From the terasi shrimp paste of the Indonesian islands and the nam pla fish sauce of our northern Thai neighbours, to the shiokara fermented seafood of Japan and the alamang patis shrimp sauce of the Philippines, we East Asians really like our fermented seafood. Whether it's belacan, cencaluk or other stinky delights, these delicacies play an important… More »
Canned sardines are a staple in Malaysian pantries because of their versatility. In this recipe we use them to fill up rolled up fried bread. These rolls are so easy to make and perfect for breakfast or an afternoon snack. Plus, kids also love ‘em! More »
"Steak is what this place is about..."
First of all, in case you’re wondering – yes, there is a Ril! It’s named after the executive chef and owner Tunku Khairil Tunku Ibrahim, whose family owns the Santai group which Ril’s is under. Other spots under Santai include the Black & White Kopitiam off Jalan P Ramlee, and Alang’s Rawa, a private island resort in Johor. The steak house will be reaching its first anniversary on the 28th of September 2012. Only a year has gone by, and the response has been pretty good, according to general manager Kevin Tan. So, why steak? Because Khairil loves steaks and saw a need in KL for a good steak house that wouldn’t break your bank and be delicious at the same time. Right now they only offer fresh beef, but there is a possibility in the next few years that they will have aged beef as well, along with different grades of Wagyu beef.
Before you even go upstairs to Ril’s, you have to make your way through the art gallery first. They have a changing display of art on sale, sometimes quirky but always interesting. Once you’ve had your fill of culture for the evening, then totter up the rather steep stairs to the dining room. It’s large yet intimate, with the great service and white tablecloths of 'atas' restaurants but the vibe of a cool neighbourhood bar.
Their bread rolls arrive first, and we’ll have to warn you right now: you’ll be tempted to fill up on these. They are excellent, savoury and herby concoctions. Break them apart, slather some of their butter on it (we adore their tomato butter) and sprinkle a bit of salt and pepper on top. If there were ever a time to sneak home dinner rolls from a restaurant, it would be now.
A knot of pandan leaf in the water bottles makes their water even more refreshing than most. But if you’d like to frou-frou up your dinner, we highly recommend their strawberry basil fizz. Generous chunks of strawberries are muddled with basil leaves, making your drink sweet and slightly spicy. Ridonkulously good.
If you only had space for one appetizer, make it their prawn cocktail. Yes, it’s old-fashioned and kitschy, but their version completely knocked our socks off. Huge prawns hang out the side of a martini glass filled with peppery leaves like arugula. The best bit is their “revamped” marie-rose sauce: a sweet and savoury combo jacked up with what we suspect is horseradish. We had their lobster bisque on an earlier visit; velvety smooth soup loaded with seafood flavour. Dip some of the aforementioned bread into this for a meal on its own.
This is a really spicy Negeri Sembilan sambal because of the generous amount of bird’s eye chillies in it. Fried anchovies add a nice crunchy texture to the dish. Simple yet incredibly addictive. Perfect with a warm plate of rice. More »
Masak Lemak is a signature dish from the Southern state of Negeri Sembilan. Young jackfruit is best cooked this way because coconut milk balances its earthy flavours wonderfully. This is a fiery dish so lessen the chillies if you can’t handle the heat. More »
Malay afternoon teas are not quite the dainty affairs of their English counterparts. Oh, we have tea (of course), but our accompanying bites go far beyond cucumber sandwiches. A curry puff here, a popiah there, maybe a few goreng pisang in between. But Malays, particularly those from the North, have quite the sweet tooth.
Here’s a little… More »
In celebration of Malaysia Day, we at FC pay homage by making this patriotically-named savoury snack. Made up of spicy sambal sandwiched between two fried doughnut-like buns, it’s perfect for afternoon tea. More »