Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > China & Southeast Asia >
Mar 25, 2009 01:18 AM

Kuala Lumpur: Pigging Out at El Cerdo

El Cerdo must be the unlikeliest restaurant in mainly Muslim Malaysia - a restaurant which specializes in pork dishes and where 80% of its dishes are pork-based (Large porcine sketches plus giant words "Nose to Tail Eating" were etched on one of its mirrored walls - an exact reproduction, whether sanctioned or not, of Fergus Henderson's bookcover for "The Whole Beast: Nose to Tail Eating")

There were 4 of us, and we ordered:

- a deliciously rich Mixed Appetiser Platter which consisted of: French rillettes, pate of pig's trotters, Spanish salami; pork-liver pate and pig-cheeks suspended in wine aspic, all served with some of the best baguettes in KL;

- a whole roasted suckling pig (“Cochinillo al Estillo Segoviano”). It was so delicate, they used a plate to cut clean through the crisp, wafer-thin crackling. The flesh inside was the texture of chicken dark meat but softer, so much so that our table knives slid through the meat like butter; (the plate used to make the first cut on the piglet by the "guest of honor" was then ritually smashed in a wooden barrel)

- a generous paella with seafood, chicken, chorizo sausages and pork. This dish tasted absolutely divine! The flavors & textures were exquisite. One detects the slightest tang in the rice, as if the ghost of a lemon had floated thru it, leaving behind a subtle taste memory.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I liked the Changkat Bukit Bintang/Tengkat Tong Shin dining enclave a lot. In fact, my favourites are all located within 500m of El Cerdo (which, yes, has the best pig in town. Werner Kuhn the "ethnic French from Germany" owner-chef is very passionate about his food and cooking).

    Other places to try are

    1) SAO NAM, for some of the best Viet cuisine outside of Indochina. Chef Pham Minh Thien & Madam Cam Van are great - pomelo salad (with mangosteen, when in season), pho bo, cha gio, are all delicious.

    2) LE BOUCHON. Great French amidst a rustic bistro-like setting. My favourite place in KL for homestyle Gallic fare.

    3) DEUTSCHES HAUS. Another place for great food: roast pork knuckle, a variety of wursts (weiss-, brat-, leber-, bock-) and beers (Paulaner, Hoegarden).

    Other notables: LITTLE HAVANA (still going strong after 12 years!), FRANGIPANI (lost a bit of its lustre in the last few years, no longer the "in-place" to see & be seen in KL), AL BAIT (great Lebanese), BOM BRAZIL (loved their feijoada with tapioca shavings on top & lovely caiprinhas), PAMPAS (don't miss the grilled Argentinian beef tenderloin).

    Some "not so hot" spots include: DUSHA (a Russian/Uzbek spot with fairly bland borscht soup, pelmeni dumplings & shashlik skewers), MOGHUL HOUSE (Indian, quite average), FLAM'S (Italian, not so authentic), YOKO'S (Japanese, should go elsewhere for this), BAAN 26 (Thai. Not too bad actually, but outshone by its more illustrious neighbours).