Pick, pay and eat on the spot at El Fresco
Writer: Brenda Ch'ng
Published: Fri, 29 Mar 2013
EVER experienced walking through the meat section in a supermarket and all of a sudden you feel a strong hankering for a piece of steak or a fresh chunky piece of grilled salmon?
Grilled salmon a la aglio ,
You spot a juicy cut out of the corner of your eye, grab it up and then put it back because you are just too lazy to heat up the pan at home to cook that one piece of meat.
Now at Jaya Grocer located in Empire Shopping Gallery, patrons who wish to eat it there and then without having to wash up can do so at their El Fresco cafe located right in the heart of the supermarket.
This grocerant concept, which is basically two-in-one shopping and dining, allows customers to pick their meat, bring it to El Fresco cafe and have it cooked on the spot for a small fee.
Be it salmon or steak, the chefs at the Italian themed restaurant will be more than happy to whip up the meats to your liking and serve it to you on a platter filled with either spaghetti or salad.
Take the meat straight to the counter and just tell them how you would like it prepared; rare, medium-rare or well-done.
During our dining there, we only picked out a fillet of salmon to be grilled as the cuts on display were too fresh and good to resist.
Off we went with our best selection, which was priced at RM19, and requested it to be served with spaghetti a la aglio olio.
Aglio Olio is basically an Italian traditional spaghetti cooked with garlic, olive oil and chili peppers, a perfect combination for the salmon grilled with a sprinkle of salt.
As expected, the salmon was fresh and the meat was grilled to perfection, neither too dry nor over-cooked that the meat becomes tough.
We didn’t know if it was the whole experience, or the thrill of picking a meat and having it cooked right there at the supermarket itself but we had a lovely evening savouring every last bit on the plate.
Having no confidence in picking a slab of meat but wanting to sample their steak, we decided to order by the menu, and chose the Filleto Con Funghi.
Funghi alla Grilia.
Served with vegetables, potatoes and drenched in a sea of white creamy mushroom sauce, we were impressed at how the meat’s texture came as how we ordered it - medium-rare.
Cutting into the meat, we could see it was cooked properly on the outside but on the inside a trickle of blood could be seen, giving colour to the cream sauce.
The meat tasted fine, but what impressed us was the texture as not all restaurants can prepare a good medium-rare steak.
Getting caught up in all the Italian garlic and olive oil, we tried out their Funghi alla Griglia too, which was simply portobello mushrooms grilled with Italian herbs and spices.
This dish makes for a good starter and can be shared with about three to four people, to be eaten before the mains arrive.Served in a long rectangular plate, the mushrooms were lined up on a bed of olive oil and garlic, and sprinkled with herbs.
El Fresco also offers a selection of pizzas, pastas and salads on the menu, which is hung up on the wall above the cashier/kitchen.
One of their famous pizzas is the Pizza Quattro Stagioni, which as the name suggests is split into four different sections, each topped with a different topping.
On one side there will be turkey ham and olives and on the other will be onions and mushrooms, freshly made and wood fired, thin crust pizzas.
If up for a healthy Italian meal where you know the meat is freshly prepared to your liking, visit El Fresco, located on the LG-G1 Empire Shopping Gallery, Jalan SS16/1, 47500 Subang Jaya.
The restaurant is open daily from 10am to 10pm.
For more information, call 03-5022 2031 or visit www.jayagrocer.com.
Jaya Grocer has five outlets in Jaya 33, Mutiara Tropicana, Damansara Perdana, Plaza Jelutong and one in Empire.
However, El Fresco cafe is only available at the Jaya Grocer outlet in Empire Shopping Gallery.