Words by Kirsten Durward
Photos by the Yum List
Our white-jacketed host leads us with aplomb to our crisp yet comfortable table in the atrium of the Colonial Café. Ambient lighting warms grandiose pillars, enhancing the creamy golds and toning browns of the inviting décor and soft tones of live jazz float through from the band in the bar – just enough to create atmosphere but not intrude on conversation. I’m transported in time to the glamorous 1930’s, when elegant colonials graced the corridors of the Majestic. The recent refurbishment remains true to the hotel’s origins and is richly deserving of national heritage status.
|Atrium Dining Room|
A choice of house made Brioche or Rye Bread is offered with the menu, certainly be careful how much you nibble of these generous portions and keep good appetite for the main event. The Café’s menu is classic British sprinkled with some Hainanese specialties and an inkling of French influence. The Hainanese chefed for the British colonial Malaysia and this, I learn, is the root of the dish chicken chop – well I always wondered!
|Brioche (for a table of two) and Rye Bread (for larger tables)|
We’re all feeling hungry and Caning already has his eye on the manly Oxtail Soup (RM35++). This is a sinuously thick bowl of meatiness, the deeper you delve, the more you find, chunks of meat tangling with slivers of potato and vegetables. I love the slight coriander overtone, and Caning’s delighted with his choice, mopping up the bowl with the remains of the bread and butter.
Baked Seafood Crab Shell (RM55++) is sensational with a jumble of crabmeat, shrimp, snapper and salmon vying for attention drenched in mushroom sauce and seasoned cheesy breadcrumbs. It’s gooey, slippery and sensual. A light salad of sundried tomatoes and balsamic reduction is a clean complement to the dish.
|Baked Seafood Crab Shell|
Classic Prawn Cocktail (RM35++) was a trendy favourite in the UK from the 1960’s to the 1980’s and it’s receiving a revival in current day KL. We enjoy plenty of plump prawns frolicking in lettuce slivers with hints of chopped egg and cucumber in a classic, simple presentation.
|Classic Prawn Cocktail|
A gasp of approval greets our Sole Meuniere with Brown Butter and Forest Mushrooms (RM130++). Brown buttery juices from luscious mushrooms trickle over soft white fish and blend prettily with the meuniere sauce. Where the eyes feast, the tongue follows and this dish is ambrosial in textures and tastes.
|Sole Meuniere with Brown Butter and Forest Mushrooms|
A trio of Lamb Cutlets (RM120++) arrives on a mound of slinky mash. These are moist, tender bites of meat, and we’re so glad there are three of them. The mashed potato is beautifully enhanced by viscously rich fresh gravy, which has Caning and I vying for the last drops. This dish is an instant Yum!
The Chateaubriand (RM300++) is traditionally a dish for two (although we think it could feed four), and recommended for a romantic dinner. Our sexy sharing of sizzling steak is carved at the table. Slicing through the deep brown pan seared outer reveals a juicy pink centre, just begging for a dribble of thick béarnaise and a pouring of meaty gravy. Silence reigns as we all savour the melding flavours of this delicious chunk of beef.
In Scotland we use the term ‘pudding’ for the sweet part of the meal, and a Scot would always prefer a hearty pud to a delicate dessert. What follows is definitively deserving of the pudding nomenclature, and be sure to not fill up too early in the meal, keeping at least a corner for sharing one of these. Each splendid serving is each crowned with its personal cacophony of forest fruits and fresh clotted cream.
Monica’s choice is Sticky Date Pudding (RM45++), a densely date tinged dark sponge in a swathe of rich caramel sauce. It’s moistly moreish and we all rave over the taste, vying for the last spoonful. Of course a gentleman would allow his date to have it…
|Sticky Date Pudding|
I detect a hint of almond in the soft buttery Apple Crumble (RM45++). Creamy custard has only a light hint of cinnamon, a very filling end to my meal.
Bread and Butter Pudding (RM45++) is lightly flavoured, crème anglaise is poured on to soak into the airy white bread base. Caning closes his eyes and murmurs, ‘it reminds me of my mother…’
|Bread and Butter Pudding|
Reasons to visit: nostalgic colonial ambience; classic quality dishes in an elegant
The Majestic Hotel
5 Jalan Sultan Hishamuddin
50000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
+603 2785 8000
+603 2785 8080