Mission: To respond thoughtfully and responsibly to my experiences of drinking and dining at restaurants with regard to the quality, service, preparation, presentation and overall experience received thereat. The standpoint is one who respects the crafts of the chef and sommelier and who seeks to understand their choices in the kitchen and cellar and grow in knowledge. In this, I will seek to be fair, reasoned, direct and constructive and aim to keep my ego in check on our mutual journeys through the worlds of food and wine.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Butcher's Table - Mr Ho is Back!

Rack of Lamb - woooarghhh!!!
November 15 2017 - Epic meal last night with the Boys Night Out gang, involving a reunion with Mr Ho at his new outlet in PJ. 

The name of Mr Ho is legend to those who would frequent his pork shop in the Bangsar Shopping Complex in the earl 2000s. People would queue to buy his amazing Siew Yoke and other porky delights coming hot out of the oven. Crispy, salty, hot fat and skin - the mouth drools at the memory of it. I recall him opening a store in what was then still a fairly new Mid Valley Megamall (must have been around the year 2004) and then he and it all suddenly disappeared amid a slew of rumours and stories as to the abruptness of it all. His name would occasionally pop up over the subsequent years but all we ultimately had of it all was just the memory of what once delightfully was - Mr Ho's hot, crispy Siew Yoke. 

And then we read in the papers that he was back, in a small operation in SS2 just off the Sprint called Butcher's Table. The place is a narrow shophouse, which can probably take about 50/60 max, inclusive of some seating outside in the entrance. So reservations are pretty much essential. He also has meat and sausages for sale for home cooking. The place is corkage free, but bring your own glasses. Seems he has been open four months and business has boomed following an article in the Malay Mail celebrating his resurrection. In some respects, it indeed is a bit like a second coming to some of us - his Siew Yoke really was that good. 

Salt Beef - good and, er, salty
So naturally it became the first thing we early birds ordered as we sat down with some white wine to destress after the strange but unerringly accurate and swift route the Waze took me through to get to the place (presumably because the Sprint at 6.30pm was locked up); some streets and roads I had never driven along in my near thirty years in the city. And biting through the salt crisp skin and fat and meat - it all came back. The taste, the smell, the…  wooooargh....   still one of the best dam Siew Yoke in the city. Absolutely Ho Seck. Almost worth to take a minute silence in respect; it is that good. 

And it went lovely with the mildly crisp and fruity Oyster Bay SB searing the salt on the tongue. Ahhhh…… 

Though it did take quite a while to reach the table - we had pretty much socked away two bottles by the time it arrived (about thirty minutes). I think Mr Ho is pretty much alone in the kitchen at the moment and maybe finding it difficult to cope with a full restaurant. But at least most of the boys had arrived by the time it got to the table so they got to taste it as well. It was worth the wait. 

Pork Knuckle - woooarghhhh!
In contrast to the Siew Yoke, the rest of the dishes came out in quick succession.  We had two plates each of the lamb rack, the salt beef, and the knuckle to share, along with a plate of delicious mixed sausages as an afterthought when all the previous plates had been cleared. All were magnificent - the lamb was one of the best I have had in a while. There were also sides of Sauerkraut, Mashed Potato, Potato Salad and Green Salad, all of which were equally good.  Everyone raved over the Salt Beef (I didn't quite, though it was very tasty) and the knuckle had that salty Kaesler ham feel about it; soft bite and rich mouth. Seems there is also a crispy version of the knuckle on the menu, though this requires a two day pre order. Next time. And there will be; Lenglui has insisted. We will take the Porkie gang there. The menu also boasted of Specials on the front page, but to be frank these become a bit redundant - Mr Ho's Pork dishes ARE the specials. 

Texas and Boon
Mr Ho came out to join for a glass of wine with us. He hasn't changed much, and is looking fit and well. He clearly remembered the familiars from the days of old and welcomed everyone like long lost buddies returned from the wilderness. We all did the same - so good to have him back. I opted not to ask about these wilderness years, figuring better to just enjoy the moment - if there is anything Prodigal, there is also no need to know. 

Winewise, each guy brought a bottle and we ended up whacking the lot. I recall seeing a Heartland Cut, a Toro Piedre Cabernet Carmenere, a Ripasso, a Dombeya Merlot, some fragrant and floral NZ Sauvignon (Mussel Bay, I think), along with a couple of others which escape me now. I brought a South African Haskell II 2010, a Shiraz Cabernet which sang magnificently with the beef; all big fruit and pepper mouth and salt cutting tannin and blooming finish. Didn't taste much of the other wines - they got opened and passed to the other end of the table and didn't seem to return. So it goes. Sometimes you just drink what is in front of you. 

As usual, the talk was all food and travel and occasionally drifting in and out of politics. But nothing serious - these things are all about the food and the wine. Some of the guys shared that some of the ladies were complaining as to why they could not come. And all confirmed that the foot had been firmly put down - boys only. Yes. Darling. Sweetheart. We sometimes have to be men about some things. 

The Boys
And then it was over. All headed out to wait for their Ubers or into the car for a slow and steady drive home to bed. The GPS programs do a brilliant job - just do what the phone or iPad tells you until some part of the route gets familiar and suddenly you're on home ground. They do seem to have become more trustable in terms of getting you reliably and quickly to your destinations (remember the Garmins? Ended up in some strange locations with them…) I tend to prefer the Waze over the Google - Ms Google on occasion gets a bit blinky when you make a wrong turn and defaults back to "head North West" or similar, which is rarely helpful when you don't have a compass or any sun in the sky to offer guidance. Mr Waze tells you the street numbers and which way to turn, so you don't have to look too much at the screen. 

Return of Mr Ho. Ho ho ho!!
As said, an epic night of wonderful soul food and definitely a return visit with the Porkies is essential. The food is hugely tasty and filling - no need for any Welsh Cake supper after a night at the Butcher's Table. And the ambience is loud and hearty; one of the boys commented it felt like a school canteen, which is pretty accurate with its benches and tables. Also similar to a German Bier Keller.  The place was full, and as tables emptied they got filled by new patrons. Well, well recommended. Ho Seck? This is MISTER Ho Seck!!

Butcher's Table Meat Sales
PS in the excitement of reuniting with Mr Ho's Siew Yoke, I forgot to take many photos. Most came from the Whatsapp as shared by Boon, Joel, Barry, YC, AK and Dr Lim - Thank You the Boys!

Butchers Table
26 Jalan SS2/103
47300 Petaling Jaya
Selangor DE Malaysia
Tel:  +6 03 7728 2843
email: mybutcherstable@gmail.com
Facebook: The Butcher's Table

Opening Hours
Tuesday to Sunday
11.30am to 3pm, 6pm to 11pm

No comments:

Post a Comment