Monday, 28 January 2013

Colonial Cafe, The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Colonial Cafe, The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur, Colonial Cuisine, Hainanese
Atrium at the Colonial Cafe, The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur
Colonial Cafe, The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur, Colonial Cuisine, Hainanese
Classic Prawn Cocktail RM45 - Fresh shredded lettuce, chopped cucumber, spicy cocktail sauce. The height of fashion from the 1960s to the 1980s, the prawn cocktail was so entrenched in Britain’s culinary landscape that no dinner party was complete without it. Equally popular with British expatriates, the prawn cocktail remained THE starter to have and was an essential item on the menu of any western restaurant in Malaya.

Colonial Cafe, The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur, Colonial Cuisine, Hainanese
The Cafe's Famous Traditional Caesar Salad with Garlic Prawns RM45 - Baby Romaine hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, toasted garlic chips and parmesan shavings. 
Colonial Cafe, The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur, Colonial Cuisine, Hainanese
Baked Seafood Crab Shell RM55 – crab meat, shrimp, snapper, salmon, seasoned breadcrumbs, cheesy mushroom sauce.
Colonial Cafe, The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur, Colonial Cuisine, Hainanese
Ox Tail Soup RM45 – succulent oxtail chunks, hearty broth, aromatic local spices, root vegetables.
Old Style Hainanese Chicken Rice Balls RM55 – poached chicken, aromatic hand pressed chicken rice balls, home made chili, fragrant ginger. To create their succulent dish Hainanese chefs often poached whole chickens and served the meat sliced accompanied by dipping sauces made with fragrant ginger and fresh chilies served with rice steamed in oily chicken enriched stock which were then shaped into almost tennis ball sized orbs. Chefs argue over the origins of these unusually shaped rice servings. Some maintain that the rice was so shaped because it needed to be kept warm from the time it was cooked till serving time. As they were normally made earlier in the day and had to be stored in wooden containers they claimed that the spherical shape allowed the rice to stay warmer for longer. Others however believe that the rice balls were more portable and therefore easier for those working on the plantations to transport. 
Colonial Cafe, The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur, Colonial Cuisine, Hainanese
Hainanese Chicken Chop RM75
Colonial Cafe, The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur, Colonial Cuisine, Hainanese
Rosemary Lamb Chops RM130 – pan roasted lamb cutlets, creamy garlic mash, mint.

Colonial Cafe, The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur, Colonial Cuisine, Hainanese
Goreng Pisang a la Mode RM45 – battered banana fritters, chocolate rice, vanilla ice cream. Rumoured to have been brought to Malaya by the Portuguese in 1511. What was initially a breakfast dish for the Portuguese has become one of the nation’s favourite all time snacks. Sold at specialist roadside stalls these tender ripe bananas are deep fried in light crispy batter and burst with flavour. The colonial Café presents these hot delectable fritters with a perfect counterpoint of deliciously cold vanilla ice cream.

Colonial Cafe, The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur, Colonial Cuisine, Hainanese
Swiss Roll RM45 - feather light butter cake roulade with coconut jam. Hainanese cooks mastered not only Western savouries but sweets as well, albeit with their own personal twist. While traditionally sold with a chocolate butter cream or strawberry filling, the Hainanese chef took these fat logs of ethereally light butter cake and rolled them around a local filling of kaya, a rich caramel like coconut jam with delicious cream.

Colonial Café, The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
“Reflecting the elegant simplicity of a bygone era, serving colonial cuisine by Hainanese chefs.”

The story goes that… with the boom of the lucrative trade in tin mining and rubber in British Malaya a large migration from India and China followed. The Hainanese were the last to reach the land so other immigrants had already taken the more profitable positions in mining and agriculture. With no other employment, the Hainanese ended up working as cooks in the homes of British expatriates. This relationship turned British staples on their head with traditional Asian cooking styles and exotic local flavours and, consequently, Colonial Cuisine was born.

Colonial Cafe, The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur, Colonial Cuisine, Hainanese
Bread

Colonial Café at The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur brings guests back to a dreamy age of polished wood furniture, fine China, elegant dining and regal service alongside classic Colonial Cuisine. The atrium is the loveliest spot to sit with natural light from the enormous skylight illuminating the white clothed tables and cushioned rattan chairs (advance reservation is highly recommended). An afternoon visit will bless you with the sounds of a live pianist while an evening call will have you tapping your toes to the sweet jazzy tunes of the Solianos.

Brimming with the classics, expect to find succulent Hainanese Chicken Chops, Old Style Chicken Rice Balls, Lamb Chops with Rosemary and, Prawn Cocktails on every table. The Ox Tail Soup and Baked Seafood Crab Shell kept my mouth salivating and the Goreng Pisang (deep fried bananas) with ice cream and Swiss Rolls drew my doesn’t-know-what-silence-means-hubby into a speechless state, at least for a few minutes.

Drinks can be ordered from The Bar menu with a tempting range of Classic Cocktails an irresistible complement to the atmosphere. A small selection of wines, spirits, beers, juices and soft drinks too are available.

The Colonial Café opens from 11:30am until midnight. The last call for the kitchen is 10:30pm, while a drink can still be ordered as late as 11:30pm. Bookings are highly recommended.

Reason to visit: Colonial cuisine, dining in the atrium, live music, an ambience that fully and unapologetically embraces the golden era of old
Colonial Cafe, The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur, Colonial Cuisine, Hainanese
Natural light streams into the atrium

Colonial Café
The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur
5 Jalan Sultan Hishamuddin
50000 Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia
www.majestickl.com
+6 03 2785 8000

8 comments:

  1. Seen this before - somebody blogged about it and I really love it! So English, so classy! But no, I wouldn;t want that chicken rice - so out of place, sticks out like a sore thumb!

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    1. So classy yes! Apparently the chicken rice is something that is classed as Colonial Cuisine - the mix of British and Hainanese cultures. :-)

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  2. Great stuff.. and I really love this place! will be there next week to check it out:D

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  3. being half-hainanese (on my mom's side), i can't resist any recipe with a hainanese heritage. chicken rice balls are among my favorite, especially since i'm also from malacca! :D

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    1. Oh, I must get your favorite chicken rice ball spots for the next time I visit Malacca. Mental note - remember to ask Sean before I travel. :-)

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  4. I hope the chicken rice was really good at that price... lol...love the looks of the prawn cocktail and baked crab... drools...

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  5. The lamb chop is so thick and looks so yummy~~

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