Do you have plans for the weekend? Have you already booked a place for a special meal out? Well cancel them and go to Azhang instead.
Tym had just been to dinner there and she raved to me about how she couldn’t wait to go back. Now that certainly whet my appetite and I managed to subtly persuade Yi-Ling (of durian-gasm fame) that she really needed to go there for her seafood fix.
It’s on the River Valley Road side of Mohammed Sultan Road, just opposite the bak ku teh place. The place was empty and rather dimly lit as we opened the door. There was no one about, the lights in the display fridge were off and the menu stand and chalk board had been brought inside. We timidly ventured further in and were seriously thinking of leaving. Good thing we saw someone in the kitchen, probably Ava, and knocked on the glass panel. They were open!
We went with one of Ava’s suggestions for wine, a Mount Nelson Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. Forgot to get the vintage, but I guess it doesn’t really matter. Pale yellow, it had a great nose with lots of sweet lychee. On the palate, it was medium sweet and was fruity with lots of green flavours, especially green apple. It finished quite well on a short mineral note.
For starters we shared the grilled corn salad that’s been raved about by so many. I was blown away by the depth of flavour from such simple ingredients. The juicy corn really worked with the coriander, spring onion and garlic. Ava was very forthcoming about what they put in the dish and explained that the trick was controlling the grill so the corn was done just right. This is so refreshing compared to other places that guard their secret recipes practically with their lives.
Pardon the odd lighting below. I had to employ Yi-Ling as my key grip using the light from my mobile phone!
Seafood being the theme of the night, we started with the grilled squid. Oh my was it good. The charred goodness of the outside and the just-chewy inside was such a great combination. Initially I thought the squid would probably need some lime squeezed over but I was wrong. It was good the way it was and equally good with the excellent sambal belachan on the side. The part to fight over was the tentacles. Yi-Ling and I staked our territorial claims very quickly here. The tentacles were at the (good) edge of burnt to a lovely crisp. The partnership of crunchy, smokey and squidy-fishy was sublime.
I had my reservations when Yi-Ling ordered the grilled salmon belly. Not being a huge fan of the fish, I fear salmon that arrives overdone, too fishy and too oily. The version here dispelled all notion that salmon could be bad. It was well seared on the outside and still raw on the inside, the perfect doneness.
I really liked the thoughtful touches here. Ava set us a carafe of water so we could top up our glasses as we liked and so that she wouldn’t hover and disturb our conversation. She also very promptly provided another place setting for a friend who joined us later so that she could pick at our food. It cost about $100 for salad, two mains, two glasses of wine and a lime juice.
Conclusion? It’s a homey, unpretentious place with good food, good wine and great service. Do yourself a favour and go for a great meal there. Like Tym, I’m already planning when to go again.
6 Mohamed Sultan Road
Tel: 6836 3436