Full of sunshine and colours, a meal can be a delight at this restaurant in Ansal Plaza
Words & photographs: Ambica Gulati
Even though Malayasia is not far from India, not many of us have visited the country. But we do get a taste of what they eat in Delhi’s Ansal Plaza shopping centre at Jom Jom Malay. The casual dining restaurant boasts of 64 dishes from the country and they range from street food to fine dining. The sunny dine-out is a delight from the moment you find its signboard. What we felt like doing instantly—sit on the rickshaw at the entrance, but gracefully went pass it to find ourselves seated next to the beverages counter.
Pine wood, colourful masks and butterflies and bright cushions, all add to the pleasure of eating here. The menu can leave one baffled if you are new to this cuisine. So we let Aftab Sidhu, hospitality consultant and managing partner, decide all that was going to come on our table. While we waited for the dishes to surprise us, a mortar-pestle and some spices found its way to us. We could make our own sambal; after making something quite inedible and unlike the original one, Sidhu enlightened us that it’s the chilli oil which makes all the difference. Next time!
Sidhu has helped set up Shalom, Laidbackwaters, Italic, Lap, Orange Chopsticks and Burma Burma and consulted on projects in Bangalore and Goa. While he has plans to go to Malayasia soon, Anhad Sethi, the owner and director, had begun his food journey in Singapore several years ago. That’s where he discovered his love for Malayasian food. The menu came into being through the consulting Chef Honey Mishra who has worked across Vietnam. The ingredients are all sourced in India and the taste is perhaps tweaked a little to suit the Indian palate. Nevertheless, it’s close to the original, as “honourable Malaysian tourism and culture minister Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz gave it a thumbs up on his visit to the Capital in early February”, said Sidhu.
For those who like their spices, they can add on some. The dips are fresh and made in-house. The shrimp paste is a must try, if you like sea food. Before the serving starts—the server will ask your preferences and allergies and can guide you well.
We began our meal with baos, which were light, with good fillings, topped with fresh greens. I liked the way it was decorated and in the dish it was served too. The next round was ayam sate and udang sate, chicken and prawns satay respectively. And we quite enjoyed them dipped in peanut sauce and curry. Complementing these were mocktails made of mango and watermelon juices. Then came the nasi goreng, which is actually a stomach full. This is laden with rice, prawns, chicken, fried egg, chicken satay and sambal. If you plan to order this, let me tell you need not eat anything else. You could skip a lot, except the coconut-lined cheesecake. We have not tasted anything like this earlier. Must eat. So jom jom then, it does mean ‘let’s go’ in Malayasian.