By Vanishaa Vasudhevan

Review: Nadodi Presents Coconut Chronicles, Where Taste Becomes Tale

A one-way ticket to Coconut Heaven.

Nadodi is a name that resonates with passionate food enthusiasts not only in Malaysia but also across the region. Emerging from a lavish metamorphosis last year, Nadodi has found its home in the heart of Four Seasons Kuala Lumpur.

Being the latest instalment to Nomad’s Odyssey, Coconut Chronicles was created as a groundbreaking interpretation of the verdant landscapes of Sri Lanka, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala, where majestic coconut trees dominate the scenery, epitomising the rich culinary legacy of these regions. 

For Starters 

The commencement starts with “Welcome Trio”, bite-size starters crafted out of three distinctive classics of South Indian regional cuisines—Chettinad Spring Chicken from Tamil Nadu, the Cylindrical Symphony of Kerala, and Tropical Pol representing Sri Lanka. Every dish tells a story and reflects the land it originates from. The Chettinad Spring Chicken represents an Indian Cordon Bleu replica with coriander chutney instead of cheese, delicately tucked atop tender and juicy chicken, rolled into a log. The Cylindrical Symphony features a crispy, cigarette-like rolled Dosa stuffed with creamy chutney, complemented by crackling mustard hints, and topped with caviar. The Tropical Pol, on the other hand, offers a crisply spiced cracker filled with Sambol (coconut relish) alongside bursts of passion fruit, creating a delightful blend of sweet, spicy, and sour aftertaste in every bite.

Behold the pride of Tamilnadu ‘Sambar’ as an appetiser. If you’re unfamiliar with the Indian version of mochi, now is the perfect moment to acquaint yourself—Kozhukkattai, typically filled with grated coconut and jaggery, was ingeniously stuffed with spiced prawn. Plated alongside, the highlight of the dish was the Sambar (Dhaal Curry), accompanied by Thakali Chutney (tomato relish) underneath and a few drops of tamarind sauce, with Yuzu bubbles cascading delicately over the side. This seemingly unassuming dish, elegantly presented, stole the spotlight of the evening, raising our expectations with each mouthful.

Next up, Heart of Hearts. Picture a dish that pays homage to every part of the banana plant (Musa paradisiaca)—a culinary masterpiece! Nadodi transformed the banana blossom into a golden-seared delight, infused with coconut milk and spices. Meanwhile, the stem’s core becomes a velvety soup, enriched with turmeric and delicate flavours, capturing the essence of the plant in every spoonful. And to add a crunchy twist, they served it with a crispy plantain chip. 

The lobster taco followed—a unique creation that the chef recommended to savour whole, as it symbolises an Indian twist on the traditional taco infused with seafood. Picture butter-poached lobster nestled in savoury rice and lentil pancakes (Uthappam), boasting crispy golden edges and a soft, pillowy centre. Topped with shallots, shishito peppers, roasted coconut with spices, peanut chutney, and mint chutney, this fusion dish blends Indian spices with Western innovation, leaving us craving a second serving. 

Next on the menu came the Alfonsino, marked with three exclamation marks—Alfonsino!!! Just like its expressive name suggests, the dish melted in our mouths as soon as we took a bite. Delicately deboned and sliced Alfonsino fish is elegantly placed atop turmeric-toasted sorghum, with hand-poured tamarind soup (Puli Saaru) encircling it, creating a visually stunning presentation. To us, it tasted just like the tamarind rice (Pulli Sadam) Indian moms would make at home, evoking a nostalgic and homely sensation with every bite. 

Presenting the reset button of the palate—Rustic Toddy Dreams. It was more than just a palate cleanser; a refreshing reset for our minds as well. Despite its pleasing name, Toddy Dreams offered a new perspective on toddy, typically known for its alcoholic consumption (palm wine). At Nadodi, it was elevated to an art form, juxtaposed with Elaneer sorbet (coconut), toddy veil, toddy gel, and roasted coconut shreds, offering hints of a sour and sweet aftertaste. High in consumption, yet even higher in creativity.

The Mains 

Next, we arrive at the main course—the pinnacle of this menu. Introducing Pigeon Prestige, an uncommon poultry dish cooked to perfection, eschewing the tendency to overcook the meat as one might with chicken; hence, it was served medium rare, capturing the raw but rare flavours of pigeon while adorned with fresh truffle slices and with the star of the show apricot pickles and salt-baked beetroot. Simple yet so much compassion in putting out how a well-done pigeon on a fine course plate ought to be. 

There was no need for us to eat a whole lamb at Nadodi to tell you what mutton tastes like; instead, a single bite of Lamb Legacy would do. Imagine savouring succulent Mutton Chukka—fine layers of Pyrenees lamb neck fillets cooked in Chukka Masala—paired with crispy lamb brain, poached in butter and batter for a crispy exterior and a tender interior. This culinary delight is complemented by equally impressive accompaniments like Tuna Paha Curry and chayote shoots, making it extra out of the ordinary. 

If you’re already a fan of their work, you’ll know that no dining experience at Nadodi is truly complete without savouring the Nomad’s Globe, a classic Biriyani dish cooked in a mild spice blend with free-range chicken layered between short-grain rice, the Seeraga Samba, served with vegetable parcels and yoghurt topped with kiwi salad. The vegetable parcel dish proved just how important Samosa has to be accompanied by the right condiments, Pudina Chutney (mint relish), of course. It was surprising to discover that the kiwi salad wasn’t used as a dessert or palate cleanser but rather as an integral part of the Nomad’s Globe. Its delightful combination, enhanced by itsy-bitsy pomegranate, makes it a satisfying dish.

For Dessert

They say there’s always room for dessert, but for us, after savouring all the spectacular dishes, we had more room for curiosity in discovering what their final mignardise would be, and the Moringa Magic was a showstopper, to say the least. A typical Sri Lankan coconut milk curry (Sothi) was transformed into a parfait, accompanied by stroopwafels dusted with roasted moringa leaf powder and a delicate layer of moringa drumstick jelly-like dessert. Upon tasting, the uncanny resemblance struck hard, as it tasted exactly like Sothi prepared at home would. A blend of nostalgia and continuity, indeed.

Address: Level 7A, Four Seasons Hotel, Jalan Ampang, City Centre, 50450 Kuala Lumpur.

Opening Hours: 6 pm – 10 pm (Monday to Saturday)