An expansion of South Indian flavours by a culinary team of nomads

Leave all contemplation of food origin at the doors of Nadodi. This fine dining establishment—conceptualised by nomads originally from Sri Lanka and the Indian states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala—offers a truly unique take on South Indian cuisine that at the same time inventively incoporates Malaysian Malay and Chinese cuisine sensibilities.

Led by Chef de Cuisine Sricharan Venkatesh, Head of Beverage Programme Akshar Chalwadi and Brand Director Kartik Kumar, the culinary team's work goes beyond the glossy floors and extravagant plating.

While most people would barely consider Malaysia a vacation destination because of its close proximity to Singapore, the culinary trail Nadodi takes guests on is an exploration of regions way past the causeway. Just a five-minute walk from the Petronas Twin Towers, you'll first be greeted by the time-worn entryway of Nadodi; but don’t let its facade fool you—behind those doors lie an exquisitely well-dressed restaurant that, as much as it takes itself seriously, does not intimidate diners.

Nadodi’s main dining area encompasses a comfortable seating capacity of 48 guests, which allows the tables to be well-spaced apart for a greater sense of privacy among groups. And surrounding the restaurant are floor-to-ceiling windows that fill the dining area with light, further emphasising the spaciousness. It is upon entrance where the nomadic journey begins; as faint whiffs of spices from the kitchen serve as reminders of cultural authenticity, as well as a tease for your tastebuds.

Dinner is served in seven, nine or 11 courses, depending on your fancy, with the most extensive set beginning with starter canapes that give you a peek into the painstakingly designed dishes. A triple threat of starters awakens the appetite, starting with Pie Tee, a spicy-sweet blend of Jackfruit seed, sambal and local Kelulut honey that rests in a delicate crisp pie tee shell; the Beetroot Burger, which transforms the South Indian tea time snack of a humble beetroot cutlet into a spiced beetroot patty sandwiched between two magenta beetroot meringues; and the Mushroom Tart that holds a button and splitgill mushroom-mousse, cooked with a mix of masala spices and stone algae, and piped into shortcrust pastry shells.

Right: Humble Broth; left: Beneath the Cloud

Further down the menu, see a testament of traditional flavours that have evolved under Venkatesh and Kumar’s directions; savour the Chicken Kola Urundai and Mango, Curry Leaf & Anchovies Paniyarum, both based off of traditional snacks from Chettinad; the tangy rasam-based Humble Broth—a blend of tamarind, tomatoes, chilli pepper and cumin; and Beneath the Cloud, a flavourful Alaskan King Crab salad that sits atop a bed of saffron sambol curry, served with a crown of fumet foam.

Silence of our Lamb

A favourite among guests is the Silence of our Lamb, a tongue-in-cheek dish of marinated Australian lamb loin served with dutch baby potatoes over a mutton curry of green chilli, garlic and coriander leaf, all plated under a smoking cloche for the smokiest tones.

Far from being outdone by his culinary counterparts, award-winning mixologist Akshar Chalwadi delivers delightful cocktails not only of high excellence and innovation but also in glasses that fiercely compliment the served dishes. Take for example the Frozen Lake Cocktail—a shaken smoked-salmon flavoured gin, fennel and basil-infused vodka, and a dash of herbaceous fennel and basil syrup concoction served in a bowl that makes the mixture appear to look like a frozen lake. Dotted with drops of chilli oil for extra measure, this cocktail makes for a great companion to the spiced beetroot cutlet of the Beetroot Burger.

Frozen Lake Cocktail

Then there is the Rasam Cocktail; a two-parter that utilises rasam remains from the kitchen to be sous-vide with vodka into a rasam distillate that’s made completely in-house. Combined with seven-day lacto-fermented tomatoes, topped with warm rasam foam and garnished with black rice crackers and rasam powder made from dehydrated rasam distillate leftovers, the restaurant’s signature tipple does a fantastic job showcasing the essence of traditional Indian flavours while putting their own spin on it, all while maintaining Nadodi’s direction towards sustainability.

You'll always dine lavishly at fine dining spots globally, but at Nadodi, the extravaganza is all done in proper measure, for the restaurant is consistently reinventing the wheel of Indian cuisine, offering their unique takes on dishes stemming from their abundant knowledge of both gastronomy and travel. 

Nadodi is located at 183 Jalan Mayang, off Jalan Yap Kwan Seng, 50450 Kuala Lumpur Malaysia.