|Beef Wraps RM18|
|Caesar Salad with Chicken RM16|
|Buttermilk Spaghetti RM22|
|Lamb Chops RM40|
|Riz' Nasi Briyani RM23|
|Nasi Malaya RM28|
|Kangkung Belacan RM15|
|Chocolate Triangon RM8.90, Nutella Ravioli RM15, Len Chi Kang RM7, Sticky Date Pudding RM15.90|
Flavours with Chef Riz, Bangsar, Malaysia
The recently opened Flavours Restaurant in the busy Telawi strip of Bangsar is set to bring Malaysian food to new culinary heights. Celebrity Chef Riz (the youngest judge on Master Chef Malaysia and son of the country’s famous food ambassador Chef Wan) is at the helm of the kitchen and has bright plans for bringing Malaysian cuisine to internationally recognized levels.
The restaurant setting itself is not your typical expectation of Malaysian dining. A bright modern ambience is decked out with pale wood tables, white paneled walls and small drop down bulbs intermingled with silver half domes creating a part industrialized, part contemporary country farm house, feel. A herb garden out front (which is made good use of) and a glass walled kitchen complete the look.
|Tom Yam Soup RM18|
Described as Modern Malay Cuisine, the menu showcases dishes from the southern regions of the nation including recipes characteristic of Malacca, Negeri Sembilan and Johor. Chinese, Indian and Western plates too make an appearance, however, with the chef’s infusion of local herbs and methods of preparation, a distinctive fusion concept advances to the forefront.
As seems to be the pattern, my favourites on the menu were the starters and desserts, while hubby tenderly remembers the mains. The Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken starred baby Romaine lettuce, poached egg, shaved radish, baked Parmesan, garlic croutons, crispy beef bacon and seared chicken thigh tossed in a creamy dressing. Just as tasty were the Beef Wraps – seared thinly sliced beef cloaked cheese, green beans, carrots and mushrooms made wet with Redz BBQ sauce and aioli.
A star-studded lineup of mains followed. Seafood Tom Yum Soup was SPICY! enough to clear all of your orifices, but tasty enough to keep you going back for punishment. Packed with tiger prawns, squid, Venus clams and green shell mussels, this aromatic hot and sour soup can be assauged a little with the addition of coconut milk if you choose. From Negeri Sembilan the Nasi Malaya is a mixed plate of Jasmine rice, beef lemak cili padi (beef first smoked then braised in a mild coconut gravy), served with prawn sambal tumis (and the stinky petai bean), ayam goreng kampung (fried free-range chicken), kerabu (fresh salad usually made with mango but this version with green apple) and deep fried salted fish. This dish was a hit amongst our local dining companions. Even the pungent petai beans were all gobbled up. Our looks of astonishment at how quickly the malodorous nuggets were demolished were met with a shrug of the shoulders and explanation of, “What durian is to fruit, petai is to vegetable.” The enormously portioned, Mee Bandung, a famous Johorian dish, teeming with tofu, squid, prawns, beef, bean sprouts, tomatoes, balacan, chili and egg noodles was hubby’s most-loved dish of the night.
|Assam Pedas RM8 per 100g|
The Assam Pedas, a spicy curry with sea bass, chili, tamarind, ginger flower and Vietnamese mint is a fragrant dish much thicker than the Nyonya version I know. My addiction to the morishness of the ginger flower is instrumental in my predilection to this one. Another champion from the state of Johor is Riz’s Nasi Briyani. Ghee, saffron, lemongrass and pandan leaves scent long grains of rice topped with a generous allocation of chicken. Dalcha (curry), acar buah (pickled fruits) and papadom play supporting roles. Some water spinach, Kangkung Belacan, wok fried with sambal belacan and fried anchovies provided some healthy colour to our meal.
Next up we tried some items from the Western menu. Char Grilled Lamb Chops, bountiful in portion rested atop a pillow of mashed potato and seasonal vegetables with rosemary sauce on a wooden chopping board decoratively dotted with a rainbow of sauces. A fellow diner craved mint sauce with his lamb so the chef raced out to the herb garden, harvested some leaves and whipped up a hot mint relish. Unexpectedly, the Spaghetti Buttermilk – the Malaysian version of carbonara – turned out to be one of the most liked dishes of the night. Butter, milk, garlic, chili padi, curry leaves and crispy calamari make an incredibly rich and tasty sauce for the flat noodles.
Besides fun conversation, sometimes the most amusing aspect of dining with my local buddies is the amount they can eat. Just when I thought I was going to explode, luscious desserts came sliding down our table and I suddenly found that, perhaps, I had a little room left after all. The local Len Chi Kang (sweet lotus seed soup) was thought of as a ‘healthy’ treat and devoured guilt free by my two male companions. I on the other hand, managed to polish off almost single handedly, both a scrumptious Sticky Date Pudding with caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream and a lush Trianon Chocolate Cake (I think this might be my new favourite dessert). Look out for the treats brandishing small purple flags. These are the home made creations of the owner’s daughter and you can’t go wrong with the choices.
|Variety of Non-Alcoholic Drinks|
Besides the ambience and fact that you’re dining on the menu of an innovative, forward thinking celebrity chef, one of the best things about Flavours could be their sustainability philosophy and attitude towards maintaining culinary traditions with modern adjustments. No MSG or prepackaged ingredients can be found in this kitchen. Everything is made from scratch with a focus on trying to source local, organic produce. Chef Riz uses his classical French training to showcase Malaysian flavours raising the standards of food preparation and hence attempting to bring Malaysian cuisine to the international eye. Flavours restaurant definitely merits a visit. Gathering a group so that you can try a greater number of items in highly advised.
Reason to visit: Divine Sticky Date Pudding (packed with dates), Trianon Chocolate Cake, Spaghetti Buttermilk, Nasi Malaya, Beef Wraps and Caesar Salad
51G Jalan Telawi 3