MALABAR Palace offers great-tasting dishes prepared with both wellness and taste concerns in mind, writes EWE PAIK LEONG
The Malabar Coast is a strip of palm-lined shoreline on the southwestern part of India. It includes the state of Kerala, famous worldwide for its ayurveda wellness centres and tourist attractions.
Therefore, it does not come as a surprise when executive chef Shinith Palolathi of Kuala Lumpur´s Malabar Palace explains that his dishes are prepared with both wellness and taste concerns in mind.
He says: "We use herbs and spices not only to enhance the taste but also in the right combination and amount to maintain the health properties of each dish."
Now this place is worth considering if you are looking for a new place to dine out during Deepavali.
More than spicy hot
Director of Malabar Palace Celestine Vincent says they want to dispel the notion that Indian cuisine is simply spicy hot, explaining that there are other flavours such as spicy sweet, spicy sour, spicy bitter and spicy piquant.
Shinith´s dishes are prepared with panache, prompting me to draw a parallel between their artistry and the picture-perfect beauty of Kerala´s scenic beaches and lagoons.
The dÃ©cor of Malabar Palace is simple elegance. It´s devoid of lavish ornamentation, but a handsome-looking menu is a great start to your culinary journey. More than 120 items are listed, corralled into appetisers, soup, basmati rice, bread, chef´s special, tandoor specialties, and other specialties with lamb, chicken, seafood and vegetable as well as dessert, side dishes, drinks and fiesta sets.
No fatty content
As there are many original dishes, I recommend diners not to jump headlong into the more familiar items but to look at the listings carefully. Those watching their cholesterol level need not avoid the meat-based soups.
Vincent says stock is prepared by boiling bone marrow. It´s then cooled in the refrigerator, allowing the fat to rise to the top. The fat layer is then skimmed off before the stock is used to prepare soup. So go ahead, and enjoy it without worries!
Flavours and textures
My appetisers are an excellent indicator of Shinith´s culinary skills, sharply honed from his experience in five-star hotels. Chicken tikka wrap is chopped chicken tikka mixed with onion and fresh herbs, enveloped in oven-baked naan.
It comes with mint yogurt as a dip. The thrill continues with the eye-catching paneer shashlik roll, consisting of home-made cottage cheese with bell peppers and grilled with selected spices.
The cheese flavour does not overpower but lingers, with the spices acting as an interesting counter-point. Even those who don´t love cheese will find this dish extremely pleasant.
The main course of garlic naan and pilaf is accompanied by almond chicken, lamb varthal and Malabari kalan. The Malabari kalan triumphs in terms of exciting textures - it´s a vegetable curry made from unripe bananas cooked with cumin, ginger, green chillies, coconut and yogurt.
From today to Sunday, enjoy the Fragrance & Flavours Buffet promotion for Deepavali with some unique dishes that will pamper your tastebuds. These include north Malabar meen curry, white pomfret marinated with selected spices wrapped in banana leaf and grilled, classic tandoori chicken with baked stuffing and beetroot batura.
Malabar Palace, G-13A, ground floor, Hartamas Shopping Centre, Jalan Sri Hartamas 1, Sri Hartamas, Kuala Lumpur. Tel: 03-6201 0792. Opening hours: 11.30am to 10pm.
From Jalan Kuching head out of the city, turn left at the Segambut roundabout to Jalan Duta and proceed along to Jalan Sri Hartamas 1. You will see Hartamas Shopping Centre on your right.
More than 120 dishes are listed on its menu. Though Kerala dishes have a strong presence, you´ll also find popular dishes from other parts of India.
A dish with a rather cheeky name, Chef´s Hand On The Breast, is a whole roasted chicken stuffed with rice and spices. Available only on weekends and public holidays.
Chicken tikka wrap: An interesting play of flavours and textures.
Attentive but unobtrusive.
Cosy and casual.
From RM7.50 to RM40.