Food & Drink

The Incredible Lightness of Chinoz

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For a long time Chinoz was a Bangsar institution. “When we started 17 years ago, there were only two Telawi streets,” remembers founder Teng Wee Jeh.

Chinoz grew with Bangsar and with Malaysia, opening a second restaurant on the ground floor of Suria KLCC, facing the fountains of KLCC park. Although Chinoz closed in Telawi five years ago, it is now back in Bangsar, on the ground floor of BSC.

Our lunch at the new Chinoz began with a selection of raw fish – sea bass, salmon and yellow tail – from the crudo bar. Unlike sashimi, crudo depends on the quality of other ingredients such as olives, sea salt, roe, fresh herbs and especially the olive oil, to enhance the flavour of the fresh, raw fish. My companion, who loves Japanese food, said she preferred the cleaner flavour of Chinoz’s crudo and did not know whether she could go back to soy sauce and wasabi.

The crudo was followed by Chinoz satiny pumpkin ginger soup which is so light that you don’t feel it weighing on your tongue even as its warmth and flavour fill your mouth with hearty sweetness. “We add just a tinge of ginger to the soup, just enough to lift the flavour,” says Teng.

The lamb pizza with pine nuts was a special two years ago that was requested so often it has become part of the menu. Instead of tomato sauce, the pizza is topped with a swirl of mint yogurt and, because there happened to be some good ones at the market that morning as well, a sprinkling of ruby-red pomegranate seeds.

Thanks to recipes that “lift the flavour”, everything we tasted at Chinoz had a delectable lightness to it: The pumpkin and parmesan gnocchi with spinach and portabello in tomato ragu, the salmon with a pale cucumber sauce, even the carrot cake which looked heavy was tasted rather than felt in the mouth.

For more information, visit Chinoz (KLCC) and Chinoz (BSC) on

This article was written by Amy de Kanter  
Source February 2011

This article has been edited for
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