KEEPING things interesting can be a struggle for any food and beverage business, especially with the treasure trove that is the Malaysian dining scene.
It takes skill and customer knowledge to ensure there is a balance when it comes to introducing new tastes and flavours without going too far over their comfort zone, a skill that the people behind Gin Rik Sha have down pat.
More than two years since it introduced diners to its unique brand of contemporary Indian-fusion food, Gin Rik Sha will soon be presenting several new dishes to add to its ever-expanding menu.
The specially-crafted dishes, to go with the eatery’s newly refurbished interior in Bukit Damansara, take inspiration from wide-ranging sources – from Indian street food to a South African fast-food dish.
Although they are still being perfected, diners can expect to taste the new dishes in the coming months.
The Yoghurt Chat Bomb could be the most recognisable as it is inspired by India’s famed hot and spicy street snack – pani puri.
Here, the pani puri is elevated with dollops of tangy yoghurt which have been mixed with a blend of spices, while pomegranate seeds, mint chutney and fresh coriander in the crunchy puri give plenty of texture and flavour.
These tiny morsels were scarfed down in seconds, as they were meant to be.
Another dish to look out for in the appetiser section is the Tomato and Almond Soup.
This soup has such a great earthy taste and is so comforting, a good prelude to sampling the main dishes.
It was rich with spices as well as garlic and was not too creamy that it overwhelmed the taste of the tomatoes.
A garnish of almond flakes provided much needed texture in the otherwise velvety soup.
Said to hail from the eastern coast of South Africa, Bunny Chow consisted of curry in a hollowed out bread loaf.
It is thought to have originated from the large Indian community of Durban and is a budget-friendly meal loved for its portability and rich, hearty flavours.
Incorporating the dish into Gin Rik Sha’s menu, with a few tweaks to the curry recipe, is an inspired one.
While Malaysians will be familiar with the Curry Chicken Bun, in this particular recipe the curry is less creamy and has plenty of fresh tomatoes. The curry is served in a “bowl” of baked bread.
Prunes give the dish a slight sweetness while slices of green chilli add much needed heat. A fresh strawberry salad helps to lighten the otherwise heavy dish.
A dessert named Indian Summer arrived next. It is a perfect way to highlight Indian mangoes, with its moniker evoking humid and hot weather.
The delectable new dessert is a black pepper meringue loaded with fresh mangoes, mango puree and whipped cream.
Although there could have been more black pepper added into the meringue, the fruit’s natural sweetness was a nice accompaniment to the spice.
But regulars need not worry as crowd favourites like Pop Corn Tempura and Banana Leaf Baked Seabass still remain.
The sweet corn tempura was crispy and crunchy, contrasting well against the bursts of fresh corn. With a sprinkle of chilli powder over the top, it is a perfect snack.
As for the fish, it is wrapped in banana leaf combined with ground spices, garlic, red chillies, tomatoes, lime juice, yoghurt and ghee then baked with fragrant basmati rice.
GIN RIK SHA, 37, Ground Floor, Plaza Damansara, Jalan Medan Setia 1, Bukit Damansara Kuala Lumpur (Tel: 03-2011 1266). Business hours: 4.30pm to midnight. (Monday to Saturday). Closed on Sunday.
This is the writer’s personal observation and not an endorsement by StarMetro.