So much has been said and raved about Dewakan. Located inside KDU University College in Shah Alam, Dewakan restaurant is an entrepreneurial effort of the university. Helmed by Chef Darren Teoh, the restaurant runs on the combined efforts of the university culinary students, both in the kitchen and the dining hall. Dewakan is a shortened form of the Malay words “Dewa Makan” which essentially means “God of Food”.
Simple and elegant interior of the restaurant
Dewakan serves modern Malaysian dishes in a fine-dining platform. Chef Darren is passionate about the local produce from the country’s farms, forests, rivers and seas and his creations pays homage to bounty of the land and sea. He’s particularly enamoured with indigenous ingredients and these are complemented well in his dishes.
I checked out Dewakan’s 5-course dinner (@RM180 per person) recently after having made the reservation a couple of weeks in advance. Service was impeccable and food was served almost immediately after being seated.
Freshly baked artisanal bread and butter were served followed by an intriguing amuse bouche of “Sawi Crackers” served with a dip of budu mayo. The service crew did a good job of explaining each and every dish that was served. The sawi crackers were made from blended greens (sawi) which had been dehydrated before being fried.
Artistically presented, these crunchy vegetable crackers are a typical showcase of the chef’s talents
Next came the appetiser of Blue Mackerel, a very pretty ensemble of cured mackerel topped with ulam raja, pomelo and local flowers. Honestly, it was a dish that was hard to be consumed because it was just too pretty. The mackerel had a delicate hint of sweetness as it had been cured with salt and brown sugar.
Faultless presentation, the assembling of those delicate flowers was a work of art
Roast Mushrooms came next – tubular cuts of king oyster mushrooms anchored with a green curry paste, yoghurt, dried mackerel flakes and decorated with frilly saw flowers and delicate strips of pink torch ginger. The flavours were sharp and refreshing and I love the bouncy texture of the king mushrooms.
Braised Aubergine was the least visually appealing item for the evening. The “green hedge” consisted of aubergine braised in mushroom stock coated in granules of jackfruit seed and kailan puree – unique ingredients for sure but I’m not too taken with the appearance. The green mound sat on a pool of black bean sauce and garlic emulsion. Taste-wise, it was a bit bland.
I wished the Roast Duck Breast with duck leg rillette, beetroots and dotted with “blood” sauce had been a bit more generous in portion. That was the tastiest dish of the evening and the long triangular cut was a bit too dainty.
If you are not a fan of duck, then opt for the Pike Conger. The slices of smoked conger were served in steamed custard mixed with salted egg yolk complemented with fermented longbean relish and roasted ladies fingers. The bowl was then filled with clams foam and sprinkled with pretty Thai basil leaves. There’s a whole lot of stuff going on there in that bowl and while everything seemed to blend in, nothing stood out much.
The dessert of Mulberries certainly won the star award for the most photogenic dish for the meal. It’s a gorgeous concoction of mulberry snow packed with mulberry jam, cardamom ganache, cashew brittles and enhanced with incredibly pretty pucuk gajus. It’s a very refreshing dessert, the tangy mulberry blending well with the spiced ganache and those pucuk gajus had delightful minty nutty flavours.
Stunning – it tasted as good as it looked!
I like how Chef Darren courageously magnifies the goodness of our local produce in quirkily creative ways and nurtures the talents of his students in Dewakan in coming out with classy exquisite creations. It just goes to prove that our simplest ingredients can be transformed into exquisite dishes befitting a fine-dining status. And just for that very reason, an experience in Dewakan is worth the time and money.
Lower Ground Floor
KDU University College
Jalan Contractor U1/14, Seksyen U1
40150 Shah Alam
Operating hours: Lunch: Monday-Friday 12.00pm-2.30pm
Dinner: Thursday-Saturday 7.00-9.00pm
Closed on Sundays & certain public holidays
Call for reservations on Monday-Friday only @ 10am-12pm & 3pm-5pm only