Kumi Eurasian Home Cuisine is a two-year-old Portuguese-Eurasian restaurant ensconced in a quiet corner of the upmarket Damansara Heights neighbourhood in Kuala Lumpur. Originating in Malacca, the Portuguese-Eurasian community here have been in existence since the early 16th-century when Portuguese conquistadors, seeking control of the lucrative spice trade, overcame the Malaccan sultanate and ruled the land for 150 years from 1511. Their descendants lived on till today, mainly at the Portuguese Settlement in Malacca, although many have moved elsewhere to Penang and Singapore. Many inter-married with other races and also other Eurasians (Dutch-Eurasians, British-Eurasians) whose cuisines also influenced theirs. In Malaysia and Singapore, Eurasian cuisine is distinct and has its own repertoire of well-known dishes: curry Debal (or curry Devil), beef Smore, feng, sugee cakes, cottage & shepherd pies, etc.
Over here at Kumi, Malaccan-born cousins, Rueben Moissinac and Amos Stevenson, serve up a nice spread of dishes culled from their grandmother’s recipes. What we had for lunch today.
Curry Devil A surprisingly less-spicy rendition than the fiery ones which characterised the dish normally.
Fish Pimante, which has fish steaks cooked in a yellow pepper sauce, with okra.
Otak-otak with mackerel - quite similar in texture to the firmer Singapore-Nyonya otak-otak than the mousse-like Penang-Nyonya otak-otak. It’s spicy, with a richness from the addition of coconut milk. Garnished with sliced raw onions, and kalamansi lime to cut through the richness.
Pan-fried brinjal - nice textures, the peppery brinjals were pan-fried till crisp on the outside, but soft inside. A bit bland compared to the one at Quentin’s Eurasian restaurant in Singapore which were pepped up with chilis/sambal.
Cencalok omelette - a popular dish in Nyonya restaurants, as for Eurasian ones, beaten eggs are pepped up with fermented krill (known as geragau to the Portuguese-Eurasian).
Dessert was a slice of iced sugee cake - another Eurasian fixture. The version served here is excellent, and a must-have.
Overall, the Eurasian fare here is pretty good - plain, simple home-cooking done fairly well. It’s usually pretty hard to find Portuguese-Eurasian cuisine commercially nowadays, and to get to taste this cuisine, one usually has to be lucky enough to have Eurasian friends who’d invite them home for dinner. So, in that sense, Kumi Eurasian Home Cuisine is a rare gem of a dining place in KL.
Kumi Eurasian Home Cuisine
21 Lorong Setiabistari 2
Damansara Heights, 50490 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +6012-651 1182
Opening hours: 11.30am-3pm, 6pm-9.30pm, Mon-Sat. Closed on Sunday.