[Kuala Lumpur] Modern-Malay cuisine at Antara by Isadora Chai

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.

  1. 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.

  2. The second course was a revelation - the lightest, wispiest “Nyonya pai tee” pastry cups, filled with shaved foie gras and anago (eel).

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

Address:
Antara, 2 Lorong Raja Chulan, 50200 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel: +603-2078-8881.

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Very lovely meal especially under the glass roof in day time. The yam puff dish sounds interesting. I ate numerous times wu kok, but difficult to imagine with ricotta and lobster aioli.

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