When you’ve just spent the last eight hours shopping around 1 Utama, you kind of just want to collapse into any place that will feed you. We were worn out after an epic mall day, but we still had criteria that had to be met on where to eat. The food had to look appetizing enough, not be too expensive, and the place had to be comfortable – no sitting on backless stools like at some casual eateries. Wondermama ticked all of these boxes, so we gave it a try.
Ambience & Amenities
Wondermama is a brightly lit restaurant with a playful colour scheme that makes it stand out from its competitors on either side. Humble photographs of food and kampong life on the wall are overshadowed by an ostentatious Warholesque painting. The seating is a mix of the usual booths and restaurant chairs along with more homey wicker chairs that all look inviting to the tired shopper.
There is no toilet or handwashing station inside the restaurant, even though a server did tell me that the latter existed when I asked. Wondermama’s “handwashing station” involves a server pouring warm water out of a teapot on to your hands over a drainage grate on the counter. Hey, maybe this is how ultra-rich people wash their hands on the fly with the help of their servants, but for the average person, this is just weird. There are no soap or paper towels either, so it doesn’t feel very hygienic. If you’re super lazy and want to go for it, this handwashing station is located at the server station in the middle of the restaurant. For a proper washroom with soap, exit Wondermama and turn left. Once you reach the island kiosk tenant (currently Oldmaster New-Nanyang Coffee), turn right and the toilets will be down the hallway.
There is a small value set menu in addition to the more extensive a la carte menu. The value set dishes are more of a smorgasbord and most times pair two food items not commonly found together, such as Hainanese Chicken with spaghetti. All of the items in this menu come with a free drink of the day.
Click on menu pictures to enlarge
The regular menu is largely Malaysian and Thai, but there are a handful of very westernised options like truffle fries, Greek lamb or any of Wondermama’s pasta plates. Notably interesting is Wondermama’s chee chong fun murtabak. Water does cost RM1.05 for a big glass.
Ordering is done on a little slip that is given to you when you sit down. There are spaces for you to write in the specific code for the dish that you want along with any special requests.
We both ordered a value set, and both dishes came with a few little extras. The Black Pepper XL Squid with Nasi Pandan (RM19.90) had a mini rojak, half a hard-boiled egg and some pork skin chips. The first bite of the squid was off-putting. The ends of the tentacles were overdone, tough and rubbery, but thankfully, the rest of the squid was not like this and had the proper texture. The black pepper sauce was a bit too powerful but at least it was only on a small part of the squid. The nasi pandan was very fragrant but tasted a touch overcooked and was too “wet” for my liking.
The small flower crab staring curiously at me as the Salted Egg Ketam Bunga (RM20.90) platter was placed before me was cute for about five seconds. Then it turned tragic when I realised that I was about to ravage its delicious corpse. The crab portion is small but decent considering this meal costs only RM20. Flavourful salted egg batter surrounds the crab with additional salted egg sauce ladled on top. The legs have a soft shell that can be eaten, and the flesh is succulent and well-cooked. There are lots of other things happening on this plate that isn’t mentioned in the menu description: meat floss, spicy winged bean vegetable medley, and a very out of place mashed potato pancake. The crab is the obvious star of this dish, but nothing on this platter was bad and I swallowed every last bite in my stretched full belly.
Both of these meals came with the complimentary drink of the day, which was a sweetened rose syrup and lemon beverage that tasted very nice.
Wondermama has inflated prices on their food, but it is possible to get a good meal for lower than you expected if you get one of their value sets or sharing platters. On our visit there was an additional unexplained 15% discount on food, so we ended up paying an astoundingly great price for two huge dishes with drinks. Pair that with an enjoyable atmosphere and perennially cheerful staff and Wondermama is worth a visit. Especially if you’re in that part of 1 Utama’s old wing and can’t be arsed to walk all the way to that restaurant in the new wing that you want.
Price for 2 Pax: RM36.80
Black Pepper Squid with Nasi Pandan: RM18.77
Salted Egg Soft Shell Crab: RM19.72
Filtered Water x 2: RM2.00
Drink of the day x2: RM0.00
15% Food Discount: (RM5.78)
6% SST: RM2.08
Lot S131, 2nd Floor, 1 Utama Shopping Centre Old Wing, Lebuh Bandar Utama, Petaling Jaya 47810, Selangor
Opening Hours: Daily, 10am – 10pm
Alcohol Served: No