Kuala Lumpur: Tamarind Springs Indo-chinese
The exotic Tamarind Springs Indochinese restaurant in Ampang, KL, was absolutely breathtaking. Located on the slopes of a tropical rainforest, it provides lush dining amidst a primeval jungle setting (we passed by troops of wild macaques and baboons along the way).
Chef Som Khuan Wandee has been cited by Relais & Chateaux for her cooking, and it’s easy to see why: her rich repertoire of Thai, Laotian and Khmer food was absolutely delicious.
We started off with an appetizer platter which consisted of steamed fish cakes, minced beef wrapped around cinnamon quills, fresh prawns speared on lemongrass stalks, cucumber stuffed with minced sweet-spicy chicken, and fresh Vietnamese-style spring rolls. You can order perhaps the most refreshing drink in KL there: tall glasses of iced tamarind juice, to wash down your food.
Laotian spiced dried beef, served with a sour-spicy papaya salad (similar to Thai som tam) and steamed glutinous rice, was another appetite-whetting starter.
Our third appetizer were very interesting spicy dressed crabs, served in their own shells, a sort of culinary cross between Delia Smith and Madhur Jaffrey.
Our main dishes include:
- Laotian-style melt-in-the-mouth beef-ribs green curry, topped with finely-slivered basil;
- A whole crispy sea perch served with “Tamarind Springs” spicy-sour sauce which was scrumptious;
- A very rich Cambodian seafood a-mok (similar to Thai hor-mok) served in a whole green coconut was delicious;
- A simple but simply unforgettable eggplant omelette;
- Two vegetable side-dishes which provide the necessary greens on the side, but were otherwise quite unimaginative & a stark contrast to the incredible meat/seafood dishes.
We were too stuffed for desserts, but tried the caramelized bananas served with vanilla ice-cream anyway. Pretty quiet ending to an otherwise marvellously satisfying dining experience at a jungle hideout in the middle of KL!