Nadodi Restaurant’s Coconut Chronicles Menu Celebrates The Tropical Fruit With A Spicy Flair

As its name suggests, Nadodi—meaning nomad—never ceases its journey in exploring new culinary trails. From the shores of Sri Lanka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala, Nadodi offers a menu that constantly evolves with each passing quarter. This season, it makes a stop amid the lush landscapes of towering coconut trees by introducing its latest culinary odyssey, Coconut Chronicles.

Nadodi Bar Lounge.

The humble coconut, revered for its simplicity yet hailed for its versatility, assumes the role of a silent maestro in this 10-course menu, subtly enhancing the brilliance of each dish. “Our goal with Coconut Chronicles is to create a love letter to tradition, a celebration of authenticity, and a feast for the senses,” says executive chef Mohammed Eliyaz. “From the creamy textures to the exotic aromas, every dish tells a story and reflects the land it originates from.”

Nadodi’s Chef Eliyaz (left) and Chef Yavhin.

Starting off with the first of a trio of appetisers, the Chettinad Spring Chicken—infused with warm spices that ignite from the fiery heart of Chettinad, Tamil Nadu—presents a bite-sized chicken roulade complemented by cashew and coriander chutney on top. Then from the region of Kerala, where the banana leaf reigns supreme in the traditional feast known as Saddya, Eliyaz introduces the Cylindrical Symphony, a French pastry filled with creamy paal kappa (a popular banana leaf side dish featuring tapioca cooked in coconut milk) enhanced with the indulgent depth of black garlic caviar and the sweet complexity of black garlic jam. The final appetiser on showcase is the Tropical Pol. Starring the iconic pol sambol, a beloved delicacy found in every Sri Lankan household, this dish tantalises with freshly grated coconut spiced up on a tart base. Accentuated by the tang of passion fruit, it bursts with a delightful explosion of flavours in one mouthful.

Nadodi Main Dining Area.

The menu then proceeds along to Prawnstar, a savoury reinterpretation of kolukattai, which is a sweet rice flour dumpling. With spiced prawn stuffing, nestled in rich sambar and tomato chutney, the dish features bold flavours that dance on the palate. Yet, it is the unexpected yuzu espuma that surprises, soothing and balancing the spices with its refreshing zest. The Heart of Hearts dish, meanwhile, draws inspiration from the forgotten recipes of the banana, which remains prominent among the vegetarian community in South India. Here, the banana blossom is poached in coconut milk and then served with a crispy plantain chip and a creamy soup made from its stem’s core, transforming humble ingredients into a work of art.

Dining area overlooking the chefs’ kitchen.

Now meet the uttapam, cousin to the dosa. Fluffier and more fermented, the uttapam serves as an interesting base for the innovative Lobster Taco. Topped with slipper lobster, peanut and mint chutney, shishito peppers and pineapple jam, sweet and spicy elements blend to balance the heat with a touch of sweetness. But easily topping my list as the best dish in the Coconut Chronicles menu is the intriguingly named Alfonsino!!!. It features Kinmedai fish, hailing from the South of Tokyo, which is expertly paired with sorghum grains and a broth called Roselle Pulli Saaru, traditional to the region of Karnataka in India. These dynamic flavours collide as the delicate and tender textures of the prized fish intertwine with the punchy tang and spice of the broth, exciting the palate.

Rustic Toddy Dreams (left) and Heart of Hearts.

A palate cleanser known as Rustic Toddy Dreams comes next, and is crafted with toddy (palm wine) and elaneer sorbet (tender coconut water). According to Eliyaz, one must procure the freshest toddy from areas where coconut palms are cultivated, but failing which, it can also be found in local markets, roadside stalls or toddy shops. “Elderly people in the villages have a spot where they consume this in the morning, evening, anytime,” he says. The dish is light and refreshing, with a delicate sweetness that rejuvenates the palate.

Pigeon Prestige.

In Tamil Nadu, pigeons are commonly consumed in rural areas, but in Nadodi, the Pigeon Prestige dish is worthy of acclaim. The pigeon is dry-aged for 48 hours, adorned with apricot pickle, truffle and salt-baked beetroot, elevating this humble bird to new heights of excellence. The next item on the menu, Lamb Legacy, is another one of my favourites. A play of textures awaits—braised Pyrenees lamb neck is paired with chayote shoots drizzled with yuzu kosho and a seared lamb brain. It’s an unusual but decadently buttery and creamy dish, a heavenly variant of one often consumed in India.

Nadodi’s dining area with the city view.

Nomad’s Globe is a Nadodi signature that whisks diners away to South India thanks to its fragrant biryani packed with aromatic spices and tender morsels of organic chicken. Complementing this dish is a refreshing side of kiwi and yogurt, perfectly balanced by the irresistible crunch of the golden-fried samosa that seals the meal with hearty satisfaction. The enchanting menu then reaches its crescendo with the spellbinding allure of Moringa Magic. Innovative culinary techniques employed here defy conventions with the inventive use of moringa in a dessert, which is a departure from its typical savoury applications. Featuring stroop waffles with moringa and coconut parfait, alongside coconut sodhi ice cream, Moringa Magic promises to be a revelation for those craving adventurous flavours.

Moringa Magic (left) and Welcome Trio.

Over the 10 courses, Nadodi brilliantly presents the rich tapestries of South India and Sri Lanka chapter by chapter. In harnessing the coconut’s myriad uses, the Coconut Chronicles degustation menu explores its sweet and savoury nuances, offering a diverse array of flavours and cultural discoveries. Each dish evokes nostalgia and curiosity, immersing diners in an experience that could only be defined by Nadodi’s unique approach.

Coconut Chronicles is available from now until June 2024 at RM730++ per person. In addition to the regular degustation menu, a vegetarian variation of the menu is also available at RM630++ per person.


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