Saturday, May 25, 2013

Madam Kwan's Cuisine, Pavillion, Bukit Bintang.

I was wondering all this while - Why would one pay almost RM20 for a plate of nasi lemak? Every time I'm making a trip down KL, I will try my best to avoid such places serving normal hawker food in a cosy environment, charging near exorbitant prices few times the normal street price. Perhaps KL-ites do have the spending power unlike those working in Ipoh. For a "kampung-boy" like me, it seems like in Pavillion, besides fast food, I think you do not have much choices of "affordable restaurants". Hence, my friend asked me to give Madam Kwan's a shot to gain some input for my blog.

Before we move on to the food, lets me give some brief facts about Madam Kwan's. Established in 1999, they now have 7 outlets in Malaysia and from their Facebook fan page - they have outlet in Vivo City Singapore as well. Just in case anyone of you are just like me wondering who is Madam Kwan or does she exist in real person, sources from Jobstreet advertisement is... SHE DOES!!! 

And she is almost 75 years old!! The photo above is obtained from Madam Kwan's Restaurants Facebook fanpage. Salute her for doing her part to ward of phantom voters :)

It was just 6pm but you can see the restaurant is nearly full- After all, this is KL and it is Sunday! 80% of items in the menu are local delights whereby they do slot in some snacking delights, western chicken chops/fish and chips and not to mention Chinese "dai chow" styled dishes paired with white rice. For the drinks section, I tried to stay away from soft drinks, fruit juices and ice lemon tea, picking the Sago with Gula Melaka for my "drink".

There's one item in the menu which caught my attention - Nasi Bojari (about RM24+) (an Indonesian dish apparently originated from the royalty's kitchen, comprising spiced rice alongside beef rendang, assam curry prawns, fried spiced chicken (ayam goreng berempah), hard boiled egg, tomato slices, sambal and cucumber). But since it's my maiden visit here, I decided to go for the norm - their very own Nasi Lemak! Being awarded "Best Nasi Lemak" by Ng Yen Yen Ministry of Tourism, Malaysia, I'm curious to know how justified it is for this title... and the price tag of RM16.90. Besides fragrant coconut milk steamed rice, you get a generous portion of sambal ikan bilis which is not tongue numbing, but its spiciness is quite balanced with a hint of sweetness. If all else fails, get help from the few slices of cucumber or that hard boiled egg. What's interesting about this Nasi Lemak is not its curry chicken - which I feel was fairly above average, but its DRIED SHRIMP FLOSS. Rest assured this is not the spicy version which is normally a filling in those miniature spring rolls. There is also a small serving of acar which I felt it was quite good at a commercialized scale.

My partner in crime had her choice of Prawn Mee (RM14.90). From the appearance it emits a commanding presence to salivate every mouth and growl every stomach. Portion is quite substantial for RM14.90 (since generic outlets like PapaRich and Oldtown White Coffee also offer their premium ones at RM10+). I tasted the soup and yes, it may not be as good as the famous hawker versions but it is up to standard.

The Char Kuay Teow (RM14.90 too if I remembered correctly) gave me a surprise! Looks like the one executing this dish is no foreign worker as you can feel the "wok hei" and the slightly charred bits of the flat noodles. They are quite generous too with the squid, prawns and cockles. Similar to  the prawn noodles, the outcome was above expectation for a non-hawker environment and cooking style.

Remember the Sago with Gula Melaka (RM5.90) earlier? The gula melaka does deserve special mention. Not overwhelmingly sweet, you can go generous with the palm syrup to be poured into your bowl of coconut milk. This dessert is best eaten upon serving, while everything is still chilled. I wanted to try their 'Banana Fritters with Gula Melaka and Vanilla Ice Cream' but we were too full already and we have a train to catch. That sums up my Genting-KL trip and yeah... finally I joined the bandwagon by paying RM20 (including tax) for a plate of nasi lemak. Unlike other KL-ites, too bad, I'm not a convert/fan of Madam Kwan's. Anyway, I will consider giving another visit just to try their Nasi Bojari :)

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