Taste Enclave opened in Avenue K, Kuala Lumpur several months ago – a food atrium comprising 16 stalls and 4 mini restaurants serving a variety of local and international cuisines. These outlets are specially hand-picked by the management of Taste Enclave who have taken great measures to select only the finest food ambassadors to be part of this food atrium.
Located on the 2nd level of Avenue K, Taste Enclave occupies 17,500 sq ft and a seating capacity for 550 diners. Stepping into the atrium, diners will feel a languid sense of relaxation, thanks to the whimsical theme of lush greenery running throughout the decor. Furniture is modernistic and comfortable with lots of potted plants and shrubs placed along partitions and corners.
The stalls offer a smorgasbord of cuisines ranging from local favourites like chicken rice, noodles, yong tau foo, nasi biryani, roast meats, vegetarian, porky soups and desserts. The 4 mini restaurants are Svea Café which serves Swedish delicacies; Grandeur Teppanyaki, Xi Qing Seafood Restaurant and a Japanese restaurant called Omoya.
My top picks from the 20 outlets in Taste Enclave are:
Mandarin Chicken Rice
The true test to good chicken rice lies in the smoothness of the broiled chicken, fragrance of the fluffy rice and authenticity of the chilli rice. On all 3 counts, Mandarin Chicken Rice passes with flying colours. Forget about the roast or fried chicken – it has to be the broiled chicken. Much skills are needed to broil the chicken perfectly so that the skin remains satin smooth and the meat beneath cooked to just the right texture: tender and yet bouncy. I love how they’ve got this right at Mandarin Chicken Rice. As for the rice, each fluffy grain is infused with all the divine flavours from the chicken broth, fried shallots, garlic and ginger and with just the right sheen of oiliness from chicken fats.
The critical factor that places the crown on this top favourite of mine is the chilli sauce. Coming from a fastidious Hainanese family, I know a good chicken rice chilli sauce when I see and taste one. The sauce has all the right ratios of chillies, garlic, ginger and lime and retains the slightly-chunky consistency that marks a superb condiment.
The Mandarin Chicken Rice Set comes with chicken, rice, soup, vegetables and condiments of chilli sauce and ginger sauce.
Jalan Kayu Prata
As the stall name suggests, they are famous for their roti prata which we heard is fluffy, buttery and rich with a crispy golden layer. What bowled us over here is their Dum Briyani Chicken Rice (RM14.90). A huge whole chicken leg is cooked and embedded in the aromatic fluffy long-grained basmati rice. Together with the myriad of spices, the biryani rice is very flavourful, thanks also to the juices from the chicken.
The portion is more than generous, complete with sides of acar, a whole boiled egg, pappadam and a bowl of curry. Besides chicken, you can also opt for either Crab or Mutton Dum Briyani Rice.
Stall No.21 Beef Noodles
Fans of beef noodles will be pleased with the comforting flavours of these noodles served in a tasty beefy broth. The stall is a spin-off from Soong Kee Beef Noodles which had been serving these beefy delights since 1945. The “Stall No.21” name does not refer to the stall numbering in Taste Enclave. It is actually a tribute to the owner’s parents who started their beef ball noodles at Stall No.21 Jalan Silang, Kuala Lumpur.
The broth is full of tender beef slices, beef balls, tripe and their signature minced beef. All these surround the stringy eggy noodles and dip some of the piquant chilli sauce in it … you will be in beef heaven.
Heun Kee Claypot Chicken Rice
Heun Kee is the institution of claypot chicken rice in Pudu. That’s the main restaurant and before Taste Enclave was set up, there was no other outlet of this famous claypot chicken rice which started way back in 1986. The outlet here is run by the son-in-law of the Heun Kee matriarch.
Prescribing to their unique “double heat” method whereby hot charcoals are also placed on the lid besides in the stove below, the aromatic rice is well infused with the tasty juices from the well-marinated chicken pieces. The chicken remains tender and smooth and I love the steamed salted fish that comes together – mix this up with the rice and chicken for some bonus flavor!
A set of claypot chicken rice, soup, vegetables and fried seafood nuggets is RM19.80.
Get seated at the counter right in front and watch how the crew prepares your dish for you. Choose from a variety of fresh meats, seafood and vegetables and within minutes, your dish will be served, piping hot, straight off the grill. If you are a seafood lover and can’t make up your mind which seafood item to choose, go for the Assorted Seafood Set (RM17.90) which has tender bouncy prawns, squids and scallops on the platter.
The sauce slathered over this is delicious as it’s spiced up with some chilli flakes and lots of garlic. Other luxe sets on the menu are the Angus Beef Set and Alaska Codfish Set.
Ythu Wendy Vietnam Cuisine
Wendy, from Vietnam offers several of her country’s best and much-loved dishes. Vietnamese cuisine is generally light and nutritious using lots of fresh ingredients and lots of raw herbs, fruits and vegetables. We love her Vietnamese Mango Salad (RM6.90) – a mountain of shredded mango, cucumber, carrots, lettuce and fragranced with basil leaves.
A light refreshing tangy and sweetish sauce completes the salad with a sprinkle of peanuts on top. Other dishes worth trying are the charcoal grilled pork chop and “hu tieu” – Vietnamese rice noodles with pork and seafood.
Level 2, Avenue K
156 Jalan Ampang
50450 Kuala Lumpur
Opens 10.00am till 10.00pm
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