SAJ Bistronomy by Leen's, TTDI

SAJ Bistronomy by Leen’s, TTDI

SAJ Bistronomy by Leen’s, TTDI

Words: Nichole Ong
Photos: Rich Callahan

Having enjoyed the incredible food at Leen’s TTDI when it first opened, we stepped into SAJ Bistronomy by Leen’s with high expectations – and were still blown away. SAJ stands for Syrian Authentic Jar and began in 2020 when the team sold different types of hummus during the lockdown. Understandably, people kept returning for more, and Ameer and his team kept providing. Now, the jar has developed into a warmly lit restaurant with calming blue tones and an array of delicious menu items. 

Keeping to its roots, SAJ Bistronomy by Leen’s serves its famous hummus (a different version) with an incredible flatbread baked in-house, just like its sister, Leen’s Middle East Kitchen . Similarly, we could watch Chef Ameer Alzalek’s mastery with a lovely open kitchen as the centrepiece of the new space. In this location, Chef Ameer and his team continue to delight with a repertoire of Middle Eastern favourites, offering a lighter counterpart to Leen’s heavier, smoky flavours while retaining the same warmth. 

Syrian Restaurant Kuala Lumpur
SAJ Bistronomy by Leen’s, TTDI
Syrian Restaurant Kuala Lumpur
Open Kitchen
Syrian Restaurant Kuala Lumpur
Chef Ameer at Work

SAJ Bistronomy by Leen’s TTDI Menu

The highlight and origin of the SAJ Bistronomy by Leen’s menu, the Charred Chilli Hummus (RM 30), was as uniquely delightful as we remembered its heavier counterpart at Leen’s to be. The base flavours of smokiness with a hint of acidity remained, but the addition of local green chillies and green olives added levity to the dish with a spice that sneaks up at the end of the bite. Paired with the warm flatbread, this is absolutely not to be missed and works wonderfully for sharing. 

SAJ Bistronomy by Leen's, TTDI
Charred Chilli Hummus

We were also delighted by the Tabbouleh (RM 32), plated exquisitely in round balls on top of shiso leaves to give the perfect crunch. The chefs grind all the vegetables and flavours together for a nice, digestible texture and bite that is both refreshing and herbaceous. 

SAJ Bistronomy by Leen's, TTDI
Tabbouleh – SAJ Bistronomy by Leen’s

A shining example of a salad done right, the Rocket Parmesan Salad (RM 35) has been constructed with each ingredient playing a key role in its complexity. Inspired by Syrian rocket salad commonly served with pomegranate and walnuts, the citrus dressing plays beautifully with the sweetness from the pomegranate, and the acidity from the tomato and earthiness of the beets synthesise well with the rocket. 

SAJ Bistronomy by Leen's, TTDI
Rocket Parmesan Salad

Syrian Mains 

The Shanklish (RM 38) is a healthy portion of freshly toasted bread topped with homemade labneh and vegetables. A good lunch option, the dish was surprisingly light but filling as the smokiness of the labneh intermingled with the crisp freshness of the vegetables and the heirloom tomatoes and kyuri added bursts of acidity. The team at SAJ Bistronomy by Leen’s in TTDI make their own labneh, mixing it with pistachio, shallot oil, and lemon juice to create hearty and refreshingly light flavours. 

Syrian Restaurant Kuala Lumpur
Shanklish

Our Wagyu Freekah (RM 88) featured a healthy portion of tender and juicy oyster blade wagyu on top of freekah grain (a superfood!), mixed with spring peas and topped with smoked lime aioli. This dish pays homage to its Syrian heritage, as freekah is a grain used in many festivals. It’s taken to another level with the marbled, dry-aged wagyu beef. It is rich in flavour from the meat and the grain, interspersed with the spring peas’s texture and lightened by the smoked lime aioli. This dish won’t be for everyone – the grain has a distinctive flavour, much like buckwheat’s strong character. Our superfood-loving Mon gave it a thumbs up, while Rich wasn’t convinced of the appeal.

SAJ Bistronomy by Leen's, TTDI
Wagyu Freekah

SAJ Bistronomy’s take on the Middle Eastern classic kebab manifests in the Kebab Banjan (RM 58), a staple food of Aleppo, where kebab is regularly eaten with eggplant (banjan). As expected, the kebab is cooked and seasoned perfectly, and the eggplant adds texture and flavour. The dish is herbaceous and bursting with taste, as the dill adds a nice finishing touch to the seasoning. 

SAJ Bistronomy by Leen's, TTDI
SAJ Bistronomy by Leen’s – Kebab Banjan

The AFC (Ameer’s Fried Chicken) (RM 63) is fried chicken done to absolute perfection. The crispy kampung chicken is still tender and juicy in the middle. Each bite packs so much flavour, with the acidity of the lime, the smokiness of the cumin, and the flavours of the fennel and coriander seeds intermingling well. The marinade is also a highlight of the dish, with honey, pomegranate sauce, red chilli and lime for a dynamic drizzle featuring sweet and sour flavours sure to appeal. 

Syrian Restaurant Kuala Lumpur
AFC (Ameer’s Fried Chicken

An exciting upcoming addition to the menu is a Scallop Ceviche (yet to be priced). These scallops came sliced beautifully thin and artfully plated. Balancing sweet, sour, and mild spice, the scallops sat in a sauce made of passionfruit, mango, lemongrass, calamansi, and red chilli. Yum.

Syrian Restaurant Kuala Lumpur
Scallop Ceviche – SAJ Bistronomy by Leen’s, TTDI

Dessert

The Olive Oil Ice Cream (RM 32) was an absolute treat with its smooth, silky texture. The dish is created with the right sweetness and nuttiness, providing an incredible finish to a satisfying meal. The ice cream was also plated impressively, with apricots, hazelnuts, and a nice floral patterned tuile, adding value to its aesthetic and taste. 

SAJ Bistronomy by Leen's, TTDI
Olive Oil Ice Cream – SAJ Bistronomy by Leen’s

Just as delicious, the Baklava Cheesecake (RM 30) is made in-house. It uses the well-loved baklava pastry to create a rich and sweet dessert. Crisp pastry complemented the crunchy pistachios and smooth cheese texture. It’s both delicious and eye-catching and easily shared between two or three.

SAJ Bistronomy by Leen's, TTDI
Baklava Cheesecake

Drinks Menu

SAJ Bistronomy by Leen’s has a compact drink menu of coffee, tea and spritzes. I was immediately drawn to the Strawberry Lemon Spritz (RM 17), which was visually appealing and a good food companion. It was refreshing, perfect for a hot day, and made with real strawberries so it was sweet but not artificially so. 

For coffee drinkers, the Cardamom Vanilla Ice Black (RM 15) is a highlight, as the team make the syrup themselves. The cardamon gave the coffee a pleasant warmth, while the vanilla added to its richness—a great digestive alongside a hearty meal.

SAJ Bistronomy by Leen's, TTDI
Strawberry Lemon Spritz & Cardamom Vanilla Ice Black

SAJ Bistronomy by Leen’s TTDI Review 

We left SAJ Bistronomy by Leen’s delighted with the richness of flavour, quality of ingredients, and well-executed creativity of the menu. The restaurant is an excellent counterpart to Leen’s, offering lighter food options still bursting with flavour, inspiration, and heart. 

Reasons to visit SAJ Bistronomy by Leen’s TTDI: expertly prepared Syrian cuisine; a smart yet casual dining area; must order the hummus, flatbread and baklava cheesecake.

SAJ Bistronomy by Leen's, TTDI
SAJ Bistronomy by Leen’s Menu
SAJ Bistronomy by Leen's, TTDI
Drinks Menu

SAJ Bistronomy by Leen’s TTDI
130, Jalan Burhanuddin Helmi
Taman Tun Dr Ismail 60000, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
+6 011 1139 1503
@s.a.j_kl

SAJ Bistronomy by Leen’s TTDI Opening Hours
Daily from 12-3 pm & 6-11 pm

Stay up-to-date with the latest gourmet and travel recommendations for Malaysia here and here.

One Comment

  1. Wow now I am hungry after seeing his post!!
    Cheers Diane

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