Colonial Cafe, Sunday Tiffin Lunch followed by Cocktails at the Smoke House, The Majestic Hotel
Words by Brooke Keel
Video by Anthony Jegu
Photos by The Yum List (Monica Tindall)
The scene at the Majestic is one that transports the guest back in time, where the immersive scenery can magically bring you from modern day, busy KL to times past. The Sunday Curry Tiffin Lunch (RM 78++) at the Colonial Cafe, set in the classic wing of the hotel, is a nostalgic escape from the here and now, and a flavorful one at that. Each Sunday from noon to 2pm, the iconic and beautifully restored hotel sets the stage for a truly ‘majestic’ Sunday midday diversion of traditional colonial-era Malaysian comfort food, served as it was to the elite customers of days past.
|Mains, Condiments, Rice|
The Colonial Cafe grants indulgent comfort at its best, and on any given Sunday, one can enjoy the luminescent natural light that filters in through the open spaces of the converted air shaft or find a cozy space at a table under warmly lit lamps in the main area near a classic bar and grand piano. Isabella Solianos, of the Solianos band family plays the piano and sings on Sundays during the Tiffin Lunch.
|Table in the Atrium|
Moving past the ambiance of the landmark setting and onto the midday fare, our course began with an array of lovely samplings set upon banana leaf as paints on an artist’s palette. The meal begins with a Salted Lassi beverage to open and refresh the palate. Condiments arrived, free flowing and continuous, serving as their own starting session of traditional delicacies. We were presented with savory Fish Puttu, Crispy Bitter Gourd (painstakingly cultivated and selected by the Majestic team through a long process of trial and error), Pineapple and Banana Slices (to calm spice), Mango Chutney (a much liked version at our table), Salted Egg (presented in small feta-like cubes), Toasted Coconut and Toasted Salted Peanuts. This initial presentation was perfectly delightful in the variety of flavors, colors and aromas.
|Condiments on Banana Leaf|
|Fried Bitter Gourd|
The preceding array of condiments supports four main dishes, the Hainanese Chicken Curry, the Mutton Varuval, the Egg Masala, and the Fried Masala Fish. All traditional specialties honed and crafted to represent the much honored flavors of years past, our favorites were the chicken curry and the mutton, which were beyond delectable. The entire main dish experience was quite excellent.
|Hainanese Chicken Curry|
|Fried Masala Fish|
In topping off a wonderfully delectable meal, we were presented with time honored Sago Gula Melaka, coconut-y and sweet, adorned with a cubed mango flourish. Hot Masala Tea perfectly closed the lovely Sunday tiffin meal, as we took in our enchanting surroundings. If only every Sunday lunch could be so divine!
|Sago Gula Melaka|
If the idea of sticking around The Majestic for a while longer appeals to you, then we suggest checking out the Smoke House Lounge and Bar, complete with Cigar Room. Here you will find a privileged drinking, smoking, and billiards establishment (games can be played in the adjoining Card Room), complete with pool table and smoking jackets for use upon request. Our drinks were rewarding, and each came with a unique background story – the cocktail menu alone is something to ponder over. Cocktails are reasonably priced in the mid RM30’s, and there is a substantial variety of single malt whiskies. We enjoyed the Brandy Crusta, The Jungle Bird, the Tanqueray Blue, and an interesting signature: The Colt 55. Be sure to read the colorful, vintage back-stories for each of the drinks you order.
|Cocktails at The Smokehouse|
Head downstairs and you will discover a further clandestine space; behind a hidden door (of course!) the small and swanky cinema Screening Room with leather recliners that plays reels of old film favorites in black and white on end (make a request if the room is empty – it’s all yours in which to relax and enjoy a cocktail from the bar). If you find yourself in need of a bit of male pampering, and you are of the required gender, make a visit to the old-time barber shop Truefitt & Hill, just beside the screening room. A truly nostalgic experience, even for those who haven’t chanced to experience the real deal oh-so-long ago.
Other enclaves within the hotel to check out: The Drawing Room (an elegant private lounge available for booking), the Orchid Room (book for tea or a private event, but be prepared for a wait – current bookings for tea are two months out) and the Reading Room (a quiet alcove for quietly taking in an array of literature). All in all, expect a dignified and captivating visit to a landmark of KL history.
Reasons to visit: Majestic ambiance, attention to detail, superb tiffin lunch experience, further unique escapades within the classic wing of the hotel.
Sunday Curry Tiffin Lunch at the Colonial Cafe runs between 12 – 2pm on Sundays
The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur
5 Jalan Sultan Hishamuddin
50000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
+603 2785 8000
+603 2785 8080