As soon as you make the left turning from the heavy traffic along KL’s Lorong Raja Chulan, you’ll be enticed by the luxurious and quiet dining row of restaurants (Old Malaya area) that you can dine in. It’s almost like you’ve spotted a gem of place in the midst of the busy city center. Manja Restaurant is located in one of them.
It’s where the past, present and perhaps the future collides. Before Manja KL existed, this place was a home to a family who then decided to sell their house off. If you enter this fine dining spot, you’ll be able to see the 100 years old bricks which was left there preserving the history of nature. What makes this place a dining area to visit is also from its bold dark red and solid colors plus with its artistic wall art that makes its a Insta-grammable top spot. Every corner in the room you see here is meant for a feast of the eyes.
When it comes to the view, you get to see the beautiful KL Tower as you sit at the bar outside. If you need a more cozy way of eating with a view, you can head upstairs where you are welcomed with ambient lights with a glass sky picture perfect of the KL Tower.
With its view, environment, and warm welcome by the staff are heading to a great start, its refreshing drink never fail to cheer you up either.
Cocktails & Mocktails
From the looks of it, may look like a complicated drink but this is Manja’s signature mocktail which consists of only the freshest ingredients like mint, lime, blended ice and sugar coated rim. Refreshing drink that soothe after every bite of the food you have. Best to drink its before the ice melts.
Spirit of Borneo (RM 29)
Keeping to its Borneo spirit cocktail, it is a drink that has Tuak in it where they have an artisan producer that make it but infusion of the cocktail are made in-house. What make this shaken cocktail special is the many layers it has. You have a floral layers where it has an elder flower syrup, a citrus lemon juice and the egg white that make the froth for a creamier drinking experience. You should try this drink because it has cili padi infused in it too. Kicks in a punch with tasty flavors.
Complimentary smoked duck
They serve duck in this place, but some of the off cuts that don’t make it to the main course will serve as an appetizer. For this, it comes with smoked duck, onion compost which is basically a slow cooked caramelized onion, herb, olive oil, mint, parsley and chives. One bite and it’s all you need to ignite your appetite for more.
Roasted Eggplant and Black Sesame Hummus (RM 34)
Beautiful presentation of this dish comes with a fire roasted eggplant that comes in a puree form with spiced cashew nuts, toasted walnuts. As for the hummus, it is done with black sesame, dotted with dollops of fire roasted romesco (bell pepper sauce), goat cheese puree,tomato, grape and olive salad with handmade sweet potato chips.
The puree mixed with almost everything else is just soothing to the mouth. The way it just sort of blends in perfectly with everything else is just amazing on its own. The black sesame gives it a hint of sweetness but balancing out the goat cheese flavors itself. Dip the sweet potato chips in and you’ll have a nibbles platter. Can be shared by two people.
Tawau Prawn Terrine (RM 34)
Their prawns are obtained straight from Borneo and it’s all wild sea prawn instead of farm prawn which means it’s all antibiotic and hormone free. The wild sea prawns are diced in a tangy aioli of Tibetan Pepper, tomato chives, sweetened shallots, oelok chili sauce and includes with creamy ebiko avocado with caviar plus herb dressings.
When it comes to Tibetan Pepper, what differs it from other peppers is when you bite on it, this pepper gives you a tingle or somewhat of a shock to the taste senses which isn’t too spicy. Wild sea prawn are generally a little bit sweeter so the flavors doesn’t require much effort in terms of getting the taste from this dish. It comes with a house made white bread which enables you to soak up that last sauce. Although some of the ingredients are foreign to you but you can definitely taste the Malaysian flavors in there.
Ten Cha Fish Lobster Butter Soba (Market Price)
Consists of grilled seasonal catch in a ginger palm marination, glazed with a ten cha green tea accompanied by organic soba cooked in house made lobster butter sauce where they take the shell, char-grilled it and extract of oil. Also comes with juicy morsels of river lobster meat topped with sturgeon caviar. Finishing it with micro salad of herbs and shredded Nori.
Every part of the freshwater river lobster is being put to use which represents the dish stunningly. It’s a modern colonial twist with Hong Kong inspired dishes. Once you eat into the soba and lobster butter sauce, and you’ll be mesmerized at how blissful this marriage of flavors goes well together. The ten cha green tea gives you that smokey taste as it is char grilled that sits amazingly to the other colorful ingredients and the lobster meat is just fresh from its core.
Taiping Duck Done Two Ways (RM 116)
All of the duck here are provided from Taiping hence what it’s called in the menu. It’s all organic free range duck that is done in two gorgeous preparations. One is grind overnight with kiwi tenderizer and fresh apple puree. Then they sous vide the duck to maintain its juiciness pink of the duck with better infusion of the natural tenderizer. Next, is a dry rub of 5 spice, yellow bean, and ginger root then pan roasted to give the color on the skin of the duck. Lastly, it is accompanied by a Japanese Teppan style garlic fried rice and mango salsa. Be sure to dip your duck into their home made chili oil infusion and sambal tamarind kicap sauce for all you spicy lovers.
The sous vide duck presents bursting of flavor with chili oil. The tenderness of the meat as it melts in your mouth is something out of this world. Give the pan roasted duck a try too as it’ll take you back to your favorite hawker stall of Malaysian flavors. It’s a big portion that can be shared with 2 to 3 people. Three words for this dish, stunning to its core. (Okay, maybe four words then!)
Chempedak with Honey Jackfruit (RM 26)
A house churned queen of fruits gelato topped with acacia honey jackfruit. Though the combination of jackfruit and cempedak may not sit well with many but to my surprise this dessert really wow-ed me. These two strong fruits mixes really well into a fruit ice cream/milkshake sort of presentation that is the perfect end to our meal.
Verdict: Manja emphasis on quality and local product/produce comes out through its amazing flavors where people from east to west can come together to dine a fusion of colonial cuisine that would be impossible to blend but Manja did it. Though it’s more on the fine dining prices but it is worth it when you’re paying for the view, ambiance and most importantly the cuisines.
Presentation : 4.8/5
Let Manja Restaurant pamper you;
Address: 6, Lorong Raja Chulan, 50250 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Business Hours: Daily, 12 pm – 4 pm (Lunch) ; 5.30 pm – 11pm (dinner)
Contact Number: 012 3737063