March 14, 2018
Natrabu makes a welcome comeback in Malaysia: The Indonesian purveyor of West Sumatra's Padang fare has resurfaced in KL, bringing classic Minangkabau cooking to Bangsar.
Tantalising touchstones of this cuisine span the quintessential gulai braised with beef tendons (RM10) or jackfruit and long beans (RM6) to classic recipes that pop with colour and flavour, including ayam pop (RM18; chicken stewed with coconut milk), telur balado merah (RM4; hard-boiled egg with ground red chilli sauce) and sambal hijau (RM4; green chillies mixed with fermented shrimp paste and lime juice, pounded with a pestle and mortar) - essentially Indonesian small plates, suitable for sharing in a vibrant, vivid spread that'll fill the table.
Come hungry, since there's much more to savour, from daging cincang sapi to paru goreng, sayur daun singkong to terong tempeh balado; complete the meal with rice, dragonfruit juice and coffee.
Natrabu's history dates back more than five decades to its origin in Jakarta, so it has a rich, respected heritage that's well-represented by irreproachably executed recipes - flavours here sing with a lovingly time-honoured sense of tradition, rounded out with potent herbs and spices. Once upon a time, Natrabu had outposts in KL Sentral and Kampung Baru, but those closed years ago; it's nice to have the brand returning to our city in a fairly comfortable setting.
Level 1, No. 182, Jalan Maarof, Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur. Opposite Bangsar Shopping Centre. Generally open daily, 11am-3pm, 5pm-10pm.
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