With the Ramadhan festive season coming up, many of you out there would be on the look out for some great halal restaurants to buka puasa. We think Rasa Utara over at Berjaya Times Square is very much worth a go for some yummy local Malay cuisine.
As Malay cuisines go, the foodie team give this place a thumbs up! We enjoyed not just the tasty food with their flavourful rempah (spices), but we also liked the fact that the dishes were all not too oily.
We had a few of Rasa Utara's signature dishes. One of which was the Ayam Goreng Cili Lagenda (RM18.80). Be warned, this dish is only for those who can handle their chili! Deep fried chicken with homemade blended chili paste stir fried slowly for hours. Mmmm... If you love spicy food, this is a must try!
For those who are not so fond of spicy food, check out this other chicken dish, the Ayam Kari Kapitan (RM18.80), good to share for 2-3 pax. This comes in a set for one person too (RM14.80) with rice, achar and an omelette. This was one of our favourite dishes. The chicken was very tender as it was boiled with a blend of spices and infused with coconut milk.
Next, we tried the Set Nasi Goreng Rasa Utara with Ayam Goreng Berempah (RM19.80). This is quite a big portion and recommended for you hungry ones! The set comes with nasi goreng, fried egg, ayam goreng berempah (chicken fried with spices), keropok and satay. Phew! That's a lot of stuff in one plate. In my opinion, you can never go wrong with fried chicken. And this did not disappoint, the fried chicken was bursting with flavour. Also, the satay was amazing! It was so good, we decided to order a whole plate of satay too.
Another one of our favourite dishes is the Satay Ayam. We had a taste of it when it came with the previous dish and we were mind blown. We ordered a whole plate of satay just to satisfy our cravings.
Next, we had the Daging Rendang Utara (RM20.80). This dish follows a traditional northern Malaysian rendang recipe. Cubes of beef are marinated in aromatic herbs and spices, then slowly braised till it's tender. I personally found some pieces beef to be a little dry, especially the smaller ones, that tend to be a little overcooked. But overall still a good flavour and best eaten with a plate of white rice.
Let me say this first. I love prawns. So it's no doubt that I had to try one of their prawn dishes. The Udang Asam Goreng (RM35.80) was delicious. We did have an unfortunate batch of prawns that weren't fresh at first. but the kitchen kindly replaced it with a fresh batch and it made all the difference. The prawns are marinated in a tamarind sauce, then fried with a special chili paste till it's dry and crispy.
I'm not a huge fan of eggplant, but this Terung Goreng Sambal (RM12.80) was quite delicious. I didn't eat much of the eggplant, but I found myself reaching in for the sambal sauce quite often. The rest of the foodies thought this dish was really good too. They loved how the sambal complimented the eggplant.
We decided to try the Nasi Jagung (RM3.80), cause the whole bunch of us just love corn. A nice alternative to white rice, this dish doesn't have a very overpowering flavour. Unlike the Nasi Goreng. So it'll be nice to eat this with other dishes as it won't affect the various flavours.
For drinks, we had Air Jagung (RM6.80), Sirap Selasih Laici (RM6.80) and Calamansi Asam Boi (RM6.80). The Air Jagung was something a little unique to us. As previously mentioned, we love corn. So, this drink was a must have. It kind of tasted like ABC and was the perfect cold drink in the hot weather. The Sirap Selasih Laici was very refreshing. I especially loved the selasih seeds in the drink, which gave me something to nibble on with every sip. Kind of like bubble tea! For a mid-day perk-me-up, the Calamansi Asam Boi was refreshingly sour and a classic drink to pair with delicious Malay cuisine.
As for my favourite course of a meal - desserts, we had the Mango Pudding (RM7.80) and the Sago Gula Melaka (RM6.80). The Mango Pudding was served with condensed milk which I thought was a really nice touch and complemented the mango pudding itself. As for the Sago Gula Melaka, this is one of my all-time favourite dessert. Very simple to make and you can never go wrong with it!