Chef Hun Loong dedicates his new restaurant, Amah, to his grandmother, offering a Malaysian menu made up of childhood favourites.
Loong has had a steady and prestigious career, having previously worked at both Quay and Mr Wong. He’s no stranger to Asian cuisine, but his latest venture hits closer to home. Joining the Ho Jiak Group, Loong has teamed up with Executive Chef Junda Khoo to open the group’s newest Chatswood outpost, Amah.
While Loong is seasoned at cooking and preparing fine-dining cuisine, with Amah he is proving that he is equally as capable at producing what is, essentially, Malaysian comfort food. Now, Loong is relishing the opportunity to cook food that is close to his heart and to have the opportunity to share his cherished family recipes with the world.
Amah (meaning ‘grandmother’ in Teochew and Hokkien) is a homage to the home-cooking of Malaysia, but with a sophisticated twist. Having recently lost his own grandmother, Loong has dedicated his new restaurant to her memory. Nostalgia reigns supreme on the menu, with most of the dishes derived from childhood favourites of Loong, albeit a more refined version.
The first thing you notice as you walk into Amah is how busy it is. Even during the week, most tables are full and the place is buzzing. When your food comes out, you’ll be immediately impressed by the quality, presentation and aromas of the food in front of you.
The food honours the home-style cooking that Loong grew up with, with a sophisticated twist. In typical Ho Jiak form, the menu at Amah is extensive, and choosing just one dish will seem impossible. Some of Loong’s favourites on the menu include a six-hour braised soy master stock pork belly, Tau Eu Bak, and a dry wok-fried mud crab with Sarawak black pepper, brown butter and curry leaves. But, the dish closest to Loong’s heart is his own Amah’s fish-ball soup, a must-try for anyone visiting.
The venue itself is located within the vibrant Dining Precinct of the modern Chatswood Interchange. You’ll come for the food, but you’ll stay for the exposed kitchen in the middle of the restaurant that allows you to watch each dish as it’s being cooked. The dancing flames and spectacle of food flying through the air is a mesmerising feast for the eyes.
Amah by Ho Jiak is open for lunch and dinner 6 days a week, from Wednesday to Monday.