A Whiff of Lemongrass at Serai

By Christina Kim - September 15, 2015


The name says it all.

It translates directly to mean 'Lemongrass' in the local Malay language (Bahasa Malaysia) and that is the focal theme here in this fusion style restaurant.

Serai is no stranger to the urbanites in the city of Kuala Lumpur or its neighboring state, Selangor with all of its five outlets established in the two states (though mostly in Selangor with only one outlet in the heart of the city).

Started by a group of local Malaysians, Serai is borne out of the initial concept of their passion and interest in the cuisines hailing from the northern region of the country; with much of the influence and flavors derived from the closest neighbor bordering on that part of the region, Thailand.
Due to the proximity of the neighboring country to our northern states, the tastes and cooking styles have become interchangeably infused with each other; marrying both the uniqueness of the flavors from the Thai cuisine to the savoury traditions of the local style.

It is this combination; this very influence of both cultures making up the fusion concept that Serai aims to introduce to their patrons through their brand.

It is a match made in heaven.

Start with their signature/specialty drink; a unique concoction made with a combination of iced tea and lemongrass extract topped with a lemon sorbet and a light touch of fresh mint leaves.
They have cleverly included a small stalk of lemongrass in the drink, which could double as a stirring stick or just for that additional flavor to strengthen that of the lemongrass extract.

Serai Iced Tea (MYR12.00)


This is just simply refreshing and is something unique that I would highly recommend to anyone who would like a simple yet underwhelming in its taste.
The best part is that it is all natural without that sugary sweetness.
With that lovely whiff of lemongrass, who could say no to this pleasurable drink?

We had an Australian colleague with us, who was just fascinated and content with the simple appetizer; one that is highly reflective of our local savory delights in its very own character.

A combination platter of the Chicken/Beef Satay, served in half a dozen - 6 skewer sticks, along with the typical peanut sauce, cucumber and onions and also nasi impit (MYR15.00)


That is more than a symbolic introduction to our local cuisine and that simple delights favored by the local Malaysians (and even the Indonesians).

Serai prides on mostly local Malaysian food; being of local origins with most of their specialties centered on choices most familiar to the local population.

There is so much to choose from, if you are familiar with the local Malaysian cuisine, but one of the most iconic of all, has got to be the Nasi Lemak.

This is a unique dish made with steamed rice cooked with coconut milk to give it that fragrant and aromatic flavor, which is then served with a variety of accompanying side dishes; traditionally the spicy chili/pounded paste (sambal), ikan bills (deep fried crunchy anchovies), slices of cucumber, groundnuts, halves of hard boiled eggs and a serving of curry/rendang/sambal.

Serai's Specialty Nasi Lemak (MYR16.00)


Sera's version maintains the standard serving style with their addition of Ayam Goreng Berempah (Spice marinated fried chicken) and prawn sambal (prawns cooked with spicy pounded chili paste).

While focusing mostly on the local array of delights, the fusion concept is also cleverly incorporated in their menu with the introduction of the continental option to tempt the local palates occasionally looking for that additional kick in their routine meals.

It offers that additional option to help the indecisive or those who are overwhelmed by the local choices.

However, Serai is wise enough to keep the options in a simplistic manner to maintain their central focus on the theme of the restaurant.

Concise as it is, the Continental section is just varied enough to offer a quick and briefly comprehensive display of mix at a glance.
Even I could find something that could tempt my picky taste buds, and that says a lot.

A unique option catches my eye, and it clearly did not disappoint when it arrived (although it took more than half an hour to arrive).

Crispy Skinned Salmon (MYR35.00) is just as its name suggests; a slab of salmon stick fried to crispy perfection and its skin was just as crunchy in its bite.


I am a fan of salmon, but not really of the skin yet this version just simply took that part away with its addictive crispy tastes of the salmon combined with the juicy flavors of the salmon flesh at every bite.
One could just reach for another bite; one after another.
It is simply irresistible.
I find the whole concept rather creative too; though I am sure there are others who have attempted this but this is one of my favorite versions.
It got me tasting the skin, for once.

Served with potato cake placed underneath the salmon, with the asparagus spears wedged in between topped with crisp bread and finally fringed with the roasted capsicum dip on the borders of the plate, the presentation of the dish itself has garnered more than the desired attention on its arrival.
I am glad it did not disappoint in its taste either.

I may not have tried everything on the menu, but I am pretty sure this is a restaurant I have bookmarked for more visits.

This explains all that lunch crowds during the peak working hours whenever I pass by the restaurant.

Furthermore, this is our very own local homegrown brand and with their creativity and passion, I am sure they will continue to grow in their popularity, as long as they also maintain the quality which is of utmost importance.

This is another testament to the great quality and passion of our local Malaysian cuisine, beautifully presented by Serai.

That Whiff of Lemongrass did its trick.

I am proud.

Serai outlet featured in this post:
Jaya Shopping Centre, Petaling Jaya, Selangor


*Author's Note: 
This is not a sponsored/promotional post, and solely based on author's personal opinions and preferences and do not represent the general public. 
Experiences vary from one individual to another.
You do not have to agree with me.

LIKE my Facebook Page
Follow Me on Twitter @Angelstar
Follow my Google+
Stalk me on Instagram @AngelstarChristy

Check out my Pinterest @Angelstarc

  • Share:

You Might Also Like