Ibunda Restaurant in Kuala Lumpur
Jalan Bukit Bintang Restaurants & Dining
Ibunda is a fine-dining restaurant that cleverly fuses French culinary techniques with Malay spices to create an array of new and interesting dishes. Elevating Malay cuisine to new heights, Ibunda is headed up by award-winning Chef Zabidi Ibrahim, who leads a team of seven chefs in the kitchen.
It should not be too long before Ibunda restaurant joins the ranks of the city’s finest fine dining eateries in town. Owners Azlan Jamil and Megat Ai Bakry Megat Ismail named the place after the Malay word for 'mother' – homage to the restaurant’s repertoire of home cooked-style fare. Dishes are served up as elegant, contemporary creations, blending fresh local produce like ulam (raw plants shoots and herbs) and inventive culinary style.
Mention good Malay cooking and most foodies will point you in the direction of warungs (stalls) that line KL’s narrow alleyways. However, any food enthusiast worth his salt knows that there are several Malay restaurants out there who proudly wear the fine-dining badge of honour.
Housed in a 70-year old, pre-war mansion along Jalan Bukit Bintang, just behind the Embassy of Kuwait, lbunda restaurant is not a particularly fantastic looking place. There is a pond at the entrance and the inside does not try too hard, with chairs and tables that are comfortable yet chic. Meanwhile wait staff are dressed in beautiful, traditional baju kebaya and are attentive, knowledgeable and friendly.
The restaurant opened its doors in mid-January, but it has not made it onto the local foodie radar yet staff and kitchen go out of their way to please patrons. Ibunda restaurant's food portions are generous so most mains can be shared. Though prices are a little expensive, the food is well worth it. Artfully presented portions on big white plates prove there is wit in Ibunda restaurant’s cuisine. Some dishes have the typical spicy levels associated with Malay food while other dishes are milder allowing overseas patrons, who can’t take the heat, to enjoy the food.
Start off your meal with Ibunda restaurant’s foie gras. Hati itik buah ciku is unique because instead of the usual apple or pear, cubes of chilled kiwi and ciku with coriander dressing are served as accompaniment. Other great starters include tirom putih jeruk kedondong (juicy, plump scallops served with a puree of kemonggi leaves) and the grilled ikon keli (catfish) with soft-shelled crab, salmon roe and pomegranate salad. The selections get even more exotic when you get to the soups: the crab soup is unquestionably popular but the creamy, spicy-and-sour ikon horuon soup is really the star.
Ibunda has only 12 main dishes on its menu but rusuk kambing buah sukun (grilled rack of lamb with local herbs and breadfruit mash, accompanied by papaya lime pickles and mustard, onion and pink peppercorn gravy) is the dish that makes a return to Ibunda definitely on the books. The meat oozes flavourful juices and the breadfruit mash mops up the gravy beautifully.
However, daging panggang nasi beriyani (grilled tenderloin, beriyani rice and pumpkin curry) is also worth a try: the steak is tender and delicately spiced and the plate of condiments complements the dish wonderfully. Meanwhile, fish fans will appreciate the terribly tempting kerabu merah betis ketam mee koripoley (deep-fried red grouper and steamed Alaskan crab legs, served with homemade curry leaf pasta).
Drinks & Pemanis Mulut
Ibunda greets patrons with complimentary shooters of chilled pegogo juice topped with biji selosih. The beverage menu has some interesting homemade concoctions as well as mocktails and although hard alcohol is noticeably missing from the menu, there is a wine list with affordably priced labels such as Catena, Antinori, Robert Mandavi, Jim Barry and Henschke.
Rather than sorbet, try Ibunda’s caviar-topped egg custard: creamy and rich, the salty flavour of the fish eggs is an almost sinful way to end your meal. Another good dessert dish is the jackfruit dumpling with sago pearls in coconut cream and pulut hitam ibundo (black glutinous rice topped with durian mousse and studded with macadamia).
- Opening Hours: 11:30 – 14:30; 18:30 – 22:30
- Address: 251, Jalan Bukit Bimang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur
- Tel: +603 2142 4115