A Malay word for 'sesame', Bijan opened its doors in September 2003 to provide a Malay fine dining experience to each and every guest. While the restaurant is located not too far away from the main roads of the shopping and entertainment district of Bukit Bintang, it may be a bit challenging to find without a map. We left our map behind in the hotel room, but we managed to find it without having to resort to taking a cab.
Aneka Pembuka Selera (2 pax) RM 20.00 (~S$7.70)
While the assorted appetiser platter is priced at RM 30.00 (~S$11.55) in the menu, the server automatically adjusted its portion and price since there were only the two of us sharing a table. The fried vegetable spring rolls and the fried chicken wings were pretty much average in terms of taste. On the other hand, the turmeric glutinous rice was pretty chewy and aromatic. Also, the prawn and vegetable fritters were crispy and moist at the same time. The sweet and sour chili sauce was a delight to have for all the items on the platter.
Rendang Kambing RM 30.00 (~S$11.55)
Spicy chunks of adequately fatty mutton meat were presented on the plate. By spicy, I don't mean chili hot, but rather a blend of aromatic spices with rich coconut milk. Having said that, it'd really be great if it could be hotter and a tad less salty. The gravy could be slightly less thick.
Kerabu Pucuk Paku Daging Salai RM 20.00 (~S$7.70)
I tried to order something unique from the list of vegetables dishes, and fortunately (or unfortunately), I landed on the wild fern salad with char-grilled beef slices. While the vegetable drenched in lime juice was pretty crunchy, the beef slices weren't so tender.
Nasi Minyak RM 7.00 (~S$2.70)
Served with sultanas and crunchy cashew nuts, the fragrant rice cooked with spices was quite appetising, though it wasn't that fluffy. The fruit relish, presumably composed of mostly young jackfruit, was a tad too sweet for my liking. On the other hand, the vinegar used for the pickles was too sour.
Nasi Ulam RM 9.00 (~S$3.50)
A more interesting option was the aromatic rice tossed with lots of dried shrimps, salted fish, anchovies, herbs and spices, coupled with addictive fish crackers. It may sound overwhelming, but the interplay of flavours was just right without being heavy on the palate. However, I couldn't really identify the sweet brown sauce which didn't suit my taste.
Bijan's Fruit Punch RM 17.00 (~S$6.55)
Friendly for children, the quintet of fruits (mango, orange, guava, lime and grenadine) managed to up my happy quotient. The reason was that its taste was somewhat reminiscent of that served in Bakmi GM, though it wasn't at all a perfect match for the latter. Even though it could be sweeter, it was refreshing still.
Cinta Sejati RM 30.00 (~S$11.55)
Being one of the signature cocktails, Cinta Sejati (lit. true love) didn't disappoint me, although I was hoping that it'd also be sweeter. A concoction of Southern Comfort, white and dark rum with a refreshing twist of calamansi and soda, it was pretty much an invigorating cocktail to beat the oppressive humidity outside.
Pandan Pudding RM 10.00 (~S$3.85)
The pudding infused with pandan was somewhat aromatic, although I was expecting something of a greater scale. Having a consistency slightly firmer than that of panna cotta (lit. cooked cream), it was well-complemented by the streaks of palm sugar syrup.
I'd be frank that I came to the restaurant with a high expectation. While the food was alright, I believe they could be better. Service was friendly, but I had to wait for quite some time to get my bill and the subsequent change. Pika's advice: Those of you who like chocolate and durian, you may want to try their Chocolate Durian Cake priced at RM 15.00 (~S$5.80). The couple sitting next to us seemed to be enjoying it.
3 Jalan Ceylon
(Daily: 4.30pm - 11.00pm)
*Prices quoted are subject to 10% service charge and 6% GST.
Have a nice meal,Cliff(y)