Fans of the famed nasi lemak from the casual eatery Madam Kwan’s in Kuala Lumpur can now skip the long hour drive to the city to satisfy their craving for fragrant coconut milk rice. Instead, they can just pop into the new Madam Kwan’s restaurant at VivoCity.
The Singapore’s Madam Kwan’s outlet debuted here on 19 May and this is their first outlet outside of Malaysia. Its tagline ‘Truly Malaysian Cuisine’ says it all. This restaurant chain offers a variety of Malaysian favourites but their specialty would be their nasi lemak ($13.90) and nasi bojari ($18.90), of course.
The nasi lemak here is accompanied by fragrant white lemak rice, curry chicken, hard boiled egg, dried shrimp floss, spicy ikan bilis (dried anchovies), cucumber, and achar (pickled vegetables) in a separate small plate. The fragrance of the coconut milk infused every grains, the rice smells great and tastes even better. The sambal ikan bilis were comfortably spicy and busting with flavour. The achar was crunchy and had a sweet and sour taste, which give this dish an extra flavour. The curry chicken was the star of the dish. The meat was tender and smothered in delicious curry. The balance of flavour and seasoning was just right. However, they could have been more generous with the serving of the curry chicken.
Our favourite is the nasi bojari. This is their signature dish and the serving is decent. The tri-coloured rice is accompanied by assam prawns, shredded beef rending and a huge piece of fried chicken served on a banana leaf. The rice was packed with flavour and the prawns were spicy with a bit of sweetness, while the beef rendang was nice and tender. The fried chicken thigh was also cooked to perfection. It was moist, juicy, tender and crispy.
The Otak-Otak ($15.90) is also a must-try here at Madam Kwan’s. This spicy, grilled fish paste in banana leaf was delicious. We liked how it had bits of fish meat in it for that extra bite and flavour. The level of spiciness was just nice too.
We wanted to try the cendol but they ran out of santan (coconut milk) on our first visit and it was sold out on our second visit. However, their ice campur ($5.90)) is just as good. This traditional Malaysian delight is slightly different from the ice kachang we had in Singapore. The distinctive part of the ice campur here is the splash of Sarsi soft drink over the colorful mound of ice, which is flavoured with syrup. When you digged further into the ice, atap chee (palm seed), mung beans, cendol (made from glutinous rice), cashew nuts and raisins await you.
Madam Kwan’s also serves up other yummy dishes such as Ipoh hor fun, curry laksa, deep fried squid, beef rending and wok-fried beef with spring onion and ginger and more. All that yummy food mentioned comes with a more expensive price tag compared to a meal in Kuala Lumpur. We paid about $100 for two rice dished, two side dishes, two desserts and two drinks. Although it was rather expensive, the food, ambience and service are good. We definitely will be back again to try other dishes on the menu.
Note: Madam Kwan’s food is halal (no pork, no lard), but they were not issued a halal certification as they do serve beer in the restaurant.
1 Harbour Front Walk, #01-155, VivoCity, Singapore 098585
Tel: 6271 9989
Opening Hours: 11am to 10:30pm daily
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