On the corner of Jalan Puncak, off Jalan P. Ramlee, El Maiz sits on the ground floor of Menara Amplewest. The venue consists of both indoor and outdoor dining, the outdoor terrace has a delightful and captivating view, sitting just under the KL Tower.
Jesus the chef Fabiana Zambrano’s son, was our waiter for the evening. We asked for a random selection of the menu, and boy did they not disappoint.
To begin with, we had the Ajiaco Soup, a chicken and potato soup, delivered in a family sized bowl, this soup is definitely for sharing. This is about as simple and comforting as food gets. Capers are added to give this dish a tang, delicious.
Next up was the Andina Salad, which was everything you expect in a good salad. Crunchy veggies, colourful fruit and a source of lean protein all mixed together in a big bowl. At first we were a little unsure about the mix of strawberries and chicken, something we had never come across before, but any scepticism quickly vanished with the first mouthful. The combination of texture and flavours did not disappoint. Definitely a dish if you were worrying about those calories.
I felt like I was back in my Mum’s house, with the amount of food Jesus was passing to John and I, next up was the Tequeños and Chicken empanadas. The Tequeños are very good, to be honest, I cannot get enough of these and the empanadas, tasty, good texture. We had to hold off from eating too many, you can really get carried away with this finger food and leave no space for the mains.
So, what happens when Venezuelans settle across the world. They bring arepas with them. The tasty cornmeal cakes are a cornerstone of Venezuelan nutrition. El Maiz has a nice selection of arepas both traditional and Asian style. We went for the Arepa pabellon and Arepa Tom Yam. (Side note from my colleague John “Dan is now addicted to these arepas.”)
Arepa pabellon, (Shredded beef, black bean, fried sweet plantains and Avacado) it comes with a salsa verde that combines perfectly.
Arepas are incredibly versatile. While typically eaten as a meal for breakfast or dinner, they can also be enjoyed as a snack or side to lunch. It looks small, but one arepa will definitely fill you up. This was my favourite dish, we just loved it.
Fabiana has concocted a couple of arepas with an asian twist. We sampled the Tom Yum version and it was delicious, filled with Satong, this arepa had a nice kick to it for those who like it spicy.
Venezuelan Dessert, we had the Quesillo, similar to a Crème Caramel, sweet and filled with rum and the Bien me sabe de coco, a delicious coconut sponge cake, very light in texture with a soggy consistency, a perfect desert to end the feast.
As well as having the usual selection of beers to enjoy, El Maiz have a nice selection of Venezuelan Rums. We had a few Diplomaticos in the making of this review. If you are a rum fan get yourself down to El Maiz to enjoy the Venezuelan Rums on the outside terrace.
A family run restaurant that cooks wonderful, authentic Venezuelan cuisine. You can taste the effort made to cook each dish. Perfect for dinner with a friend or even on a date.
There is a right family feel to El Maiz, Chef Fabiana’s son and niece both work in the restaurant. The outside terrace provides the perfect setting in the evening, especially when the KL Tower lights up.
Appearance of the Establishment: 7/10
Restaurant design is vibrant, clean and cozy with both indoor and outdoor seating.
Good solid professional and friendly service, no mistakes in orders, food is served quickly and hot. Staff were very welcoming and accommodating and you can feel they want you to have a great experience and value a family atmosphere. Chef Fabiana is well known to come out and chat to customers.
Quite simply delicious, authentic Venezuelan food with a homecooked ambience.
Very affordable, Arepas costing around 25rm. You could get a 3-course meal for 2 with drinks for around 120RM.
KL Expat Malaysia team