Restaurants & Bars 10

[London] Malaysian food at Awana, and then?

DollyDagger | Mar 22, 2008 04:45 AM

For my birthday meal this year, my family took me to Awana as we had read good reviews and enjoyed the food at their sister restaurant, the Mango Tree, twice before.

It's a very slick venue, as expected, and much smaller than the Mango Tree but equally noise. (At both, we found it hard to have a proper conversation without leaning in or shouting). Cocktails were excellent (especially the Asian Bellini infused with fire dragon fruit) and the staff were very attentive and helpful - they had no problem moving us to another table when we were initially seated in an awkward spot by the door.

Food highlights including the roti canai with red curry or dahl sauce, which you can watch being prepared on the 'cook cam'; and the queen scallops with lime leaf, lemongrass and chill served in their shells. Chargrilled duck breast in sweet black pepper sauce was cooked to perfection, and the corn-fed chicken in my stir-fry dish was delicious.

Perhaps surprisingly, my favourite course was dessert. I chose the chocolate and pistachio cake with coconut ice-cream, and my little brother went for the trio of sorbets. He chose gin and tonic (!), mangosteen and guava, and lemongrass and chilli - the flavours went really well together, but the lemongrass sorbet had quite a fierce chilli kick which might not be to everyone's taste.

Everything we ordered was fresh and tasty, but there was no real 'wow' factor - maybe because we chose fairly standard dishes. I would recommend it, but not for a quiet meal for two!

I'm eager to explore Malaysian food and wondered if any of you can recommend some more authentic venues for me to try?

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