January 28, 2017

The Enclave @ Lorong Kurau, Bangsar

Your Friendly Neighborhood Gastropub

We love pub food and we love it even more if it’s in our neighborhood. It means we can grab a bite whenever we want since it’s so near our home. Well if your neighborhood happens to be in the Bangsar area, then you just might want to hop over to The Enclave, a local gastropub serving affordable Western and Asian menu.

Opened barely few months, the owner wanted have a place for everyone to unwind at the end of the evening with hearty gastro bites and beer or even grab a good lunch. The moment you walked into The Enclave, you’ll be greeted by a similar pub scene in Europe but with a Malaysian touch. It has a cozy and down-to-earth ambiance from all the furniture, brick walls, cement bar, chalkboard and industrial lighting. Raw and rustic plus warmness makes one want to hang out at this pub.

The owner also has a great collection of yesteryears pictures in black and white or sepia of our country and its people. I was amazed to see his collections of old photos of Kuala Lumpur and these are quite precious today to show our heritage back then.

Now what makes you want to visit The Enclave… the food for a start! The menu is fairly familiar with lots of classic Western dishes and a few local dishes that is bound to be a crowd pleaser.

We started with Cream of Mushroom Soup (RM18), classic and comfort food to start any meal. Despite it looking light and pale, there is great flavour of mushrooms in the soup. It’s creamy and soothing with every spoonful of the thick soup with bits of toasty croutons and herbs.

For pasta, we opted for Carbonara Chicken (RM20), a classic favorite of mine as well as my little one. The dish faired decent with all the creamy rich notes of cream and cheese. There was generous chicken ham and Shimeji mushrooms with the pasta, lending textures and more flavours to the pasta.

For mains, the Grilled Chicken Chop (RM22) and Grilled Lamb Chop (RM35) came highly recommended. And we were glad we took the adviseed because both dishes are scrumptious. The Grilled Chicken Chop is very juicy with a solid chargrilled smoky note. It also has a lovely spice note with herbs, decent brown gravy, creamy mash and vegetables.

The Grilled Lamb Chop is really value-for-money as well as delicious. Solid portion of meaty lamb chops well marinated and chargrilled to medium doneness. The juiciness and flavours are spot on and comes with rich brown gravy, mash and vegetables. This one is a must-order if you love lamb!

The Enclave Chicken Burger (RM24) is a hearty one too. Thick and moist thigh chicken that is tasty and cooked well, sandwiched with toasted sesame seed bun, cheese and the usual suspects of lettuce, tomatoes. Crowned with fried egg that is cooked just right with a soft yolk, the burger comes with housemade coleslaw and generous thick cuts golden fries. I really enjoyed the smoky grilled chicken a lot in this burger. There is a beef patty version available too.

We didn’t think much of Thai Pad Ped Chicken (RM19) till we tried it. Gosh, this was pretty yummy. The chicken was so tender and bursting with moreish flavours of spices and aromatics. It was such a yummy dish with steamed rice and crispy crackers. Although it didn’t have much sauce, I didn’t mind as the chicken is really tasty on its own. I would order this again for sure…

We were told that the Spicy Mutton Fried Rice and Salad (RM20) is the owner’s family recipe. Fried with the mutton varuval, made by owner’s mom, the fried rice is exceptionally tasty with hints of spices and heat. Finished with lots of fried shallots and crispy crackers with side of greens, it’s a hearty dish of comfort food.

There is also Shish Taouk (RM18), skewers of seasoned spiced chicken served with pita bread, fries, salad and garlic sauce. Despite the chicken meat being a tad dry since its breast, flavours are still tasty. When put together with bread, salad and sauce, it actually is pretty decent.

If you’re here for lunch, The Enclave has some set lunch deals such as this Chicken Nasi Lemak with Ice Lemon Tea (RM15). Value-for-money and classic favorites never fail to please. The nasi lemak is quite substantial with a fragrant coconut infused rice, fried crispy boneless chicken, fried egg, sambal and the usual suspects.

The Enclave hits many right notes in its menu. The fact that it is also in a housing area makes it even better as it makes a great hangout place at the end of the day to unwind.

No 1, Lorong Kurau,
59100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 011 31262643

Business Hours:
Daily 4pm to 1am

January 25, 2017

Yemeni Cuisine @ Al Nafoura, Wangsa Maju

Flavours of Yemeni Cuisine

There aren’t many Yemeni cuisine available here in our Malaysian shores. More widely categorize as Middle Eastern cuisine, Yemeni cuisine is the national cuisine of Yemen. The cuisine uses spices along with meat in most of their dishes. Staple vegetables consist of tomatoes, onions and potatoes. The cuisine also has lots of rice and bread as their daily staples too.

It was my first experience of Yemeni flavours and I am glad it was at Al Nafoura Restaurant. Located in Wangsa Maju, Al Nafourah opened January 2016. Husband and wife team, Rahim and Izana hopes to introduce authentic Yemeni cuisine to diners here as they both enjoy the cuisine very much. Rahim learned to appreciate the cuisine while studying in Saudi Arabia during his younger years.

Everything from décor to menu at Al Nafoura is out together by both Rahim and Izana. While the décor may seemed relatively simple, the ambiance does reflect the culture of the cuisine. Warm terracotta colors are contrasted with soft white while warm yellow lighting sets the mood. Pieces of Middle Eastern art, photos and knick knacks completed the interior.

The menu is decent and filled with photos to assist those who may not be familiar with the cuisine like me. From Chef’s Recommendation to appetizers, Arabic breads, tapas, main dishes to fusion dishes and desserts, Al Nafoura tries to bring in authentic flavours of Yemeni food, said to be influenced from flavours of Africa, India and Turkey. The menu also has vegetarian options.

Arabic breads are simply a must in the cuisine. These are eaten with all the stews and braised dishes. High on the recommended list to try is the Mullawah Bread (RM5 small | RM8 large). The tasty Yemeni bread is a sort of large flat bread layered and folded with ghee and cooked on flat pan. The flat bread is deliciously aromatic and toasty with a lightly flaky texture. It certainly went really well with our dip and prawn stew. This is only available on weekdays for dinner and weekends only.

Hummus (RM12) is made really well here. Garlicky and nutty flavours shined through the creamy bean dip. A light tang of citrus, a dash of olive oil, black sesame and some chopped tomatoes whets the appetite along with the Mullawah bread.

Prawns cooked in a thick and rich tomato stew summed up Prawn Salona (RM22). The balance of spices like cumin and cayenne really added delicious depth of flavours in the stew. This one goes well with rice or bread.

Oqda means ‘knot’ in Arabic and so Chicken Oqda (RM17) is a dish that is tied together with rich spices and vegetables cooked with chicken. Chunky boneless shredded chicken has well absorbed the tomatoey vegetable and spiced up sauce so well. Slap on the bread to pick up the Chicken Oqda for a tasty appetizer treat.

The first main dish to arrive was the Mandi Chicken (RM16 quarter| RM26 half). A whole chicken Maryland is marinated and grilled. The beautiful golden hue denoted the spiced marinade. Served with fluffy saffron Basmati rice and a special curry gravy, the dish is suitable for both adults as well as kids. The chicken is moist and tender with a tasty savory note that is easy to enjoy. There is also a lamb option for this dish.

Another main dish we had is the Kabsa Lamb Rice (RM23 small | RM37 large). The Kabsa lamb stew has large pieces of bone-in lamb in a yellow gravy finished with lots of fresh coriander. Served with a yellow spiced Basmati rice and also a curry gravy, this one is superb. Not a fan of lamb, the lamb stew is really very moreish. The lamb is so tender and melts-in-the-mouth and is well perfumed by spices that there is no meaty lamb smell that is usually present. The rice is also very fluffy and aromatic, making the dish a winner in my books. There is also a chicken option for this one but I highly recommend the lamb.

Do order a side of Garlic Sauce (RM4) to go with the main dishes. Creamy pungent garlicky sauce added a spin of tasty flavours to any dishes at Al Nafoura.

Our limelight of the evening was the house signature Lamb Maghdout (RM39 1/2kg | RM75 1kg) or Chicken (RM35 half | RM65 whole). Lamb is marinated with lots of spices and pressure cooked to delicious tenderness. Coupled with the tomato and spice based Basmati rice, the dish also has lots of raw red onions, fresh coriander and boiled egg.

Al Nafoura has nailed their lamb dishes to perfection. The lamb in this dish is even better than the Kabsa lamb. Gorgeously fork tender, the lamb has sublime spice flavours with a smoky note. The rice is very tasty and fluffy too. The flavours from the pairing is well balanced and scrumptious. Even though I was pretty full, I find myself going back for this dish simply because I really enjoyed the flavours. It takes at least 20 to 30 minutes to prepare this dish but it’s truly well worth the wait.

Order the Al Nafoura Salad (RM10) to go with the main dishes for fresh burst of crunchy vegetables. Chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and olives are lightly seasoned to keep the freshness.

Sahawiq or a tomato salsa is the sauce that really pulls every dish together. It has such a hit of heat from chilies and a pump of robust onions and tomato flavours that had me spooning lots of the sauce on all the main dishes. Damn shiok sauce!

We were told that Rahim came up with Maggi Goreng Kabsa (RM18). Not an authentic one but rather a creative fusion, the noodles turned out to be decent. Nothing to shout about but still, it makes a nice single dish for those who are game to try this. The actual noodle comes with meat while ours had no meat due to our request since we already had so much meat in our mains.

For desserts, we opted to try the Areeka (RM18), a sweet and savory dessert made from homemade wheat flatbread and dates. It has quite a unique flavour and may take work or not with some. The thick cream topping with shredded cheese gave the dish an oddness of flavour. It is also quite rich and heavy so it is best to share this dessert.

I prefer the Kunafe (RM15), a Middle Eastern sweet pastry of golden crispy shredded phyllo stuffed with white soft cheese. This one is crispy and creamy with a luscious cheesy note. Finished with a thick whipped cream, I like the dessert with its gentle sweetness and crispy texture.

Order the refreshing cold Lemon & Mint (RM8) to freshen up the palate or the hot Adani Spice Tea (RM6 – cup | RM12 – teapot) to washed down the richness of the dishes. The tea is similar to our pulled tea except it is spiced with ginger, cloves and cardamom.

Try Yemeni cuisine at least once and you will be surprise at how good the cuisine is. Al Nafoura is a great choice to try the cuisine as the Rahim has really nailed the flavours well. Dishes are affordable and prepared very well. Al Nafoura also does catering for private parties. It may be my first time trying Yemeni cuisine but it will certainly not be my last as Al Nafoura has really left a delicious experience of Yemeni cuisine for me.

9-G, Plaza Wangsa Maju (Hedgeford Galleria),
Jalan Maju Ria 2,
Wangsa Maju, Section 10,
53300 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-4131 4886

Business Hours:
Sat to Thurs 11.30am to 10pm
Friday          11.30am to 1pm | 2.15 to 10pm

January 24, 2017

CNY Omakase Menu 2017 @ Nobu Kuala Lumpur

Ringing in Good Fortune with Nobu’s CNY Omakase

With the Year of the Rooster around the corner, the season to indulge is also here. Indulge at the finest Japanese restaurant in the city with an unforgettable view of the majestic Twin Tower. This New Lunar Year, Nobu Kuala Lumpur invites you and your loved ones on a gastronomical journey of senses with Executive Chef Phillip Leong’s Chinese New Year Omakase menu.

Experience a sensory dining at the acclaimed new style Japanese –Peruvian cuisine set high in Menara 3 Petronas tower amidst the buzzling metropolitan city. Chef Leong and the culinary team have designed a special CNY themed Omakase 6-course menu to pay homage to the rich Chinese culture to usher in a fiery and auspicious Year of the Rooster.

The 6-course Omakase kicks off with Satsuma Mandarin Inryol. Unwind and set the mood for the festive meal with the fruity mandarin based cocktail made with Mandarin Vodka, Martini Rosso, Cointreau and Satsuma Mandarin Orange Puree. Exquisite and refreshing citrusy notes soothes the palate with freshness of the festive season.

Opening the Omakase with much prosperity is a masterpiece of 8 morsels of appetizers featured in Zenzai Moriawase. Every piece is carefully paired with all to evoke a firework of flavours and textures in celebration of the festive holidays.

Zenzai Moriawase consists of Dragon Fruit Ceviche, Botan Ebi with Caviar, Arrow Root Chips with Tuna, White Onion Amazu, Octopus Carpaccio, Oyster Oshitashi, Salmon New Style and White Fish Roll Tiradito Style.

The lightest fruity and citrus juice soaking brunoises of dragon fruit topped with quinoa is certainly a delightful note to start with in Dragon Fruit Ceviche.

Botan Ebi with Caviar feels like a match made in heaven. Sublime raw Botan shrimp marinated with a creamy spicy sauce and crowned with tiny pearls of black caviar. Glorious jelly consistency with unctuous sweet and spicy notes coupled with popping briny caviar made this bite feels utterly luxurious and heavenly.

Arrow root is a classic festive treat. Tuna tartare seasoned with umami savory note hinted with a touch of heat in paired with crispy wafer thin arrow root chip. Delish…

Amazu, a traditional Japanese sweet and sour sauce, is paired with sweet crisp white onion slices. Simple and acts as a nice palate cleanser between the appetizers.

Nobu’s novel Octopus Carpaccio served with habanero sauce and topped with dried miso is a revelation of flavours and texture.

Next, we have a lush Oyster Oshitashi, raw fresh oyster seasoned with a citrus dressing and finished with dancing bonito flakes.

Another signature on Nobu’s menu, the delicate flavour of salmon served in yuzu soy and finished with a hot drizzle of new style oil. The Salmon New Style proved that the even the smallest bite can exude big explosion of umami flavour in one bite.

Last but not least, White Fish Roll Tiradito Style features a white fish roll stuffed with bits of tastiness accented by a tart yuzu sauce.

Inspired by the tradition of CNY, the Nobu Style Yee Sang with Sushi had each of us tossing in delight on our very own personal yee sang. The Nobu Style Yee Sang Salad comes with Assorted Sashimi with Ponzu Jelly & Yuzu Honey Sauce.

A medley of radish, carrot, beetroot, ginger, cucumber, red and green seaweed provides the platform for the salad while a trio of salmon, tuna and sea bream sashimi lends the appeal of festive ‘yue’ to the dish. The salad texture is enhanced with crispy fried yuba and tempura flakes. The yuzu honey sauce gave the yee sang a vibrant lightness of sweet, savory and tangy notes.

With the Yee Sang course, a HC House Special Roll and a Salmon Skin Roll is served.

The next course of Steamed Chilean Seabass with Truffle Sansho Pepper Soy lends the auspicious ‘Nian Nian You Yue’ to the meal. Chilean Seabass was exceptionally fresh with creamy and velvety flesh, sweet and luscious flavours. The aroma of the truffle was beautifully heady and intoxicating in pleasure. Sansho pepper sauce was so delicate that it enhanced the fish harmoniously.

For the meat course, Duck Breast with Passion Fruit Teriyaki was a delicious twist of ingredients. Duck breast cooked medium well and served with a tangy passion fruit teriyaki with passion fruit seeds are finished with crunch carrot, cauliflower and Shimeji mushrooms with crispy herbs.

To end the savory course, the Clear Soup with Fish Surimi was pure comforting. A robust dashi broth soothes the palate together with a soft Shitake mushroom, a sprig of Enoki mushroom and a tender fish surimi ball. Pleasure of comfort food evokes a sense of Zen to the end of the lavish meal…

The omakase’s finale was a crowd favorite of Goma Bavarian & Almond Sponge with Mandarin Orange Sorbet. Such finesse in presentation of the festive season inspired by mandarin, the pretty half ‘mandarin’ has sweet and nutty almond sponge topped with mousse before being covered in chocolate. The sweetness is balanced with the refreshing sweet and tart mandarin orange sorbet and completed with sesame crumbs.

Priced at RM488++ per pax, the Chinese New Year Omakase dinner is available from January 23rd to February 13th, 2017. The Omakase includes a special Chinese New Year cocktail, Satsuma Mandarin or a mocktail option for those who prefer a non-alcoholic beverage.

For inquiries or reservations, please call 03.2164.5084 or Whatsapp 019.389.5085.

Menara 3 Petronas
Level 56 KLCC 50088 Kuala Lumpur
Phone: +60 3 2164 5084
Fax: + 60 2164 5085
Reservation: nobuklreservations@noburestaurants.com

Website: www.noburestaurants.com/kuala-lumpur