Panda Peeks – Malabar Palace
How about a trip to India and back in one hour? Impossible you say? Oh, no. Not when you step foot into Malabar Palace. From the first moment you enter into the restaurant, you will feel like you have been transported to a magical Indian palace dining room, true to their namesake. The owner of this restaurant, Mr.Jagan, explained to us how the quality of the ingredients plays a big role, hence imports all of his spices and masala from India. Everything, from the coconut oil and the ‘ghee’ that is used to prepare the dishes are all 100% made in India. Nothing served here are ready-made and most importantly, they’re all preservative- and MSG-free.
I know, I know. Let’s cut to the chase and talk about the dishes we tried there. First off, when a customer is seated, they immediately serve poppadum and pickles. Their home-made pickle does not only taste fresh, they have used beetroots and dates in making it too. Then we were served a bowl of hot soup. No, no. This is no ordinary soup. I am talking about the Malabar Crab Soup which is popularly known as ‘nandu rasam’ in Tamil.
When you take the first sip, you will feel the freshness of the herbs as well as the sweet flavor of the crab meat that warms your throat and your heart. This is what our grandmothers and mothers used to serve us when we fall ill because it’s not only delicious, it is so nutritious; you will quickly recover from even the most horrible cold. Then we were given Spinach Papdi Chaat. A refreshing appetizer that is tangy from the tamarind sauce and fresh yogurt; savory from the chickpeas and potatoes with lots of crunchiness from their home-made spinach chips. We couldn’t bring ourselves to destroy the beautiful presentation of this dish but once this writer started going at it, she couldn’t stop.
Moving on, we tried the Chicken Tikka Wrap. A modern dish which is highly appetizing for both the eyes and your tummy. The chicken tikka was perfectly cooked with wonderful hints of cumin and it was not spicy at all! A great dish for all those foodies out there who can’t tolerate spicy food, including myself.
Later came a sizzling hot dish that intrigued us as we saw something that looked like fish cakes on a hot plate. Could we be any more mistaken? It blew our mind when Jagan told us that it was called the Chicken Seekh Kebab. It was a very unique version of chicken, where they season minced chicken and roll it up to be toasted in their traditional charcoal oven tandoor.
As we moved onto the main courses – yes, those were just appetizers – we felt like little happy children when we were served the Malabar Chicken Briyani and the Meen Pollichathu. It finally felt like finally I am doing something right in my life. The long rice grains, unlike any that I have seen before, are specially imported from India. The rice is so fragrant that when the briyani masala is added to them, the scent of it fills the room and makes everyone drool for more.
Okay, can we just take a moment first before I talk about the Meen Pollichathu. Where did they find it? How did they come up with that? This dish right here is the clear winner of all that we tried. Words don’t start to describe how delicious it is. Fish fillets marinated in a sauce made from many fresh ingredients for at least few hours, wrapped in banana leaves and then grilled, brought to you in a hot plate.
Everyone loved it and apparently everyone’s favourite. This dish is truly heaven-sent. Malabar Palace is doing things right! We were also served Malabar Aviyal which is a rich coconut based vegetable dish that features drumsticks, turmeric and yogurt. It tasted so satisfying. Then we also tried the chicken dish called Navabi Murg. It’s a delicate sweet and sour like chicken masala with gravy that tasted so nice, eaten with the cheese naan as well as the delicious Kashmiri naan that was filled generously with chopped up dried fruits and nuts.
Lastly, when we thought our stomach will burst any time now, came two pretty looking desserts. One was a fruit salad with ice-cream and then the decadent carrot halwa. Yes, yes, yes! It’s true, what they say about having a second stomach for desserts. We finished it all in the blink of an eye. The halwa was warm and sweet, but not too sweet and the ghee that it was made with was so fragrant. Goodness, I can go on and on about how delicious everything was. They were so worth the extra 1 hour we had to put in the gym later that day. Malabar Palace also offers valuable lunch menus and also healthier alternatives as well as vegetarian dishes.
Address: Hartamas Shopping Centre, 60, Jalan Sri Hartamas 1, Taman Sri Hartamas, 50480 Kuala Lumpur
Opening Hours: Mo-Su, 10.30am – 10.00pm
Click here to order online from Malabar Palace.
If not eating or cooking, watching beauty gurus talking about make up in YouTube is what this writer will be doing at any given time. Food for her, is an art; and boy oh boy is she an art lover or what?