Words: Louise Miller Photos: Monica Tindall
As we step over the threshold of Nara Kitchen & Co, we are immediately struck by a happy vibe! The place is buzzing with the throng of convivial chatter. Pretty pastel crepe fringes and circular fans adorn the clean white walls intensifying the cheery brightness of the place.
The eatery’s objective is to provide ‘clean eats that are nutritional yet bursting with flavour.’ Celebrating their second anniversary this August, the team at Nara Kitchen & Co have recently revamped the menu to keep things fresh and exciting so we’re here to try out some of their new additions.
Drinks at Nara Kitchen & Co
We begin with beverages: The Strawberry Mint Spritzer (RM13) and the Pandan Lychee Cooler (RM13). Both were both as fruity and thirst-quenching as their names suggest. The Spritzer provided a reviving fruity fizz that was addictively tasty and the Cooler struck the perfect balance between the vanilla-like flavour of pandan leaves with the floral notes of lychee.
Since Nara offers a range of Mojitos (RM27) with a great three for the price of two offer, it would have been foolish not to try one! We enjoyed the Lychee Mojito which was refreshing. The list of five further flavours was already offering reasons to return and we hadn’t even begun to sample the food menu.
We begin our food fest by diving head first into the extensive all day breakfast menu. Waffle Benedict (RM26) saw several interesting twists on the brekkie classic. The spinach, eggs and hollandaise remain but the rest is evidence of Nara Kitchen’s innovative fusion flare. Accompanying the poached eggs atop the buttermilk waffles were fried prawns drizzled with a Korean chilli sauce all sprinkled with salty egg yolk crumble – a tasty and certainly very original interpretation of one of my breakfast faves!
Breakfast Truffle Don (RM19) offered a super comforting bowl of rice topped with perfectly soft scrambled eggs, ikuri (salmon roe) and nori fukikake (a seaweed and sesame seed seasoning). The combination of flavours were heavenly and lifted further by the soothing earthy notes of truffle oil. Ah, I am smiling now as I remember savouring this like a warm foodie hug. I would return to Nara Kitchen for this dish alone.
Departing from the breakfast menu now, we tucked into Duck Mango Salad (RM27). The crispiness of both the duck confit and fried noodles contrasted beautifully with the sweet softness of mangos. Ribbons of carrot weaved amongst the other ingredients and glistened with a yuzu vinaigrette that cut through the richness of the meat.
Chef’s Classic Tomato Bolognaise (RM19) with a XXL Chicken Meatball (RM10) followed. This was a generous mound of tangled spaghetti coated in a rich a tomatoey sauce topped with a huge succulent and flavourful chicken meatball – everything you could want from a pasta dish and more! Both Monica and Caning claimed this as their favourite. We had yet to try the desserts though and judging by the many plates of towering sweet things that had wafted past our table throughout the meal, I knew that Nara Kitchen’s high standards were unlikely to waver here.
Dessert at Nara Kitchen & Co
We began our sweet course by indulging in a slice of my very favourite – Carrot Cake. Three layers of moist and light cake sandwiched a tangy cream cheese frosting. We tucked in with glee, savouring every delicious mouthful – this was so very good!
Our final dish, humorously named Do’nut Worry Be Happy (RM19) was a breathtaking doughnut tower certain to instil happiness in any sweet toothed diner. Drizzled in peanut butter and dark chocolate sauce, the double doughnut stack was crowned with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream and accessorised with teddy cookies, red velvet brittle and a waffle stick – a showstopper for sure!
A Happy Coincidence?
We were very impressed by Nara Kitchen. Not just for its food which was both innovative and tasty but for its bright and happy ambience. Before leaving, I asked Caroline Lai, one of the owners about the meaning of ‘Nara’. She told me that she and business partner, Andrew Tan had just liked the sound of the name. When checking on google, they discovered that it’s Greek meaning is actually ‘happy’! A happy coincidence? We think so!
Reasons to visit: A friendly and cheerful ambience, Breakfast Truffle Don, Chef’s Classic Tomato Bolognaise with XXL Chicken Meatball, Mojitos and good value for money.
Nara Kitchen & Co
61, SS21/1A, Damansara Uptown
47400 Petaling Jaya
+60 37733 5897
Closed on Tuesdays.
Mon, Wed-Fri: 12pm – 3pm, 6pm-10:30pm
Weekends: 10am – 10:30pm