New Orleans @ Sunway Resort

May 16, 2012

Goodbye, Avanti; hello, New Orleans! Sunway Resort Hotel swapped risotto for gumbo this week, replacing its longtime Italian restaurant with a Creole-and-Cajun one.

Mardi Gras masks are scattered across this spacious venue, where a band sets the tone for a Louisianan evening with renditions of "What A Wonderful World" and "Summertime."

Meals here kick off with complimentary old-fashioned Southern corn bread, fresh-tasting, flavorsome and not too crumbly.

Gumbo, thick with chicken, sausages and okra, garnished with steamed rice and herbs. Seems slightly too salty, but consultant chef Sohan Ahluwalia, a New Orleans native who owns Tokyo's pioneering Bourbon Street eatery, insists it's because of the strong seasoning.

Ahluwalia is leaving the kitchen in the capable hands of fellow chef Sebastian Arnold, who's moved from previous hotel postings in the Middle East to ensure Malaysian customers enjoy the crispiest Cajun-spiced shrimp possible, fried in corn flour and bread crumbs.

Mississippi Mud Balls, made of chicken and beef, served on a classic Creole sauce. Prices are slightly on the steep side, but portions are princely. Expect to spend RM100 per person for a belly-busting three-course meal without wine.

The E.N.D. of the savory courses: black-eyed peas _ soul food with a real boom boom pow of creamy flavor. Just can't get enough of this.

Bread pudding, baked with raisins and pecans, served with caramel sauce. 

Banana Foster _ marvelously soft but not mushy, sauteed in butter and cinnamon, flambeed with bourbon and served with ice cream and cocoa powder.

Hurricane (white rum, bourbon, southern comfort, orange juice, mango juice, cranberry juice) and Mr Funk (peach liquor, cranberry juice, sparkling wine).

Beringer Stone Cellars Merlot (2008) and Saltram Makers Table Shiraz (2010).

Milk Punch (bourbon, amaretto, cream, vanilla).

Service here is sparkling, befitting of the Sunway Resort's reputation.

New Orleans opens for lunch and dinner on weekdays and for dinner on Saturday.

New Orleans Bar and Grill,
Sunway Resort Hotel and Spa, Bandar Sunway.