Malaysia meets India at Jom Jom Malay
Quite naturally, I was ecstatic to discover that my favorite cuisine is now available at Jom Jom Malay, the first Malaysian restaurant of its kind to open up in the newly resuscitated Ansal Plaza, Khel Gaon Marg, Delhi.
The brainchild of Anhad Sethi* who spent a good five and half years in Singapore shuttling in-between Malaysia, Jom Jom Malay was open to the discerning foodies of Delhi-NCR on January 14 earlier this year.
Anhad hopes to familiarize Delhi with the textures and flavors of the Malaysian novelty cuisine.
[Anhad is a young restaurateur and a budding entrepreneur who also owns Orange Chopsticks, a vibrant, color themed restaurant in Gurgaon that serves MSG free Chinese and Thai food.]
For the uninitiated, the Malay expression Jom Jom means 'let us, let us.' ... and true to its name, Jom Jom Malay takes you through an unfamiliar yet exciting epicurean journey - from crispy Murtabak to flame cooked Chicken Satay - the restaurant has it all!
The food is traditional yet modern, not moving too far away from your palate.
None of the ingredients is imported; even the Laksa paste is made in-house. There is a prominent use of galangal, lemongrass, kafir, coriander, fenugreek, and chili in most dishes to lend authenticity.
The restaurant can accommodate 46 people indoors at any given point in time, and there are plans for outdoor seating as well, right after the Malaysian barbecue and steamboat festival I am told.
The kitchen is in the capable hands of chef Honey Mishra (ex Taj) who is ably assisted by hospitality consultant Aftab Sidhu (the same guy who set up Shalom, Laidbackwaters, Italic, Lap, Orange Chopsticks, and Burma Burma, to name a few!).
Chef Honey spent over five years working in kitchens across Vietnam and is an expert when it comes to the Malaysian street fare.
With a covered area of 1,400 square feet, Jom Jom Malay has sufficient space to accommodate the connoisseurs of food.
Here's what you should try.
Mentah Manga: This popular raw mango drink is quite similar to our very own Aamras in taste, however, the preparation is quite different. Mentah Manga is made of pandan leaves essence.
Teh Tarik: Teh Tarik is Malay for Pulled Tea. This strong, brisk, and creamy hot milk tea beverage is quite a rage in Malaysia, commonly served in restaurants, outdoor stalls, and kopitiams (traditional coffee shops).
Nyonya Laksa: A traditional Malaysian curry soup to be consumed with vermicelli, flat rice noodles, egg noodles, or sticky rice. Jom Jom Malay serves five variants of this soup - vegetarian, chicken, lamb, duck, and prawn.
Bao's: Bao is generally a steamed, filled bun or bread-like item used in various Chinese cuisines. Due to the long history of the Chinese diaspora in Malaysia, it is believed that the Malays adopted these buns as their own.
You can find Malay stalls selling these buns at pasar malams (night markets), pasar Ramadans (Ramadan food bazaars), and by the roadside or highway rest stops.
At Jom Jom Malay, I tried three different type of bao's and it was hard to tell which one was more delicious!
- Rendang Bao (Lamb)
- Laksa Bao (Chicken)
- Kaya Bao (Duck)
Lamb Murtabak: Also known as Kambing - Bak, this crispy pan-fried Malaysian dish contains minced lamb filling. Best served with curry, roasted peanuts, onions, and rojak (spicy cucumber salad).
Nasi Ulam: This mixed herb rice is literally to die for! You can also add chicken or prawn to jazz up the dish.
Nasi Goreng: Traditional fried rice with prawns and chicken, served with a fried egg, chicken satay, and spicy sambal.
Roti Canai: Also known as Roti Cane, this crispy Indian-influenced flatbread is commonly found in Malaysia.
Rendang Kari: A Jom Jom must have, this signature dish comes in four variants: vegetarian, chicken, lamb, and duck. Though sometimes mistakenly called a curry, Malaysian food experts believe that this chunky cauldron of coconut milk and spices is nothing of the sort.
The slowly simmered preparation allows the meat to absorb the spices until the rosy liquid completely evaporates. A favorite, particularly during festive seasons, Rendang Kari is found across Malaysia.
Desserts: If you're looking for a heavenly combination of homemade desserts at Jom Jom Malay, go for the Banoffee Pie and the Coconut Cheese Cake.
Being at Jom Jom Malay is like an experience in itself.
Apart from the sumptuous grub, you'll truly appreciate the wonderful service and ambiance.
The use of pinewood in interiors renders an inviting, expansive look and feel, and shadow puppets and street rickshaw only accentuates the beauty of the place. Kudos to Anhad for a job well done!
For reservations, call 9810131033 or 011-49092773.]