I Prefer Original @ USJ One City Mall

October 3, 2014

For customers who prefer the original taste of Malaysian cuisine, complemented by a few contemporary flourishes, this recently launched outlet at Subang Jaya's One City Mall might well live up to its catchy name.

I Prefer Original's selection is sweeping, with all the essentials accounted for. We're fans of the nasi lemak here; the rice is moist & flavoursome, partnered with well-prepared accompaniments that include a chunky piece of juicy fried chicken, some kitchen-made acar, sambal, kacang, ikan bilis & papadum. A hearty, tasty treat for RM15.90.

Chefs Jason, Cornelia & Ramie have constructed a menu that extends as far as Sarawak; this interpretation of kolo mee contains no pork, but it's still a garlicky pleasure - flash-boiled, springy-eggy noodles in either a basic fish-cake version (RM9.90) or a deluxe rendition that's loaded with prawns, sliced abalone & dried scallops for a still fairly priced RM19.90.

Sarawak laksa is available too (RM14.90), in an attractive presentation that tastes pretty much as satisfactory as this gets in the Klang Valley. I Prefer Original's main owner is reputedly from Sarawak, so he's keen to ensure this outlet does justice to the cooking of his home state.

Penang is well represented by the can't-fail char kuey teow; the basic version (RM13.90) is served with cockles & prawns, but yet again, customers can choose a more luxurious platter for RM22.90 with an add-on of scallops for a seafood extravaganza.

Putting porridge to the test: A frills-free, slow-cooked seafood version clocks in at RM13.90, but patrons can splurge on a bowl with abalone & dried scallops for RM29.90, taking a traditional breakfast to fresh heights.

A humble fried rice can be transformed into a gourmet creation too, crowned with king prawns for a crustacean lover's fantasy, herb-fried & presented in a folded 'fishing-boat' paper wrap. 

The rest of the repertoire is familiar, confidently presented in ways that meet the mark for what patrons might hope from a potential mall-based franchise, from chicken satay served with one of the thickest peanut gravies ever (an addictive sauce) ...

... to roti paratha that can be coupled with creamy-spicy chicken curry or - our choice - savoury mutton rendang (RM9.90).

Comfort food? That's an apt description for these other classics: Claypot seafood bee hoon soup (RM14.90), light on salt & oil but heavy on wholesome ingredients like clams & prawns in a four-hour-boiled chicken broth ...

... plus loh shi fun (RM14.90), a dish that makes us fondly recall suppers during our 1990s-era years on the Pearl of the Orient.

I Prefer Original's beverages are less conservative; the adventurous can try the 'Peri-Peri Hot' (RM8.90), lime-pineapple juice laced with lemon grass & calamansi leaves, garnished with cili padi & rimmed with black pepper powder for a nice, spicy kick. 

Cool down after that with creamy-frosty shakes & ice-blended treats, crowd-pleasing for customers of all ages.

Many thanks to I Prefer Original for hosting this feast, a reminder of why local food has remained beloved for generations.

I Prefer Original
C-GF-07, Ground Floor, Skypark @ One City, Jalan USJ 25/1, Subang Jaya
Tel: 03-7451-6257

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