The world is ever much smaller these days, and you’ll find that adage especially true at Nadodi.
Nomadic South Indian cuisine takes the limelight at this 68-seater, whose name translates into ‘wanderer’ in Malayalam and Tamil. From its home base in the shadow of Kuala Lumpur’s twin Petronas Towers, the restaurant invites diners to embark on an exploratory journey, by way of a 15-course gastronomic meander through Tamil Nadu, Sri Lanka and Kerala, with beautifully hand-drawn menus as handy roadmaps for the expedition ahead.
These three regions lie close to the culinary team’s heart, and it shows. Nadodi is heavily influenced by the ebb and flow of the South Indian diaspora. Just as the flotsam and jetsam of a tide are left in its wake, the cuisine here inevitably carries traces of myriad other cuisines, cultures and countries in which the “wanderers” have made new homes. And while the inspiration for each course lies within dearly cherished memories and strains of childhood meals long past, the cuisine here is well grounded in the present; diners will find new surprises on the menu four times a year, with the next refresh planned for early July.
At present, crowd favourites reign in celebration of Nadodi’s one-year anniversary, newly past this March. Each item is cheekily named and creatively crafted, along the likes of I Am So Prawny!!, a smoked Spanish prawn satay seasoned with Avalose rub—a South Indian spice—and coated with flattened roasted rice, coconut powder and fermented tomato pickle. Equally intriguing is a trio of bites titled And So It Begins, each offering a re-interpretation of familiar dishes. Imagine a bite-sized version of the classic banana leaf rice meal, here composed of daal, mango pachadi, pumpkin and other morsels seated atop a leaf-shaped meringue; to the nasi lemak-inspired Kiri Bak with coconut rice, anchovies and sambal rolled into a cigar. Lastly, there is a rendition of Kial Vada, a yoghurt-based Tamil Nadu favourite, manifested as a tiny puff stuffed with lentil, coconut chutney and rolled with dehydrated yoghurt.
Paying tribute to more familiar flavours is Nadodi’s Heads Up dish, which was conceived of after tasting Singapore’s own fish head curry. Concealed in a deceptively simple earthenware mug lies generous layers of fried lemon flat rice, head curry espuma and steamed local trout.
And the list goes on: a dessert that explores milk in its various textures; cotton candy floss puffs filled with pistachios and ginger; yet another trio, this time of beetroot in curry, sorbet and glass forms et al.
To best enjoy the Nadodi experience, we’d recommend the tasting menu (from MYR490). While wine pairing options are available from MYR280, do request for the cocktail pairing instead (from MYR 260), which includes seven innovative drinks that’ll leave you in good stead for the evening’s travels.
First floor 183 Jalan Mayang, Kuala Lumpur. Tel: +60 32181 4334