Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Indian Tapas, Fiercer, Publika, Kuala Lumpur

Indian Tapas, Fiercer, Publika, Kuala Lumpur
Fiercer, Publika

Fiercer - Indian Tapas, Cocktails and More!

Words by Patricia Podorsek
Photos by The Yum List (Monica Tindall)

After digging around on the net a bit, I learned that “fusion” is a word that has become passe in the food world. Apparently, it is a word of the nineties, not a word of the new millennium. This does not mean, however, that the blending of international foods and flavors in no longer in vogue. Indeed, foodies are more savvy than ever thanks to cable hosts like Anthony Bourdain who scour the markets and kitchens of remote villages for new spices, seasonings, and textures. In response, gourmet “mashups” are pushing new limits around the world with restaurants and food trucks serving the likes of Bulgogi tacos and furikake burgers. 

The new tapas menu at Fiercer at Publika mall has embraced this very spirit. Do you see what I mean? A TAPAS menu at an Indian restaurant! Like alchemists, the heads at Fiercer have many new concepts and ideas bubbling away in their cauldrons, not limiting themselves to palak paneer and butter chicken.

A thirsty afternoon as it was, we began with drinks. Standards like Kingfisher, lime soda, and gin with bitter lemon helped to soothe the hazy dust in our throats. House wines include the respectable De Bortoli 2013 Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon, both drinkable wines at drinkable prices, RM18 per glass and RM98 per bottle.

Indian Tapas, Fiercer, Publika, Kuala Lumpur
Kingfisher Beer
Indian Tapas, Fiercer, Publika, Kuala Lumpur
Gin and Bitter Lemon

The dazzler off the drinks menu, however, is the Malibu Lassi, served in flavors like mango and watermelon. This delightful cocktail dresses up that humble staple of Indian health drinks with Malibu rum (from Barbados!). The silky result blends fruit pulp with house-made yogurt for a blissful combination of cream and coconut with a tart edge that is an excellent reprieve from the overly sugary cocktails often served at happy hours in KL. The watermelon was delicious, but the mango knocked my socks off. Yogurt never tasted so good!

Indian Tapas, Fiercer, Publika, Kuala Lumpur
Mango Malibu Lassi

Fiercer brings a simple concept to their tapas menu: Indian standards served in bite-sized portions on baguette. Yes, baguette. Although we raised an eyebrow at the omission of heart-warming naans and roti, we ultimately tipped our hats to the chefs for their culinary welding. The French bread slices lent a sturdier foundation to the saucy curries atop.

Not to be missed off the tapas menu is the Mutton Qeema Masala (RM32), minced mutton slow-cooked with garlic, red onions, and methi leaves. Offset by the tang of mint chutney, this soulful curry packs just a little heat at the end.

Indian Tapas, Fiercer, Publika, Kuala Lumpur
Mutton Qeema Masala

The Chennai stand-by Chicken 65 Masala (RM25) makes a tasty biting as well. A chunk of deep-fried dark meat is seasoned and served similarly on toast with chutney.

Indian Tapas, Fiercer, Publika, Kuala Lumpur
Chicken 65 Masala 

In addition to a dozen or so other items available on the current tapas menu, we were able to sample some upcoming items, still in the development phase. The Orange Double-Braised Prawns are not a traditional Indian dish, but a hat-tip to Bangles, the formerly popular restaurant in Ampang owned by our host’s father. Here, a creamy orange sauce with a tiny bit of curry envelops tender prawns, also served on baguette. 

Indian Tapas, Fiercer, Publika, Kuala Lumpur
Orange Double-Braised Prawns

Although much of the tapas menu is for carnivores, vegetable lovers will relish the upcoming Eggplant Masala, fresh and complex with flavors of coriander and ginger.

Indian Tapas, Fiercer, Publika, Kuala Lumpur
Eggplant Masala

Traditional Indian cuisine lovers will find additional snacks on Fiercer’s menu, including the northern Indian street staple, Papri Chaat. Crispy puri wafers are served with potatoes, onions, and chick peas, and covered with sweetened yogurt and tangy tamarind chutney. This cold dish is a refreshing accompaniment to an icy beer on a steamy day.

Indian Tapas, Fiercer, Publika, Kuala Lumpur
Papri Chaat
Indian Tapas, Fiercer, Publika, Kuala Lumpur
Garlic Naan

Well-known for their northern Indian fare, Fiercer’s dinner menu features highlights like the comforting Rogan Josh (RM28), a hearty lamb stew flavored with onion, ginger, and bursts of cardamom.

Indian Tapas, Fiercer, Publika, Kuala Lumpur
Rogan Josh 

The humble Gobi Aloo (RM17) delivers smoky cauliflower and potatoes rustic-style, with chunky bits of ginger, garlic and whole spices.

Indian Tapas, Fiercer, Publika, Kuala Lumpur
Gobi Aloo 

The Fish Methi Masala (RM24) blends spinach and methi leaves with tender onions and a little chile for a delicious creamy sauce that is wonderfully sopped up with naan straight from the tandoor.

Indian Tapas, Fiercer, Publika, Kuala Lumpur
Fish Methi Masala 

After stuffing ourselves with our Indian favorites, we headed back into Mashup Land with dessert. Monica nearly did a backflip when she saw Nutella Samosas among the options. Nutella Samosas! Imagine a pain au chocolat on steroids! Melty, buttery, nutty Nutella wrapped in fried pastry - what could be better than that? I’ve got to hand it to Fiercer for the creativity here. I never would have thought of it myself.

Indian Tapas, Fiercer, Publika, Kuala Lumpur
Nutella Samosa

Global collisions continue with the ambiance at Fiercer. Beginning this month, they will host live music on Friday nights, a four-piece band performing Western covers among the curries and the tapas. 

Indian Tapas, Fiercer, Publika, Kuala Lumpur
Live Music

Join the spirit of the century by trying some of the new creative combinations inspired by Fiercer Indian Restaurant at Publika Mall. East meets West in the tapas, the drinks, the desserts, even the music. 

Reasons to visit: Bite-sized Indian favorites on the new tapas menu, including Mutton Qeema Masala, the Malibu Mango Lassi, and some of the best northern Indian fare in town, (Monica adds in Nutella Samosa!).

Fiercer Indian Restaurant
D1-G3-5, Publika Mall
Jalan Solaris Dutamas
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
+60 19-383 0945


9 comments:

  1. OMG, I’m so hungry right now. Indian Tapas and that Mango Malibu Lassi is parfait… yum. Hummm love Garlic bread....Those tapas look SO gorgeous! Well, I think it was a bad idea to pay you a visit at eleven o'clock ....Night Night

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    1. Oh you must try the Mango Malibu Lassi - divine! Good night ;-)

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  2. The ambiance and decor look mellow and inviting. Although I don't like hot and spicy or rich foods, the dishes are very well presented and I love mango, too! Sometimes I drink mango nectar (non-alcoholic, of course, in my case), and I never tire of mango. I love to add mango in my salads from time to time and it is always delicious! Great post, thank you so much for sharing. :)

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    1. We're lucky to benefit from an abundant mango supply here from all around the region. Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines and even Indian mangoes reach our markets - and they all have their own unique taste and texture.

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  3. Nice, looks like they have a different concept from the first one. Great looking food - they're going to use one of your snapshots for their menu too?

    I love live music...but this one looks loud and rock-ish, what with the electric guitars and all.

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    1. The music starts later in the evening - long after my bedtime ;-) We did hear their rehearsal though - lots of smooth soulful tunes - easy but upbeat listening.

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  4. The band looks as if they would kick up a big storm...
    The food looks good..

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    1. We only heard the sound check but the band did appear to be lots of fun. Food - delicious. :-)

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  5. There are several dishes I have never heard of, but then I don't have occasion to eat at an Indian restaurant. I'll take your word for the tastes. Looks very interesting.

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