Nadodi, which loosely translates to nomad or wanderer, isn’t just a taste of Indian cuisine. It takes one on a humble gastronomical journey with a fusion of modernity and tradition. After being ushered to our seats, the evening started with a 10-course tasting menu: The 10-Mile Journey.
The first few dishes served as starters: lactose-free rice; cooked in coconut milk, layered with sambal, and sprinkled with fish flakes, which bore a close resemblance to Sri Lanka’s kiribath rice pudding, or to some, the local favourite nasi lemak. What Came First; a munch-worthy bar snack made of spice-cooked egg mousse, topped with fried Chicken 65 skin presented in an eggshell, and Fishing the Backwaters; small onions cooked and stuffed inside smoked fish, drizzled with sauce that held a refreshing sour tang — each awakened our taste buds in preparation for the rest of the course.
Next up was the Monsoon Ritual: hot vegetable broth poured over a dollop of lentil scooped in ghee, into a wooden bowl, which we were encouraged to hold up and drink from without the use of utensils. Served at a perfect homey temperature for a rainy night, the broth went down smoothly with a burst of rich, tangy flavours and a kick of spice, as the lentils lent a delectable creaminess to the broth — it was a quickly proclaimed a favourite.
At every interval, as our dishes were set before us, head chef Johnson Ebenezer or his team would launch into tales of the dish’s origins and how Nadodi infuses hints of cross-continent culture. He regaled us with stories of the Roman spice trade with India, monsoon floods, and South Indian culture, which brought clear perspective to Nadodi’s way of harnessing contemporary techniques to retrofit age old recipes.
Served on a bed of seashells were the Hokkaido scallops. Named Out of the Shell, the scallops were tossed in chettinad masala and drizzled with tamarind froth. One bite of the scallop fused the dual sweetness and sourness of the tamarind with a hint of spice from the masala. Another favourite was Silence of Our Lamb. Sous vide for 45 minutes at 68°C to perfection, the lamb was tender, succulent, and juicy, topped with curry leaves in the form of powdered ash. Giving a nod to South Indian traditional dishes, Nadodi stays true to its roots yet presents surprises with a fusion of modern twists.
Dravidian Nation was the last of the mains. The choice of crockery was unique, as it came served in a three-tiered ceramic sphere which separated into three bowls. Hearty country chicken nasi briyani with a side of seared brinjal — accompanied with a blend of cashew, peanut, and hazelnut; and silver burst — a yoghurt spheroid lined with vark (silver leaf) sitting on a bed of freshly tossed onions. Marinated deeply with tamarind for a subtle sour tang, the brinjal perfectly balanced out the starchy sweetness of the briyani.
For dessert, a delightful assortment of sweets served in a bowl was the Kandy Tea Story. Each bite was a guessing game — a wholesome bite into the chocolate ball resulted in a burst of thick peppermint flavoured liquid; the herbal sponge cake was soaked in chamomile, whilst the Earl Grey was hidden in scattered pieces of jelly that adorned the dish.
Nadodi, 183, First Floor, Jalan Mayang, Off Jalan Yap Kwan Seng, 50450 Kuala Lumpur