The new dining enclave of Lorong Raja Chulan just gets better and better. One of its anchor outlets is Antara, by KL’s talented Isadora Chai (of Bistro A Table fame). But Isadora returned to her Malaysian roots in this new venture. Warhol-like portraits of Malaysia’s first Prime Minister, the Tunku Abdul Rahman, covered on wall in the cavernous main dining room. I preferred to dine in the glass-roofed bar area.
Start with a cold yoghurt & mint soup - it was akin to liquid raita, refreshing yet spiked with Indian spices to remind one of its Malaysian-Indian origins.
The second course was a revelation - the lightest, wispiest “Nyonya pai tee” pastry cups, filled with shaved foie gras and anago (eel).
- The next course was an inventive take on the Chinese dim sum staple: crisp deep-fried “wu kok” or yam puff. The version here, house-made ricotta and yam dumpling, with lobster aioli, bore passing resemblance, and provides a delicious explosion of flavours.
- The main course was Isadora Chai’s take on the East Malaysian specialty: Sarawak laksa, given a luxurious lift with marron lobster. Taste-wise, it was not authentic Sarawak laksa flavours, but very tasty in its own way: savoury-sourish broth enfolding fine rice noodles. Finely-chopped vegetables, julienned egg omelette, tofu puffs, beansprouts and fresh herbs gave an added textural dimension.
- Dessert is the “Terribly alcoholic cendol” with creme de menthe cendol with Kahlua sago pearls - a very inventive take of the popular Malaysian dessert. The coconut milk and palm sugar syrup complimented the alcohol-spiked cendol noodles and sago pearls beautifully.
Antara, 2 Lorong Raja Chulan, 50200 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia