One of the restaurants that I have passed by many times while doing my errands is Tables of Joy. This family run restaurant is situated along the same row as Texas Chicken.
I did stop by outside to look at the menu and what attracted me was the Nasi Lemak with Pork Curry. I have never had that before and I thought it would be interesting.
I finally visited for lunch one day, arriving just before noon when I found myself to be the only diner there. It was still early I guess as most office workers break for lunch at 1:00pm.
The interior is very neat and cosy. I like it. Most tables are set for four or more and there was only one table for two. That was where I sat.
I was attended to very quickly and I already had my mind set on the nasi lemak.
For drinks, I was very pleased that local coffee was on the menu.
There is also a separate menu for sharing dishes which you can order to eat with rice. That would be perfect for dinner with my partner.
Can't wait to tuck in! My SOP (standard operating procedure) when faced with nasi lemak is to first taste the nasi lemak neat.
Not surprisingly, like many other nasi lemak I have eaten, it was not lemak. But it had a very nice pandan fragrance going on. And what I appreciated was that the rice grains were nicely separated.
The sambal was good and the acar decent. But the ikan bilis was a bit tough, what my Malay friends would say "liat". And now for the piece de resistance, the pork curry.
The meat was very tender and the curry was robust. However, it is unlike any curry that I have eaten and I am not accustomed to the spice mix. This is a good curry, one that got many good reviews, just different from what I am used to.
I returned another day to to try the Grilled Chicken Chop.
It was a very well marinated deboned whole chicken leg with a generous serving of black pepper sauce. Some people may prefer the sauce served separately on the side but it was fine by me. I liked the black pepper sauce very much and moped up every single drop.
This time, instead of coffee, I went with the Cendol.
Eh, where is the shaved ice?
Don't worry. It's at the bottom and I carefully gave it a good stir. Oh, it was nice. I haven't had cendol for the longest time. There was a good dose of santan in there and they are not shy with the gula Melaka here. But the green cendol bits were not the best but at least they were soft.
Then I decided to bring my partner here for dinner. Rice with dishes should suit him fine. I also wanted him to try the cendol. Besides I had an ulterior motive, I wanted to try the Sago Gula Melaka hee....hee....hee....
So there we were. Our three dishes arrived first and my partner wanted to wait for the fourth one to show up before we started eating. He likes having our dishes on the table all at once.
This is the Mum's Pork Chop with Onions. The pork chops were tender and I liked the gravy. I couldn't stop adding the tasty gravy to my rice. This coming from a person who prefers her rice with no chap, speaks volumes hah..hah...
Since my partner has a very Chinese taste, I got us the Dong Gu Man Kai. The chicken was cooked until tender and falling off the bone, the gravy fragrant with ginger and you get generous slices of shiitake mushrooms. I liked this dish too.
This okra dish is my partner's favorite. He gave it the thumbs up and for him, this was the best dish on the table.
Dish number four was four angle bean fried in sambal.
My partner found this dish too pedas for him but it suited me fine. He remarked that the four angle bean was a bit old and therefore tough to the bite. But I thought it was all right.
Then we ended our meal on a sweet note.
Cendol for him and Sago Gula Melaka for me.
The Sago Gula Melaka was nice although I thought the sago was a little too firm and clumpy. I don't know, this is my first time having Sago Gula Melaka. But having said that, there was adequate santan and gula Melaka to keep me happy.
My partner thought the cendol was all right but complained that the green cendol jelly was hard. Besides, he said "Penang one is better" (to him Penang is always better). He ate only half and madam got to eat cendol again that evening hee...hee...hee...
The dishes here taste distinctly of home. It's the taste that you would expect when you dine at home, your mum's or at your favorite aunt's house.
So if you who are more used to the flavors you experience at tai chow or Chinese/Nonya restaurants, expect a more subtle down to earth taste here.
Overall, we had a good dinner and the fact that my partner had an extra bowl of rice is an indicator that he was pleased with the dishes (besides being very hungry). I think we can come back for more homey dinners.