Serai in Malay, lemongrass in English, is a kind of herbs widely used in cooking and flavoring. But in Empire Shopping Gallery, serai opts for itself as a restaurant name that serves both eastern and western cuisine.
Serai @ Empire is always packed with diners during peak hours, there was even once we saw a passer by holding packets of food from Serai. We wondered was it because the food is so delicious until the diner packed extra home or just because the place was too packed to get a seat and the diner had to pack it back home?
Well anyway this place was not remembered until one day, 5.30pm, my girl asked: eh…later eat what?
Then we started to go online and looked for food places and came across this place. Seeing the nice reviews didn’t convince us as we felt that it seems to resemble Madam Kwan’s, with expensive nasi lemak that tastes mediocre.
We went for a try anyway as we didn’t know what to eat.
The place was pretty pack when we reached, and we waited for a while before the waiter lead us to our seat. Our seat was so near to other diners, probably it was a combined table being split up to occupied more customers.
Serai Ice Tea. (RM10.50)
We quenched our thirst with serai iced tea, a glass of iced tea flavoured with lemongrass and topped with a scoop of lemon sorbet. Cooling and refreshing, the lemongrass brilliantly flavoured up the tea, while the sourness of sorbet add an extra hint to the drink, one glass is never enough.
Nasi Kerabu. (RM20)
A plate of rice tinted in light blue sided with ayam percik, salted egg, ulam, keropok ikan, solok lada, and fried grated coconut.
The plate was rounded with so many side dishes, all looks simple, but a good combination of humble sides make the whole plate of dish became perfect. The ayam percik tasted heavenly, perfectly marinated with right tenderness. Solok lada is actually chilli stuffed with fish paste and coconut milk, something like yong tau fu but this is more heavy in taste. Mixing a spoonful of rice with grated coconut, ulam, fiery chili paste and stuffed them all into mouth made a full satisfaction. The plate also came with a bowl of sambal gravy that went really well with rice. Too bad the rice is so fragrant that I can eat it alone without any savory side dishes. Another bowl of rice please?
Serai Platter. (RM25)
The plate came with a portion of rice, honey squid, ayam berempah and oxtail asam pedas and acar.
Chicken, squid, beef — a platter for carnivore, hoho. The honey squid was awesome, the ayam berempah was bursting with flavours in each bite, and the oxtail asam pedas was perfectly spiced. The rice looks ordinary but believe me, it was fluffy with a light hint of lemongrass which make the whole platter more worth tasting. I don’t regret ordering this even though it was at a slightly higher price.
We actually wanted to try out their pavlova which said to be one of their signature desserts but too bad we had no more room for that. Will back for more next time, because their food taste much more better than Madam Kwan’s.. =)
LG37, Empire Shopping Gallery,
Jalan SS16/1, 47500 Subang Jaya.