March, 2020 - Siti Li Dining : Our Enak! just before Malaysia’s MCO”

In light of the developments regarding the Coronavirus here and around the world there was great uncertainty in early March 2020. The last Enak! lunch before the MCO (Movement Control Order) throughout Malaysia was on Thursday 12th March.

We decide to go ahead with the planned lunch at Siti Li Dining. Many thanks to hosts Charlotte Sullivan and Gloria Chang who did a lot of leg work to find us a Malaysian Restaurant '...with a food experience to remember....' to quote Gloria. Special thanks to the 13 Enakkers who braved it to the cosy restaurant in the midst of a growing concern for Covid-19. A reconfirmation request was sent to all who had signed up for the event to ensure that everyone felt comfortable in attending this Enak! Everyone responded positively and hence the hosts were happy to proceed.


I must say that it felt good to drive out to Bukit Damansara and enjoy a delicious selection of classic heritage Malay food together with a group of Enak! foodies. Some favourites from the menu were - Laksa Johor, Nasi Kahwin, Nasi Lemak with Rendang Daging, Laksa Sarawak, Asam Pedas Ikan Jenahak and Sambal Udang. Chef Siti Li and manager Shareen were delightful and were happy to share information re the food and their restaurant.

The Siti Li Story


The yearning to properly represent Malay cuisine is what led to the birth of Siti Li. Founders Siti Kader and Shareen Ramil, who entered each other's lives when Shareen's father married Siti, bonded over their memories of their mothers' cooking.  Shareen insisted that Siti's knowledge of Malay Culture and cooking had to be shared.

I first tasted Siti Li’s delicious heritage Malay food about 3 years ago at their small studio café in Kita Kita, a batik boutique in Damansara Heights. The boutique was started by Nori Abdullah Badawi to celebrate Batik and Malaysian Crafts. Joanne Mahendran and I visited the café and were so taken with the tastes of Siti’s cooking that Joanne wanted to host her Enak! there. She and Siti arranged a delicious buffet of authentic heritage Malay food for our Enakkers.

Not too long after, the building in which Kita Kita and Siti Li’s café were in was being renovated. Shareen and Siti then branched out on their own, reopening Siti Li Dining in a new location within the same area of Bukit Damansara.

Since opening there, Siti Li Dining has earned a reputation as one of the most authentic Malay dining destinations in Kuala Lumpur. “ Celebrity Chef Wan declared on Instagram that Siti Li’s ‘ nasi lemak’  (coconut milk rice) was cooked the way he would prepare it at home.”


Siti shared, "We use Basmathi parboiled rice, which is healthier, for our nasi lemak, We roast our own spices, instead of buying bumbu (pre-made commercial spices). And instead of white sugar, we use the more expensive gula melaka (palm sugar) in our sambal Ikan biis (anchovy chili paste) because it gives a smokier, more intense flavour...Certain ingredients need to be specially sourced."



Siti adds “My mum taught me that with the right ingredients, you can make magic…”


Address:- Siti Li Dining

15, Jalan Setiakasih 5, Bukit Damansara, 50490 Kuala Lumpur

Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur


Submitted by Rosemary Chin