The newly opened restaurant in Raja Chulan has a personality that brings you back in time, with the help of the beautiful heritage architecture of the old British empire. The building that hosts the New Pampas is called Old Malaya. It looked abandoned and ready to collapse for years and years. I remember seeing it the first time I walked on Raja Chulan and imagining how it would look if it was renovated.
Now, we can see a part of it in its perfect shape. The manager of the restaurant, Kana, confirmed that the entire side area of the renovated building will be filled up very soon, step by step, by other businesses and restaurants.
Friends and colleagues told me about the new Pampas, I became intrigued and paid it a visit. So here we are inside, its almost 7 pm, exploring around and waiting for the menu. The inside decorations are very classy and simple in the same time and they give you an old school impression but tasteful as well, similar with some European places, elegant and minimalist design, but with the warm atmosphere and lighting of a proper fine dining restaurant.
The chef and the manager were very helpful and they had some surprises coming for us: instead of the few dishes that we were thinking of ordering we had the chance to review an entire variety of starters, soups, main courses and deserts, one after another.
The chef, Salman, is from Bangladesh and he has been with Pampas for 9 years. He told us about the newly opened sky dinning restaurant in Malacca also from the Pampas Group. As the main chef there he manages the entire menu and his focus is on Western and Asian fusion.
The first try was Duck Jamon platter served with Argentinian potato salad, which was a great start for us because we know how to appreciate the quality of a well made jamon ( I tried in Spain so many kinds and it became one of my favourite cold meat starters) – this one was very soft, tender and just salty enough to make you want more, mild in taste. Together with the duck we had Tiger prawns with sliced garlic, olive oil and paprika, big size and very juicy, with a very tasty sauce to complete the gambas taste.
The smoked Norwegian salmon is one of their signature starters and the tenderness and flavour were indeed much better compared with the usual salmon in most restaurants. The salmon is brought to the restaurant fresh every two days, that’s why the taste and its quality were outstanding.
The soup was a Manhattan style seafood chowder that was one of the strongest in flavour that we had, tomato based and full of aromas of sweet, sour, salty and spicy mixed all together creating a spark in your mouth.
The first main dish was braised lamb shank with mashed potatoes and rosemary sauce, after that a Barramundy fish fillet with butter and spring vegetables and then a yummy Black Angus Beef Tenderloin served with blue cheese sauce and sautéed French beans. The tenderloin, also a signature dish for Old Malaya was amazing, perfectly medium rare and a strong flavour for beef steak, very good quality.
The extra main dish was a Norwegian Salmon fillet, with an outstanding wholegrain mustard sauce and spinach. This one and the tenderloin Black Angus beef were indeed our favourite, the flavours and the quality of the ingredients were just great.
The braised lamb shank was a bit too tough. We tried to finish it but in the end we gave up and concentrated on the other dishes; it seems that this one could have used a bit more attention in making it tender as it should be.
We had two wines with the main courses, a red Argentinian and a white from Chile, all from a quite vast selection of bottles from all around the world, so if you are into wine tasting, I’m sure you can find what you are looking for at the new Pampas Old Malaya.
The warm dark chocolate served with vanilla ice-cream ended the dinner with a sweet taste and made the entire culinary experience worth-while for sure.
The atmosphere is indeed unique, elegant and cozy. I definitely recommend to you to have the Norwegian salmon fillet, a tiger prawn starter and don’t miss out on the soups. They are very delicious. A couple of glasses of good wine will make your dinner a great experience for sure.
It was warm, inviting and fancy all in the same time. Perhaps because it has only been opened for a few weeks, it wasn’t completely full but in the same time it gave you the impression that you can have an enjoyable time with friends and family and also experience a bit of the privacy of a romantic dinner.
Appearance of the Establishment: 9/10
The outside of the building is just simply amazing. Old style colonial heritage architecture with beautiful simple lighting to enhance its view. The interior had a European fancy restaurant vibe with dim lights and slow beautiful music in the background of the dinning area, completed with a bar chill-out modern section where you could enjoy a nice view of the KL Tower.
Great service. Wow! Waiters were not to pushy, well informed about the menu details and educated in the restaurant business.
The food made you feel you are in a fine cuisine restaurant: unique choices of dishes with a surprising high variety of tastes. All dishes but one were right where they should be on the level of high quality dinning of a proper restaurant and there is definitely a high potential in the chef’s qualities for becoming one of the top chefs in the Malaysian fine dining sector.
The price as expected is on the higher end of the scale, but great for what you get. Just the right amount to compensate the quality and effort of the entire team.