Mama San blazes into KL with style to burn: Bali's venerated Asian street food restaurant, spearheaded by Scots chef Will Meyrick, has opened its first Malaysian outpost in Suria KLCC, hoping to become one of 2015's hottest new establishments.
Take a table under Mama San's benevolent gaze inside this sultry eye-candy eatery, overlooking KLCC's street-level park, for a feast that explores our region's varied culinary colours, inspired & informed by the warongs of Jakarta & KL, the markets of Hanoi & the backroads of Bangkok, with a side trip to Delhi.
Mama San's starters take a fowl turn - Indonesia's 'Ayam Tangkap Aceh' with curry leaves, pandan & & green chillies (RM28) channels a tongue-tingling spiciness, but the Vietnamese-inflected duck salad with green mangoes, carrots, shrimp, coriander & 'nuoc cham' sauce (RM30) rules the roost with its tangy-sweet dynamics.
Customers may flow in for a wide range of fish recipes: Wood-roasted barramundi - honouring Mama San's birthplace of Bali - fragrantly wrapped in banana leaves & partnered with kangkung & a trinity of condiments, including sambal matah (RM45), shares the spotlight with the likes of shark meat 'asam rebus' with belimbing wuluh & tandoori snapper with kachumber salad.
For meat: Indonesian 'dendeng balado' caramelised beef short ribs with kaffir lime (RM55) & Thai lamb shoulder massaman curry with pumpkin (RM40), both built with tender, flavoursome flesh. The melting-pot menu goes on, with Peranakan ayam buah keluak, soft-shell crab rojak, lamb murtabak, five-spice chicken lorbak & much more. But there's a notable omission: This is KLCC, so Mama San skips some signature recipes from Bali & Hong Kong, including crispy pork ribs & pork hock confit.
The catalogue of desserts looks impressive from top to toe, but the stars may be the steamed buns stuffed with Nutella (Mama San's take on tau sar bao) & served with an affogato of vanilla ice cream & Balinese Kintamani espresso (RM18) & condensed milk ice cream with shredded young coconut, toasted coconut, crushed peanuts, sweet corn & sesame seeds (RM18).
Cocktails showcase a tropical fruit bent, from the very distinctively presented Lychee Tiffin Punch (RM28; vodka, lychee, strawberry, vanilla, mint, orange, lemon, lime) to the tequila-based Pineapple Kaffir Lime Margarita (RM28). Wine is available from RM170 a bottle - the Pinot Noir was enjoyable enough to justify its purchase. Service sparkles, with the entire team - from the front of house to the kitchen - working together to ensure a pleasant experience.
Mama San Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
G46, Suria KLCC, Kuala Lumpur. Tel: 019-787-5810
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