Indian cuisine in Malaysia is an ever-growing scene with many restaurants offering their very own rendition of what Indian food should be like. There are already plenty to choose from, ranging from your basic no-frills Indian food to something more lavish and contemporary. What’s great about Indian cuisine is its ability to be both playful yet serious at the same time, which isn’t something that can be done with just any cuisine. Frangipaani is one restaurant that is capable of keeping things light and playful while still maintaining its fine dining concept.
Frangipaani rests in The Republik at the heart of Bukit Damansara, which has its fair share of stiff competition. However, it does well to keep itself ahead of the pack for a newcomer into the scene. As the neighbourhood is already a thriving location for all things food and drinks, it’s no surprise to see something new and exciting pop up now and then, and that is exactly what Frangipaani is offering.
You will be taken back in time to British-India the moment you step foot into the restaurant, which features lush greenery set amongst architectural nuances from a long time gone. The decor boasts a certain colonial charm from its heyday with antique mirrors, marble table-tops, and wood panelling around the restaurant. Of course, the food makes the ambience that much better.
We started the night with Crab Rasam, a popular Southern Indian soup that is usually consumed right after a heavy meal in Malaysia. The rasam was savoury and spicy, a great way to kickstart the journey through an authentic Indian palate. It also came with a side of crab leg inside the soup, which made for a flavourful treat on its own.
Next up was Aloo & Moong Sprouts Chaat, essentially potatoes and mung beansprouts served with chaat (fried dough). This dish is reminiscent of what you can find at various food carts across India. Mixed well with the mint sauce, it packs plenty of punch with every mouthful of chaat, giving off a sweet and tangy flavour. It can also be eaten on its own without the bread and it’ll still taste just as good, if not better.
Up next, the Lamb Chops bathed in a mixture of spices to give it a sumptuous kick with every bite. The meat was tender and juicy, ensuring that you will savour each bite down to the bone. Following up on that, we move on to a healthy serving of Butter Naan coupled with three side dishes, mainly Frangipaani’s Butter Chicken, Malai Kofta, and Lamb Rogan Josh. All three dishes were delicious in its own right. The butter chicken or Makhani was savoury and divine; the malai kofta had an almost velvet-like texture to it, and the lamb rogan josh was delightful to the last spoonful with just a hint of spice to it.
Mutton Dum Biryani was also on the menu for the night, which was surprisingly different from many other biryanis around. This is because of its slow-cooking process with a heavy-bottomed clay pot, cooked over a slow fire. To complement the meat, the rice also had various nuts and spices inside to give you a burst of flavour with every spoonful.
Lastly, we ended the dinner on a high note with Gulab Jamun, a milk-based sweet treat served with syrup and garnished with dried nuts for a nice crunch to go with the soft dough. Sweet and decadent to the very end, it was the best way to cap off a culinary journey through India’s authentic flavours.
If you’re ever looking to entice your tastebuds with the very best of what Indian cuisine has to offer, Frangipaani should be your go-to restaurant. Pair that with its colonial British-India inspired decor, Frangipaani is one restaurant worth visiting at least once.
(All images: Frangipaani)