Fancy travelling back in time and indulging in deliciousness? Take a trip down memory lane, as you savour authentic Peranakan dishes cooked with love and care at Limablas Restaurant.
15 Jalan Mesui, Off Jalan Nagasari, 50200 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel: 03-2110 1289
Monday - Saturday, 12pm - 3pm, 6pm - 11pm
Excellent Peranakan dishes; wallet friendly; generous portions; lovely ambiance
Off Changkat Bukit Bintang, away from the vibrant nightlife, lies a quieter street: Jalan Mesui. Near the end of this street is a place out of time; a place where, when you step in, you’re taken to a life from ‘ago’. Welcome then, to Limablas Restaurant.
Limablas is a small, maybe 25 seat restaurant specializing in Peranakan classics. The seating is spartan but comfy, and the whole restaurant is made to look like a period-piece set; you’ll see old school telephones, a rickety bicycle, old-timey posters and various other retro knick-knacks adorning its walls and shelves. It really does seem like you’re in one of those small, family-run kopitiams in Jonker Street or Penang! But the place is young; only about ten months old.
The terrific Gerang Pedas Pari
The menu is not that extensive, and features all time Peranakan favourites. Experience though, has taught me that restaurants that have smaller menus tend to excel more than ones with hundreds of dishes. My colleagues and I eventually settled on the Pai Tee (RM1.50/piece), Ayam Pongteh (RM15), Gerang Pedas Pari (RM25), Sambal Bendi (RM12), Sambal Petai Udang (RM25), Telur Cincaluk (RM9) and the sambal belachan (RM2). We had this with rice, and for refreshments, Longan and home-made Peranakan Ginger Ale.
The food, was, to put simply, delicious. The Pai Tee shells were crisp and crumbly, with a fat prawn on top of the wonderfully cooked jicama filling that was a bit sweet. A perfect starter, light and whetting the appetite. Limablas’ Ayam Pongteh featured tender bone-in chicken, potatoes and mushrooms that soaked up the savoury, salty tempeh based sauce brilliantly, making every bite full of flavour and ooopmh.
Next, the Telur Cincaluk, which is basically an omelette cooked with cincaluk, was so sedap! The eggs were cooked nicely, and the cincaluk lent a mineral-ly, oceany touch to each bite. The two sambals were equally delicious; the Sambal Bendi was featured lightly cooked okra bathed in a not-too-spicy sambal that went great with the white rice, and the Sambal Petai Udang had plump and sweet shelled prawns paired to bitter and crispy petai in the same thick luscious sambal. But my favourite dish of the night was the Gerang Pedas Pari, which is Assam Pedas, really. The gravy was thick and unctous, tangy and spicy and the ikan pari were cooked to perfection inside. A wonderful example of the dish, if ever.
We finished the dish with a classic: Sagu Gula Melaka (RM5), which was simply one of, if not the best, versions I've ever had. The gula melaka was pure and unadulterated, tasting slightly smoky, and the coconut milk was creamy with a hint of salt, an excellent blanket for the chewy, well done sago balls.
But I shouldn’t have been surprised at the quality of the food though; Uncle John, as he affectionately refers to himself to, is the husband to renowned local Nyonya chef Florence Tan! He owns, and runs the place, and all of the dishes are personally overseen and cooked by him. He even introduced himself as ‘I’m the cook!’ when asked if he was the owner. Uncle John said we missed a special, seasonal dish; a mangga kerabu that was only available depending on how nice the mangoes are to him, by a few days.
Limablas is a wonderful touch of the past, and a fine example of authentic Peranakan cooking in Kuala Lumpur. Plus, the portion sizes are generous and the price isn’t too hard on the wallet, too, especially considering its location in the heart of Kuala Lumpur.
A word of caution though: according to Uncle John, they’ll be relocating. Where, he did not say. So while it is still there, go while you can!