Li, Damansara Jaya
What I like about many of these new hipster places popping up here and there in the Klang Valley is that quite a number of them are opened by very young entrepreneurs. Li at Damansara Jaya is one of such establishments.
Opened by 3 budding entrepreneurs and chefs about a year ago, this casual dining place has fast grown into one of the most interesting cafes around.
Li means power or strength or effort in Mandarin and you can see that much effort has been put into the place. Not only that, the name of the restaurant also plays on the names of the three partners who've opened it.
Everything here at Li is truly made with much effort, with freshly baked bread like sourdough loaves available for sale at only RM10 each. And all the dishes that use bread in Li use their homemade bread, ensuring freshness every time.
We actually started the meal off with a couple of slices of homemade sourdough bread and their expertly crafted sous-vide kaya spread (not pictured - RM6.90). To say that I was impressed by this is a total understatement. I was absolutely floored by the taste of the kaya - truly this is one of the smoothest and tastiest kaya spreads I have ever tasted.
The next dish we tried also incorporated their bread - the pork toast (RM9.50), which is a delightfully sinful pork stuffed sandwich, drizzled with sriracha mayo. I was sceptical about this dish, not having tried anything quite like it before, but after the first bite I was hooked!
I like the concept here at Li, in which they like to put a contemporary twist to our familiar dishes. We tried their house bowl - which is twist on our local chicken rice dish (RM16.90). The bowl is made out of chicken, a soft egg and cucumber. Be sure to eat it with the chilli sauce for a good kick! After all, what is chicken rice without chilli sauce, right?
We also had the privilege of trying their roasted pork belly (RM28.90), served with a side of potatoes and charred lettuce. The pork was really tender and just melted in our mouths while the potato had a really perfect texture to it - crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.
According to one of the partners at Li, the potatoes have such a wonderful texture to it because of the way they cook it, which requires the potatoes to be boiled, deep frozen and then fried. Talk about a lot of effort! But it is all worth it for the potatoes to come out so perfectly.
We also tried a really interesting side dish, which is their grilled cauliflower. This was a surprisingly addictive dish to have. You can't just have one bite of it. Squeeze the lemon over the cauliflower to give the dish some overall zest.
Finally, for dessert, we tried their soy milk panna cotta (RM10), which is a lovely mix of pineapple, gula melaka, sago and had the smooth tau fu fa as the base.
Overall, I would definitely return to Li again to try the other dishes on the menu. It is very evident that much love and effort has been put into the place. Li Damansara Jaya 47, Jalan SS 22/23, Ss 22, 47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia Open Tuesday to Friday 11:30AM - 5PM; 6:30PM - 9:30PM Saturday from 10:30AM - 5PM; 6:30PM - 9:30PM Sunday from 10:30AM - 5PM