7TNine Kitchen & Bar

August 15, 2019

A bastion for North Indian cuisine in downtown KL, 7TNine Kitchen & Bar weaves together a rich tapestry of South Asia’s culinary heritage, capturing the heady fragrances and heartwarming flavours that have swathed this region for centuries. With a brigade commandeered by both Indian and Pakistani cooks, the kitchen channels Lucknow by way of Lahore, while the dining space conveys the cultural allure of Agra, adorned with classical artwork that attests to time-honoured authenticity.

The repertoire here is encyclopedic, spanning the essential preparations, from tikka to tadka to tandoori. 7TNine is nestled amid countless offices in downtown KL, so if you're here for a brisk weekday lunch or dinner, you can relish complete single-platter meals, bursting with heartiness, like the biryani chicken or vegetable pulao thali sets, as well as fresh-off-the-grill, piping-hot pleasures like the vegetable shashlik, tandoori chicken, or the mixed grill BBQ platter (perfect for sharing with colleagues, friends and family). 

On this aromatic journey of spices, there's something for everyone at 7TNine, whether you prefer pure protein or fulfilling fibre, from luscious butter chicken and prawn kadahi to perk up the palate to aloo gobi and dal tadka to indulgently tantalise the taste buds.

For our most recent visit here, we started with a snack - the Lahori Pakora (RM12) comprises golden nuggets of vegetarian-friendly battered onions, potatoes, cauliflower and spinach, appetisingly crisp, whetting out appetite for the Prawn Shashlik (RM23), fresh skewered crustaceans that surface succulent and sizzling, layered with crunchy capsicum and onions, piquantly paired with a sweet-sour sauce.

The oven features prominently on the menu, an homage to traditional tandoor grilling and baking. If you can't decide between the Chicken Kebab (RM21) or the Mutton Kebab (RM22), choose both; while they're presented similarly and partnered with a lively mint sauce, both promise distinctively different nuances - the chicken carries an unmistakably north Indian marination, substantially spiced for a confident, charcoal-smoky oomph that's well-balanced by the sweetness of the mint condiment, while the mutton is more understated in seasoning, reminiscent of Middle Eastern renditions, enabling the palate to potentially better savour the protein's natural robustness.

We couldn't leave without at least a couple of curries: The bone-free Chicken Khada Masala (RM18) is cooked with yogurt for a soothingly mellow recipe, sweetened naturally with strips of green capsicum and onions, softened but steering clear of mushiness. If you prefer the endorphin high of extra heat, the Mutton Kadahi (RM25). carries a slightly more fiery kick with a tangy tomato punch that complements the fork-tender meat.

Creamy comfort can also be found in the Dal Makhni (RM12), with black lentils mingling with red kidney beans, blessed to the brim with plenty to go around the table, the ideal companion for the rice and flatbread offerings at this restaurant.

Speaking of perennially popular flatbreads, mop up the curries, gorge on the gravies and soak up the sauces with some naan, served plain or stuffed; options for the latter include Stuffed Naan with Minced Chicken (RM18). And if you consider Italian pizzas a distant cousin of Indian breads, consider a union of both in this 21st-century, gastronomically diverse world - stretchy mozzarella and creamy cottage cheese are a match made in culinary paradise over pizza, specifically 7TNine's Chilli Paneer Pizza (RM23); ironically, this is the spiciest of everything we sampled, courtesy of what tastes like cili padi showered over the canvas of a hand-tossed dough base whose crispness evokes wood-fired pizzas.

7TNine Kitchen & Bar is set in a sprawling two-storey shop-house with an alfresco area; upstairs is where the bar component comes alive, with pop art galore celebrating icons of both Hollywood and Bollywood. Hang out here or outdoors for Masala Fries and Chicken Wings to pair with a lassi or some wine, beer and cocktails with a view of KL's towering twins. But while city lights are sure to be a spectacle, the food at 7TNine is already a good enough reason to head here.

Many thanks to 7TNine for having us here. Selected photos in this post are courtesy of 7TNine Kitchen & Bar.

7TNine Kitchen & Bar

2, Jalan Yap Ah Shak, Off Dang Wangi, 50300 Kuala Lumpur. Opposite Dang Wangi LRT Station, behind SME Bank Kuala Lumpur.

Daily, 11:30am-2:30am. Tel: 012-9430017

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