Location reviewed: Damansara Perdana
Date: 18 Apr 2010, lunchtime
JM Bariani seems a highly popular name with outlets across the Klang valley and apparently originating in Johor. They have received ample media coverage in all the major newspapers and also have several glowing reviews on food blogs online.
They've just opened their latest outlet in Neo Damansara, located in Damansara Perdana, so we went to check it out.
First thing I noticed is that the menu is rather simple. Not necessarily a bad thing, but I noticed they don't have eggs or even some form of veges to go with the rice dishes. Must be damn good and confident to not have any condiments or sides on the menu, I thought.
Wrong. So... very... wrong.
I ordered the Nasi Bariani Rendang (RM13.42) and was immediately turned off by the portions. The rice itself looked bland before even tasting it. Looked like plain rice with a few grains of color and the odd herb here and there. Tasting it didn't improve my opinion either. Very so-so.
The beef rendang was also very un-rendang like. It was more like daging kicap; sweet with soy-flavor, watered-down and not spicy at all. The two condiments served are pickle and some watery gravy, which actually tasted better than the rendang.
Now, I may be a bit harsh on this case. By itself, there's nothing really 'wrong' with it. But there's nothing 'right' about it either. The entire meal was wholly uninspiring and nothing to shout about. However, couple this with the fact that JM Bariani has enjoyed tremendous reviews and the high pricing, I am inclined to feel more than a little disappointed. In fact, I think this is utter bullshit.
I note that most of the other reviews of JM Bariani are of its Subang Jaya outlet. It is possible that the other outlets are vastly better. But still, this speaks poorly of the brand as a whole, and definitely portrays the Damansara Perdana branch as a blight to the neighborhood.
Pros: Erm... its edible?
Cons: Limited menu, high prices, small portions, so-so taste.
Very poor value for money
Avoid unless you are starving