Monday, 23 October 2017

An Evening at Madam Kwan's


I have heard so much about Madam Kwan's, passed by it countless times during my visits to 1-Utama and only now have I had the chance to visit.

It was our usual Friday date night and my partner wanted us to eat at 1-Utama so that we can collect One Card points (to convert to parking fees). I am not much of a shopper, hence my points are rather low.

We were undecided where to eat until we chanced upon Madam Kwan's as we ascended via escalator to the second floor.

It was a busy night but we got a table soon enough. I must say that service was rather disappointing as the wait staff looked as if they would rather be somewhere else. It took awhile for our orders to be taken.


For drinks, my partner had the Lychee and Lemon Cooler.


His madam selected the Lemongrass Mojito.


My partner was hankering for fried rice and his wish was granted that night. No complaints from him and I assume that the fried rice must be good. 


It came with some cili padi and you know what happened to it 😎


I had the Nasi Bojari, described as "Madam's tri-colored rice with assam prawns, beef rendang and deep fried chicken drumstick". I noted the "TM" sign (trademark not Twilight Man) after the name of the dish. So this recipe is trademarked?

To me, the taste of the rice was rather mild. I was expecting to taste some sort of spices and I thought it was quite plain. The deep fried chicken was unremarkable (and dry) and the assam prawns were just all right.

The beef rendang was passable, I would have preferred them in tender chunks rather than all disintegrated like that. So you could say that I was a little disappointed. Maybe my expectations were too high.


Since we were very hungry, I also ordered the Madam's Starters for 2. The starter came after we were halfway through our mains >.<

What you have is 3 deep fried chicken wings, 3 deep fried dumplings, 3 otak-otak and 3 chicken satay. I detected a strong taste of five spice powder in the chicken wings (perhaps too much). The dumplings were quite oily and soggy, so I did not enjoy it.

The otak-otak did not leave much of an impression but the satay saved the day. It was well seasoned and I loved the thick peanut sauce.


The starter is quite ample, perhaps better for 3 persons (so you get an item each) and since it filled us up (including our mains), we did not order desserts.

We came back the following Friday (because I wanted to taste the Nasi Lemak) and I am afraid that it's not going to make me come back.

I have read some good reviews and not so good reviews and I do understand that quality control in the kitchen and consistency in the quality of the dishes served can be a challenge.

33 comments:

  1. There's one outlet at Mid Valley too but no, I never stopped by to try. Initially, the name gave me the impression that it was a Hong Kong franchise but apparently, it isn't. Yes, I've seen some good reviews and some rather negative ones as well.

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    1. At least now I have satisfied my curiosity. For those of us who have tasted good local food, we would find the food (at least at this outlet and the dishes I tried) just all right, not outstanding.

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  2. I like the starter. And also the drinks. So refreshing and nice thirst quencher.

    So nice to have Friday date night.

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    Replies
    1. The starter is very attractive, so many things to eat.

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  3. My mother in law remembers the Sakura restaurant/cafe in Imbi which is where Madam Kwan started her venture into the food industry before selling it. Thanks to your post, I google for more info and found this article about her:
    http://www.themalaymailonline.com/eat-drink/article/the-story-behind-madam-kwans
    Very interesting to read that she started in the beauty industry by opening a beauty salon in Imbi until she was 42 before entering the food industry.

    I have not eaten at Madam Kwan for a year now. The last time I was there I did not eat any main dishes, just satay, rojak and otak otak. After seeing the photo of your nasi bojari which does not look like as good as what I have eaten before. Will you be writing a review on the Nasi Lemak on why it failed you?

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    Replies
    1. I have dined at Sakura years and years ago I remember that the food was rather good. The nasi lemak was not fragrant and lemak as how nasi lemak should be. So I won't be having it again :(

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  4. When high rail ready, I go KL look for you, we have weekend date ok? Lol..

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  5. The drinks look very appetising and perfect to take during hot weather like this!
    The plating of the starter is quite nice~

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    Replies
    1. I like the drink that I ordered. The starter looks impressive but I only liked the satay.

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  6. I never heard of it and would love to try it when I’m in KL. The food looks good!

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    1. Quite famous this one but the food did not quite live up to the legend.

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  7. I like the combination of the starter

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    1. Yes, it would be perfect if all the elements tasted good. I only like the satay.

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  8. i guess a decade ago, madam kwan's was a standout for serving classic specialities in a classy, contemporary setting ... it probably still does well with customers looking for something safe and comforting. i have pleasant memories of eating at the klcc outpost, but it feels like a lifetime ago :)

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    Replies
    1. I have a feeling that over time, quality could have slipped as Madam Kwan herself may not be so involved as she did all those years ago.

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  9. I've tried Nasi Bojari at Madam Kwan's in Midvalley and rmbr it being quite good.

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    Replies
    1. I have got to try the other outlets, might taste different.

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  10. I've never been to Madam Kwan's but have heard good things about it. I have a friend who always takes visitors from overseas there to get a taste of local food in a clean environment. Thanks for the look inside.

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    Replies
    1. Perhaps one day you might pay a visit. That is if you like our local food.

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  11. I can't recalled when is the last time I visted Madam Kwan. I think many years back eh.

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    Replies
    1. There is an outlet in Pavillion? Guess that was my last visit eh... few years back jor.

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    2. If you come down this way, can re-visit and see what you think of the food.

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  12. Wah. That's a lot of food!

    I go to Madam Kwan's on Friday to enjoy the StanChart buy 1 get 1 free nasi bojari. Hihi

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    Replies
    1. Oh yes, I saw that promo but somebody wanted to eat fried rice hee..hee...

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  13. Actually Madam Kwan's food has quite a following. I used to frequent her KLCC outlet when I worked in the area (years ago) and we had to sneak out for lunch early to ensure we get a table as the queue is always very long. The last time I dined at KLCC there was still a queue but not as bad as it used to be. Their Nasi Bojari is their iconic dish and used to be very good though the standard has dipped a little of late but still good enough (I'm with you on not liking the rendang shreds). The fried chicken was the best thing for me but maybe it tastes different because of different outlets (their KLCC branch is the original, but not the first, and I usually eat at this one). If you had eaten at Sakura, that was her first restaurant until she sold it (to settle some debts apparently). I guess you can sell the restaurant but you don't have to sell the recipes too! O_o

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    Replies
    1. It looks like I will have to pay a visit to the KLCC outlet and I might change my mind hee..hee...

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  14. I like the starter with a bit of everything, Yes, the satay sauce looks Good!

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    Replies
    1. The satay was the best thing for me :)

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  15. Pompuan mmg selalu win dari segi makan kan LL... Tengoklah... macam macam lauk ada haha.... kalau i pun mesti pilih menu macam u hokey! Mana puas makan nasi goreng hihi...

    Menarik jugak starter dia tu... banyak choice!


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    Replies
    1. Kan, Hainom? Dah tu macam mana kita nak slim? LL dan naik sikit badan. Geramnya >.<

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  16. If not mistaken, the Nasi Bojari priced at almost RM30? It's way too steep for my humble wallet >_<

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