Malaysian Menu @ Barbecue Garden, Life Centre

September 19, 2014

When Barbecue Garden opened at Life Centre early this year, it was instantly & impressively a very good restaurant; in the months since then, it's evolved into a truly excellent one, creatively expanding its menu & consistently serving top-drawer meat that's deliciously marinated in a delightful array of predominantly Southeast Asian recipes.
Earlier entry on Barbecue Garden: March 9.

To recap, Barbecue Garden is a Vietnamese-origin brand that's been brought to Kuala Lumpur by enterprising Malaysians eager to breathe fresh life into the city's barbecued-meat landscape. It's a one-of-a-kind, open-air destination, occupying a spacious garden rooftop with views of the KL Tower & surrounding skyscrapers.

Many thanks to the Barbecue Garden team for hosting our return visit, specifically to try the Malaysian portion of the menu, perfect for casual after-work dinners & relaxed weekend feasts.

Crocodiles leap into the limelight (eat 'em before they eat us?). Have this Pahang-bred reptile meat, firm & fleshy, cooked with a nice char on a 150-gram jumbo skewer (RM29) with a lightly spicy kitchen-created rub to complement the lean, mean croc.

Pork's a pleasure at Barbecue Garden; try it with a rendang marinade that's beautifully nuanced, conveying the intense flavour & savoury-aromatic complexities of rendang. The meat is very tender, ensuring each bite is worthwhile. RM13 for 100 grams.

It's easy to go the whole hog here, since there are so many temptations in the outlet's porky oeuvre, from the novelty of grilled wild boar, 'char siew'-style (RM15 per 100 grams), to pork neck with Chinese wine (RM17), addictive in its sheer succulence, to pork satay & pork belly with honey & hoisin sauce.

Seafood isn't neglected either; other recommendations with familiar Malaysian flavours paired with a barbecue's smokiness include the juicy peeled tandoori prawns (RM13 per skewer) ...

... as well as 'ikan percik' (RM9 for 100 grams) - fish fillets with the full headiness of coconut milk ...

... & fresh squid with creamy butter sauce & curry leaves (RM11 per 100 grams), completing a gastronomic tour de force that spans the spectacular spectrum of Malay, Chinese & Indian culinary traditions.

Not into grilling? Not a problem; Barbecue Garden's a la carte menu also comprises more than enough enjoyable enticements, like compulsively edible crispy chicken with pineapples in a creamy-tasty sweet sauce (RM15, a sensational snack; we couldn't stop munching on it until the plate was wiped clean) ...

 ... to fried spring rolls for carnivores, crisply battered & well-stuffed with crab meat & pork (RM7 for three pieces) ... 

... to this surprise scene-stealer: one of the best garlic fried rice recipes we've ever had, gorgeously fragrant & ravishingly textured, laden with crunchy garlic bits in every bite, a remarkably satisfying counterpoint to the fluffy rice. RM6 serves two; it'd be worth heading to Barbecue Garden simply for this one. A carb-lover's fantasy come true.

Barbecue Garden now has a full-blown alcohol menu, ranging from well-chosen wine by the glass or bottle to newfangled tropical-tinged cocktails like the Coconut Alchemy (RM28; Havana Rum, Captain Morgan, Malibu, pineapple juice, coconut juice, sugar syrup) & Thunderbolt (Absolut Citron vodka, calamansi, passion fruit, lemon juice, brown sugar, cointreau).

Barbecue Garden
Level 3 Rooftop, Life Centre, Jalan Sultan Ismail, Kuala Lumpur
Daily, 5pm-midnight. Tel: 03-2181-8226

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