My Editor, Kate Hawthorne and I visited this stylish Malaysian restaurant and we had a delightful evening. The name 'Awana' means "in the cloud" in Malay and the decoration on one of the walls symbolizing clouds is very imaginative.
The restaurant has been invited to participate in « Taste of London « Toast, Prince Charles Polo Event and OK Magazine`s launch of a 1000 celebs. Many of their customers include celebrities and royalty.
The exotic cocktails served in the comfortable lounge make a relaxing start to the evening. The restaurant area is spacious, music is not obtrusive and the TV screen showing culinary activities in the kitchen is a novel idea portraying the expertise of the chefs at work, whilst promoting the quality and freshness of the ingredients and workspace.
The Manager, Hailong Wang, is very helpful and informative about the wonderful range of Malayan cuisine. We learned that food from Malaysia has been influenced by India, China, Holland and Borneo. The fresh herbs and spices give it a unique and exciting taste. The Head Chef, Mr Virasamy Poliah is from Perak and has been cooking all his life, having learned from his mother. The staff are mostly Asian and are very courteous and efficient.
I strongly recommend the Udang Garam lada hitam (salt and pepper prawn tails dusted in cornflour with sea salt, cracked black pepper deep fried, served with house chilly sauce) and Popiah Udang which is mixed tiger prawns with 5 spices, cabbage, carrots and yam bean spring rolls served with sweet chili sauce.
Rendang Daging Awana: slow cooked tender beef curry with coconut milk and awana blended herbs and Laksa; corn-fed chicken, crab meat, prawn, tofu and bean sprouts served with vermicelli noodles and a mild broth of lemongrass, curry leaf and coconut are excellent mains and the salad ‘sajian laut’ features tiger prawn and crab meat with pomelo and green mango, chilli, fresh mint leaves and palm sugar which is a delicious and unique combination. The prawns and all ingredients served here are fresh daily.
Desserts are delightful, light and sweet; the dadar is a sweet coconut filled pandan pancake, kuih bingka a baked tapioca cake with an almond clotted cream and the various sorbets including; jackfruit and ginger or lemongrass and chilli are an experience out there all on their own.
This is a very professional restaurant and a joy to visit.
Awana Restaurant is open Mon to Wed for lunch between 12pm-3pm and dinner 6pm-11pm; Thu-Sat for lunch between 12pm-3pm and dinner 6pm-11:30pm and Sun 12pm-3pm for lunch and 6pm-10:30pm for dinner.
Awana is located at: 85 Sloane Avenue SW3 3DX 020 7584 8880