Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Naab, Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The street entrance to calm admist chaos

Complimentary fresh lemon drink cools and soothes as you take your first breathe away from bustling Bukit Bintang
Typical Persian drinks - both refreshing and neither too sweet. On the left, Dough, a traditional Iranian cooler, a blend of fresh yoghurt with water and mint, blended with the purpose of relaxing the drinker, RM9.90. On the right, Sekanjebin, another authentic drink made of mint, syrup, apple cider and shredded cucumber, reviving, RM9.90.
I feel it's almost compulsory to start a Middle Eastern meal with some dips and bread - suited for sharing and opening up conversation. Mirza Ghasemi (left) – a traditional appetizer consisting of smoked eggplants with cooked tomatoes, garlic and fried egg, RM13.90. Kashk O Bademjan (right), whey & eggplant – a tasty authentic appetizer made with blended sautéed eggplants topped with Kash (aged dried yoghurt) and a zing of friend garlic, onions and mint, RM12.90. (Bottom) - Thick and creamy house made Yoghurt, RM 9.90.

Bread for dipping
Lamb Koobideh Kebab – BBQ minced lamb glazed to perfection. Bakhtiari Kebab – beef and chicken.
 Saffron and long grain rice. We learned the 'correct' way to eat this rice is to take a scoop, drizzle the butter over the top then mix it altogether.
Shirazi Salad – diced tomato, cucumber, onion and herbs RM9.90
 Ghormeh Sabzi Stew – a beloved Persian dish made of large pieces of lamb, freshly diced seasonal herbs, fried and cooked with red kidney beans RM28.90. Don't mistake the dried lemon pieces for meat - they are worth a try, but scoop out the insides leaving the peel to assay a slightly sour filling. 
Finish with strong Iranian tea and sweet soft Baklava - Naab style with syrup, rose water, nuts and cardamon. Take a cube of sugar, put it in your mouth and move it over to the side of your cheek. As you sip the tea allow the hot liquid to pass on the side of the sugar cube as much or as little as needed to get your preferred sweetness. The same is done with the Baklava. Take a spoon and hold the bite in your mouth as you sip on the tea. The strength of the tea and sweetness of the dessert balance each other out.

Stepping off bustling boisterous Bukit Bintang, Naab restaurant possesses a calming contrast to the outside cacophonous chaos. By design, attention is given to the four elements of nature - sun, sky, water and soil – but without any purposeful consideration of the architecture, guests feel at home with nature. A combination of modernity and tradition accords both comfort and culture. The roof is supported by exposed wooden beams just as are traditional Persian homes. Stained glass and gentle background music without lyrics have all been given thoughtful contemplation, forming an ambience that is subtle and purposes to subliminally unruffle your mind. Naab means pure and unique in Persian and this is the experience that is attempted to be composed. With close to 50! Middle Eastern restaurants in the heart of KL, I was curious to find out what distinguishes Naab from the rest. Ambience - tick! 

Once seated and calming, allowing the surroundings to work their magic, guests are served a fresh house made lemon drink. Smiling waiters soon return with the menu and a willingness to answer even our most seemingly obvious questions, (no eye rolling, foot tapping or long sighs involved). With orders taken you're left with, "Food for the Soul", inspirational stories printed on laminated sheets to ponder while you wait. Food came out hot and fast with all starters arriving at the same time. As our dips diminished waiters checked that all was well and inquired if we would like some time before the main  or if we would like it straight after the starter. An electronic communication system on the table where you could press for "bill", "assistance" or "beverage" meant that throughout the meal staff where just a buzz away. Service - tick!

Persia, once a large empire covering an expanse of the Middle East, has left its influence in the form of language and food in modern day Persia, Iran. Persian, Iranian - the two are used interchangeably to characterize the fare at Naab. Described as balanced, dishes are not over flavoured, not spicy, not oily, not too salty, nor too sour. This gentleness in style makes the cuisine agreeable to just about any palate. Equilibrium in taste and aroma is achieved through the use of many herbs. Texture and temperature are similarly important. Saffron, detected in many dishes, is thought to make you happy, and joyous we were by the time we finished assaying the menu. I've always been a fan of Middle Eastern dips and bread and Naab did not disappoint. Their house made yoghurt and eggplant based appetizers were so pleasing to my taste buds that I would be happy ending the meal there. Fresh salads, juicy kebabs, and an incredibly flavourful Ghormeh Sabzi Stew are worth extending your journey though beyond the first few pages of the menu. Taking the meal to completion, Naab's own version of Baklava and their strong Iranian tea are a flawless conclusion. Food - tick!

If Persia evokes thoughts of mystery, romance and magic carpets, Naab inspires memories of calm, hospitality and mouth watering food.

Reason to visit: calm amongst chaos on noisy Bukit Bintang, traditional Persian food

Naab
130 Jalan Bukit Bintang
55100 Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia
+603 2143 3949
info@naabrestaurant.com

8 comments:

  1. I love dips... I'm usually full after all the wonderful appetizers.

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    Replies
    1. Me too! That's what I usually order enough of for a complete meal and left overs for lunch the next day.

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  2. Ooh the kebabs look delish! :D

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  3. any kebab served there :) some skewered chicken would be good for me

    Latest: Madagascar Circus

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  4. oooh, this is one of those outlets that we often drive past, but i don't think i've ever stepped in, probably because the absence of alcohol is a bit of a deterrent for me. but the smoked eggplant-fried egg appetizer looks like it's right up my alley! i should head here for that dish. the yolk looks nice and creamy :D

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    Replies
    1. There's so many to choose from in that area that it's hard to make a choice without a recommendation.

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  5. I love Koobideh.... havent had it for a few years... now I know where to get one in Msia! :)

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