The past year has been challenging to say the least, but the spirit of unity and resilience that have banded the rakyat together in many significant moments, from the White Flag movement to the Olympics, is something worth celebrating. If anything, the pandemic has served as a reminder for what truly matters. While it may be a quiet Merdeka yet again, at least we can still relish in our constant and universal love for food. What better way to showcase our badge of honour as an anak Malaysia than with a dinner table set with our best local fare?
In keeping with the Merdeka spirit of celebrating all things local, Li Restaurant has crafted an elaborate menu based on a dish Malaysians know best — satay. Its Fami-Li Meal consists of a pork shoulder main, which has been marinated in peanut chilli sauce for 24 hours, cooked sous vide for 8 hours, seared and charred before serving. A cucumber pineapple salad — drenched in fish sauce vinaigrette, gula melaka, selum, peanuts and shallots — rounds off the heat; while charred Langit rice impit makes up the carbohydrate quotient. End on a sweet note with Langit glutinous rice seri muka and mangosteen enzyme. If you’d like to order just the kuih for teatime, a special lunch box of sourdough kuih ketayap, kaya tart, kuih bingka and the aforementioned seri muka is available at RM50.
Feeds two to three pax. Until Sep 16, RM140. Reservations must be made three days in advance. Order here.
Shangri-La Kuala Lumpur
The hotel is taking the guesswork out of your next delivery order with a family meal that will feed the whole crew. For this Merdeka, pick three main courses — from a selection of grilled lamb chop, roasted sirloin, daging rendang and nasi minyak, fried tiger prawn, and more — to go with an appetiser set consisting of Chinese roasted duck and red cabbage salad, rojak pasembur, Indian-style kachumber salad and oven baked mushroom salad with local tomatoes. A motley rotation of desserts await too, which includes the likes of pandan cream puff and gula melaka cheese cake.
Serves up to four pax. Until Aug 31, RM380. Order here.
Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur
Just when you thought our national dish could not be elevated further, executive sous chef Budiman pulls out all the stops with a version that includes succulent whole Sabah lobster, plump tiger prawns, black Angus beef rendang and truffled eggs. For something more customised, the ‘Taste of Home’ set menus feature classic Malay favourites, from Nasi Minyak Haruman Air Mawar, Ikan Pelangi Panggang Sos Masam Manis, Daging Pesamah Kerisik and Ayam Rose Kasturi Haruman Saderi Kacang Badam. There’s something to keep the little ones occupied too: Decorate Merdeka-themed cupcakes — complete with an edible Jalur Gemilang flag topper — for the ultimate National Day celebration.
Until Sept 16. Nasi Lemak Next Level, RM168 nett; Taste of Home set menus, RM64 nett each; DIY Cup Cake Party, RM136 nett. Order here.
Eat x Dignity KL
Uniting Malaysians through compassion and hope during this difficult season, the NGO is spreading some Merdeka cheer with its family meal that comes with a whole ayam berempah (the chickens are sourced from Dignity for Children Foundation’s Farm School), nyonya laksa and bubur chacha for dessert. Wash them all down with a fragrant, thirst-quenching rose milk tea.
Feeds four to five pax. Until Sept 19, RM145. Call 010 831 1206 or see here to pre-order.
Table & Apron
No dish is more symbolic of our country than the classic nasi lemak. Table & Apron’s weekend Merdeka Bundle — suitable for three to four people — comes with four packets of nasi lemak, complete with the usual trimmings plus petai, keropok and mungbean tempeh. Enjoy your rice with soft bone pork rendang, sambal petai udang and buckwheat fried chicken wings, then cap it off with kuih lopes served with salted gula Melaka cream for dessert. The bundle also offers soft milk buns with kaya and butter on the side.
Fri-Sun, 11am or 11.30am only. RM120. WhatsApp 018 323 5146 to pre-order. See here for more.
Akâr Dining’s Kenangan Hommage menu is chef Stephanie’s tribute to local cuisine and her way of celebrating familiar flavours from her childhood. To coincide with the month of Merdeka, the menu for two elevates Malaysian favourites with premium ingredients. Start with the Seafood Kerabu, which includes tiger prawn, Japanese sanma and squid tossed in a refreshing and spicy sauce. Then, tuck into the Pulut Kuning with Nyonya Pickled Chilli and slow-cooked Rendang Daging, which uses Argentine beef. Forget going easy on the serunding — the dried shrimp and coconut floss is highly addictive. Wash down your meal with Akâr’s in-house fermented Bentong ginger beer and enjoy some local kuih for good measure.
Until Sept 9, except Sept 2-5. RM250. WhatsApp 018 277 0597 to order. See here for more info.
The St Regis Kuala Lumpur
For the past two years, the chefs at The Brasserie have prepared lavish buffet spreads that feature popular dishes from all the states of Malaysia. While this year’s instalment strays from the usual format, Malaysiaku: A Reimagined Malay Heritage Menu — of Rites & Rituals, now a six-course affair, continues to showcase the best of Malaysian cuisine nationwide. This year’s theme is inspired by the rites of passage and celebration of traditional rituals embarked on by a Malay couple on their journey of marriage. Skilfully prepared in delicate morsels, patrons can look forward to Sabah’s Lempang Udang Kara (lobster crêpe with kapur aioli), Wilayah Persekutuan’s Ayam Panggang Madu Tualang and Kelantan’s Kerabu Sotong.
Dine-in on Aug 31, Sept 2, 10 and 16 or pick up from Sept 1-15, noon to 10pm. RM388+ per person. Call 03 2727 6696 for reservations or pre-order for takeaway here.
Pizzas are lifesavers when it comes to feeding larger groups of people. But instead of your usual Hawaiian chicken, try Knowhere Bangsar’s Malaysian-ised versions in the spirit of Merdeka. Their Pizza Kantoi menu, inspired by some of the country’s most well-loved dishes, feature six pizzas including Satay No Sorry, complete with a creamy peanut sauce base and Salai Confirm Lomak, where beef bacon is paired with fresh chili on a lomak and mozzarella cheese flatbread. There is also a sweet version, the Jom Apam Balik, which is topped with peanut butter, gula Melaka, corn, pomegranates, raisins and bananas.
Until Sept 19. RM32.80-40.80. Order online here.