There was only one other table occupied and I think they were staff. My friends had already ordered. We had fried tofu with chilli sauce and pickled mango & cucumber, lamb cutlets, steamed cod, crab fried with salted egg yolk, stir-fried vegetables and mushrooms stir-fried with some sort of clam.
The pickled mango and cucumber made the tofu dish special. Otherwise it would've been just pan-fried tofu treading water in an ocean of diluted Lingham's. I never like ordering lamb or beef at Chinese restaurants simply because they always put so much tenderiser in the meat. The lamb cutlet was very tasty, with a hint of pepper and honey but the texture was like tofu. The two best dishes were the crab with salted egg yolk and steamed cod. The crab has a crispy coat of salted egg that was both sweet and salty at the same time, and the texture was fresh and springy. I am yet to have bad steamed cod at a Chinese restaurant. This slab of white marble cod was moist, flakey and delicious with cilantro. We ordered two desserts to share. One was black sesame ice cream and the other, glutinous rice dumplings stuffed with black sesame in ginger water. The ice cream was terrible! It was cheap vanilla ice cream with roughly chopped black sesame seeds thrown in and refrozen. The rice dumplings were much better. Alot of sesame but the dough was a little too thick and the ginger water was barely lukewarm.
All in all it was a good meal. However, the bill came up to over RM90 each for the five of us. I thought that was very high considering a) I've been to canteens with more ambience and b) there were only 2 seafood dishes. Unfortunately I do not have the bill. If we paid RM200 for cod and ONE crab, that still leaves RM260 for tofu, vegetables, lamb, dessert and tea. I know this is part of the Noble House group but they can't expect to charge the same prices. At least Noble House has a faux Frangipani-type pseudo ambience. What does Maju Palace have?