Dapur Mekwa Grub Club Malaysia Experience and Review
We met Hisham (one of the owners of Dapur Mekwa) a couple of years ago during his time in Malaysia Airlines. We were working on a few collaborations with Malaysia Airlines and we have become friends since then. When he started Dapur Mekwa, he invited us to taste and feedback his on his new venture with his partner CJ.
Dapur Mekwa is a supper club, a crossover of a dinner party and restaurant. It is a private dinner session with a small group of people in the residence. What is interesting is Dapur Mekwa offers ‘fine dining’ of traditional Kelantanese food with a modern twist.
On top of the delicious home cooked traditional Kelantanese food, each meal comes with an origin story and it is narrated by the Hisham who acts as ‘Tok Selampit’ (a traditional Kelantanese storyteller). Hisham’s father is a ‘Tok Selampit’ so he is continuing his legacy in his own ways.
It is a 4 course Kelantanese fine dining meal and how often you can find Malay fine dine cuisine in Malaysia?
We went early to take some photos and videos and they took more than a day to prepare the meals for the guests.
There are mocktails and snacks for guests while waiting for the dinner to be served. We had the fried snacks called ‘Colek Malah’ which is tasty and delicious.
For the menu, they introduce a royal theme, featuring princesses of yore such as Puteri Gunung Ledang and Puteri Saadong. At the table, each place setting included a card that told the stories of these legendary female figures. There is a story behind each and every legendary female figures which we find it very interesting and together with the food, they became part of the storytelling.
PUTERI SAADONG FAVOURITE
SUP UDANG PADUKA JEMBAL
Their version of Sup Udang or ‘Prawn soup’ is rich and the texture is similar to lobster bisque. The taste is rich with flavour with hint of coconut milk and the kaffir lime. To be honest, this is rich and yet tasty and even though it offers similarity to lobster bisque but it is actually their version of prawn soup. This is what they called traditional food with modern twist.
MAK YONG SALAD WITH KERABU SNAPPER
Their version of kerabu comes with fresh fish cured in lime juice with lemongrass, in a bed leafy lettuce, rockets, toasted cashew nuts and dried shrimps. The portion for this is generous and this dish is very refreshing. We love the texture of this dish and the chilli offers the hints of spiciness.
AYAM PERCIK BONDA WITH INDERAPURA RICE
If you are looking forward to the usual ayam percik main course, this will surprise you. The Inderapura rice is fragrant and we loved the taste and the texture. The ayam percik (roast chicken) is from Hisham’s mother’s recipe. The chicken is brined overnight in salt, marinated with ginger and garlic and then roasted in the oven (instead of charcoal grill). The Kerabu sare is raw seaweed but the texture like soft ‘meehoon’. The process of creating that texture is hardwork as the raw seaweed needs to be washed and dried for a couple of days to remove its natural smell and then blanched before it is flavoured. If you noticed that there are a few small fishes and those are salted fish.
For the taste, the ayam percik is juicy and tasty and it complements well with the kerabu sare and inderapura rice. The salted fish will give that extra ‘kick’ in flavour for this dish. This is a unique combination for ayam percik dish.
LOMPAT TIKAM WITH GULA MELAKA
This is silky pandan rice flour cake served with glutinous rice, generous amount of thick coconut milk and drizzles of palm sugar. The pandan rice flour cake actually offers hint of bitterness but it goes well with the thick coconut milk and sweetness of the palm sugar.
It is hard to believe Hisham can cook so well. There are many Malay restaurants out there trying to sell the fine dining concept but most of them didn’t live up to the expectation.
There are four Kelantanese dishes and each single of them impressed us. We love the story telling theme of this dinner. There is a story behind every dish and even the tableware has its own story.
Another thing that we enjoyed is meeting the other strangers on this dining table. We sat with local traditional singer Asmidar as well guest from other countries. It was a night of good food, culture exchange and laughter.
Book your seats at Dapur Mekwa at https://lokalocal.com/tour/2730/home-made-kelantanese-supper-club-and-dinner-party