Al Nafoura

Al Nafoura, Yemeni Cuisine, Wangsa Maju, Kuala Lumpur

Words: Aisling Cullen      Photos: Monica Tindall

Living in Malaysia, there is no shortage of exotic cuisines. From the large variety of local dishes, Italian pizzerias, American brasseries and Australian coffee roasters, Malaysia attracts a truly international mix of people that have contributed to a vibrant culture.

Being a gastro-nerd, I have tried many cuisines here but one that I haven’t yet fully embraced is Middle Eastern food. I was happy to be invited to Al Nafoura restaurant in Wangsa Maju with Monica to try a variety of foods from Yemen.

Al Nafoura, Yemeni Cuisine, Wangsa Maju, Kuala Lumpur
Al Nafoura, Wangsa Maju
Al Nafoura, Yemeni Cuisine, Wangsa Maju, Kuala Lumpur
Al Nafoura
Al Nafoura, Yemeni Cuisine, Wangsa Maju, Kuala Lumpur
Al Nafoura

Owned by married couple Izana and Rahim, they both bring their passion for the Middle East in a cosy café setting. Izana explained to us that both she and Rahim felt that that there was a lack of really good Yemeni food in Malaysia and that is what inspired them to open a restaurant with an authentic flair.

Izana has a way of drawing you into conversation with her bubbly and enthusiastic personality, as we discussed our favourite foods while sipping on a tangy and refreshing Lemon and Mint drink (RM8). She explained how her restaurant offers a selection of tapas or sharing dishes, as she felt that everyone should get to try a bit of whats on offer.

Al Nafoura, Yemeni Cuisine, Wangsa Maju, Kuala Lumpur
Lemon and Mint

The Mullawah bread (RM5 for small, RM8 for large) was huge as we tore off strips of this flaky bread and dipped it into to a fresh and creamy Hummus (RM12). The hummus, by the way, got a thumbs-up – a pretty good indicator that the rest of the meal would be of discerning quality too.

Al Nafoura, Yemeni Cuisine, Wangsa Maju, Kuala Lumpur
Mullawah Bread and Hummus

I have tried Shakshouka before in some trendy cafes here in KL, but Al Nafoura’s Shakshouka (RM15) was quite different, made with scrambled eggs rather than baked. The tomato and herb flavours worked well in this tasty dish.

Al Nafoura, Yemeni Cuisine, Wangsa Maju, Kuala Lumpur
Shakshouka

The Al Nafoura Salad (RM10) gave a fresh and healthy balance to our feast. Japanese cucumber, olives, onion and tomatoes add a burst of crunchiness, topped with freshly grated feta cheese.

Al Nafoura, Yemeni Cuisine, Wangsa Maju, Kuala Lumpur
Al Nafoura Salad

One of our favourites from the tapas section was the Rateeb bread (RM6) which is like a Roti Canai but drizzled with honey. Surprisingly, it wasn’t too sweet but it was so addictive that I kept going back for more.

Al Nafoura, Yemeni Cuisine, Wangsa Maju, Kuala Lumpur
Rateeb Bread

The Lamb Soup (RM18) is a comforting and homely dish. The lamb itself was very succulent, falling off the bone at first bite, and the abundant use of fresh herbs ensured every corner of the mouth was filled with flavour.

Al Nafourah
Lamb Soup

At this stage, we had whet our appetites with tapas and we were ready to try out the main courses. First up was a crispy and flavoursome Oven Baked Fish (RM38). The siakap (barramundi) is covered in a layer of black pepper, cumin and coriander which made the dish incredibly fragrant. It is served with a hot tomato salsa called sahawiq.

Al Nafoura, Yemeni Cuisine, Wangsa Maju, Kuala Lumpur
Oven Baked Fish

Considered the national dish of Yemen, the Saltah (RM20) is another warming and flavoursome dish. We tried the lamb in a gravy with potatoes, tomatoes, chili and topped with an egg, but chicken is also available. This dish tasted like it could cure all ailments it was so comforting.

Al Nafoura, Yemeni Cuisine, Wangsa Maju, Kuala Lumpur
Saltah

Slow cooking is a favourite among Yemeni cooking, and the Mandi Chicken (RM16 for quarter, RM26 for half) is a good example of this. The chicken was incredibly tender and it was served with a mild curry sauce and fluffy basmati rice.

Al Nafourah Wangsa Maju
Mandi Chicken

The one dish that wowed both Monica and I was the Kunafe dessert (RM15). Phyllo pastry is shredded and then filled with a sweet soft white cheese. The crust was gently crispy and the middle just melted in my mouth. It is simply delicious and its worth travelling to Al Nafoura especially just to try this dish.

Al Nafoura, Yemeni Cuisine, Wangsa Maju, Kuala Lumpur
Kunafe

We enjoyed our dessert with a cup of Adani Spiced Tea (RM6) which is a red tea cooked on a stove top with milk, ginger, cloves and cardamon. Yummy.

I was pleasantly surprised how tasty and fresh each dish was and I can now tick Yemeni food off my list of culinary delights to try in Kuala Lumpur.

Reasons to visit: a chance to try the not-so-commonly-found-in-Malaysia Yemeni cuisine; don’t miss the Mullawah and Rateeb breads, Lamb Soup, the Saltah, and be sure to order Kunafe for dessert!

Al Nafoura – Yemeni Restaurant
9-G, Plaza Wangsa Maju (Hedgeford Galleria),
Jalan Maju Ria 2,
Wangsa Maju, Section 10
53300 Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia
+6 03 4131 4886
www.facebook.com/alnafourakl

Open Mon to Sun 11.30am to 10pm
Closed every 2nd Monday of the month

(Visited 782 times, 1 visits today)
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10 Comments

  1. All looks good but the flaky bread caught my mouth watering, Rateeb Bread.
    Coffee is on

  2. This is exciting! I am a big fan of Yemeni food, having fallen in love with it on a visit to Sana’a many years ago. I’ve been since looking for a comparable Saltah and this one looks very close to my memory of the dish. Will try it soon. And the knafeh looks mouthwatering-ly good.

    • The owners are passionate about food and cooking the traditional Yemeni recipes right. I’ve never had Yemeni food before so I can’t compare, but what I can say is that this food is incredibly tasty.

  3. Gotta try those mid-eastern cuisines first chance I get. None here. 🙁

  4. Looks ok. Fish would be good but would need chips 🙂

  5. The lamb soup, oven baked fish and chicken look delicious!

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