Spice rules at Cili Kampung
Cili Kampung brings traditional Malay family recipes from Langkawi to KL and the spice level is not for the faint-hearted. Despite being in a busy mall in KLCC, the restaurant managed to inject some kampung vines through its bubu ikan (fish net) lights and cozy interior decor.
We had rice with the following dishes:
*The spiciness of the Sambal Cili Api Chicken hit instantly, and the rempah mix was complex and tasty. Found the fried chicken breast pieces were a bit dry … and although this was meant to go with rice, still found it saltier than average.
*Not a big fan of nangka curry, but the Gulai Nangka with Pucuk Manis was impressive. The jackfruit cooked in coconut milk mingling with pucuk manis had a nice balanced flavour, mellow with a touch of sweetness.
*Rich and creamy, the Beef Masak Lomak was braised in a blend of chillies, turmeric, coconut milk, lemongrass and turmeric leaves, and went well with rice. There’s also a choice of fish, chicken, squid, prawns or hornshell (siput balitong) if you don’t eat beef.
*House speciality Sambal Petai Prawns had sizeable prawns with strong robust flavour of spicy sambal, but it was kinda oily. More and larger pieces of petai would have been good too.
*Spicy and mildly sour, the Asam Pedas Tenggiri had generous pieces of fresh tenggiri (Spanish mackerel) with ladies fingers sitting in aromatic gravy, fragrant red curry enhanced with locals herbs like daun kesum, kaffir lime leaves, bunga kantan and lemongrass. Enjoyed this, though it was on the salty side. I would have liked it more sour, but that’s a personal preference.
If you’re there for tea time, Cili Kampung features snacks such as cucur, roti jala and Mee Kari Oxtail, among others. The dry-style curry was attractive and came with lots of condiments, but tastewise didn’t quite cut it.
There’s a good selection of desserts ranging from Mama Cendol – deconstructed, Onde Onde Puding Bakar – a bread pudding of sorts – and Bukit Kelapa which was coconut ice cream.
Top marks for the house drinks such as Lychee Lime and Rose, Bunga Telang Selasih, Sirap and Rambutan Lengkong.
Overall, I enjoyed the spice and flavours of the authentic Malay dishes, but found them too salty for my palate. Perhaps if I had more rice to absorb the gravies. Definitely hard to keep to your diet here if you want to try all the nice and spicy curries!
Prices range from RM40 to RM65 for main dishes and below RM20 for vegetables and side dishes.
Add: Lot 432 – 433 & OS401, KLCC, Kuala Lumpur. tel: 017-8462403