PETALING JAYA, May 20 — Expect the unexpected at Damansara Kim's Honey in the Rock.

Like your bowl of curry laksa. Here, it's reinvented as a Dry Angus Oxtail Laksa (RM29).

At a first glance, the curry almost resembles a very thick asam laksa, due to its brown hue.

Yes, there's fresh mint leaves, shredded cucumber, pineapple, sliced onions and finely chopped bunga kantan or torch ginger flower. There's also calamansi lime plus chopped green chillies.

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That thick oxtail curry coats the rice flour noodles, letting you slurp up all the beefy goodness but enhanced by spices.

The meat falls off the bone too, making it a pleasure to eat.

As I ate, what struck me was how it tugged at my taste memory of a Hainanese mutton stew.

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Later, I found out from Sarah Tan who runs Honey in the Rock with her mother Kim Ngoh that it's a riff on a family recipe for that stew.

It's garnered quite a few Hainanese fans too, who prefer pairing it with rice, which is a menu option.

Who can say no to Crispy Fried Chicken, which has a golden, light crunchy coating over juicy chicken.
Who can say no to Crispy Fried Chicken, which has a golden, light crunchy coating over juicy chicken.

That rice meal will also be perked up with fresh pegaga leaves dressed in a Thai sauce, The greens are foraged from Tan's farm where they grow ingredients for her ice cream business, Minus 4 Degrees.

Remember to also order their Crispy Fried Chicken as it's seriously good.

It's lightly battered and deep fried to yield a fluffy golden coating over the juicy pieces of chicken.

Order a platter of five pieces (RM25) or eight pieces (RM40) to share with others. This is served with pickled asam gelugor.

You can also enjoy it stuffed between fluffy mantou with a curry dip. Or create a trinity of happiness, where fried chicken meets freshly made waffles with hot honey. There's even a smear of garlic butter.

Solo diners can go for the Crispy Fried Chicken Rice (RM18) with pegaga salad and anchovies sambal.

As the place is pork free, beef rules here. The newly introduced Lu Rou Fan, a Taiwanese classic dish is reimagined using smoked beef brisket, to create that melting texture for the stewed meat.

During my visit, I sampled the Smoked Angus beef brisket. You get tender meat with a clearly distinct smokiness from the grill. Here, they serve it with honey garlic soy sauce.

The beef brisket can be enjoyed with rice, garlic ramen or even as a sharing platter for larger groups.

For something different, there's Sago Parmesan Fritters with vanilla ice cream.
For something different, there's Sago Parmesan Fritters with vanilla ice cream.

With the recent expansion of their menu, there's garlic ramen too. The chewier strands are tossed in garlic oil and served with a choice of your toppings.

It can be paired with the slow cooked Angus oxtail or smoked Angus brisket. New toppings include a ginger chicken and mala chicken.

What I didn't get to try though is their Keluak Chicken, which will be slated for my next visit.

I'm a big fan of ice cream, hence it's double the pleasure when I dine here as there's a range of flavours from Minus 4 Degrees.

Tan started the ice cream brand back in 2018. Originally a home delivery business, they now operate from their own scoop shop in PJ Section 17.

Flavours range from the classics to the adventurous.

Who knows, you may end up having a fun encounter with their smoked salmon ice cream. Here, it's paired with sourdough.

There's also their Sago Parmesan Fritters (RM20) where chewy fried sago infused with Parmesan is matched with their classic French vanilla ice cream.

And for a flashback to the old days, there's also Fried Ice Cream. Who can resist that simultaneous combination of hot and cold, as you dig into that treat.

Exclusive to Honey in the Rock are two ice cream options. One is vanilla ice cream with their homemade strawberry jam as a topping, while the other marries smoky coconut sorbet with gula Melaka syrup.

And if that's not enough treats, you also can order waffles or a fudgy almond brownie too.

The eatery is a simple set-up where you can enjoy savoury food and indulge in ice cream and desserts like waffles and fried ice cream.
The eatery is a simple set-up where you can enjoy savoury food and indulge in ice cream and desserts like waffles and fried ice cream.

Honey in the Rock, 40, Jalan SS20/10, Damansara Kim, Petaling Jaya. Open: 12pm to 9pm (hot kitchen), 12pm to 10.30pm (ice cream counter).(Monday to Saturday). Closed on Sunday. Facebook: @honeyintherockpj Instagram: @honeyintherockpj

* This is an independent review where the writer paid for all the meals.

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