Pride of Malaysia: A culinary journey that reflects Malaysia’s heritage

Posted on Posted in Guest Reviews

“We went for the full works – a 10-course dinner at RM207 per person, and we were not disappointed in the least! Although there are 10 courses described in the menu, we were served a number of finger foods to munch on before the first appetizers were served. , such as fried fish fritters that taste like the traditional East Coast snack, keropok lekor and were shaped like long, elegant twigs that were thought were merely decorative items at first.

The starters included a refreshing razor clam salad, the razor clams being a staple of many local seafood restaurants, but given a twist as was served with shaved ice flavoured with a medley of savoury local tastes and colours that made it look more like a dessert at first – only to be pleasantly surprised by the savory, exotic flavours blended together in an icy bite.

The next few courses were equally outstanding, taking us through the kind of preparation techniques you would only find in the fanciest restaurants, from flavour-infused foam, to purees and emulsions, meat cooked confit-style, and even to salted egg yolks harded, pressed into thin slices, and broken into brittle pieces… and yet using the humblest of flavours, vegetables and ingredients that remind any Malaysian that grew up in this country of grandma’s cooking.

Another stand out dish was the Forbidden Porridge, which had almost-raw slivers of ox tongue served on soft, sticky black glutinous rice and accompanied by a mushroom and wild vegetable broth that they boil in a coffee syphon, with the whole vegetables, roots and all, thrown into the mix, for an incredibly heady flavour that becomes especially intense when you pour it over the ox tongue and black rice and mix all of it together.

The desserts are equally impressive, from the meringues to the ganache to the ice cream made from delicious, Southeast Asian local flavours. Again, just as the razor-clam blended dessert inspiration (in the form of shaved ice sprinkled with coloured syrups) in a savory dish, the desserts push the boundaries by using savory flavours eg. pulut (glutinous rice) in a sweet ice cream. It’s an experience that starts off confusing, then pleasantly surprising, and then ends in an incredibly satisfying way.

Service was great, especially impressive as they are manned by a staff made mostly of students-in-training.

If you love fine dining, exquisite cooking methods, and aromatic Southeast Asian flavours, Dewakan is THE restaurant to visit in Malaysia. In one sitting, this is possibly THE most varied and comprehensive tasting of the Malaysian food culture prepared with the finest culinary techniques by a team of professional chefs.”