Not a name you might easily forget. And these 3 buddies have it spot on, in terms of design. For the restaurant, the inspiration is bohemian and minimalistic New York, the plating is modern and the food is Asian inspired.
But looks aside, would the food pass the test..?
MAD is located in PV 128, in the bustling, hipster student area of Setapak. And this sort of deco and concept definitely works well with the crowd. We meet Chef Dave Looi, immediately take to his sunny disposition. “Add me on FB”, he says.. “I am lonely!” Awww, Chef, we will most definitely add you, since you put it so nicely:)
Speaking to Dave, we find out that he is Singaporean, and French trained. He was trained for 7 years as a saucier, his meats are true to their texture and his food plating is interesting to say the least. I would probably call it Asian fusion cuisine, a lot like the stuff that students like to eat these days, that you see in hip cafe restaurants.
These guys obviously did their marketing survey well. Dave was the Head Chef at Suffolk House, Penang before he decided to get together with his friend Afandi Oh and Han Yong who had the same vision as him. Together he and his friends brought life to his vision, M.A.D.
Canapés were chef dave’s creations – loved the ones with nuts, which were crispy and stuffed with delectables such as mushroom, beef, chicken etc. They looked pretty enough and were fashioned around toothpicks or small ice-cream cones, to give the perfect bite size. Did not like these giant prawn ones too much, as the prawns were tasteless and the cones a little soggy.
Mushroom soup – RM 9.5
Loved this soup that was simple, but bursting with flavour of four types of mushrooms (button, oyster, shiitake and portobello), finished off with truffle oil. Am surprised at the price. Great value for money.
Peanut butter Chee Chong fun – RM 9.5
Steamed silken rice noodles tossed in peanut butter – not a fan of sweet CCF. I like both my peanut butter and my Chee Cheong fun as separate components! This was a little weird.
Chicken marmite RM 13
Terrific hearty food – loved this one where Chicken pieces were flavoured with marmite and chili before being deep-fried. A must try if you love the taste of marmite.
Seafood sambal – RM 19.5
The scallops in this seafood sambal were small and rubbery, possibly overcooked. I would have preferred it without the scallops. Taste wise it was good.
Kangkung belacan – RM 11
No complaints on the Kangkung belacan – it actually had great wok-hei. Our table ended up polishing off the kangkung from 2 other tables since they obviously didn’t eat their veggies!
Chicken curry with roasted potatoes RM 14.5
Didn’t care for this curry chicken – the meat was bland and there was an overwhelming smell of curry powder permeating each mouthful. I would not order this dish here.
Seafood malat pot – Sichuan style RM24
The highlight of dinner for me, was this explosive Seafood Malat Pot! It was made from an authentic recipe employing Sichuan’s cathartic peppercorns. Pretty impressed with the way Chef Dave blended different spices, that had enough kick, but didn’t obliterate the senses. Balanced without being too numbing on the mouth. I loved every mouthful. Apparently you can go hotter if you like – just request for Chef Dave to fix it!
Redang lamb shank – RM 28.5
This shank was tasty enough but by this time, all I could go was clutch my heaving belly and groan under the weight of dinner! Braised in a skillet and served with roasted garlic mashed potatoes and grilled seasonal vegetables and garnished with gremolata yoghurt, it smelt heavenly.
Finally, even though we could eat no more, they brought out desserts of Carrot cake, Cheese cake & Mango cheese cake.
What a fun dinner, and what a terrific, charismatic Chef. We wish Chef Dave all the best with M.A.D. We hope it does ridiculously well in the neighbourhood of Setapak, so that Chef Dave can then expand and we can see more of him in areas closer to home, and sample his food in a more fine dining setting.
Yes indeed, we wish him all the luck in the world!Follow me on Instagram : @agentcikay
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M.A.D! Modern Asian Diner
G-13, PV128, Jalan Genting Klang, Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03 4144 4567
Daily, 11am-11pm (1am on Fridays & Saturdays)