Indian Empire, Bukit Bintang

January 16, 2024

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With a fleet of cooks who hail from all across India, Indian Empire lives up to its name, bringing the tastiest North and South Indian treasures to Bukit Bintang.

Headed by veteran chefs born in Tamil Nadu and Kerala, Indian Empire does delicious justice to classic and contemporary favourites - North Indian Tandoori Laccha Paratha and Shah Jahani Murgh share the spotlight with South India's Crab Roast, Malabar Fish Curry, Mutton Mundhiri Chukka and more.

Everything is prepared with authenticity, relying on Indian-sourced spices, atta flour and lots of lentils and pulses, ensuring a visit to Indian Empire is a voyage through centuries of time-honoured culinary tradition.

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This is a rare restaurant that tackles both North and South Indian cooking with confidence.

For the North Indian introduction, the tandoor oven tempts us with beautifully charred Bhatti Ka Murgh (RM24.90), Indian Empire's captivating rendition of tandoori chicken.

The meat is complex with more than a dozen spices, spanning cardamom and cloves to cinnamon and Himalayan black salt. The result is richly flavourful, with potently sharp aromatics and a subtly peppery allure, buoyed by mint tamarind chutney and pickled onions. Tandoori chicken might sound typical but Indian Empire's is exceptional.

The Tandoori Laccha Paratha (RM5.90) is baked with Indian atta whole-wheat flour with no shortcuts, yielding triumphantly thin layers stacked on each other for extra-crisp flakiness, lip-smacking with a lacing of ghee. A fabulous foundation for curries and gravies.

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For creamy chicken comfort, customers can choose popular perennials like the Butter Chicken (RM24.90) and Shah Jahani Murgh (RM24.90).

For the Butter Chicken, tandoori chicken is cooked with a gorgeous gravy of brown onions, cashews and tomatoes, turned into a paste that's boiled for four hours before being infused with butter and cream, plus coriander, cumin and garam masala. This is luxuriously thick, more nuanced than normal, with an undercurrent of spiced heat flowing through each bite.

The Shah Jahani Murgh is also compellingly creamy but completely non-spicy; it can be enjoyed by everyone, sweet and gently nutty with cream, dried cashews and cardamom.

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The Indian Empire Special Paneer Tikka (RM25.90) is a flagship creation that's vibrantly presented with irresistible colours. Spectacular for sharing, this classic cottage cheese is brightened with mint chutney, marinated with potato chilli powder, yoghurt, curry paste and cashew nut paste, addictively savoury in every bite with a herbaceous chutney uplift.

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Moving on to South India, munch on Indian Empire's Mutton Mundhiri Chukka (RM28.90), a cherished Tamil Nadu household recipe. The caramelised mutton pan-roast is robust with a fry-up of cashews, almonds, brown onions and garam masala, blanketing the tastebuds with soulful succulence that melts in the mouth.

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The Crab Roast (RM32.90) is a crustacean powerhouse, slow-roasted on the tawa with tantalising Keralan spices, loaded lovingly with ginger, garlic, turmeric, fennel, shallots, chillies, coriander and cumin, finished with coconut milk and a flair of curry leaf cream, putting a stylishly modern plating spin on a beloved staple.

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Kerala's renowned pomfret curry comes alive in the Malabar Fish Curry (RM25.90), painstakingly prepared with garlic, ginger, tamarind, chilli powder and coconut milk. The fresh, fleshy fish is made moist, homey and hearty in this curry, which packs a tangy punch in fiery colours, slurp-worthy to the final spoonful.

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Snack sensations include the Paani Poori (RM11.90 in a set of six pieces; tamarind-based, with a perky boost) and Dahi Poori (RM11.90 for six; curd-based with a more piquant kick), light and bright with the pop of small potato cubes in these deep-fried breaded spheres.

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End the experience with Mango Kulfi and Pistachio Kulfi (RM9.90 each), cooling our tongues with chilled flavours of nectarous fruits and crackly nuts after a satisfying feast.

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Complement the food with a fragrant Mango Lassi (RM9.90) and a fun, fizzy Virgin Strawberry Mojito (RM12.90). We're eager to return to Indian Empire to explore even more!

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Indian Empire 
18, Jalan Bukit Bintang, Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur.
Open daily, 12pm-12am. Tel: 03-2110-0505