- Central, HK Island, SoHo
- Address: G/F,42 Peel Street,Central
- Website: https://www.jalanhk.com/
- Open Hours: Daily, Lunch, Dinner
- Open Since: September 3rd, 2023
- Rating: 3.5
- Cuisine: Asian, Malaysian, Southeast Asian
- Ambience: Casual
Malaysian Street Eats: Following the success of Brazilian-Japanese eatery Uma Nota and Middle Eastern restaurant Bedu, Merkati Hospitality Group is tackling Asian cuisine. Jalan aspires to deliver modern Malaysian dishes inspired by the country’s rich street food scene.
Look & Feel: Tucked onto Peel Street, Jalan is a bright, playful restaurant filled with greenery and colors inspired by 1970s Borneo. Old-school pop and 70s tunes add a little ambience, while open windows face onto Peel Street to immerse diners in a real street food experience. Bigger groups are settled at the massive communal dining table which takes center stage, while singles and pairs dine at the bar or the windows.
On the Menu: Jalan offers Malaysian-inspired dishes, but not in a way that you might recognize. By their own admission, the kitchen aims to take the flavors and concepts of the dishes found at Malaysia’s mamaks (street food stalls) and present them in modern expressions. We started with the beef rendang samosas ($90), which turned out to be the only let down of the night – the rendang flavor we were expecting was missing in action, and the beef was slightly string and awkward to eat from a samosa.
We can definitely recommend the rest of the dishes we tried, though. The charred hamachi ($140) is delicate and bursting with piquant flavor thanks to a green sambal; the coconut roasted prawn curry ($195) is rich without being overpowering; and the black pepper roasted eggplant ($125) is butter soft and packs a delightfully spicy punch.
Like the food, the tropical-inspired cocktails put an modern spin on classic tipples. The Masala Mule is elegant and refreshing, providing the perfect foil for the fiery food – though it does get a little too sweet by the time you get half way through. On the other end of the spectrum, the Scotch Machine is a loaded drink – you wouldn’t want to have more than one.
Jeng: This is a fun, casual eatery that’s perfect for a quick weeknight meal. Hong Kong could use a few more easy-dining restaurants in this style.
Not So Jeng: Jalan is tucked into a very tiny space, and every inch of it has been maximized to squeeze in more diners. You’ll be dining elbow-to-elbow with other guests who aren’t in your party, and you’ll need to be a size zero (or suck it in) to make your way through the restaurant on your way out.
Meet the Owners: Meraki Hospitality Group is run by brother-and-sister duo Alexis and Laura Offe, for whom hospitality is a family mantel. They cut their teeth at a variety of restaurants and hotel groups before starting their own business.
Great For: Cocktails and sharing plates with friends.
FYI: There’s at least one private room available to book, dubbed the Disco Fever Room.
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This writeup was based on a complimentary media tasting. The Loop HK doesn’t guarantee/sell restaurant review coverage. See our editorial policy here.