Thursday, 8 August 2013

Madam Kwan's @ 1 Utama - KL

Batu Cave is a popular Hindu cave dedicated to Lord Murugan (Hindu god of war and victory)
Batu Cave Batu Cave
276 steps to the Temple Cave at the top of the hill
View from top of Batu Cave
View looking down from the top of the stairs of the Temple Cave

We wanted to have authentic Malaysian cuisine, so we went to 1 Utama for Madam Kwan's restaurant:
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Nasi Bojari and Beef Rendang
Nasi Bojari was described as "tri-coloured rice with assam prawns, beef rendang and deep fried chicken drumstick". The bojari had a huge chicken thigh and had great flavour. I wasn't a big fan of the tri-coloured rice though. The beef rendang was made with a dried coconut curry and shredded beef - it had a slightly spicy taste to it with a heat that built up as you kept eating, but the cucumbers and tomatoes helped balance it out.
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Nasi Lemak
The menu advertised their Nasi Lemak as the best Nasi Lemak according to Tourism Malaysia. The description sounded pretty amazing too "aromatic coconut steamed rice served with chicken curry, sambal ikan bilis, dried shrimp floss, hard boiled egg, acar and fresh cucumber". As a newcomer to Malaysia, some of those terms were foreign to me - apparently samal ikan bilis is anchovies in chili paste and acar is the pickling of vegetables on the side. Malaysian cuisine is really fascinating; the food is really flavourful and it's like there's a whole burst of all these different tastes every time you take a bite. I imagine a lot of work goes into preparing the sauces, side dishes and accompaniments to ensure that each dish is perfectly balanced with saltiness, spiciness, sweetness, crispness and overall deliciousness. I loved the sweetness of the coconut rice (which is AMAZING - I wish I could always steam my rice with coconut because it's so fragrant) with the spicy chicken curry. Then it's paired with the refreshing cucumber slices, rubbery hard boiled egg, powdery shrimp floss and anchovies. Awesome! It's like a symphony in my mouth!

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Curry Laksa
Noodles in curry soup with chicken, fresh prawns, beansprouts and dried beancurd topped with mint leaves
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The curry laksa was really spicy and it was interesting that they had thick noodles and thin noodles with the curry.

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Steamed belacan kangkong
 Belacan Kangkong = Malaysia shrimp paste with morning glory plant - a non-spicy preparation! It was okay.

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Chicken Satay
I liked that it came with diced cucumber, red onion and pulut (glutinous rice): a lot of play on textures and flavours again. The pulut was boiled and steamed rice that is pressed, fried and re-steamed. Very interesting...it lost the rice consistency and just tastes like a bland cornstarch ball.
However, the satay was really tasty and AMAZING!

 




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ABC Ice Kacang
ABC stands for Air Batu Campur (mixed ice) and it had layers of stuff starting with pandan leaf juice jelly noodles, red bean, and lots of ice topped with rose syrup.

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Cendol
Coconut milk, pandan leaf jelly noodles and shaved ice.

We saw our desserts sitting on the counter melting while waiting to be delivered. Despite multiple attempts flagging the waiters down and motioning to our desserts, we only got our desserts 10 minutes later - enough for half the ice to melt and ruin the shaved ice effect.

Overall: Service was atrocious! The food was delicious (and spicy), but the experience was quite a let down because the servers were so awful at their jobs. 

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