At the beginning of the month, BSF were invited to review the Awana restaurant . Even though the city of London was boot deep in snow, I was eager to try out the Malaysian restaurant after hearing so much about the cuisine. Awana is situated on Sloane Avenue in Chelsea, a 5 minute walk from South Kensington tube station and is in the ideal location for a light lunch after shopping (mental note made). Malaysian cuisine reflects the multi-racial aspects of Malaysia, an amalgamation of Malay, Chinese, Indian, Nyonya, and more. Malay cuisine bears many similarities to Indonesian, in particular some of the regional traditions from Sumatra. Awana certainly reflects the Malaysian traditions with a modern twist. Firstly, we whet our appetite with a champagne cocktail called ‘Awana hibiscu’ which consists of hibiscus syrup, hibiscus flower, and champagne. This champagne cocktail certainly stood out with its enriched fruity taste.
For starters, I tried a mix of roti canai, plain, garlic, fresh herb and egg roti which was a delight as they were hand made. This was complimented with either red sauce or dahl curry sauce.
This was followed with the campuran pinggan, which consists of pomelo and green mango salad, fillet of lamb satay skewers, mixed asian vegetable spring roll, deep fried spicy chicken wings, crispy pastry cups filled with prawns, chicken, bamboo, mushroom, carrot and coriander.
The Campuran Pinggan is meant for two people sharing.
I was really curious about the Pomelo fruit and the chef kindly brought one out for me to take a look at. The Pomelo is a citrus fruit and is also known as the chinese grapefruit.
We had two main dishes, the Nasi Lemak, which is a special malaysian dish of chicken curry, deep fried prawns, ikan bilis and coconut rice. This is traditionally a breakfast dish, sold at roadside stalls in Malaysia where it is often sold packed in newspaper, brown paper, or banana leaf. We also had Undang Cha Hoon
For dessert, Tiga Krim Coklat, which is chocolate mousse, served with a crisp biscuit and raspberry sauce and chendol, pandan pearls with red beans in coconut cream with caramel and shaved ice.
The chendol was a little too sticky and sweet for me, but I do love to try new things
The flavours of Awana dishes are very complex and adventurous, and perfect for the diner who loves to try out new things. I was impressed with the flavours and the hand made rotis. Roti is normally a savoury dish, so it was a nice cultural experience to see how roti can also be made into a dessert. The atmosphere of the restaurant was relaxed and had a welcoming feel with red leather sofas that added to it’s upmarket surroundings. The waiters were very welcoming and are more than happy to explain the menu as it can be a little confusing as there isn’t any real focus point to the menu but the staff are more than happy to help, which is always a breath of fresh air to be welcomed with a smile. Awana rated 5/10 If you would like to visit awana please visit http://www.awana.co.uk/
Awana – Chelsea 85 Sloane Avenue, London SW3 3DX