KUALA LUMPUR: If you’ve ever wondered how your favourite restaurant would fare serving up one of your very own home-cooked recipes, perhaps a chat with the owners of Chiqui Don will help satisfy that curiosity.
This Damansara Heights eatery doesn’t only serve its own culinary creations, but also accepts recipes from its customers to add to its extensive menu.
Specialising in fusion comfort food, Chiqui Don receives recipes on its website which are then shortlisted and experimented with before being included into the menu.
Upon a month of opening its doors back in September 2019, Chiqui Don received a whopping 50 recipes from eager customers.
As it stands, about one-fifth of all the dishes on the menu are crowdsourced, with the remainder being in-house creations.
The place is a food haven, with every part of its dishes, from sauces to gravies being made in-house.
The ambience of the place adds to the semi-casual dining experience, with beautiful lights and interiors that will make for picture-perfect moments.
To start off your meal, sample the Chiqui Truffle Fries which are dangerously addictive. These thick potato fries are beautifully battered to a golden crisp, then slathered with a generous drizzle of truffle paste and topped with parmesan cheese. What’s there not to like?
Once you get started on this treat, there’s no stopping until the last fry disappears into your mouth.
For a delicious serving of protein, dig into the Garlic Chilli Fish, one of the aforementioned crowdsourced recipes contributed by Bernard Joseph.
The Seabass is unbelievably fresh and grilled to perfection, so much so that every bite you sink your teeth into is pure heaven.
Carefully sautéed in olive oil, the flavours are enhanced with a sprinkling of garlic and chilli slices. Enjoyed with warm garlic bread, this makes for a truly satisfying and tasty dish.
If your cravings for seafood are insatiable, opt for the Seafood Trio of fresh Seabass, large tiger prawns and juicy mussels in a savoury Vongole sauce. The garlic bread served with this dish is perfect for dunking and soaking up every single smattering of sauce on your plate.
Lovers of Indian food would be delighted to tuck into the Mutton Satti Sorru, another crowdsourced recipe.
The hypnotic aroma of fragrant basmathi rice should hit you as soon as it leaves the kitchen, as will the rest of its spicy contents.
Served in a claypot, the explosion of flavors in this dish is best enjoyed with a lavish drenching of the refreshing raita that comes with it.
In a mood for burgers? Then Chiqui Don has you covered.
Their BBQ Chicken burger comes as an incredibly big serving that will almost certainly satiate the most voracious of eaters.
Inside is a BBQ boneless thigh, topped with deliciously oozing cheddar; both of which are wedged inside a charcoal bun.
If you’re somehow still not feeling stuffed yet, the generous serving of fries that comes along with it will do the job.
Aglio Olio is one of the most common spaghetti dishes out there and it takes a lot for a particular serving of it to leave a lasting impression on you.
Yet, Chiqui Don’s Mediterranean Aglio Olio does just that, succeeding as a simple but flavourful dish.
With juicy tomatoes and olives adorning the stringy pasta, your plate will almost certainly be left licked clean afterwards.
In addition to being a dining establishment, Chiqui Don also has a cocktail bar that can raise your spirits with its assortment of whiskies and gin.
Staffed by experienced bartenders, all cocktails on the menu are in-house creations and come at an affordable price of about RM30.
In addition, Happy Hour sees a mug of Carlsberg, normally priced at RM16, drop to RM9.
For folks who cannot handle their drinks, give Chiqui Don’s milkshakes a try.
A particular standout is the Butterscotch Berry which is incredibly frothy and a heaven-sent for any sweet-tooth.
The lovely aftertaste will leave you satisfied after fulfilling your sweetest and creamiest culinary fantasies.
Speaking to FMT, co-owner Pradeep Kumar said that the name Chiqui Don means “little gangster” in Spanish, and it was chosen explicitly because it was “a catchy name”.
The restaurateur, who also owns Shobana’s Kerala Kitchen in Petaling Jaya and two other dining establishments in Penang, said that the menus of Chiqui Don will be revamped every six months.
This is to allow for new dishes, both in-house creations and crowdsourced recipes, to be added into the menu from time to time.
Asked for the reasons behind his success in the fiercely competitive F&B industry, Pradeep said that two things that restauranteurs cannot compromise on is service and food quality.
A restaurant that cannot deliver both will not be able to retain customers, he explained, and thus, restauranteurs must be willing to invest in both departments to satisfy customers.
Here at Chiqui Don, he said, “We don’t compromise.”
As the Saturday dinner crowd pours in and barstools get filled up, there’s little doubt as to the rewards of holding onto that promise.
9-G, Jalan Medan Setia 1
Plaza Damansara, Bukit Damansara
50490 Kuala Lumpur
Business hours: 4pm-2am on weekdays; 12pm-2am on weekends
Contact: +6 03 2302 1111