November 7, 2012 at 4:29 pm
It is common for travellers to sample the local cuisine whenever they travel to a foreign land. With the advent of commercial tourism, however, it has become quite a challenge to locate an eatery that serves authentic local cuisine as opposed to food served to tourists. So where would one be able to find a restaurant serving affordable yet authentic Malay cuisine in Kuala Lumpur?
The answer is Restaurant Kampung Melayu, conveniently located at the ground floor of Low Yat Plaza, in the heart of Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur’s shopping district. I had dinner there recently, courtesy of Moola, the first ever homegrown Cash-Back Lifestyle programme by ICT Utopia. Joining me on that day was Emily Tang of Sunrise Emily blog and all of us had a splendid time and great laughs too, thanks to one particular dish. More on that later, but for now you can check out what Emily thought of Restaurant Kampung Melayu on her blog!
Why is affordable authentic Malay food that taste great rather hard to find? Simply because of modernization and the influence it brings with it, and perhaps the time and effort taken to prepare great Malay dishes. So you could imagine my delight to find myself face to face with some Malaysian favourites that evening.
Rice is an important part of Malay cuisine, and served in many ways at Restaurant Kampung Melayu. We had the Mutton Claypot Biryani Rice, the Chicken Claypot Biryani and the Nasi Goreng Kampung, or village styled fried rice. The biryani rice originates from the Indian subcontinent, and is a firm favourite among Malaysians due to its fragrance and complex mixture of tastes. Restaurant Kampung Melayu’s biryani tastes great without being overwhelmingly oily. The mutton was tender, while the chicken was just right. Both were spicy, so those who are unaccustomed to the heat should be mindful of the spicy curry. The fried rice was great, but once again caution should be taken if you are not partial to spicy food as this has potent chili padi stirred into the rice.
The rice dishes were accompanied by several vegetable side dishes, including stir fried cabbage, curry eggplant and mixed pickled vegetables. These vegetable dishes are usually served with many Malay rice dishes and bring a light and refreshing taste in contrast to the rich and flavourful rice dishes. The mixed pickled vegetables, known as acar, is very common and simple dish to prepare, made with raw cucumber, pineapple, onion and red chili pickled in vinegar. While sourish in taste, the dish is light and very refreshing.
We were also served with three main dishes – Daging Masak Merah, a spicy beef dish; Ikan Pari Bakar, spicy grilled ray; and Kailan Ikan Masin, stir fried kalian with salted fish. These dishes are meant to be taken with rice, usually plain white rice, which is the staple for most Malaysians. The beef was tender, and had a spicy aftertaste, while the grilled ray was truly spicy and well grilled. The kalian was an interesting dish, the salted fish providing a lot of flavour.
We also had two different soups – the Tom Yam Soup, which is actually a Thai dish, and the Sup Lidah, or Cow’s Tongue Soup. The Tom Yam is a favourite among Malaysians, and is a common feature at most Malay and Chinese eateries. The Cow’s Tongue Soup may sound rather daunting, due to the part of meat that it features, but is actually somewhat of a delicacy in Malaysia. The soup is a clear soup incorporating an assortment of ingredients, including spices. It is mild compared to any Tom Yam as it does not use chilli in its preparation. I have to admit that I usually steer clear of offal and that the Cow’s Tongue Soup was left alone by our dinner party for the larger part of the evening. That is until one of the braver souls ventured for a bite, and to our surprise, rated it very favourably. That sparked everyone’s interest, and before you knew it, we ended up declaring that the Cow’s Tongue Soup was one of the nicest surprises of the evening!
Restaurant Kampung Melayu also offers typical Malaysian favourites like Satay and Otak-Otak. Satay, I think would require no real introduction, being quite well known throughout the world. A simple meat dish, satay is marinated grilled meat skewers served with peanut sauce accompanied with cucumber and onion slices. Otak-otak is spicy fish paste wrapped in leaves which are then grilled over an open fire. The Satay and Otak-otak served at Restaurant Kampung Melayu were delicious and are a great introduction to Malay cuisine.
During our visit, we also had a taste of Roti Tissue, a sweet variation of the Roti Canai, an Indian bread. The Roti Tissue is a paper thin roti canai that is flavoured with sugar and condensed milk. Different restaurants serve the roti tissue in different ways, Restaurant Kampung Melayu serves theirs in a cone shape. Finally, to wrap up the evening, we had some refreshing sweet lassi and mango lassi, as well as local shaved ice desserts known as ABC or Ais Batu Campur, and its fruity variant, the ABC Mango.
This Dining With Moola experience is courtesy of Moola, the first-ever Cash-Back Lifestyle Programme specially designed for shoppers to enjoy free shopping, great savings and best deals in town. Moola is a mobile application that utilises QR code technology for all interactions; from member registration, Moola accumulation and redemption, to the actual shopping.
Moola Frenz who dine at Restaurant Kampung Melayu are entitled to a HUGE 30% cash back everytime! What’s more, you can also grab FreeMakan vouchers for even MORE savings here!
Moola is completely hassle-free; no administrative effort; no joining fee; no cards; and comes with even greater flexibility for shoppers to enjoy the variety of rewards for redemption. Visit www.moola.my for more information and download the Moola app today! Apple, Android and Blackberry phones supported.
Tags: 1Utopia, cash-back lifestyle programme, Emily Tang, Food Review, FreeMakan, ICT Utopia, Kampung Melayu, Low Yat Plaza, Malay Cuisine, Mobile App, Mobile Lifestyle, Moola, Restaurant Review, Sunrise Emily blog