Are you a fan of Peranakan cuisine? Enjoy a little something more than the ordinary? Want to feel outdoors while indoors? Waha Kitchen promises all these, and more. Stepping in, you’d be reminded of being in someone’s house – except you can’t remember whose. The interior is complete with new and old artifacts – modernistic and upcycled. It also includes a (fishless) pond for those who enjoy water-watching (and I suppose for positive feng shui).
Beyond Waha Kitchen and Kosenda Hotel, the building is complemented by Awan Lounge, an outdoor rooftop area complete with a bar (and will prove to be even more complete with good company and drinks) – great for private parties.
Now onto the deciding factor. Going along with the vintage décor of the restaurant, the menu concept is all-Peranakan. And hearing that the chef is Malaysian, I was quite assured we would be in good hands. Oh by the way, I love Peranakan cuisine. It’s vintage yet oh so relevant.
First up were our healthy juices – Green Angel and Mentari Pagi. I was beginning to wonder what had taken so long with the drinks. And then I understood why. Look at the craft that went into my dragon! However, I think 59K for a juice is quite pricey, but it’s honest of them to call these “healthy juices” because as friendly F&B Manager Paul vouched, they used no sugar and indeed, I tasted no sugar. This I definitely appreciate. If you’re going to call something healthy, what are you doing with syrups and what not? But beware all you sweet tooth (teeth), the juice may taste bland to you at first.
Green Angel | 59K
Apple, kiwi, baby spinach, kyuri, and banana
Mentari Pagi | 59K
Guava, mustard, and pineapple
Now onto the real deciding factor. Overall, the dishes were quite delicate, generous in size, flavorful, and definitely not salty. I’ve come across so much cooking that uses excessive salt and sugar and spices, as I’m sure you have too, sometimes we all just need a break.
Chicken Curry Laksa | 78K
Egg noodles and mee-hoon served in a fragrant coconut curry broth, topped with boneless chicken, fish cake, beans, eggplant, and fried tofu.
–Laksa may be one of my favorite foods in the world. This one was especially unique because eggplants were invovled – a first time for me, and it worked!
Chicken Boxing | 78K
Marinated partially deboned chicken wings with a spicy Kung Pao sauce served with a mixed green salad.
–If you’re into chicken wings, definitely have a shot at this one. I ordered mine with a side of rice, and you can enjoy it the same way I did, or as an appetizer, as it was intended.
Crispy Eggplant Chips | 45K
Lightly battered deep fried eggplants tossed with chili and five-spice and served with a homemade chili lime mayo sauce.
–Somebody in the kitchen must really love eggplants. Here’s another! And if you’re not a big fan of eggplants, I’d still say give this a try. I was never into eggplants and I’m still not really. But this one was surprisingly tasty and light. Imagine biting into fried tofu.
Salted Egg Prawns | 125K
Whole wild king prawns coated in salted egg yolk and tossed with chili and curry leaves.
–Another one of Waha Kitchen’s most loved dishes. You gotta eat the whole thing from head to tail (I go from tail to end of body; the head terrifies me).
Nyonya Fish | 138K
Fried whole fish of the day (Barramundi) dressed in a lemongrass and tamarind sauce.
–Another recommended dish. If you love curry and fish, definitely go for it. I could really taste the different spices and even though curry dishes tend to feel saucy and heavy, this one tasted pleasantly bright!
La Viola | 59K
Red dragonfruit, lychee, and lime juice.
–Look at that color! Can’t go wrong with this one. And did you know that dragon fruit helps with constipation? Not that you need my advice on constipation. But, it may prove useful to you one day.
For a newly opened restaurant, I was quite impressed by the food selection and quality. Most of the above dishes were recommended to us by the charming and savvy Paul, and others I had personally selected. But I would recommend them all. If they keep up with the quality, I’d say Waha Kitchen will be around for a long time. Enjoy!
Jl. KH Wahid Hasyim No. 127
(021) 3192 2988