Kuala Lumpur’s out and about eats

Recently Jeremy and I decided to skip out on this cold snap of winter and escape for a couple of weeks to the oh so hot and humid Kuala Lumpur. We’ve both been before and though there’s lots of places we could travel to that we haven’t, we were keen for an eating holiday that would be cheap but delicious.

Our time in KL was great, with lots of shopping and way too much feasting. And just like our holiday to Singapore last year, I thought I’d put together some of the highlight meals that we experienced while out and about exploring.

Nyonya Colors

If you’re out at the shops before they open at 10am, you have a pretty limited range of options to choose from in terms of breakfast meals. Jeremy and I found ourselves one morning at Suria KLCC shopping centre a little earlier than we planned; our tummies rumbling with excitement. After a quick walk around, we settled on Nyonya Colors, which is named after a style of Malaysian cooking that is prominent in the town of Malacca.

Their standard menu for lunch and dinner revolves mainly around dishes such as nasi biryani or otak otak. For breakfast things are a little more simple, with a couple different breakfast sets that diners can choose.

I opt for the breakfast set that comes with two soft boiled eggs, kaya toast and a hot tea all for about 6RM I think (which is approx $2AUS!!). I love soft boiled eggs, especially when I have deliciously buttery soldiers to dunk in them. But I am very much used to having my eggs presented in egg cups with the top sawn off – it’s even how I make them at home. Here in KL, this is a common breakfast dish, but the eggs come out whole with a bowl for you to crack and drain them into for prime dunking.

The accompanying kaya toast is two pieces of bread with the crusts removed, slathered in butter and kaya. With the eggs, it has a great flavour profile

If you haven’t had kaya, it’s a delicious jam made of eggs, sugar and coconut milk, then flavoured with pandan. People often refer to it affectionately as coconut jam. I’m a big fan! It’s sweet, sticky and completely addictive. I just wish I could find it here in Perth to dine on.

Jeremy chooses the Chee Cheong Fun set which is about the same price as my breakfast. With his he gets a milky hot tea (I opted out of milk in mine) and a nice steaming plate of rice noodle roll covered in pickle, sweet and chilli sauces. It’s nothing mindblowing, but for the cost it’s definitely not too shabby at all. It’s simple, and the noodles are cooked nicely. Not a bad choice considering the lack of options in this shopping centre before the shops actually open. 

Rasa Utara

In Berjaya Times Square, Jeremy and I decided to go to eat at Rasa Utara. I’ve eaten here before when I came to KL last year with my friend Linda and remember it as having delicious satay (excuse the dodgy instagram photo) which came presented to me on a sizzling mini-stove. Unfortunately on this return it was no longer on the menu!

We’re not too hungry on this visit so we order light, staying away from our usual go to of nasi lemak (ie no rice this time) and just picking a couple small dishes from the menu. Jeremy is immediately drawn to the Sotong Sumbat Berlada, which is a traditional stuffed squid dish. I think the cost was about 15RM, as was mine.

The filling inside is packed full of mackerel, shrimps, spices and curry powder. The outside is then dipped in a light batter and it’s shallow fried. The result is a tender and extremely flavoursome squid dish that basically melts in your mouth. Alongside is a chilli infused curry sauce that it oily in the best kind of way and has a lovely taste of lemongrass.

I’m a little bummed out that they don’t have that fond memory satay, but eventually I make a choice and land on the Ayam Kepak Goreng Berempah (15.80RM). It’s four tender chicken wings marinated with local herbs and spices, then fried to a crisp.

Here in Malaysia, they love their fried chicken. And though it’s a meat that I always say would be the first I would give up if I had to, I have to say I really got into the servings of crunchy, moist and juicy chicken. Especially the drumsticks since thigh meat is the best!

The chicken wings actually drip juice as we tear into them; the flesh inside steaming hot and oh so tender. I love the use of spices and the aroma that wafts under my nose with each bite. It’s very succulent and a nice little tie over which actually fills me up before I can even finish.

Carlo’s Mexican Canteena

If you’re looking for an escape from the delicious Malaysian food, there’s a tourist strip at Pavillion shopping centre in Bukit Bintang. Every night these restaurants are completely packed out, and though the prices are a bit higher than your standard fare, the hours go til late and there’s usually pretty decent cocktails too.

I’ve eaten at Michelangelos last time I was in KL which was actually pretty decent Italian food (for Malaysia), but this time Jeremy suggests we try Carlo’s. It’s PACKED which we tend to take as a good sign for whenever we go out eating at a place we haven’t been before.

In our normal fashion of eating, we pick a few dishes from the tex-mex menu to share. I have to admit I’m a little wary as I tend to shy away from this style of mexican and prefer the more new era styles ala El Publico and La Cholita. After all, it’s pretty easy to make these cheesy ones at home!

We pick the Crispy Prawns to start off with, which come with a spicy BBQ sauce. Not very Mexican here, but they do taste good. The seafood tastes really fresh, the prawns cooked perfectly so they retain a nice firmness to the bite without any mushiness inside.

The Beef Fried Enchiladas are a mountain of food; two perfectly rolled corn tortillas laden with beef, onions and tomatoes, then topped with cheese and spring onions. The crunch to the fried enchilada is wonderful; a great texture with well seasoned and tender beef inside.

The flavour is not as expected however, without any depth of spices other than salt and pepper. And unfortunately, the sauce is a little too miscellaneous for me – I’m not actually sure what was in it. I was definitely missing the sour cream to lift the dish!

The chicken nachos look completely different to any other nacho dish I’ve eaten before. There’s individual tortilla chips which are covered in chicken mince, diced tomatoes, spring onions and melted monterey jack cheese. Each mound is then topped with a jalapeno slice. 
I have to admit, I wasn’t overly fond of this dish. I like my nachos with more crunch on the outer pieces and soft gooeyness on the inside. Having individual chips made up turned this into more of a fast food taco than anything. I gave up on this one pretty quickly. 
If you like tex-mex food, then perhaps a trip to Carlo’s will suit you. In conjunction with their wide range of dishes on offer, then also are known as a popular shisha lounge with diners sitting out front puffing away on flavoured tobaccos. For me, I found the whole experience a little average – or rather, not to my own personal tastes. But the atmosphere, that was enjoyable with tourists and locals all happily toasting the night away. 
Little Penang Cafe

Back at Suria KLCC, like all shopping centres, certain food spots tend to attract big long lines during the lunch hour. And the line outside of Little Penang Cafe was one that was pretty damn long!

Since we’re on holiday, we’re lucky that we can be a little more flexible in our eating times and so we wait out for the lunch rush to finish and then dive into some local Malaysian cuisine. We’re put in the corner which makes things a bit tricky when it comes to getting waiter’s attention (the place is quite large) but other than that we’re happy to be off our feet and enjoying a lime juice while waiting for our food to arrive.

The menu is quite extensive, and offers a great selection of traditional Malaysian dishes for those inside the shopping centres. While I love my street food, it’s always nice to be able to get some of those flavours during the day indoors (read: in air-conditioning). If you’d like more information on street eats, check out my post on the market cuisines sampled.

Inside the restaurant the tables and chairs are nice simple wood, with little space between diners. It’s casual and relaxed in theory, though there’s people constantly bustling around us.

Jeremy chooses the Asam Laksa for his lunch meal, which is a sour fish-based soup. The ‘asam’ is the sour flavour which is from tamarind, and there’s dried slices of sour mangosteen for added depth of flavour. The broth comes out a nice orange colour, with little pools of oil gathering on top (liquid gold we often refer to it!).

Inside there’s shredded fish, cucumber, onion, red chillies, pineapple, lettuce, mint and ginger slices. There’s also some nice chewy thick rice noodles and what it known as ‘hae ko’, a shrimp paste. Talk about a punch in the face with flavour! My mouth tingles from the moment the spoon touches my lips – the chilli and sourness really strong but in a really exciting and vibrant manner. I can see why this dish is number 7 on the World’s 50 Most Delicious Foods (compiled by CNN in 2011).

For my dish, I go to one of my all time favourites. Char Kway Teow. It’s so popular here that the menu warns diners that there is a 20 minute wait – but it’s a wait I’m happy to go through for some of that delicious smokey goodness that I have grown up being obsessed with.

Char kway teow is made up of flat rice noodles fried in a very hot wok with light and dark soy sauce, chilli, belachan, prawns, cockles, bean sprouts, egg and chives. Traditionally it’s cooked with pork fat to build in added flavour. It’s made very quickly when it gets to the actual cooking stage otherwise the noodles can get mushy and lose their elasticity (and therefore it’s deliciousness).

Here at Little Penang Cafe, the char kway teow is nice though it’s not the best I’ve ever had. The noodles are a little wetter than I am used to, but the flavours are pretty spot on. There’s a small sprinkling of crab on top for some extra seafood boost which doesn’t really add much to the flavour profile of the dish, but I don’t mind because I never say no to this yummy crustacean.

AK Noodles House

Outside of Kuala Lumpur’s golden triangle, there are some pretty decent shops and eateries to try. But like I mentioned earlier when it comes to breakfast (in conventional hours terms), you don’t tend to have too many choices.

Jeremy and I headed out to the Garden Malls area for the day, first stopping at Subang Jaya nearby. Most places were still shut and I couldn’t bring myself to eat KFC for breakfast (though it was quite busy!) so we stopped in at AK Noodles House instead, getting the last table available. It’s a chinese style noodle house that is well known for their fish ball soup. And as per most dining in Malaysia, it’s damn cheap!

We each pick a noodle dish to dine on, with myself choosing the Dried Wan Tan Mee set which comes with a side of soup. Jeremy opts for the Dried Mee Poh set. We also get a serving of the fried wan tans to go on the side for some added texture and snacking – it’s so naughty (but so nice at the same time) having fried goods first thing in the morning! Cue pleasure eating.

As our eating holiday has continued in KL, I’ve soon begun to notice that there is an abundance of soy sauce added to dry noodles here. Personally it’s not my favourite way to enjoy noodles, but I’m not opposed to it either.

The wan tan mee is cooked perfectly; the noodles still slightly chewy and not mushy at all. There’s a generous serving of spring onions on top, with each mouthful enjoying the sweetness that they exude. I love spring onions!

The fish ball soup has a deep level of flavour to it, much like the stocks my mum makes at home when there’s an abundance of bones soaked in the broth over days. The fish balls are soft and tender on the inside with a toothsome quality to them. I like the cracker that sits on top and soaks in that lovely soup. It’s a comforting start to the day.

Like my wan tan mee, Jeremy’s mee poh are cooked well but also doused in a soy sauce based covering. It’s not as salty as you’d expect though and the flavours are quite well balanced. His noodles have a denser and more starchy quality since they’re much thicker than mine, but all up he’s really happy as he chomps away. We both like crushing up our fried wan tans to add into the mix.

For a quick and cheap breakfast, AK Noodles House does a good job. Was it the best noodles we had on our holiday? Definitely not. But I still found it satisfying and a decent start to my day.

Din Tai Fung

It’s no secret that I am a big fan of Din Tai Fung and it’s chain of delicious Taiwanese dishes. Yum is all I really need to say! I ate there twice in Singapore and so naturally I couldn’t help myself but head there for lunch when I passed by in Malaysia. It called out to me so longingly.

While Singapore’s restaurants all seem to have diners milling about in a line for hours on end, we managed to only have to wait about 15 minutes to get into Pavillion Shopping Centre’s branch. Thanking my lucky stars, we complete our order forms quickly and set about spying on the chefs in the kitchen as they go about making all the delicious little dumplings they’re famous for. I love that you can see the whole process and it shows just how fresh the food you’re eating is.

My freshly squeezed orange juice is heavenly – frothy and just slightly sour it is cool and so refreshing. I am an avid juice drinker in general so when I’m in Asia and it’s oh so readily available, I tend to go completely nuts and order it a couple times a day. And this one doesn’t disappoint – it has that lovely tangy flavour that fruits in Asia tend to attract due to the humidity. 

Jeremy’s lemon ice tea is equally delicious. The tea flavour is strong but sweet thanks to the added honey that sits happily at the bottom of the glass. After fresh orange juice, this is one of my favourite drinks on holiday – it is a comforting but cooling beverage. And I really enjoy the use of the honey instead of sugar, it adds a more natural sweetness.

The Deep Fried Specially Marinated Pork Chop tastes just like the one in Singapore we tried. Tender, juicy meat that is well seasoned and basically melts in your mouth. I’m so glad we ordered this here because I’d actually forgotten just how good it is.

The Crab and Pork Dumplings come out steaming hot and incredibly soft. The casing is paper thin and as I bite into it, the most amazing juice comes pouring out.

According to my mother (who I told about this after), they’re quite famous for this dish. As they make the dumplings, they place a cold set of jelly inside which is cooled broth made from pig intenstines. As the dumplings are heated, the broth melts and becomes like a sauce that coats the ingredients. Very clever and very, very moorish.

The Taiwanese Spring Rolls are made from thin but crispy pastry; the filling inside pork, ginger and spring onions. I like these but I don’t love them – especially after Jeremy declares them to be like a sausage roll! He’s not wrong, the filling is slightly reminiscent of it. There’s just no depth of flavour or interesting spices to catch onto with these though there’s nothing bad about them either.

Our last trips to Din Tai Fung had us trying the Pork Fried Rice on one occasion, and then Shrimp Fried Rice the second. This time we opted for the best of both worlds, choosing the Shrimp and Pork Fried Rice.

The prawns are well cooked and fresh, simply cooked to let the flavours shine. The pork tastes similar to the pork chop and you can taste that the fat has been used in the rice (making it extra delicious!). I like this fried rice, it’s soft and fluffy, with a good level of oil and seasoning. The minimal ingredients used of the meats, egg and spring onions means that the flavours are left true to themselves and work really well together.

As I mentioned in my Singapore post, one of my all time favourite Taiwanese dishes is Crispy Prawns in mayonnaise. The ones here in KL were better and worse in different ways. The custard powder batter here is thicker but actually tastes better and is more like the traditional dish – it’s so crunchy and keeps the prawns inside nice and juicy without overcooking them.

But in Singapore the dish came with accompanying peaches and lychees which added some much needed sweetness to counter the creamy mayonnaise. In KL there was unfortunately no fruit to accompany them much to my disappointment. That said, we polished off this plate extremely quickly and happily!

I only wish there was a Din Tai Fung in Perth because I really enjoy eating at this place. I enjoy the freshness, the flavours and the quality of produce.

Royale Vietnam Restaurant

In Star Hill Gallery (the posh shopping centre across from Pavillion), there is an abundance of amazing eateries to choose from. On my last trip to KL I dined at Angus House, a famed Japanese steakhouse which left my tastebuds in a happy coma afterwards.

Jeremy and I headed here one night to try famed restaurant Enak but unfortunately the normal menu had been replaced by a buffet for ramadan and neither of us were in the mood. Luckily for us, Royale Vietnam sounded like a nice alternative and I myself was dying for some fresh greens so it was a good second choice.

The inside is beautiful, with bamboo fixtures and silk painted light coverings. It’s traditional in appearance but in an upmarket manner. We’re shown to our table by waiters in Vietnamese garments who are polite and attentive. The only downfall is that we don’t get water immediately and have to ask for it (and are then charged – that’s one thing I did miss about Perth at least water is automatic and complimentary!).

We’re not overly hungry so decide on just getting the Combo appetiser to start things off and then a couple other dishes to share after. But when the combo comes out, holy moly it is huge!

Made up of four different elements, it’s accompanied by three sauce sets. One fish sauce, one chill sauce and a peanut salad type sauce. I love condiments so I’m quite happy right now as we tuck into the dish.

We start off with the fried spring rolls (three pieces) which are filled with prawn and vegetable. They’re crunchy and they taste nice enough, though I find them a bit too oily and give up after one piece. Next to them are another type of spring roll with seafood paste inside (three pieces), but a more glutinous wrapping. Like the prawn spring rolls, they are crisp and generous in filling – working well with the accompanying fish sauce (who doesn’t love fish sauce?!).

The fresh spring rolls (four pieces) are my favourite on the platter due to their light and delicate flavour balance. Inside is lettuce, carrot and vermicelli noodles. These are designed to be dipped in the peanut salad sauce and as a peanut lover, I have to say they work extremely well together!

The fourth item on our combo platter is what is know as ‘Angry Baby Birds’ (three pieces). They’re so cute! Peppercorns for the eyes and little birds eye chilli for the beaks, these are fried seafood balls with a quail’s egg in the centre. Though Jeremy and I both like chilli, we quickly learn to remove the beaks because they pack a punch! But luckily in doing so we don’t lose out completely, the accompanying chilli sauce has a nice level of heat to work back into them.

The final dish for our appetiser is the Sugarcane Prawns (three pieces). This is quite a famous Vietnamese dish where minced prawn is rolled around sugarcane to allow sweetness to infuse into the meat. These ones did not disappoint, they were fresh, vibrant and delicious.

After our combo appetiser is finished, I’m a bit worried because I’m starting to get full! But when our main dishes arrive for us to share, my full stomach calms down with greed and we both look at each other with excitement over what’s to come.

One of my favourite dishes when I was travelling in Vietnam early last year was Seafood Pancake. It’s basically a heavily egg based crepe which is thin and crispy, packed inside with bean shoots, prawns, chicken and spring onions. The best way to eat it is to cut it into strips and dive in with your hands, rolling segments up in the fresh iceberg lettuce leaves and dunking it into fish sauce.

Yes, it is as good as you can imagine! Fresh, flavoursome and simple but well balanced flavours. I find myself completely enamoured in this dish, throwing myself into each bite with happiness.

While the seafood pancake was my choice for us to share as our ‘mains’, Jeremy chooses the Butter Prawns. Thankfully it’s a smaller dish but unfortunately it wasn’t one either of us enjoyed. The prawns are cooked just right but the sauce has a taste reminiscent of margarine, a thick and cloying texture that I find unpleasant. I give up after one prawn and concentrate on the seafood pancake instead sadly!

We wash down our food with a tiger beer each; content for the most part with the experience. If I could do it all over again I would have to omit those butter prawns, but the rest is worth keeping around and would have been plenty of food as it was!

Our meal (by KL standards) was definitely more expensive than your standard fare, but for a nice night out in a classy establishment it was still much cheaper than what we’d expect to pay back home.

Umai-Ya Japanese Restaurant

I love Japanese food. I love the simplicity and yet complicatedness that goes with it. This type of food uses flavours unlike any other cuisine; with a true respect for the ingredients showcased. So it’s unsurprising that we found ourselves sampling a couple different Japanese places on our vacation in KL.

The first of these was Umai-Ya Restaurant, which is located at Suria KLCC – just around the corner from our gorgeous hotel, the Shangri-La. They’re a busy lunchtime venue, well known for their dishes which are a combination of traditional Japanese cuisine and fusion comfort.

Like most of my meals in Asia, Jeremy and I start this one off with a freshly squeezed orange juice. Frothy, sweet and just slightly sour it hits the spot and looks a treat.

Our first dish of the meal is the Cha Soba which is something I’ve only recently developed a love for.  Cha soba noodles are made of buckwheat and wheat flours with fresh green tea leaves mixed in. In Japan it’s considered a delicacy that is reserved for special occasions.

It’s a cold noodle dish which you dip into the accompanying light soy broth. The quails egg is added to the seaweed so you can then dip the noodles into the raw egg covered seaweed, then the spring onions and wasabi. I have no idea if this is the proper way to eat it, but this is how Jeremy and I do and we like it!

The flavours are so delicate, but utterly enjoyable. It’s a dish that I don’t think I will ever stop liking – and one I think I need to learn how to make!

The Fried Tofu with Chicken Mince is my favourite dish of the meal. I ADORE tofu as I’ve mentioned many times in my blog. It’s a staple in my diet and something I miss terribly when I haven’t eaten it recently enough.

I’m happy to say the tofu here does not disappoint. The finest crispy coating on the outside gives way to the softest, silkiest filling. It’s mild in flavour as all tofu is, but that’s where the teriyaki infused chicken mince steps in. It’s fatty (but in a good way), flavoursome and so moorish that we find ourselves picking up each piece until there’s absolutely nothing left on the plate.

The Soft-Shell Crab and Tamago (egg) Sushi is new wave Japanese cuisine that is exciting and delicious. Bands of seaweed are wrapped around crunchy pieces of soft-shell crab, egg, rice and roe. There’s a generous slick of mayonnaise over the top that adds some needed creaminess to the bite. Soft-shell crab never disappoints, and neither does this dish – I would happily order this again!

Our final dish for our meal is the Tamago Wrapped Prawns which consist of skewered grilled prawns wrapped in egg omelette and topped with fish roe. They taste as you’d expect, the egg sweet and the prawns well cooked but it’s nothing too exciting.

One thing I really noticed in KL is how well seafood is cooked and the readily availableness of it all.  And in terms of Umai-Ya, the food (and the seafood particularly) is perfectly prepared. Since my last Japanese meal was at Fuku (amazing), I needed a great meal back into the cuisine otherwise I’d be disappointed. And I’m happy to say, Umai-Ya met the brief.

Kiki Taiwanese Restaurant

As our stay in Kuala Lumpur continued, Jeremy and I began to notice that everyday, all day, a big line was constantly hanging around outside Kiki Taiwanese Restaurant in KLCC.

So with a bit of time up our sleeves we decided to join the queue and see what the fuss was all about. And yes, since my mother is Taiwanese and an incredible cook, we had high expectations for this place.

At Kiki the meals come in sets, where you order your main dish and it comes with accompaniments such as bean curd, chilli pickled vegetables, peanut ball and herbal soup. It’s a great sized meal that guarantees you’ll be full to the brim afterwards!

Jeremy orders the Beef Mince Dry Noodles, which is similar to a dish my mother makes often though she uses pork (which results in a fattier but more tasty dish). It comes out as noodles topped with beef, tofu, shredded cucumber and spring onions. When you mix it all together it becomes a nice flavoursome meal with a balance of textures and ingredients.

The only fault I can find in this is that the soy sauce broth the meat has been cooked in hasn’t had the saltiness offset with enough water added in resulting in a too salty taste. But besides that, it still tastes really good.

For my meal, I opted for a dish that seem to take some roots from both Japanese and Taiwanese cuisines – the Miso Fish Set. It comes with the same sides as Jeremy’s noodle dish but also with rice that has shredded chicken on top.

I love that the fish comes out in a hot plate atop of a live flame which lets it cook a little bit longer and let the flavour seep in even more. I do have to be careful to burn my tongue though because I dive in without testing the temperature first.

The miso fish is easily one of the best fish dishes I have ever had. Legitimately. Soft, flaky flesh that melts in your mouth. The miso flavouring is sweet but savoury at the same time, the lemon on top adding some needed citrus cut through. With the shredded chicken on rice, it becomes a simple but really delicious meal though my mother tells me traditionally it should be turkey instead of chicken.

The bean curd on the side is soft and tastes amazing. The inside kind of explodes as you bite into it. Tofu never gets old in my opinion – it’s underrated and in my eyes, something that offers great satisfaction and comfort.

The soup on the side is made of a comforting and rich broth; complete with chunks of chicken and vegetables. While I’m pretty full after our meal sets to tackle the soup, I do spoon a few mouthfuls over my rice to give it a more liquid (congee like) consistency. This is done much to Jeremy’s horror who hates wet rice but I like the taste of it.

To accompany our food, Jeremy orders an oyster omelette which is a traditional Taiwanese street food dish. Inside is an abundance of oysters and on top is a sweet sauce with vegetables and grated radish. I’m too full to eat too much of it, but what I do have tastes pretty true to the standard – though I do find the sauce a little too sweet for my liking. 

Jeremy’s beverage of choice at Kiki Taiwanese is an avocado shake. I often see this as an option at various restaurants – mainly Vietnamese joints, but have never taken the step to ordering it. But I’m happy to say it tastes great! Creamy and slightly sweet with a nice smooth avocado aftertaste. I’ll be ordering this from now on much to my surprise.

For my drink, I opt for a lemon ice tea which comes with palm sugar syrup to mix through it. Tea is such a refreshing beverage so it works well with my epic meal. It’s lemony and sweet – yum!

Since coming back to Perth and looking over the photos of our eating exhibitions, I still can’t get past just how amazing the miso fish was at Kiki Taiwanese. I highly recommend it as a great dish to order there. Soft, flaky and oh so satisfying.

La Bodega

Along the tourist strip at Pavillion shopping centre, there’s a gem of a Spanish tapas joint called La Bodega. Both Jeremy and I had heard great things about the place, but I have to admit we were a little skeptical. However one night before intending to head over to No Black Tie jazz club, we decided to swing by for a quick dinner. 
La Bodega has a large selection of drinks available for order; in particular a focus on all different flavoured mojitos. Now that’s a cocktail right up my alley! Jeremy and I both order one each – his is a standard version and mine raspberry infused. 
His tastes great! Minty and vibrant and oh so zingy. I like mine too but it’s a bit too sweet, so once the ice melts down a bit I find it all the better. A great drink for a humid night.

We start off with a shared entree, immediately picking out the Fried Goats Cheese with Lemon Honey. There’s not too many dishes that pique our attention, but this one stands out. The goats cheese is strong and flavoursome; the outside crust nice and crunchy to give way to the stretchy centre. They’re oily but damn they taste great and I love the sweet lemon honey which has just the slightest citrus flavour but really lets the natural honey taste shine.

For our main, we order the Squid Ink Paella which takes about 20 minutes to cook and come out to us. It’s a size deemed for two people though if one person was hungry enough I think they could polish it off themselves.

It comes out as gloriously black grains of rice mixed with squid pieces. On top are four bright orange prawns and a nice dollop of garlic mayonnaise. As I was taught at Pata Negra, I mix together all the ingredients so that the mayonnaise mixes in properly and coats the rice.

It. Tastes. Incredible.

The paella is rich and creamy; the grains of rice cooked so they’re still slightly al dente. It’s delivered in the pan which means at the bottom there’s that great layer of crunchy rice which has charred and stuck during the cooking process. That’s absolute gold down there – extremely flavoursome and a part of paella that I adore scraping away to chew on. So many places I’ve eaten paella at haven’t served it in the pan which means we sadly miss out on all that goodness.

When we’ve scraped away every last grain of rice left in the pan, I have to admit I’m disappointed the meal is over. The paellas isn’t as big as I’d like sadly, but the taste is just incredible – I would definitely order this dish over and over again.

Grandmama’s

Like I’ve said in this post earlier, in KL you know the great eating places by the number of people who frequent them. One such place that attracts so many people that it has both inside and out in the shopping centre eating spaces, is Grandmamas.

A restaurant specialising in Malaysian cuisine, the menu is exciting and offers a variety of amazing sounding dishes to choose from. I take my time perusing, before opting for Hainanese Chicken which is Singapore’s national dish. I’ve eaten some truly delicious ones in the past, so I have my fingers crossed for something great.

The Hainanese, or Hainan, Chicken comes out sitting neatly on a bed of cucumber slices (sans skin) and topped with peanuts and garlic, plus a slick of soy sauce. It’s different to the Singaporean style but the chicken is extremely juicy and succulent still.

The rice that comes with it is fragrant and fluffy. The sauces that accompany the chicken are ginger, soy and chilli – all equally delicious and adding different flavours to the delicious chicken. I find myself polishing off every last bite – a big meal for me!

Jeremy orders the Nasi Lemak for his lunch meal, which was the dish I nearly ordered too (I basically ate this every second day it felt like though!). It comes with pickled vegetables, sambal, egg, cucumber and chicken curry.

The coconut rice is moorish and ethereally light; the sambal nice and spicy. But the real star is the curry which is oily in the right way and has big chunks of chicken swimming about in it. There’s a decent amount of meat in this serving and though it’s not his style to spoon curry sauce onto rice, if I were eating the dish I would have been in saucy heaven!

Our beverage for the meal is fresh coconut juice which is served in the shell. It comes complete with a spoon to dig out chunks of flesh to enjoy. It’s packed full of clearish milk that is tangy and sweet without an over the top flavour. Coconut juice is really good for you, with a long list of health benefits to those who drink it – and I’m happy to say it’s very satisfying too!

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4 Comments

  • Reply
    Vance & Mary
    1 August 2013 at 12:18 pm

    We r going to KL soon – will have to write some of these places down to remember πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    2 August 2013 at 2:30 am

    Long entertaining and informative read! Thanks for the tips

  • Reply
    Queen of Bad Timing
    2 August 2013 at 4:02 am

    Great to be of help, wishing you happy eating and travelling!

  • Reply
    Queen of Bad Timing
    2 August 2013 at 4:02 am

    Haha yes a very long post πŸ™‚ glad you enjoyed the read

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