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4 Types of Paella You Should Try in KL

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Kuala Lumpur is a heaven for those who love to enjoy various culinary delights! With so many cuisines available in the heart of KL, choosing the perfect meal can be a challenge. For authentic Spanish cuisine, you should try paella.


What is Paella?

The paella is a traditional Valencian rice dish that originated around the 19th century near a fresh water lagoon in Valencia called Albufera, located on the east coast of Spain.  According to most Spaniards, the paella is a regional Valencian dish, though most non-Spaniards believe it to be a national dish in Spain.

The word “paella” was derived from the Old French word “paella” (yup, same spelling), which means “pan.” The Latin word “patella” also means “pan.” The pan used for preparing paella is traditionally a round, shallow and polished steel pan with two handles on the side for easy grip. The pan is also known as a paellera. Using the paellera is essential in preparing the perfect paella.

During the time the Moors dominated Spain, there was a major improvement in the irrigation system (water) which led to an increase in rice production. As a result, the Valencians began using rice for cooking, for family gatherings and religious feasts. There are a few versions on the history of paella, but the most consistent one says that paella was a labourer’s meal.  Farmers and those working in the fields would gather around an open fire to cook rice, vegetables and meat on the paellera. They would then eat straight from the paellera with wooden spoons.  The food cooked on the paellera was then referred to as the paella.


Cooking Paella

This aromatic saffron rice dish is cooked with a combination of white bomba or calasparra rice, saffron, bay leaves, garlic, paprika and olive oil. Vegetables and protein is also added to complete the dish. The protein aspect usually consists of fish, shrimps, squids, duck, clams, rabbit, pork, chicken and snails. Among the many versions available today, the three main paella dishes are; the Valencian paella; the seafood paella; and the mixed paella.

When cooking the paella, the paellera will be placed over an open flame. This helps in forming a crust at the base of the paellera. The crust is known to the Spanish as the soccarrat. It is an important part of the dish and is considered the mark of an authentic paella dish.


Choosing the Right Paella

Now, if you’ve never eaten paella before, you are in for a treat because one bite is all it takes for you to appreciate the authentic Spanish flavour. But, of course, no one ever stops at just one. Here are four variations of paella you should try.


1. Arroz Negro con Calamares y Allioli

This scrumptious paella dish is Spanish rice cooked in a paella (pan) with squid ink and squids, and topped with garlic mayonnaise and tiger prawns.

2. Paella de Pescado y Mariscos

This Spanish rice is cooked in a paella with a yummy combination of seafood.

3. Paella Valenciana Mixta

Enjoy this Spanish rice cooked with prawns, chicken, mussels and clams in a paella with saffron, peppers and peas.

4. Fideua

The Fideua is actually angel hair pasta cooked in a paella pan with chicken, cuttlefish, squid and peas.

These four dishes are available at the famous chain of Spanish La Bodega restaurants in the Klang Valley. The paellas and fideuas are cooked to order, so you might have to wait up to 30 minutes for your perfection on a plate.


Paella Sundays

If you enjoy feasting on paella, then Sundays are the best time to head on over to any La Bodega outlets (except the one in Pavilion) to enjoy Paella Sunday! See the La Bodega chefs in action as they cook-up humongous pans of steaming paella right on the terrace, before your eyes.

When: Every Sunday, 12pm to 3pm

Where: All La Bodega outlets, except La Bodega Pavilion

Special Offer: RM15++ per plate of Paella and a Complimentary Glass of Sangria for Every Plate


Make a Reservation at La Bodega

La Bodega first opened in 1999 and quickly became a favourite spot for people to gather after work and on weekends. It was, and still is a great place to relax and unwind with friends, family and loved ones, while enjoying an array of scrumptious Spanish cuisine, especially the tapas and paellas. To quench your thirst, indulge in the intoxicating choice of Spanish wines and cocktails, and, not forgetting, a refreshing jug of sangria.

You can walk in just about any time during their opening hours, but to be safe, make a reservation in advance if you are coming in a big group, or if it is for a special occasion. Below are their contact details and opening hours.

1. La Bodega Tapas Bar @ No. 16 Jalan Telawi Dua
Tel: 03 2287 8318
Monday – Friday, Noon to 1am
Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays, 10am to 1am

2. La Bodega Deli at No. 18 Jalan Telawi Dua
Tel: 03 2287 9468
Monday – Sunday, 8am to 10pm

3. La Bodega Lounge at N.18-1 Jalan Telawi Dua
Tel: 03 2287 3808
Monday-Friday, 4pm to 2am
Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays, 10am to 2am

4. La Bodega @ BSC
Tel: 03 2287 2768
Monday – Sunday, 8am to 1am

5. La Bodega Pavilion KL
Tel: 03 2148 8018
Monday – Sunday, 8am to 2am

6. La Bodega Empire Subang
Tel: 03 5634 8388
Monday – Sunday, 8am to 2am

Learn more about La Bodega on their website. You can also check out their Facebook page, their Twitter and Instagram accounts.


Map of La Bodega Outlets

View La Bodega Restaurants in a larger map

See Also: A Relaxing Evening at The Press Room Bistro in Pavilion Kuala Lumpur

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