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In the finer parts of KL live some of the city's best fine dining establishments. Some are elegan...

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H O S T E D
In mid July, I flew into Kuala Lumpur, buoyed on great anticipation and the palpable excitement of not only mine but also of Singapore and Malaysia-based foodie fans of “Nadodi Bar & Restaurant” who had slipped into my DMs singing their praises for the restaurant. After my stupendous experience, I have joined their chorus of adulation.
Over a welcome tea, Head Chef Sricharan Vankatesh gave a mini lesson to my fellow media attendees and myself on the spices used extensively in their brand of inventive South Indian cuisine. We were then ushered into the kitchen to meet the team, and taunted by the most tantalising aromas even as we tried to concentrate on Chef Sri’s show-and-tell on the making of their astonishing rasam. I swear, that liquid is gold because Head of Operations and Mixologist Akshar Chalwadi followed right after with a demo on how it is used in Nadodi’s insanely delicious signature cocktail too.
Before dinner was served, Brand Director Kartik elaborated on the restaurant’s philosophy so we could better appreciate what we were about to have. Not that he needed to do that as the meal, ripe with a dizzyingly beautiful array of fragrances and flavours, was an innately wondrous journey of eleven exquisite courses. And priced at RM490+, it is a serious steal!
For their present menu, the culinary team dug deep into their roots to draw on memories of what they grew up eating for inspiration. That, coupled with their present geographic presence, were crystallised in edible incandescence of formidable complexity and finesse.
If you take alcohol, I highly recommend the cocktail pairing. That saying about the whole being greater than the sum of its parts applies here in spades.

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Comes in a wooden box with three assorted desserts that are also individually available but makes a good combination here for diners to try a diverse range of their desserts: banana burrito, dessert tacos and lychee ice kacang.
The banana burrito is essentially tonka bean ice cream, deep fried banana shaved gula melaka and coconut wrapped in a burrito. I love bananas so this was a treat, but it was nothing to shout about.
The dessert tacos were a mess to eat but very fun to try - hard shell tacos with mango pomelo and strawberry.
Last but not least the lychee ice kacang that includes lychee bavarois, creme brûlée, shaved ice of lemon, earl grey & ginger mint and raspberry marshmallows. Nothing special here but a glorified fancy ice kacang.

Catfish char siew & som tum stuffed deep fried mantao. One of them itself is RM20 (pictured is two) and can be requested to be cut into two for sharing. We didn’t even realize it wasn’t catfish and thought it was pork only until we finished the bite. Love the tangy som tum that balances the sweetness & greasiness of the char siew catfish.

Love the appearance of the cocktail in a takeaway box and chopsticks. Drink was okay but the look trumped the taste. Some may not like the very subtle taste of pink peppercorn so beware. Guava was a good touch.

Looks unappetising but it was very much the opposite. Pan seared barramundi with spicy tamarind chilli sauce, coconut cream, pineapple and avocado salsa. The whole dish was a play on the traditional Penang asam laksa. A bit hard for us to justify the price but an interesting take nonetheless.

I loved this! Fresh sliced salmon with garlic ginger infused soy dressing and yuzu pearls. The yuzu pearls were definitely a first for me.

There are many factors that put this restaurant on the map for an exquisite Japanese meal, but it's the entire omakase experience prepared by Chef Hideaki Oritsuki that keeps customers coming back for more. Regulars sing praises of Chef Ori's skills and hospitality, so request for a seat at the counter to soak it all in. On the menu, you'll find traditional Edo-style sushi – fish served on red vinegared rice – best enjoyed when you order the 12-Sushi Tsubaki (RM357). Feel like treating yourself to something fancier? Book yourself Sushi Ori’s Special Omakase (from RM780) that requires a reservation made ten days in advance featuring specially sourced ingredients like Hokkaido hairy crab and Hokkaido lobster.
Photo by Burppler Amayzing .

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This Michelin-starred sushi bar from New York is now in KL's ISETAN The Japan Store, showcasing premium sushi and sashimi at accessible prices. You’re here for the Azabu Course (RM280), an eight-course omakase meal consisting of two sashimi courses and eight seasonal nigiri. Burppler Nicholas Ng commends the high-grade cuts offered while Burppler Blueskies Cottonclouds reports the sake pairing (from RM140) is worth throwing in as the drinks pair excellently with the food. For something more affordable, swing by for lunch and get the Hanakago Set (RM50), a basket filled with four side dishes, tempura plus some sashimi and sushi.
Photo by Burppler Amayzing .

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Omakase meals are taken to the next level at this stylish restaurant with a sushi menu melded together with luxurious ingredients like truffle and caviar. On top of that, your sushi is prepared by a chef with Michelin star cred – owner-chef Kiichi Okabe was formerly with Singapore's two Michelin-starred restaurant, Shoukouwa. A meal here is priced from RM279 for lunch and RM579 for dinner, but rest assured it's worth it. The menu is decided based on what's in season, and if you're lucky, you just might get your hands on the prime engawa (flounder) or sashimi with truffle soy.
Photo by Burppler Wilson Tan

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