Thursday, October 22, 2009

Bunga Emas. Royal Chulan Hotel, KL. Beautiful Malay Fusion Food.


Malay Food.
Often overlooked and dismissed in the annals of fine dining. The Grand Doyen of Malay fine dining is actually Ibunda, which so far serves the best and priciest fusion Malay-Western food, albeit for dinner only. Bijan, over at Ceylon Hill will probably best termed as Malay Food toned perfunctorily to Western taste buds served in obligatory tropical inspired beautiful surroundings. Enak is posh and fine, but has not been able to pique my interest after two outings. Seeing that it is MIGF season, I was a bit surprised to find the lack of Malay food featured in the Menus. After failing to secure a reservation at Ibunda last night and cancelled plans to check Teeq out, I was surprised to find another restaurant offering Malay Food in the MIGF. The icing on the cake was that they could accommodate the menu for lunch. And behold, what a pleasant surprise awaited me.

The interior is tastefully opulent, evoking some nostalgia even. I can imagine Sean Ghazi crooning in the centre. There are private function rooms and even two tatami rooms, with floor sitting. I was in luck because the restaurant was fairly empty in the afternoon and I could choose anywhere to sit. The waiter was very very friendly and helpful and obliging.


Udang Kara Kerdil Limau Bali
Baby Rock Lobster Salad, Citrus Fruits, Pandan Froth, Aren'kha Caviar, Pomegranate Compote

The Baby Lobster Salad was marvellous. Light and crisp pomegranate compote and seeds lingered on the palate with a touch loving coyness. Arenkha Caviar is poor man's caviar, made from Smoked Herring which was not as lush as Sturgeron Caviar. Which was fine as it complimented the dish adequately. An ingenious and whimsical concoction, which can really be termed an amuse bouche or a palate cleanser.


Darat dan Lautan (Land and Sea)
Grilled Salmon, Mashed Potato, Roulade of Quail, Chiku Chutney

A very witty play of name. The Sea was represented by the Salmon, which was grilled and served with some mashed potatoes and dressed with local tangerines. Inventive play of different temperatures and textures. The Quail was not a roulade. because it did not come rolled in Proscuitto nor could I detect any forcemeat. Nonetheless, it was tender and the Chiku Chutney surprisingly paired magically with quail.


Sup Ketam Labu Kundur
Flower Crab Broth With Wintermelon

The broth was sublimely flavoured with crab, but I found it a little bit too salty. The crab meat was rolled into a cavity carved in the wintermelon. Probably a slight Chinese influence to this dish.


Dadih Mempelam
Silky Smooth Mango Custard

A beautiful Custard with a taste redolent of Mango and Caramel. Served with Roselle and fresh Mango cubes. And as described, silky smooth and beautiful texture and consistency. But why it was served at this point in the meal astounds me. It was too rich and a Sorbet would have been more appropriate as a palate cleanser.


Kerapu merah Pais Kelapa (Baked Garoupa fish rolled around Chilli Coconut Paste)
Sendi Kambing Beriyani (Lamb Shank with Briyani Paste),
Acar Limau (Lime Chutney)
Nasi Pandan Gajus (Screwpine Leaf Rice with Cashew Nuts)

The mains was slightly more disappointing. The lamb was beautifully tender, but the Briyani Sauce was a tad too overpowering, spicy and oily. The Chutney was not lime, but some preserved fruit which was overwhelmingly sweet, making it a let down. The fish was delightfully fresh and the rice was slightly scented with Pandanus leaves.


Manisan Bunga Emas
Warm Chocolate Hazlenut Pudding, Anise Flavoured Tea Cream and Young Coconut Ice Cream

The desserts were a lovely way to end the meal. Although the pudding was slightly too dry, the cream made up for it and the ice cream came with tender, fresh coconut meat.

Overall dining experience was wonderful. The cost of the meal was RM 159++ without wine. It's high time that Malay Cuisine come of age and be given it's due recognition. The current new generation of chefs are probably working in that right direction. It would be interesting to see if the Chef here could work with Foie and other exotic ingredients as Chef Zabidi does at Ibunda.

Bunga Emas
The Royale Chulan Kuala Lumpur
6 Jalan Conlay
50450 Kuala Lumpur

Tel : +


550ml jar of faith @minchow said...

So there IS a decent wine list at Bunga Emas? I can imagine enjoying the Darat & Lautan with a fine glass of gewurtz!

in the sea said...

Looks very yummy and it's partly attributed to your skill in taking the photos. I noticed you have held very firmly on taking those photos. Even though many cameras have the anti-shake function, holding still of the camera is the most important part.

Paranoid Android said...

@550: The wines are fairly limited (they have only be opened for 6 months), and if you aksed me, they seem a bit clueless and not sure which direction to go. Whether to do the done to death traditional food and gamelan performances or go upmarket and hit the fine dining smoked salmon crowd. Hope it will be the later.

@ITS: Hai yar, my skills are probably non existent. Just good light and a good and lovable LX3... Still reading the photography blogs to have an idea. Blogs are full of generous people like you, who are so willing to share their knowledge!

in the sea said...

Mmmh, when the photos come to such a big size as those posted here, it is very easy to find some out-focused and shaking effect. The big size photos here already told you did hold your camera quite firmly, though the photos taken were in a brighter light.

thenomadGourmand said...

never tried high class Malay food before!!
Alws associated malay food to the road side stalls! Hehe..
I guess RM159++ is very reasonable, considering the meals I read abt in Sean's blog!

Abd aziz said...

Dear Sir, I am doing a research on redefining Malay food " Halatuju makanan Melayu". I am asking your permission to use your photograph for that particular purpose. You photo shot are detailed and very sharp that I can use to explain about these neo-Malay food. I am not a good photographer and when I look at these pictures I am thinking that I should be able to produce products like yours.I will put your blog address in every pictures that I will use. Thanking You Sir.

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Unless stated otherwise, all the posts and food here is paid for by the Paranoid Android. He dose not receive any financial compensation for posting in this blog. The views expressed here are an opinion and as usual, taste is subjective and varies among people, time and mood as well! Please feel free to contact me at humanist dot philo at gmail dot com. Unless otherwise stated, the photos here belong to the owner of this blog. You are free to use it for any non commercial purpose. As courtesy, just drop me an email and credit the photo to the blog. Thanks for dropping by!

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