Traditional Malay cuisine meets fine urban dining at Bijan Bar & Restaurant
The first thing that strikes me upon entering the Bijan Bar & Restaurant at Jalan Ceylon is how very well the restaurant has managed to blend the contemporary with the rustic.
The juxtaposition of a traditional kampong house against modern minimalist accents makes the restaurant unique.
Featuring a revamped dining area, a brand new bar lit by orange lanterns and an array of batik and paintings by local artists, Bijan is definitely a peaceful haven amid the hubbub of the city.
As an award-winning Malay dining establishment, Bijan has been around for close to thirteen years and is a pioneer in its genre. For that reason and more, I absolutely loved the recent makan sesh at the restaurant.
For appetisers, I had the Aneka Pembuka Selera – a tasty platter comprising four different types of delicious snacks. What stood out for me were the Acar Tauhu skewers. The cubes of tofu are first marinated in Acar or pickle before thrown into the hot wok and when dipped into the sweet and spicy chilli sauce, it sure got my taste buds all revved up.
The Cucur Udang is also worthy of mention. The chunky golden balls were stuffed with prawns and I was told that it’s a major hit with both the local and international diners.
The first main, Gulai Lemak Daging Salai dengan Jantung Pisang was hands down, my favourite dish of the evening. Consisting of banana flower simmered in creamy turmeric gravy and topped with succulent slices of medium rare chargrilled beef, the dish was unique and flavourful. Suffice to say there was a party in my mouth!
Next came the piping hot Ayam Percik. The marination was bang on and the flavours hit the right spot. The Rendang Itik Bijan, a deep-fried duck breast and leg served with Bijan’s signature rendang sauce, was rather dry but more than made up for it in flavour.
The deep fried sea bass was up next. Accompanied by a tangy blend of peanut and tamarind sauce, the Ikan Siakap Sos Ayam was certainly a sight to behold. Beautifully presented with slices of four angled bean, red onion and red chilli, the fish was crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.
For greens, we had the Pucuk Paku Goreng Tahi Minyak, which roughly translates to wild fern stir fried with chili and caramelised coconut.
Bijan’s owner Lissa Yeoh is largely responsible for the innovative sweet treats and I made sure to try some of the restaurant’s signature desserts. The light and fluffy Gula Melaka Cake was served with homemade coconut ice cream.
Another must-try is the Pandan Pudding. Creamy, decadent and infused with fragrant pandan leaves, the pudding is drizzled with palm sugar syrup and it just melts in the mouth. No, I had no regrets having polished off two desserts.
Needless to say, the service and tipples at Bijan were top-notch.
For more information, visit their website here.
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