Jwala, Bukit Damansara
February 19, 2023
With custom-crafted, urn-shaped ovens fronting its sleek open kitchen, Jwala is Bukit Damansara's new theatre of tandoor, breathing fiery life into the food of India's northern frontiers.
When we visited in January, Jwala - which means 'flame' in Sanskrit - was running a trial menu. The restaurant harnesses its copper tandoors, built in Delhi and burning with Sarawak mangrove wood charcoal, to infuse a smoky sensuality into everything from paneer khurchan to Pyrenees lamb.
Fire-roasted papadam with papaya relish and mint chutney blazes the trail for specialities such as succulent char-grilled chicken thigh with fennel seeds and spicy onions (RM60) and creamy chicken stew, sealed and oven-cooked with pineapple and pomegranates (RM115).
Jwala takes justifiable pride in its Lucknowi biryani, a variant influenced by the 18th-century Nawabs of Awadh. This preparation is delicately aromatic, subtle with whole spices, layered with a beautiful balance of basmati rice and a choice of lamb, chicken, prawns or vegetables, rounded out with raita (RM125).
Putting a contemporary polish on culinary traditions that stretch back to the Mughal Empire, Jwala's menu is extensive, with an attention to detail that extends to fundamental fare like flatbreads matched with a delicious dal of black lentils, charcoal-cooked overnight with San Marzano tomatoes (RM55).
E-2-01, Level 2, Block E, The Five, Kompleks Pejabat Damansara, Bukit Damansara, 50490 Kuala Lumpur.
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