Monteiro’s aromatic Portuguese dishes simply irresistible

For seafood lovers: Claypot Prawn Curry with Pineapple

Portuguezze Kitchen, 

Level 3, Food Emporium Lot 3A (Green Zone), 

Sungei Wang Plaza, Kuala Lumpur. 

Tel: 012-696 8441

Business hours: 10.00am-10.00pm, daily

Pork free

FOR a genuine taste of a Malacca in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, Portuguezze Kitchen should be on your list with its South-East Asian-influenced Portuguese food.

The cosy little restaurant tucked in Sungei Wang’s Food Emporium has been open since February, featuring favourites such as otak-otak to the deliciously spicy devil curry.

Proprietor and chef of Portuguezze Kitchen Sheena Monteiro who is from Malacca, uses family recipes for the dishes. Even the belacan that is used here is brought in from Malacca.

“These are recipes that have been passed down through the generations and each Portugese-Malaccan family has their own version,” said Monteiro.

Spicy softness: Soy-Limang Bringal

The Portuguese Grilled Fish and Grilled Otak-Otak are dishes that need no introduction, with their distinct, aromatic flavours, which send you back to meals by the shores of the Malacca Straits.

Tantalising the senses, the fish and otak-otak have the same base made with her home-ground sambal and fragrant kaffir lime, and wrapped in banana leaves before being charred to perfection.

Although both dishes have the same base, the different dynamics of fish and rich otak-otak set them apart.

“I’ve had to step out of my heels and into market boots to source for the freshest ingredients.

“An through trial and error, I found the sauce for grilled fish tasted best when paired with stingray,” she said of the fresh handpicked fish.

The delectable Claypot Chicken Pong-Teh is a reminder of the warmth that only comes from a home-cooked meal.

Busy spot: Portuguezze Kitchen staff cooking dishes in little clay pots.

The chicken tenderly braised with potatoes in a shallot-and-black bean paste gravy is one to savour for those with a non-spicy palate.

Monteiro’s favourite dish however is the unique Fish and Mango Curry using ikan tenggiri (Spanish mackerel), an exciting take on the common assam pedas fish.

The local young mango slowly simmered in the light curry gives the casserole its slightly tangy sweetness, and a naturally gorgeous assam flavour.

Monteiro also used a variety of mangoes for an exotic Mango Juice, which surprisingly complemented the sweet and sour assam boi that gives the drink an unexpected kick.

The dishes do not contain any santan (coconut milk), their richness comes from ground, freshly blended ingredients in keeping with the authenticity of the meal.

Sweet and sour: Mango Juice with Sourplum.

“My mother’s strict about not skimping on ingredients and making everything from scratch so the dishes taste exactly the way she cooks it at home,” said Monteiro, adding she visits periodically as the ultimate in quality control.

Set meals are available and consist of a main dish served with rice, vegetables and a drink affordably priced from RM7.90 to RM11.90, or opt for ordering the appetising dishes a-la-carte.

Delivery and take-away services are also available.

This is the writer’s personal observation and not an endorsement by StarMetro.

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