Elie Eats: Gin Rik Sha

Days since my last post: 5 

As I'm writing this blog post, a part of me is craving to fly back to Malaysia just to have another serving of Gin Rik Sha's Paneer Piccata with their specialty gin cocktails. Tucked in the heart of Bukit Damansara, Gin Rik Sha is a restaurant whose name set me in circles because I first thought they were either Korean or Japanese. As it turns out, Gin Rik Sha was neither - and it gave my friend Tania quite a bit of laugh at how I had no idea about this place.

Just the right setting for a night out 

Whether it's for large crowds

Or for several friends, Gin Rik Sha is set to serve

In fact Gin Rik Sha, ladies and gentlemen, serves the best Indian cuisine I've ever tried. While their dishes are originally portioned to share, it's easy to see why some guests may not want to do this while visiting Gin Rik Sha.

Gin Rik Sha's Mango Chicken Pappodom (RM 20)

Gin Rik Sha's Pop Corn Tempura (RM 14)

For starters, Gin Rik Sha's Mango Chicken Pappodom takes a twist on everyone's favourite pappodom snack by turning it into a bowl and it in sits a fresh fusion of Indian flavours ala mango salsa with tandoori chicken. What surprised me the most with this dish was the fact that I actually liked it despite the highly distinctive onion profile in every bite, and everyone around me knows I despise onions. It's recommended that you eat this immediately as it dishes out however, because the pappodom may turn soft as it soaks up the juices from the mango salsa. 

Separately, the Pop Corn Tempura (A fun word play here to the fact that it's actually sweet corn) is what I would really urge that you order if you're out for a night of drinks with your friends or family at Gin Rik Sha. Lightly covered in tempura batter and Indian spices, this sweet corn appetizer was one of my favourite dishes of the night because I couldn't stop popping it in my mouth. I'd note that it would taste slightly salty on its own, so it's best paired with a drink in hand. 

Gin Rik Sha's Paneer Piccata (RM 22) 

Ah! The very star of my evening that would be the VERY reason I want to re-visit Gin Rik Sha! This is the Paneer Piccata or Gin Rik Sha's take on fresh curd served with capers and onions. At first look, I had imaged the taste to be either overwhelmingly heavy or fall really flat but boy was I more wrong. The paneer piccata was actually really fragrant and had a light bite to it, while the capers and onions gave it a taste profile so indescribable, I could only say you have to actually try it for yourself.

Gin Rik Sha's Chicken Briyani and Pomegranate Yogurt (RM 30)

Gin Rik Sha's Bombay Masala Salmon served with Couscous (RM 38)

Onwards to the heavier side of our meal, we had the Chicken Briyani that came with a housemade pomegranate yogurt. The combination sounded rather weird to me in the beginning, but trust me when I say it absolutely works. The pomegranate yogurt actually made the dish so light and inviting that I couldn't stop myself from going for second and third helpings even when I was supposed to share the dish with Tania and Isabel. It is best recommended that you do share this dish out too, because how else would you enjoy the rest of the food that Gin Rik Sha has to offer?

The Bombay Masala Salmon on the other hand was served with couscous, and while it was tasty - I thought it didn't surprise my taste buds as much as the other food of the evening did. Perhaps it was just my dislike for fish, but I approached the dish rather cautiously and can proudly say the salmon was fresh and didn't come with the actual "fishy" aroma you'd expect.

Gin Rik Sha's Kulfi with Caramalized Bananas (RM 22) 

Gin Rik Sha's Baked Yogurt Pudding (RM 20)

And after all that food, it's almost a sin not to top everything off with desserts! Gin Rik Sha's special Kulfi with Caramalized Bananas actually set the 3 of us bananas as we tried really hard to figure out what indeed was the "kulfi" ice cream. We never actually got the answer but we thought it had a mix of Horlicks with a spice of some sort. If you ever try it and found out what it is - do let me know! 

Unfortunately after trying out the Kulfi, Gin Rik Sha's Baked Yogurt Pudding that was served with a berry coulis and almond bits fell rather short to our expectations. It was pretty good, don't get me wrong but the flavours were nothing to shout about especially after the bar was set really high by the Kulfi. The baked yogurt was light and almost souffle-like, but I'd assume it could appeal to guests who aren't looking for something that's overly sweet. 

Gin Rik Sha's bartender serving up a unique concoction

On the left: Keralan Southside (RM 33) / On the right: Laal Adrak (RM 48)

As mentioned earlier, Gin Rik Sha also serves a good array of gin cocktails created and well tested by their resident bartender. That evening, we tried the Gin Rik Sha Keralan Southside which was a mix of gin with kaffir leaf, mint leaf, and lemon juice as well as the Laal Adrak that featured a sweet and sour profile of gin, raspberry puree, ginger syrup, lemon juice, and apple juice. I personally really enjoyed the Laal Adrak because it wasn't just sweet to taste but featured a comfortable balance of sour that made me want to have even more food after drinking it. 
 
If you're unsure of what you'd like from the extensive cocktail menu, do speak to the bartender who would happily give you a list of drink suggestions according to your preference. If you're lucky, you may even end up with an off-menu item that's perfectly handcrafted to your enjoyment! 

A pleasing take

So would I return? Absolutely! In fact, I wish they'd open up a branch here in Amsterdam just so it's easier for me to reach for that Paneer Piccata and Laal Adrak! For all you hungry people out there, Gin Rik Sha is located at Plaza Damansara and opens Mondays to Saturdays, from 430PM to 12AM. For exclusive promotions and ongoing specials, do check out their Facebook page here!

*This meal was sponsored for review purposes, however this has not affected my thoughts on the dishes in any way.

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