Sunday, March 30, 2008

Kokopelli Travellers Bistro

Kokopelli is one of our favourite restaurant. We love the food and ambience as well :) Kokopelli is a cosy, laid-back eatery with friendly staff serving a select menu of all their favourite food guaranteed to put anyone in a good mood.

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Kokopelli – the humpbacked flute player regarded as a fertility deity for agriculture and childbirth has also been revered in the areas of romance, hopes and love. Worshipped by many Native American cultures, the figure of Kokopelli found in historical petroglyphs and pottery in South-Western United States has nothing to do with our culture. However, the legend of Kokopelli has caught the interest of the people around the world and one of them is Ariff Awaluddin.

Ariff sports a ruffled Albert Einstein hairdo and his fascination for Kokopelli is obvious just by looking at his business card, which carries Kokopelli's common form as the logo.
“I liked the name Kokopelli because of the way it sounded and when I read about the legend and found out more, I knew it was the best name for my business,” Ariff said. He is an artist, dabbling in paints and plays with his camera when there's time. He also does installation art but most of the time he is at Kokopelli Travellers Bistro as its executive chef. He is also the owner.

Assurance: The cooks at Kokopelli are well trained by Ariff and have been with him for some years now. In 1998, Ariff opened Kokopelli Rock - Oodles Noodles at the Royal Selangor Golf Club and later took his speciality Char Kuey Teow to Warung Uncle Don at Desa Sri Hartamas in 2000. After two-years, the Kokopelli fan packed up and left to set up his own business, concentrating on fine dining instead, with a catering concern. The company called Kokopelli Boutique Caterers catered for private functions, birthday parties, anniversaries and cocktail events. It was the catering line that allowed Ariff time to be creative, experimenting with recipes and ideas on what he could do next. “The catering segment was a good platform to introduce my ideas to my clients. I created sauces and experimented with flavours and my customers liked what I had to offer,” he said. Armed with enough recipes and confident of keeping his customers happy, Ariff and his wife Soraya Yusof Talismail who is a full time photographer opened Kokopelli Travellers Bistro.

On its menu are a selection of Western favourites and top-selling Malaysian hawker fare. Ariff's signature Kokopelli Char Kuey Teow has fit in comfortably in the Malaysian section and he also has Fried Loh Shee Fun, Cantonese Fried Yee Mee, Noodle Soup, Hokkien Fried Mee and Kokopelli Fried Yellow Mee. Bistro, café and restaurant favourites are on the menu but each dish has a touch of difference. A Caesar salad is a Caesar salad but at Kokopelli, the ingredients have been altered slightly to give it a distinct Kokopelli feel.

Unique: The Aglio Olio at Kokopelli is different from others.
Try it: Kokopelli's Braised Lamb Shank on the Western selection.
Filling: The Beef Escalope dish is quite a hefty serving.
Ariff's pastas are quite a hit simply because the sauces are made from scratch. The tomato paste for his Marinara rendition is his recipe. He only uses local tomatoes and scours markets for the ripest, reddest tomatoes. “Sometimes it takes me two days to find the right tomatoes and I travel from Petaling Jaya to Kuala Lumpur looking for my tomatoes,” he said, adding that he buys 20kg every time he wants to prepare a pot of paste.

Don't expect to find spaghetti, angel's hair or fusilli here because Ariff only has fettuccine and linguine in his larder. The reason? “You can get spaghetti everywhere and I want to offer a difference in my serving of Aglio Olio, Marinara and Carbonara with either fettuccine or linguine,” he said. The Western segment offers Seafood Basket, Classic Fish and Chips (he uses oil fish / milk cod), Braised Lamb Shank, Beef Escalope, Roast Chicken Chop, Cauliflower and Brocollli Gratin, Ribeye Steak, Sirloin Steak, New Zealand Lamb and Salmon.

The bistro also lends its walls to aspiring artists and even established names like Ariff regards his outlet as a place for the arts. He creates artistic food and lets artists colour his walls with their pieces.

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Kokopelli Travellers Bistro
6, Jalan Bukit, Section 11/2,
Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
Tel: 03-79567505
Business Hours:
Tuesday to Thursday & Saturday: Noon to 3.00pm, 6.00pm to midnight
Friday: 6.00pm to midnight
Sunday: 10.00am to 3.00pm

Cuisine: Local + Western
Rating: Food = B, Ambience = B

Rating System:
A = Recommended
B = Worth A Visit
C = Average
D = Below Average
E = Waste Of "Hard-Earned" Money. Seriously, I'm Not Kidding!

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