Sunday, August 14, 2016

The Canteen By Chef Adu, Kuala Lumpur by Bilby Blue

A truly serendipitous discovery on my recent visit to KL was that the onsite café at the National Textile Museum is now part of Chef Adu’s empire. My planned visit to the museum turned into an excellent opportunity to try some (hopefully) amazing Malaysian food. And I was not disappointed!

The Canteen By Chef Adu, Kuala Lumpur - mee bandung
Mee Bandung

London-based Chef Adu is clearly a renaissance man – in addition to his culinary skills he is a dancer, painter, author, fashion designer, interior decorator and entrepreneur. He is also a judge on Masterchef Malaysia.

Tucked into a corner of the 1905 heritage building, just next to the museum gift shop, The Canteen is small and cosy. No two tables are the same, the chairs are also mismatched and an eclectic collection of decorator items creates a relaxed atmosphere.

The Canteen By Chef Adu, Kuala Lumpur - interior
It was a quiet Saturday and the manager was happy to chat. The Canteen is relatively new, having opened in April, just three months before my visit. The plan was that a celebrity chef would be a good drawcard for the museum, encouraging people to pop in. He said that the café is very popular on weekdays among people from nearby offices.

I ordered mee bandung – a dish originating in Johor (Chef Adu’s home state), of noodles, plump prawns, squid, sliced beef and egg, with a generous helping of a rich shrimp gravy (see first pic). It was excellent, clearly a very much higher standard than typical hawker style food – and the spiciness was definitely not toned down for Western sensibilities. While Chef Adu was not there in person on the day of my visit, the skill level in the kitchen was evident from the silkiness of the perfectly cooked egg and the beautiful balance of spices. I loved it.

To accompany my mee I had a fresh lime juice – always a good match for spicy Malaysian food.

There were a variety of cakes available (the smoked banana brownies sounded intriguing), but the mee was more than enough for my lunch. Definitely something to explore on another visit.

National Textile Museum, Kuala Lumpur
And the museum itself? It is a modest place, but has an interesting collection and gives a good overview of the processes involved in various Malaysian textile crafts, such as batik, songket, embroidery and beading.


We loved it
We loved it.


The Canteen is well worth a visit if you are in the area. Various Chef Adu goodies – biscuits, cakes, cookbooks – are also available for purchase. The Suji Badam (almond) bikkies looked mighty tempting, but the packet was way too big for just me – obviously I need to check out recipes to see if I can recreate them at home.

Find it at

The Canteen by Chef Adu
National Textile Museum
26 Jalan Sultan Hishamuddin
Kuala Lumpur City Centre
Kuala Lumpur 50000
Telephone: +60 (010) 422 3014

The Canteen by Chef Adu Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

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