Sizzle and smoke at unpretentious yet decidedly interesting Aromkwan.
Set in the home of former Funky Lam chef Vishanu “Bank” Prempuk, this Batik-decorated smoke-slash-grill house is less a restaurant than a private dining experience.
Once you locate the restaurant (behind an unassuming wooden door), you’ll find an open space with one table and walls decorated in Batik designed by Bank’s grandmother, who is also responsible for the awesome biryani recipe. Old-school Malaysian music plays in the background, making the experience all the more intimate.
All inhibitions—as well as cutlery—are left at the door, as the food is served family-style on banana leaves and eaten with hands, reflecting Bank’s upbringing (he is half-Thai, half-Malay). You’ll start with tender ox tongue served in a peppery rasam before moving into a feast that includes nine-hour-brined and smoked pork knuckle, fall-off-the-bone claypot goat curry, a refreshing Asian slaw, and grilled mackerel. All are served over steaming biryani rice made from that family recipe Bank holds dear to his heart (B1,850/person).
The space can hold anywhere from four to 10 people, and Bank sells soft drinks and beers. Go for the food, stay for the story—and, if you’re lucky, some guitar tunes from the chef himself.