As the Ramadhan month culminates with Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebrations across the country, it’s difficult not to notice the significance of food in the festivities. From wholesome traditional examples to clever modern takes, Malay fare comes in many forms and flavours, all tempting prospects to introduce your palate to.
Here in KL, there are several establishments that serve immaculate Malay dishes. Although the range of food they offer is not just exclusively available during this festive period, it is representative of the Muslim heritage that has been steeped for generations in the country.
Restaurants that entwine palatial elegance with Malay cuisine aren’t exactly common, but those that throw in cherished tradition into the mix are an even rarer breed.
The dignified Mamanda, whose name refers to the designation of respect Malay Sultans reserved for their ministers, is one.Be it classic a la carte servings or the table-wide platters of Nasi Ambeng or Dulang Minang, much care and attention to detail go into the authenticity of the food and presentation.
WHERE Tournament Players Club (TPC) Kuala Lumpur
TEL 03 2011 4008
Bijan Bar & Restaurant
Bijan is known for its unique approach to Malay food. By giving vintage recipes bold but tasteful contemporary tweaks, they come up with excellent interpretations of classics including Ayam Masak Merah, Daging Panggang, Kambing Berempah Sambal Dendeng, and Kerabu Mangga.
Malay for sesame, Bijan shows great finesse in harmonising the old and the new, putting familiar creations under a fresh light that does not detract from their cherished essence.
WHERE 3, Jalan Ceylon, Bukit Ceylon, Kuala Lumpur
TEL 03 2031 3575
‘The like for sugar’ is what the Malay-French fusion name SukaSucré means, hinting at what to expect when you step over the threshold.
You’re absolutely right if you think this is where you can get lush desserts, but SukaSucré Bistro has much more.
Here, the culinary essence of Negeri Sembilan and Paris merge delightfully, exemplified by menu items such as Boeuf Bourguignon With Sambal Minang and French Butter Rice With Rendang.
WHERE WIsma RYU, Cheras, Kuala Lumpur
TEL 03 9201 7750
Presenting authentic Malay cooking is Songket, whose name is taken from a traditional embroidered cloth. This is a place where you can partake in venerable helpings of Sup Burung Puyuh, Rusuk Salai Berkicap, Ikan Bakar, and Pucuk Paku Goreng.
Interestingly, an interactive cultural dance performance takes the stage every day expect Sunday, giving guests a revealing view of local heritage that stretches beyond food.
WHERE 29, Jalan Yap Kwan Seng, Kuala Lumpur
TEL 016 922 7608
From the traditional ambience to the food, everything within Enak KL boils down to the intention of providing what its name, which is ‘delicious’ in Malay, promises.
The restaurant’s selection of dishes are carefully prepared by way of treasured family recipes that are no less than generations old. A look at the menu reveals satisfying staples such as various Kerabu, Ikan Bakar, Sup Ekor, Ayam Percik, Kangkung Belacan and Daging Rusuk.
WHERE LG2, Starhill Gallery, Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur
TEL 03 2782 3807
Restoran Rebung Chef Ismail
Although it adopts a buffet serving style, this restaurant doesn’t sacrifice quality for quantity. In fact, it’s great for sampling a large variety of Malay cuisine in one sitting.
Delectable heritage dishes which include the likes of Goreng Asam Daging Tetel, Kacang Panjang Goreng Berlada and Siput Sedut are among the bountiful selection to choose from, making a visit to Rebung (bamboo shoot in Malay) very worthwhile.
Restoran Rebung Chef Ismail
WHERE Taman Botani Perdana, Kuala Lumpur
TEL 03-2276 3535