Nadodi has brought a new dimension to KL’s fine dining scene. There’s no shortage of ambition here; when it first opened in March 2017, the restaurant offered diners a choice of 11- or 15-course tasting menus. This year, in conjunction with its one-year anniversary, executive chef Johnson Ebenezer, chef de cuisine Sricharan Venkatesh, principal mixologist and operations manager Akshar Chalwadi and brand director Kartik Kumar present – with a flourish – Nadodi’s new menu, impeccably executed and stunningly plated, as expected of the consistently stellar restaurant.
The new 11-Mile Journey tasting menu begins with Nadodi’s version of banana leaf rice, miniature in size but a Goliath in flavour; think a crisp chlorophyll-based false meringue resembling a banana leaf, atop of which sits morsels of tamarind and ginger, dhal, papadum and mango pachadi. It’s accompanied by vada bursting with lentils and coconut chutney, and a cylindrical-shaped kiri bath made with rice and piped with anchovy sambar that evokes flavours of nasi lemak. This introductory dish sets the bar high for what’s to come.
A rabbit dish – cooked in Nadodi's signature 18-spice blend until tender, then shredded and encased in a pomegranate and radish-filled samosa tart – is served next with smoked prawns (sourced from the hallowed halls of the Tsukiji Fish Market) seasoned with an avalose rub; the crustacean skewers remind us of satay.
The meaty duo gives way to a surprising trio of beetroot curry, beetroot sorbet and beetroot sugared glass; a study in scarlet of complex notes as an outstanding palate cleanser. Coconut and peanut espuma, pickled beets and a light sprinkle of beetroot dust tie the bold dish together.
Up next is the excellent seared Hokkaido scallop on a bed of gotu kola, ginger flowers and grated coconut. An artful combination of ingredients such as mango purée, spices, ginger, onion and caviar lime make up the mango curry circled around the scallop; when eaten together, the slightly sweet nuances from both scallop and mango balance each other out and make for a pleasant dish indeed.
Nadodi's old favourite (an innovative rework of fish head curry) makes an appearance on the new tasting menu, served in a tall mug with layers of steamed local trout, lemon fried rice and thick, decadent coconut and tamarind curry espuma. It’s easily the best dish on this journey so far.
A worthy mention is the juicy sous-vide Australian lamb chop, served on tart tamarind chutney with a tempura-style rosella leaf and ginger meringue cookie.
Ending the splendid array of main courses from the tasting menu is yet another Nadodi classic, the Nomad's Globe, so named for the shape it takes when served to your table. The course is made up of three individual layers – the top layer reveals Jaffna crab varai, a dry salad of shredded Alaskan crab and turmeric, onions, ginger and garlic; and layered in the middle of the globe is biryani cooked with apricot, raisins, prawns, saffron, shallots and cashews. Finally, slid smartly at the bottom is lobster Chettinad, a creamy, understated curry from the Kannur region that puts the spotlight on the lobster's distinctive flavour.
After the long, magnificent line-up of savoury items, desserts are to be had. Nadodi's take on putu mayam is made with sodhi ice cream, a sweet coconut-based sambar crumble with red rice idiyappam, and an edible gold sheet for a little glitz. But the true star is the sweet finale exploring the various textures of milk, with the modest ingredient first broken down into whey to make whey meringue. Then there's the palkova made with palm sugar and cultured yoghurt, spiked with honey curd, and then ending with a heaped spoonful of tart buttermilk snow.
Their cocktails aren’t shy of spectacle either if you’re pairing them with the 11-Mile Journey tasting menu; try the Cocktail with No Name made from truffle-steeped gin and bruised basil, or the Mango Margarita, a burst of a vodka-based drink encased within a mango gel sphere.
It’s a fine way to celebrate their anniversary, presenting a whole new side to Indian cuisine never seen before in KL yet again. Here’s to you, Nadodi.
The 11-Mile Journey tasting menu is priced at RM490+.