3 Jalan Ceylon, Kuala Lumper, Malaysia
Visited 14th September 2008
For our Sunday night in Kuala Lumper we took a recommendation from the Lonely Planet and ended up at Bijan. This garden restaurant is located just past the busy strip of restaurants on Changkat Bukit Bintang. Half outside, half in the restaurant is beautifully decorated with Malay art, tasteful candles and plenty of potted greenery. When we arrived there was a delicious looking dinner buffet in progress, but we decided that our appetites couldn't handle the pressure so happily sipped on a bottle of wine until the a la carte menu recommenced at 9pm.
Bijan styles itself as offering modern versions of Malay favourites and we ummed and ahhed until finally deciding upon 'ayam goreng berempah' a crispy fried chicken dish, beef rendang and 'gulai sayur campur' vegetables cooked in a creamy coconut broth. The Chicken was crisp on the outer and succulent in the middle while the rendang was rich and flavoursome, though perhaps not as tender as I expected. She couldn't tear her eyes of the dessert menu and ordered a serve of banana fritters with coconut ice-cream, while "I" ordered 'pengat pisang' a mix of sago, palm sugar, coconut cream and fresh bananas. Both desserts were excellent and offered stylish takes on classic Malaysian flavours. Bijan wants to develop wine pairing with Malay food and their wine-list offered some excellent selections. Being a hot, holiday evening a little Sav Blanc seemed right and we enjoyed a bottle of Sacred Hill Sauvignon Blanc 2007.
From the start I was impressed. The service was outstanding and the staff were friendly, considerate and more than happy to offer suggestions or explanations. The delicious food was good value considering the prices on the surrounding streets; our bill come to RM320, but more than half of that was for wine, which isn't cheap in Malaysia. To top off the experience, Bijan was such a pleasant place to be; the garden atmosphere was relaxing and the candles and art gave it an enchanting feel. For a night of great Malay food Bijan is definitely the place in Kuala Lumpur.
Visit restaurant website.