May, 2017 - Siti Li Food Studio, Kita Kita Boutique

For May, the ENAK group chose a Malay cuisine given the month of Ramandan just around the corner. Eighteen of us gathered at the Siti Li Food Studio located within the lovely boutique KitaKita in Bukit Damansara. This café, owned and run by the clever chef, Siti Li Kader, is bright and beautifully decorated with various works of art, looking out on the greenery of the neighborhood. Siti went to great lengths to cater special Malay dishes for us not normally seen in restaurants.


We started with a lovely calamansi with fresh mint cooler while Siti explained what dishes we were about to experience. As we went through the buffet line, she showed us which dishes went best with plain rice and which with the Nasi Kahwin (‘wedding rice’ a must-have for weddings: long grain basmati rice with cashews, almonds and raisins). To go with the special rice were Chicken in Kerutup gravy and Acar (fresh pineapple, carrot and cucumber sweet and sour salad). With plain rice were John Snapper Assam fish with aubergine and okra, Pucuk Paku stir-fry with cendawan kukur (fern with mushrooms), cabbage with pumpkin in gravy and Ulam ulam (traditional Malay salad leaves) with sambal.

For dessert, we were served a heaping plate of Seri Muka which translates to ‘pretty face’: a two-layered dessert of steamed glutinuous rice in coconut milk on the bottom and a coconut custard with pandan juice (green) on the top.  In addition we had platters of cekodok pisang (small banana fritter balls) and bowls of Bubur Pulut Hitam (a warm black glutinous rice porridge). Teh Tarik (‘pulled tea’) was served at the end. All in all everyone enjoyed the wonderful food and attractive ambience.

A word about KitaKita (meaning ‘Us’ in Malay): This is a smart boutique selling original batik clothes and crafts run by Nori Abdullah Badawi and partner. Nori is a former ISKL student and daughter of the former Prime Minister Tun Dato Sri Haji Abdullah Badawi and Tun Endon Mahmood. Tun Endon is noted for having helped revive the love of batik in Malaysia, especially the sarong kebaya, and Nori carries on this tradition with the lovely wares in their shop. How we loved browsing!


Joanne Mahendran