Tipsy Boar @ Section 17, Petaling Jaya

June 3, 2018

Swine and dine, indeed: PJ's new hog heaven does complete justice to its meat of choice, promising pure porcine pleasure that spans crackling rolls of porchetta to succulent slices of ham, with everything from sausages to meatballs in the mix. Tipsy Boar's seasoned chef-founder Suren Krishnan has the chops to make this work, selecting cuts sourced from multiple countries to ensure each portion is at its prime, then crafting recipes that nail harmonious notes for flavours and textures.

This is a casual space for fuss-free meals executed with irresistible skill, focusing on comfort fare with a twist or two, a thrill or three. If you're craving carbs, check out the noodle and rice offerings: We particularly love the pasta that's bolstered in every bite with soft morsels of salted egg yolk, tossed with bacon and curry leaves in well-balanced way that's massively, memorably satisfying - we can imagine returning for this (RM28). But if you prefer a little less guilt in your indulgence, the rice bowl might be the best bet, a hearty lunch treat with braised Japanese-style pork curry, boiled egg, veggies, fried lotus roots and enough thoughtful accompaniments to merit its RM22 price tag.

While the menu might not spill over with boundless choices, it's all killer, no filler here: The sizzling, savoury sisig deserves to be a hot hit with the crowd, featuring chopped pork ears made mildly tangy with calamansi and creamy with a mixed egg - it's tasty enough to pass the test at a Filipino restaurant, though it's served here with a side of smooth mashed potatoes that pairs pretty much perfectly with the gelatinous off-cuts (RM25).

In a nod to Tipsy Boar's eventual nose-to-tail aspirations, the kitchen also often whips up interesting specials like a mischievous take on murukku, with the first chew revealing a stuffing of pork ears inside each twisty sliver, complemented by a yogurt dip - if it makes it to the permanent menu, it should prove a popular bar snack.

If you adore pork ribs, bookmark Tipsy Boar - the char-grilled U.S. ribs are a standout, evolving from an original Kansas-barbecue-inspired preparation, perfected to a lip-smacking, finger-licking quality, with a lovely, lively flavour that penetrates every tear-off-the-bone bit of the flesh. The portion of ribs pictured here clocks in at RM26 for 400 grams; customers can add a RM10 surplus for two refreshing sides, such as a watermelon mint salad and Japanese pickled cucumbers - alternatively, larger servings of the ribs are also available.

Also showcasing East-to-West versatility and virtuosity, the 72-hour pork knuckle (RM88) is the kitchen's signature for a reason - it's mighty impressive, with irreproachably crunchy skin yielding to the most tender meat, very lightly spiced with cumin, buoyed by a trio of Vietnamese-inflected nuoc cham, chilli dip and brown sauce. Crispy pork knuckles might be a staple at many restaurants, but only a handful do it as well as Tipsy Boar.

For dessert, ice cream by the Malaysian mother-and-daughter team of Minus Four Degrees makes for a can't-fail conclusion - the rum-and-raisin is very, very easy to recommend, generously laced both with rum and raisins (RM12).

The marvellous main mural on Tipsy Boar's wall portrays a caped pig with wine in hand, so of course, you'll find a selection of bottles on the reasonably priced menu too, with Italian and Chilean house-pouring options starting at RM25 by the glass.

Many thanks to the Tipsy Boar team for having us.

Tipsy Boar
21-G, Jalan 17/45, Seksyen 17, 46400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia.
Open Tuesdays to Sundays, 12pm-3pm and 6pm-10pm. Tel: 03-79319793

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