Colony conquers: One of our most eagerly anticipated eateries will launch this month, marrying Burmese, Sri Lankan & Indian culinary traditions with Malaysian sensibilities to birth a menu that's utterly unique in KL. Colony's founders, who also run the innovative appam purveyor Hoppers, have become among our favourite restaurateurs, creating distinctive dishes that prove intimately personal & universally pleasurable. If you love venues with a vision of exploring fresh frontiers, put Colony on your calendar; follow them at facebook.com/colony.my & instagram.com/colony.my to see when they'll open (update: Colony opens on April 12).
Start your journey with The Old Delhi - atta bread, baked at Colony with locally milled wheat flour, warm to the touch, served with sumptuously sinful bone marrow blended with butter, in a triumvirate of temptations completed by spiced apple chutney, every component complementing each other beautifully, transcending the tropes of predictable bread-&-butter combinations.
Get your claws out for Colony's duck confit biryani, visually memorable & impeccably rendered, each individual grain of rice imbued with nuance, the spices mingling in perfect harmony with flavoursome duck stock, with plenty of fowl flesh to tear into for protein (including the crunchy claw), illustrating Colony's ethos of concocting thoughtful recipes that stand out as its own. Named The Salem for the Tamil Nadu city, representing the biryani of Colony mastermind Sugania Naidu's mom's heritage.
Colony could be your gateway into the moreish marvels of Myanmar's cuisine; Sugania has visited Burma close to a dozen times, & she's blessed with a hardworking Burmese cook in Colony's kitchen. Preserved duck eggs, indulgently creamy & impressively clean-flavoured, sourced from a Burmese-run store in Pudu, are the secret weapon in The Yangon, a tomato salad tossed with house-made crispy chickpea tofu, irresistible even for those of us who may not typically love salads. Don't skip the Shan - flat noodles prepared in a mix of turmeric oil, sesame & garlic, crowned with thin & tasty chicken cracklings.
The Pontian & The Pudu: The first refers to corn cultivated in the southern Malaysian district, charred at Colony & slathered with an intriguing duet of peanut butter (!) & cinnamon, subtle but sure-handed, with onions, cucumbers & lime zest for uplift (fun fact: the corn & peanut butter combo is a nod to Sugania's childhood remembrances of corn-in-a-cup & peanut butter waffles sold side-by-side in malls), while the latter pays credit to the roti canai & curries of the KL neighbourhood that Colony calls home, making its roti with kampung eggs that yield a vivid colour, paired with a rich, robustly nutty duck & potato curry.
There's more to sample on the menu that blazes a path across multiple former British colonies: The Sri Pada is a lip-smacking Sri Lankan-inspired creation that relies on Malaysian-farmed lamb ribs, braised in New Zealand's Karma Cola fairtrade organic craft soda, while The Kandy heaps a soft-shell crab & caramelised onions on shredded kothu roti. The ideal way to experience Colony is with an open mind & adventurous palate, but for customers seeking safety in more familiar favourites, The Rompin (Pahang-caught calamari with duck egg aioli & calamansi) & The Madras (brined fried chicken marinated with tandoori spices, served with mint yoghurt) are certain crowd-pleasers. Note: Some of these recipes may be tweaked before Colony's launch.
Desserts? Definitely! The lemongrass-infused watalappam tart takes on a lusciously smooth coconut custard pudding that recalls Malaysian kaya, herb-spiked & yoghurt-splashed for sharp relief from the unabashed decadence of it all, while the chai-spiced sticky jaggery toffee pudding is one moist, gorgeous treat that simply screams, eat me - we'll happily oblige; no regrets.
The fun & surprises extend to the cocktails: Colony's current consultant mixologist Xander has created a range that remains perceptively true to Colony's themes - The Englishman's Coconut is a cheeky, whiskey-fuelled riff on the legend that some British colonists loathed the taste of coconut water & needed to temper it with booze. There's a playfulness in every potion, from the tuak-tinged Pineapple Cup to the Golden Coconut Water Gin & Tonic (with curry powder), Spiked Mango-Cinnamon Lassi to the Horlicks Ice Cream Float. We're looking forward to what Colony still has in store when it's officially up & running (plans are now afoot for weekend brunches with a genuine twist). Many thanks to the Colony team for having us here.
Upstairs, 76, Jalan Pudu, Kuala Lumpur. Open 11am-9pm, Tues-Sun. Tel: 012-360-9853
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