Thursday, January 19, 2012

ronnycakes reviews: Serai @ Empire; Empire Shopping Gallery, Subang

On strong recommendation from a friend, we decided to check out this Thai/Western/Malay fusion place in Empire Shopping Gallery all the way in Subang. Before I even stepped into the compound, I did the obligatory research and found myself drooling over the menu on their website and pre-deciding all the things I already wanted to try.

I pre-booked a day in advance since many other food bloggers noted how packed it gets during lunchtime and were they right about that! At 12pm literally 80% of tables had been occupied and we were ushered to a small table at the brighter end of the restaurant. Forgot to take a photo of the interior, but I loved the ambience and deco; all whites and wood and modern minimalist.

In the background is Serai Iced Tea (RM12) – Lemon sorbet, lemongrass extract and a hint of fresh mint, and in the foreground is Minted Calamansi Soda (RM10.50) – Soda with crushed mint leaves and calamansi. Personally I preferred the Minted Soda (I’m a sucker for anything minty and fizzy!). The Iced Tea was just the right amount of sweetness and very refreshing.


How could we ever pass up a chance to have Tom Yum Seafood (RM8) in a Thai place? Serai’s version was a bit sweeter than usual and the taste of lemongrass was a tad overpowering.

The portion might look small but if you’re ordering a few dishes to share then one bowl is enough for two people.

The Deep-Fried Brinjal with Serai Spice (RM12 for standard portion) was fried to a crisp with a hint of lemongrass, generous amounts of scallions. Very crunchy!




We seem to be having a thing for squid lately… Hot Chilli Basil Squid (RM20 for standard portion). Tender pieces of squid fried with chilli and basil is one of my favourite combinations. Abundance of sauce went well with rice; love the aroma of basil so a thumbs up from me!

Wils had a long time craving for fish so we had a Garoupa Steamed with Lime Sauce (RM49 based on market price).

The dish came with fresh lime, but sauce-wise it was still a little too much on the sweet side for me (I love anything sour, the sourer the better!) but the fish was very fresh. My only gripe would be that portion seemed to be a bit small for the price we were paying.

Serai’s signature dessert is it’s Berry Pavlova (RM14) and it is a definite looker. I fell in love with it seeing the photo in the menu and just had to try one at the end of the meal no matter how stuffed I was. And I absolutely didn’t regret it!

It consists of a meringue base with layers of whipped cream, strawberries and grapes. It was very refreshing with the mix of tanginess from the strawberries and grapes, even for someone who was stuffed to the brim and sweetness of the dessert was controlled very well.

Layers of meringue and whipped cream!

The Chocolate Banana Parfait (RM10) on the other hand was quite disappointingly average.

Chocolate and vanilla ice-cream with layers of crushed oreos, honey cornflakes and sliced bananas.


All in all, I had a pretty satisfactory experience at Serai even though the bill came up to about RM160 for just two of us (must be the fish!!). Serai’s menu is pretty extensive, with fusion pastas, western food, Malay fusion dishes and even Chinese style dishes! So I can’t wait to make my return trip and try one of the delicious looking pastas or the nasi lemak which was given good reviews by other food bloggers.

If you’re looking to head down here for lunch or dinner do call in advance as it can get really packed.

LG37, Empire Shopping Gallery,
Jalan SS16/1, 47500 Subang Jaya.
Tel: 03-56370706

Map *here*



The Yum List said...

The berry pavlova looks tempting.


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