Forebidden @ Ara Damansara
If ever there were a restaurant worthy of recommendation when it comes to brilliant Chinese fusion, forebidden certainly came close. The food here is intelligent, humorous, and thoroughly thought out. It would be a mistake to call forebidden a fusion restaurant, as many have miscategorised it, because it is far from the east-west-fusion confusion of other establishments. Instead, the chefs here masterfully marry traditional and new world Chinese cuisine. Here at the forebidden, it’s all about the chemistry of blending and contrasting various flavours for the magic to take place on the palate.
As we walked into the main dining area, I immediately thought this chinoiserie dining space is perfect for their imaginatively crafted dishes. We were previously also greeted with a huge painted mural as we approached the establishment, which makes me pondered for a second if the food is as good, or even if the kitchen is as skilful as when it comes to executing aesthetic as such portrayed on the wall.
We began with Kyuri salad, and tons of goodness greens in it, simply plated. The Kyuri, thinly shaved and soaked up the tang of their dressing; the greens carefully picked to balance the otherwise overpowering Kyuri slices. I’m a little sceptical to how most people would receive the very raw sprouts but I know it totally got my attention from my love for raw greens. This wasn’t radically different from anything I’ve ever tasted but it was a great appetiser to start the meal. Prefect to promote a good digestive as well.
Cleverly naming their inspired from bah kut teh braised pork belly dish – RouKuCha, don’t bother trying to read this in English cause I foolishly attempted that and struggled for a couple of seconds before realising it is directly spelled to be pronounced in mandarin. Well if Mandarin is your first language then you probably get it right away at one look at the menu. Very similar to the dried bah kut teh we are all familiar with, this one makes a comforting and fulfilling dish.
Next is a good Al Dante texture of pasta noodle with chunks of pork meat, putting both East and west into a clever mix of lingering after taste. Savouring the umami, it lingered in the mouth long enough for a smile. I also thought this could use a generous squeeze of lime but that’s my personal preference. I would also love to see them picking up their work flow so their pork can be freshest at its best.
Besides the culinary cleverness, we should also note that the service was beyond average standard of most eateries that I have visited. The staff were knowledgeable, explaining the ingredients of each dish as we go through the ordering process and they helpfully suggested a delicious Glutinous rice tea.
It is no doubt this place will be showered with tags on Instagram but how well will their food be received in mass crowd remains questionable.
Forebidden is located at :
D7-10-G, Dana 1 Commercial Centre,
Jalan PJU 1A/46, Ara Damansara,
Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
Business Hour: Monday-Thursday, 12pm-10pm; Friday-Saturday, 12pm-12am.