Fat Olive Food Garage, Dataran Prima

I love Fat Olive Food Garage. It’s in Menara Prima inside of Dataran Prima. The food is good, the wine better. The ambiance is cosy, a testament to owners’ personal touch and hospitality.

Fat Olive Food Garage, Petaling Jaya

Spanish chef Kike (pronounced Kee-Kay) and Malaysian ex-advertising exec Stacee decided to move back from Shanghai to enjoy a more relaxed pace of life. Thus Fat Olive was born, in a quiet location that seemed out of place for their selected menu and pricing.

I was curious, and asked Stacee on their decision to stay put in Dataran Prima. I mean, it’s great for me, not having to leave my extended neighbourhood to get city quality restaurant food. But surely they would be able to draw a larger crowd if they were in, say, Bangsar or Changkat?

Fat Olive Food Garage - restaurant

“Nope nope nope,” said Stacee, “it can get a little quiet but this is a great set-up for us. We didn’t make the decision to come back, to get back into the rat race.”

For now she is hopeful that customers can recognise quality when they see and taste it. Chef Kike is particular about the ingredients in his kitchen, and how food is served to customers. Try requesting to takeaway their Spanish octopus, then watch them awkwardly, apologetically attempt to diffuse your enthusiasm, haha.

“Suanie, the quality would be so different… the octopus would be so tough… it’s really not recommended for takeaway. You would have such a bad impression of our food 🙁 Please choose something else?”

Okay okay.

Fat Olive serves sandwiches, burgers, al dente pasta and risotto, all from RM28+. If you need your pasta and risotto to be overcooked and mushy like how the rest of Malaysia erroneously does it, please make a special mention to the chef.

Fat Olive Food Garage - tapas platter

The fun menu starts from 6pm. Fat Olive’s Tapas Platter (RM135+) is an assortment of goodies – home-made sourdough bread, smoked chicken croquettes with arugula and parmesan shaves, Spanish tortilla, serrano ham, iberico chorizo/salami cold cuts, mussels in spicy tomato sauce, deep-fried calamari, baked eggplant with bacon and mozzarella cheese, and tiger prawns with chilli and garlic. Perfect for sharing, best accompanied by a decent selection of wine and beer.

Fat Olive Food Garage - enjoying tapas platter

They have lamb, tenderloin, and sous vide iberico pork ribs. There’s also Spanish octopus on roasted chat potatoes and red pepper with caramelised onion, and Spanish smoked paprika (RM92+).

Fat Olive Food Garage - Spanish octopus with paprika

Beautifully cooked octopus, tender and succulent. Comes at a bit of a hefty price tag, then again the cost of imported goods isn’t cheap. This is one tantalising meal that I would be glad to eat again, and again, and again, and again.

Fat Olive Food Garage - Spanish octopus

Their seared yellow fin tuna (RM78+) was delicious, says my friend Gary.

Fat Olive Food Garage - seared yellow fin tuna

I’m not one for uncooked or semi-cooked fish, so I didn’t try some. Though I bet it would go down great with the range of wines available at Fat Olive…

Fat Olive Food Garage - wine and sangria

Spanish wine is favourable to the palate, so easy to drink. I enjoyed the house white, the Hoya De Cadenas, Chardonnay 2015, from Utiel Requena (RM32+ a glass, RM158+ per bottle). And the El Perro Verde, Verdejo 2013, from Rueda (RM199+) which was a bit intense, fruity with a bold medium-long finish. Funny how it seems ridiculous to describe the taste of wine, eh. But it’s something you can only know once you’ve tasted said wine, to understand the meaning of each seemingly superfluous description.

Medium-long finish can also mean other things, but this is now a family-friendly blog.

Fat Olive Food Garage - dessert

The creme brulee and chocolate mousse were decadently delicious. That’s all.

Fat Olive Food Garage (non-halal)
B-G-17, Menara Prima, Jalan PJU 1/39
47301, Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
Tel: +603-7887 5068

Opens from 1st to 25th every month.
Lunch: 11.30am – 3.30pm
Dinner: 6pm – 10pm

Facebook: FatOliveFoodGarage

Whup Whup, Subang Jaya

We finally got to check out Liang’s co-labour of love, Whup Whup, a casual French eatery in Subang Jaya’s industrial area. It was not difficult to locate the restaurant among all the factories, for Waze was quite accurate.

WhupWhup, Subang Jaya - entrance

The restaurant is massive, 10,000 square feet of what used to be an industrial yarn factory. High-ceiling, generous space for families with children, contemporary potted plants, and machinery leftover from its factory age now destined for decor.

WhupWhup, Subang Jaya - space

WhupWhup, Subang Jaya - high ceiling

There’s also Liang, a man who wears many hats – singer, emcee, former radio DJ, chef and now aspiring restaurateur. So passionate about this path that he underwent an intensive course at Le Cordon Bleu and earned his Diplome de Commis Cuisinier.

Then he started Whup Whup with wife Pojoo Sim and friend Levi Asher. Must be stressful job, thus a request for a photo automatically gets you this

WhupWhup, Subang Jaya - Liang

Right, on to the food. There were a few of us, so we got to order quite a bit from the French-inspired menu.

Nu Yolk (RM35) – beautifully seared scallops served with parmesan and salted egg puree. I thought the flavour was balanced, tender scallops went well with the puree, the taste was not overwhelming.

WhupWhup, Subang Jaya - scallops

Liang and friends seem to love unconventional naming, so tomato onion soup becomes Rosy Cheeks (RM10), served with a nice big slice of bread. Word of advice: consume this when warm, for it gets quite salty when cool. Not sure what food science is going on there.

WhupWhup, Subang Jaya - tomato soup

Fat Shrooms (RM12) – sauteed meaty eryngii mushrooms with tomato concasse. Hard to go wrong with a sure-win combination.

WhupWhup, Subang Jaya - mushrooms

Next, carbs. I read a lot about Whup Whup’s signature dish, the Duck 3 Ways (RM28) – a medley of pasta with salted duck egg yolk, duck bacon and duck breast confit.

Somewhere in a Facebook comment, Liang himself admitted that people either love this dish, or they quite dislike it. Indeed, I read reviews for both love/dislike parties. Me, I’m on the neutral camp, though I might not be able to consume an entire plate by myself, it is rather rich.

WhupWhup, Subang Jaya - duck pasta

The No Cream Carbonara (RM20) and Salmon Hayek (RM25) received thumbs-up from our group.

WhupWhup, Subang Jaya - carbonara

WhupWhup, Subang Jaya - salmon pasta

My main was Citrus Glaze Confit Duck on Mash, Ratatouille and Citrus Sauce (RM27). Otherwise known as ‘dat dope duck dish’ and I rather agree!

WhupWhup, Subang Jaya - duck confit

The duck meat was soft, tender, inviting. A forkful of meat with some of the concasse… very pleasing after all the pasta we’ve had.

WhupWhup, Subang Jaya - duck confit meat
On some days, the meaning of life is fork tender duck

Mike thought his main was pleasant, the Glazed Lamb Shank with Ratatouille and Rosemary Taters (RM38).

WhupWhup, Subang Jaya - lambshank

For dessert, we shared a Gramps Apple Pie (RM10), a dark chocolate pie and Kapiti ice-cream. You’re looking at the dessert that I enjoyed the most, though I did wish it had more crust.

WhupWhup, Subang Jaya - apple pie

A variety of beverages available, including craft beer. H20 is free, kudos for that!

WhupWhup, Subang Jaya - coffee

Looking forward to my next visit already!

Whup Whup Restaurant & Cafe
No. 12, Jalan SS13/3B
Subang Jaya Industrial Estate
47500 Subang Jaya, Selangor.
Tel: +603-5612 6250

Pork-free. Opens Wednesday to Sunday, from 11am to 10pm.

Check them out on Facebook: WhupWhup.my

A lobster, a steak and a bottle of wine walk into a bar

I have a mole above my upper lip. In the Chinese art of face reading, its position makes it an ‘Eating God’ (shi shen) mole. Supposedly, it means that I am a connoisseur of music, food, drinks, and that I enjoy the good things in life.

Wow Chinese art of face reading, how did you know? Chinese art of face reading, you’re right!

Very little things make me happier than being lost in my own world, savouring whatever deliciousness is on my plate, observing details that may seem unimportant to others. Welcome to my ‘me’ time… no actually, for obvious reasons, stay away from my ‘me’ time.

One thing that is often forgotten: pleasure can be found in both an expensive 10-course meal, and an unassuming homemade grilled cheese and pickle sandwich. Yes, it is exactly like a cheesy (har har) over-the-top love declaration worthy of this Pat Boone classic.

This year, I’ve had some really nice things. One of my favourite is a starter served at The Restaurant in The Club, Saujana Resort.

Marble of lobster and tomato confit, with avocado, grapefruit segments and pomegranate truffle.

The Restaurant, Saujana Resort - marble of lobster and tomato confit

Look at this thing. I had no idea what was going on, but everything on that plate made culinary sense. I don’t even remember what it tasted like anymore. But the feels… bursts of colourful happy juices raining down from the sky, followed by a vision of Ryan Gosling reaching out to me, sensuously mouthing “come with me if you want to live forever” (I think I stole that line from a bug movie, but whatever, Ryan Gosling.)

Did you know how happy I was? That was how happy I was.

The Restaurant, Saujana Resort - black angus tenderloin

Some might say that the steak looked like it was ready to get up and run away.

At times, I genuinely do not know how to reply to such remarks. Was that a joke? Were you joking? An attempt at humour that painfully falls flat because it’s… not…. funny….? But I can’t say that to your face, “Wei, what kind of stupid joke you’re trying to make, so stupid” because it wouldn’t be nice? Why would anyone joke about Black Angus beef tenderloin?

Here, some jokes.

What do you call a cow with no legs? Ground beef.

What do cows do for entertainment? Go to moo-vies.

Why should you never ever tell a cow a secret? Because it will just go in one ear and out the udder.


The Restaurant, Saujana Resort - Jacob's Creek Centenary Hill Shiraz

I usually skip Shiraz, not a fan of spicy and peppery in my wine. But this Jacob’s Creek Centenary Hill Shiraz from Barossa Valley… wow! A rich full-bodied red, yet decidedly soft to the taste, more than its fair share of blackberry notes.

I liked it. So much so that I tried getting a bottle for myself, for personal consumption. But I suppose that people buy these things in cases, for my request to purchase one single bottle was never acknowledged.

That sucks. But what to do 🙂

Inspired with Anna Olson

Celebrity chef Anna Olson was in town to promote her new show, Inspired with Anna Olson which airs on Asian Food Channel (AFC) every Friday at 9pm.

At a private dinner held at Samplings on the Fourteenth, guests were treated to a five-course meal created by Anna Olson, assisted by the BERJAYA UCH students. The Asian-inspired menu clearly contains elements from Anna Olson’s visits to our part of the world.

Inspired with Anna Olson, Kuala Lumpur - menu
Happy to choose the non-vegetarian option

Inspired with Anna Olson, Kuala Lumpur - setting
Stick a flower into an apple, why don’t you

In person, Anna (yes we’re on first name basis…) was warm, approachable and obliging. I knew her from ‘Sugar’, her breakthrough show where she makes BEAUTIFUL dessert then eat them on TV. Possibly one of the cruelest types of shows because it makes me want to go out, go mad and SPLURGE on sweets (because I can’t bake).

Anna was really nice. She asked if we had questions for her, about her life, the show, anything. I couldn’t think of anything to ask then. But now, I have a gazillion questions! Typical.

Inspired with Anna Olson, Kuala Lumpur - guests
If I were a writer for those entertainment type mags, I’d be telling you who these people are. WELL! I know one of them is Anna Olson (tee-hee), and the other is Mae Ho of BERJAYA UCH. Then my editor would fire me because I was obviously having too much fun to write any of their names down. But nah, I’m not in any trouble, because this isn’t a paid gig. What I want to say is, let’s all be a tad more appreciative of those underpaid writers who do this for a living. We speak your name (but you’d have to tell us your names in the first place, heh you see where this is going…)

Inspired with Anna Olson, Kuala Lumpur - cooking demo
A cooking demo by Anna Olson, where she made Lime Crème Caramel, a recipe inspired from her culinary trip to the Philippines

We started with an appetiser trio – Salmon Tartare on Cassava Cakes, Maple BBQ Chicken Wings, and Mini Bao with Crab Salad. The ceviche was light and zesty, perfect with a dollop of sour cream. A reminder that the simple things in life are possibly the best, just what a happiness doctor would prescribe.

Inspired with Anna Olson, Kuala Lumpur - starter
I took like, 30 shots of the wing and they all turned out bad. Look, salmon tartare!

Anna’s “Inspired” Beef Carpaccio with Pho Flavours came from Vietnam, don’t ask me how I know that har har. It was refreshing to have fat bean sprouts in lieu of the usual rocket leaves, and sliced onions instead of shaved parmesan. Fresh, crunchy, aromatic, on a meaty texture. Brilliant.

Inspired with Anna Olson, Kuala Lumpur - beef carpaccio
Do you even carpaccio?

Inspired with Anna Olson, Kuala Lumpur - lobster chowder
Atlantic Lobster Chowder

Inspired with Anna Olson, Kuala Lumpur - roasted lamb rack
Rosemary Roasted Lamb Rack with Balsamic Blueberry Sauce and Canadian Wild Rice Pilaf

In the Philippines, chef Rob Pengson made Tocino de Cielo for Anna. The rich dessert inspired Anna to come out with her version, the Lime Crème Caramel. In the first episode of ‘Inspired with Anna Olson’, she shows you how to make it – you can watch it on-line for free at the AFC website.

Inspired with Anna Olson, Kuala Lumpur - Lime Creme Caramel
Anna Olson made me dessert! Okay BERJAYA UCH students did, under the supervision of Anna’s husband, Mike Olson. But heyyyy! DESSERT!

There are 10 episodes of ‘Inspired with Anna Olson’. I can’t wait for the last 2 episodes as they will feature Malaysian chefs Ili and Chef Wan! Call me biased, but they are the best. BEST.

Inspired with Anna Olson, Kuala Lumpur - Anna Olson and Suanie
Anna was so nice. She let me take as many photos as I wanted. That was nice.

Thanks for having me!

Fest, Jaya One

When one door closes, another opens. That can be said of the many incarnations of the space in Jaya One that is now Fest, a cafe that offers good ol’ coffee and cafe food.

Not just any run-of-the-mill cafe food, mind you. But more on that later.

Fest Jaya One - latte

Fest was started by three friends who left their jobs and poured in (almost) everything they had into this venture – their money, ideas, time and youth.

I know this to be true; I am acquainted with one of them, Lisan, whom I knew since our active blogging days. Then years later, work projects got us back in touch.

Then one day she left to pursue her F&B dreams. One day she was talking videos and events, and the next day she was off baking cakes and brewing coffee. That was that, and Fest was born.

Fest Jaya One cafe

The first thing to know about Fest is that it has gained popularity in a star product, the Lemak Chicken Sandwich (RM14). A what now?

Fest Jaya One - nasi lemak sandwich

No kidding, it’s nasi lemak sandwich-style! How does one make this happen?

First, replace the rice with toasted sourdough bread. I know I know, it’s not really quite the same, but the chef is attempting to scale greater heights here.

What of the condiments one would expect of Malaysia’s national dish? Turn them – the anchovies, crushed peanuts and sambal into a paste, and spread them generously onto both sides of the bread! Then add toasted coconut, shredded cucumber, egg strips and chicken waffles to complete the assemble.

Sure, it’s unconventional. A tad gimmicky even. But somehow it worked, and I enjoyed the spicy, hearty sandwich.

Fest Jaya One - egg sandwich

The unadventurous may stick to safe options, such as the Egg Sandwich (RM12). Bread, lettuce, waffle omelette, eh it’s not bad. But it’s no nasi lemak sandwich.

Fest Jaya One - chicken waffle

Another recommended item at Fest is Chicken Waffles (RM16), where the waffles themselves are made from a mixture of mostly lean meat, chives, onions and eggs. Savoury, tasty and juicy waffles, should please those looking for something filling.

Fest Jaya One - duck salad

For my mother and I, we thought that the star was definitely the Duck Salad (RM13). A visually pleasing mix of roasted duck slices with carrot , cucumber, red onions, pomegranate and peanuts, splashed with sour plum sauce. It reminds you of yee sang eaten during Chinese New Year, just as crunchy and refreshing. A total winner in our books!

Fest Jaya One - Milo Dinosaur waffle

The young ones enjoyed Milo Dinosaur (RM12), a dessert waffle of Milo (a super famous brand of chocolate & malt powder, which according to its own advertising, created champions out of us kids who drank it faithfully growing up) and condensed milk topped with coconut ice-cream.

Fest Jaya One - latte coffee

Fest is involved in the Suspended Coffee movement, only that it’s rightfully called #BelanjaKopi here.

I’m glad it’s working out for Lisan and co. I mean, I would hate it if she had left her regular paying job for something that turned out to be terrible, hahah! But no, it looks like they’re on the right path to delivering unique products, and I wish them the best of the luck!

And I’ll be back to try out the delicious array of cakes available!

E-83-G.3G, The Square, Jaya One
72A, Jalan Universiti,
Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

Tel: +60 3-7932 1523

Opens daily. For hours, go to festwithus.wix.com/fest
#FestWithUs Facebook | Instagram

Mikey’s New York Pizza & Frozen Custard, Mid Valley

One fine day at work, I received a call from a number that I did not recognise.

It turned out to be Michael Helfman, the Mikey of Mikey’s New York Pizza. Dreamy pizza man entrepreneur, do-gooder and possibly one of the most good-looking men in Kuala Lumpur right now.

I have enough Googling skills to know that he’s super happily married to his beautiful wife Gabrielle. As it turns out, you’re allowed to admire one’s blessed genes from afar without harbouring wicked intentions.

Then proceed to write out these private thoughts on a public blog? No harm done there either. It’s hard enough to kickstart writing a post as it is, so why not verbal diarrhea. #thestruggleisreal

So Mikey called to invite me to the launch of the new outlet in Midvalley. I couldn’t make it on the grand do (got a day job, have to do actual day job to pay for mortgage and shiny new things) where they attempted to create the biggest pizza slice in Malaysia. I hope that went well, I never did ask.

I told him I’d check it out on my own. So there I was in Midvalley on a Saturday, and we all know what a mega sacrifice of time and humanity that is.

First of all, there was this huge Star Wars promotion thing going on. People from all corners of Klang Valley gathered at Midvalley and stood in line to get their photo taken at the most unimpressive fighter jet replica at Centre court. Yes that thing is big, but.. is that it? Just place a dull boring lifeless model thingy and that’s a wrap? Is that all there is to life, magnitude? In the end, does size really matter?

Secondly, there is an inane amount of families (again with the size) that frequent Midvalley on weekends and taking up entire walking paths. How? They just slowly walk side by side, slowly looking at the shops around them, slowly moving one foot after the other, oblivious to their surroundings, oblivious to irritated people like me who walk fast. You know, because we have somewhere to go to??

I could always slide past loving couples because ninja. But 5 or 6 people in a row? THAT’S A GARRISON AND YOU HAVE NOTHING TO PROTECT SO MOVE ALONG NOW.

People annoy me. Crowds annoy me. Families (who are nice, I’m sure) who walk side by side taking up entire paths annoy me. I don’t do well in a popular shopping mall on weekends. I’d rather sit at home alone, stare at the wall and count imaginary spiders in their imaginary faded cobwebs.

But you know, incredibly beautiful chiselled man asks you to do something, you sorta go jump right in. No? It’s just me then? Okay.

The new Mikey’s New York Pizza sits on the same level as GSC in Midvalley. Can somebody say retail gold? Anyone knows that you’ve got a decent lot near a super popular cinema, you’re done. Bring it home baby! Kaching kaching kaching millionaire in the making.

LOL. Okay maybe they don’t want to be seen that way. But I’m not going to cross out everything I just typed. I’ll just backtrack myself here: yeah that’s a really strategic lot to have a pizza business, folks! Thumbs up ‘cos you’re gonna make it and love it.

Mikey's New York Pizza and Frozen Custard Midvalley
If they were Chinese, they’d get enough congratulatory flower stands to fund a florist Insert Chinese joke here

The great thing about Mikey’s pizzas is that they sell them in slices. It’s about RM14 a slice for my preferred pizza, and it’s a huge slice that fills me up pretty good.

Mikey's New York Pizza Midvalley - counter
Pizzas in waiting

I also like it that they are generous with the pizza toppings. Every slice gets equal amount of fresh ingredients that make up the toppings, so that’s where your money goes right there.

Look at this huge slice of meatball pizza! We always ask the kitchen to halve our so we can enjoy a larger variety of pizzas without over punishing our stomachs.

Mikey's New York Pizza Midvalley - meatballs
What’s on this? Meatballs, roasted peppers, caramelised onions, garlic

But of course when there are just two of you, that’s just two variety. So I always opt for my favourite, meatballs and bianco. The trick is to be really good friends with people who don’t mind what they eat, so long they are eating it with you. I am super blessed that way so I get to eat my favourite food all the time, and that’s how I eat the same things all the time.

Here’s johnny bianco!

Mikey's New York Pizza Midvalley - bianca
What’s on this? A whole lotta dairy love – mozzarella, ricotta, cheddar, goat cheese.

You can’t go wrong with waffle fries that are crispy on the outside, and fluffy on the inside. Mikey’s make them real good. My to-go is Staten Island – seasoned waffle fries served with 4 types of sauces: blue cheese, brown gravy, smoked chili mayo and Heinz ketchup.

Like a tangy, spicy kick to your meat? Get the boneless buffalo chicken served with blue cheese dipping sauce.

Mikey's New York Pizza Midvalley - fries and boneless chicken wings
Fries and Chicken could be the title of the next Nickelodeon hit. Or whatever channels kids are watching these days. Can you tell that I am childless?

Random photo of accommodating friend.

Mikey's New York Pizza Midvalley - waiting sign

Random photo of accommodating diners.

“Uhm.. okayyyyyy…. (you weird strange person)”

Mikey's New York Pizza Midvalley - diners

Besides pizza, Mikey’s also selling frozen custard at its Midvalley outlet, the first of its kind in Malaysia. Frozen custard is like ice cream with the addition of eggs. So you get a really rich, creamy dessert in a flavour that you like, with toppings that you enjoy.

Mikey’s frozen custard is made with Bright Cow’s Jersey milk, so that’s x times the creamy intensity going on.

You could have it ala soft serve-style, or in a hot bun. It’s like aiskrim goreng if you like that sort of dual yin yang taste going on in your mouth.

Mikey's Frozen Custard Midvalley - frozen custard bun
Mikey’s frozen custard in Mikey’s bun. Hey, that’s how it’s marketed! Lol.

So from this post, we learned 3 things:

1) There’s a new Mikey’s New York Pizza outlet in Mid Valley.
2) There’s a new ice cream product, America’s favourite frozen custard, the first of its kind in our country.
3) Good looking men can make me do anything. Almost. OH GOD SHALLOWNESS IS DELICIOUS.

Go get some pizza lovin’.

Mikey’s New York Pizza
Lot T-028A, South Court, 3rd Floor
Mid Valley Megamall

Website: mikeyspizza.com.my
Facebook: MikeysOriginal

Dewakan – modern Malaysian cuisine

Have you been to Dewakan? The brainchild of Chef Darren Teoh, the restaurant sits somewhere in the KDU building in Glenmarie, where said chef also lectures in the science of molecular gastronomy.

Dewakan, Kuala Lumpur - lounge
Comfortable lounge while waiting for your table

A semi fine-dining restaurant in the middle of a private college in the middle of nowhere? Speaks volumes of a man’s peculiarity, doesn’t it? To embrace local ingredients long taken for granted and hold them up as muses to a chef’s culinary artistry, it’s nothing short of ambition and lofty aspirations, much like the unnecessary complex structure of this sentence.

Dewakan, Kuala Lumpur - restaurant
Tables spread out generously with a clear view of the kitchen

For my birthday this year, I asked my sisters to dine at Dewakan with me. As the restaurant operates on limited days and tables, we could only get a reservation on a weekday. Not a problem! 10-course tasting menu, here we come!

We had such a good time that I want to share my Dewakan experience.

Dewakan, Kuala Lumpur - starters
Complimentary snacks to start you off

We started with freshly baked bread served with butter and complimentary appetisers. First, edible twigs of fried dough served with budu mayonaise, a crazy delicious refreshing dip that sets the tone of what is to come.

Fried cucur (fritters) topped with spinach, coconut slivers (kerisik) and shaved duck breast. The cucur by itself was bland, took on bold flavours when paired with the toppings and a touch of the budu mayonaise.

Then we were served a light, whipped frothy mango and curry foam to cleanse the palate. On with the 10 courses.

Dewakan, Kuala Lumpur - razor clam
You’d never had razor clams this way before

Razor Clams from Pulau Ketam, Rose Apples, Cashew Nuts, Tenggek Burung and Rose Apple Snow
Mindblowing! It felt like eating seafood on shaved ice – chewy, light and crunchy. Then you get the occasional sharp taste of the ‘tenggek burung’ herb (En: melicopes).

Dewakan, Kuala Lumpur - mushrooms

Roast King Oyster Mushroom, Green Curry Paste, Yogurt and Dried Mackerel Flakes
We sampled this dish at MIGF, where Dewakan was a participant. It was an ‘okay’ at the festival, but as its own dish at the restaurant, the meaty shrooms sprang to life with the accompanying herbs.

Dewakan, Kuala Lumpur - mushrooms dish

Half the fun was marveling at the edible flowers and herbs used. Doesn’t the above reminds you of ‘daun putri malu’, a shy plant that closes up its leaves when you touch it?

But when in doubt, the waiters in training at Dewakan are always on hand, eager to help.

Dewakan, Kuala Lumpur - infused broth

Next, an inception was introduced to our table with a flourish. It turned out to be a prep for a mushroom broth for our next course. The broth was heated on the spot to take on flavours of aromatics, garlic, mushroom stems and orange peel.

Dewakan, Kuala Lumpur - forbidden porridge
They named this Forbidden Porridge. Come ask me about an adult joke I could make offline.

Black Glutinous Rice Congee, Thinly Sliced Tender Ox Tongue, Choy Tum, Soft Boiled Egg Yolk served with Mushroom Broth
The infused broth poured over the glutinous rice was fragrant, resulting in a rich yet odd combination of ingredients. It was over complicated for me as a whole, yet there was no fault to individual ingredients.

Dewakan, Kuala Lumpur - prawn
This is so prawny

Local Red Prawn with Prawn Tartar, Fiddlehead Ferns, Pegaga and Bunga Telang Oil
The tartar, mixed with the prawn head’s own juice was fresh and appetizing. The cooked prawn was juicy and luscious, just right for a firm bite. Perfect prawnfest!

Dewakan, Kuala Lumpur - chicken
Sometimes I lay at night and wonder if the inspiration came from caterpillars. Just sometimes.

Charcoal Roasted Corn Fed Chicken Breast, Chicken Ragout Wrapped in Kaduk and Kailan Puree
The meat was flawlessly prepared. Crispy skin with moist, tender flesh. I was not a fan of the buah keluak sauce and kailan puree, it reminded me of chicken essence. However my sisters thoroughly enjoyed this dish with the sauce. The chicken liver was invitingly soft and flavourful, much love.

Dewakan, Kuala Lumpur - cod
I can’t believe it’s not cod. Actually I can. But I ran out of accompanying lines for photos.

Steamed Pomfret over Tumeric Leaf, Chrysanthemum Garland, Water Chesnut, Salted Egg Yolk and Sweet Potato Crisps
Pomfret is typically unsexy, like the obligatory fish course fourth in line at Chinese banquets. However at Dewakan, the fish is a star! Beautifully steamed, didn’t lose its texture, topped with a light water chestnut foam that did not overwhelm the fish’s delicate taste.

Plus the aesthetically pleasant side of paper-thin sweet potato crisps, salted egg yolk and ulam! Much props to the chef and his team’s presentation skills.

Dewakan, Kuala Lumpur - lamb
Mary had a little lamb, guess where it went?

Confit of Lamb Breast, Spring Onion, Marsala and Onion Puree
We had this at MIGF which sealed the deal for me, made me want to try out Dewakan’s entire offerings. The meat; tender, fatty, juicy and insanely tasty is lamb heaven for lamb lovers! Also enjoyed the candied purple spinach.

Dewakan, Kuala Lumpur - cake
At first glance, we thought it was a cake.

Then came dessert, at which point we were absolutely stuffed but determined to complete all courses.

Fro-yo, Rosselle Syrup and Daun Selom Oil left a crisp taste in our tongues, its light sourness doubled as a palate cleanser.

Dewakan, Kuala Lumpur - meringue
A stand-out dessert

Pulut Ice Cream, Gula Melaka Marquise, Sour Meringue
If you had to try only one of Chef Darren’s desserts, let it be this. The teardrop meringue was lovely to look at, melts in your mouth and held the combination of the ice-cream and marquise well.

Dewakan, Kuala Lumpur - banana dessert
Dewakan is a heaven for dessert lovers

Smoked Chocolate Chantilly, Fried Banana Ice Cream, Nutmeg Syrup and Dill
As tropical as it gets. The rich Asian taste of this dessert was unique; how often do you get to taste ‘pisang goreng’ ice cream?

Dewakan, Kuala Lumpur - lollies
Refreshing ice lollies to end our meal

Then a final complimentary dessert to complete our gluttony drive, ice lollies of pineapple and raspberries.

We were happily stuffed. There was no room left in our stomach for even dust. Though we did not meet the Chef (who was very busy in the kitchen), we were absolutely in awe at his creations, and how well he presented Malaysian ingredients in a modern light. I believe it’s the first of its kind in Malaysia, and I hope he is encouraged by the reception to carry on for a long time.

What of the price? It must be costly? Heck no! A 10-course dinner for one was RM207. It is relatively inexpensive for the dining experience. In fact, we wondered throughout dinner if they end up making any money off this venture, and decided that they do not.

To put it bluntly, this is a project of passion, and not of laughing all the way to the bank.

Dewakan, Kuala Lumpur - signboard

Dewakan has just changed its menu, which I’ll experience this December. They are open for lunch on weekdays, with options of 3 (RM80) or 4 (RM133) courses. Dinner is available from Thursday to Saturday, with options of 5 (RM164) or 10 (RM207) courses.

Dewakan Restaurant
KDU University College, Utropolis Glenmarie
Jalan Kontraktor U1/14, Seksyen U1
40150 Shah Alam, Selangor.
Tel: +603 5565 0767

Lunch: Monday to Friday, 12pm to 2.30pm
Dinner: Thursday to Saturday, 7pm to 9pm
Closed on Sundays and certain public holidays.

For info & reservation, go to Dewakan.my.