Nadodi, which means ‘nomad’ in Malayalam and Tamil, entered Kuala Lumpur’s dining scene a year ago, presenting a modern take on South Indian cooking of three regions: Tamil Nadu, Kerala and northern Sri Lanka. Executive chef, Johnson Ebenezer and three others – chef de cuisine Sricharan Venkatesh; principal mixologist and operations manager Akshar Chalwadi; and brand director Kartik Kumar – calls the fruit of their labour the first of its kind.
Originally from South India, the founders, who consider themselves nomads, picked up culinary influences along their journey around the world to craft their menu, which changes every three months. Ebenezer, who feels strongly about telling stories through food, describes the business as selling memories – an experience we discovered at the restaurant’s 11-Mile journey press preview not too long ago.
The tasting menu began with a miniature version of the popular banana leaf meal. Inju poli (tamarind and ginger) pumpkin, beans, red-rice daal, papadum and mango patchadi are spread across the edible, chlorophyll-based meringue ‘leaf’. The portions were not exactly generous but this pretty starter certainly packed a punch, showcasing the sweet, salty, sour and spicy flavours that form the backbone of South Indian cuisine.
The chefs also wowed us with their innovation and clever mix of flavours, from their rendition of fish head curry to the biryani filled ‘globe’. The meal ended with a creative sodhi ice cream and edible ‘butterflies’.
The cocktail pairing, which accompanied the meal, was presented with just as much creative flair. An unconventional version of the classic margarita and Bloody Mary, as well as an innovative rasam-infused tipple complemented the dishes. Chalwadi’s winning entry for the 2009 Bacardi Cocktail Championships also made an appearance. Nadodi’s unique interpretation of food and drinks offers a fresh perspective of a cuisine you probably thought you knew.
On Nadodi’s one year mark, Sricharan says, “There is more pressure to create now but I am excited to rise to the challenge.” Ebenezer adds, “The positive reception from diners motivates us to make it more engaging, exclusive and artistic for our guests.”
The founders’ fervour could only mean one thing – more culinary wonders will be coming your way.
Nadodi KL. 183 Jalan Mayang, Kuala Lumpur. 017 390 0792. www.nadodikl.com. The 11-Mile tasting menu is priced at RM490++.