The Filipino community in Malaysia is a large and vibrant one, but unfortunately, their culture and food aren’t promoted as much. In fact, your regular Malaysian has probably never eaten Filipino food despite our proximity as neighbours.
There are many excellent Filipino restaurants all over the Klang Valley, and one of them is The Narra in PJ. The Narra occupies a prominent corner at Millennium Square, an apartment and commercial complex near the Asia Jaya LRT.
The atmosphere at The Narra comes alive every weekend with a live band performance. The menu here is widespread and includes all the significant dishes from the Philippines. The first thing you’ll probably notice is the prominence of pork and seafood.
One of the first things we ordered was Embosilog ( RM15) which was a pork meatloaf served with garlic rice and sunny side up egg. This style of eating pork or fish with rice and an egg is a very typical breakfast in the Philippines, but you can have it at any time of the day.
The Embosilog was a delight to consume. It was lightly seasoned so that the natural savoury taste of the minced pork comes through beautifully. It was served with fragrant garlic rice that had crispy bits of deep fried garlic sprinkled throughout.
Apart from Embosilog, you can choose to have this rice/egg set with Bangsilog ( fried Milkfish), Longsilog ( Filipino sausages) or Tapsiliog ( fried cured beef).
From their vegetable menu, we chose two items, namely Pinakbet (RM12) and Tortang Talong (RM6). Pinakbet is a dish of stir fried vegetables with fermented prawn paste, rather similar in taste to our belacan stir fried veggies. It was subtle and not too salty and went extremely well with plain white rice.
The Tortang Talong is one of the most fascinating dishes here. Basically, an eggplant (or brinjals as we like to call them) is grilled or roasted and its outer skin removed. It is then flattened and dipped into beaten egg and fried like an omelette with the main stem still attached. The resulting soft eggplant flesh tasted amazing with a slightly crispy egg layer surrounding it.
Another dish that turned out to be surprisingly delicious was the Pancit Palabok( RM14). It’s a rice noodle dish where plain noodles are topped with a special sauce, crispy pork cracklings, boiled pork, boiled eggs and prawns. When mixed together and eaten, it had a familiar taste, almost like a Cantonese Wat Tan Hor (egg drop gravy noodles). The crispy cracklings or Chicharon made all the difference to the texture of the dish.
For dessert, we ordered Ube Halaya (RM6), a traditional sticky paste made with purple yams. It had a very unique texture, softer than a local kuih, but thicker and more solid than a spread or jam.
The menu at The Narra is full of things to discover, and you’ll definitely have to visit more than once to get a real taste of the Phillippines. The shop has several racks of Filipino food products like sauces, spreads, instant noodles and snacks which you can purchase too.
The prices are really affordable here, and the service is pretty warm, which is why it’s a perfect place to return to whenever one is craving Pinoy delicacies.
The Narra, Filipino Resto Lounge
- Address: G001 Dataran Millennium Jalan 14/1, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
- Phone: +60 3-7498 1061
- Opening Hours: Sunday - Thursday: 11 am to 10 pm, Friday & Saturday: 11 am to Midnight