NESTLED on the vibrant streets of Jalan Kasah, Medan Damansara in Kuala Lumpur, Tiki Taka is a culinary gem that has been serving up Spanish-inspired delights for the past seven years. Recently, we had the privilege of sitting down with Mathuraiveran (Madhu) Marimuthu, chief executive officer (CEO) of Small Plates Venture Sdn Bhd, the restaurant’s owner, to delve deeper into the journey of this remarkable establishment. Alongside Madhu, Chef Umar, the Head Chef, and Md Riday Islam, the Head of Bar, have also joined the team, sharing the dream of making Tiki Taka one of the best restaurants in town.
Madhu, an accountant by profession, stumbled into the world of F&B as he initially sought to assist a friend with Tiki Taka. However, what began as a gesture of friendship soon transformed into an enticing opportunity that he couldn’t resist. Despite his background not being in food and beverages, Madhu devoted himself to the restaurant’s success, making it a daily commitment to explore ways to enhance the dining experience for patrons.
This restaurant’s concept revolves around Spanish cuisine, but it transcends conventional boundaries by offering a diverse menu that caters to various tastes. Recently, the restaurant introduced an updated menu, further enriching its Spanish-inspired offerings. The focal points of their culinary repertoire include pintxos, tapas, and tacos. Navigating the competitive F&B landscape, Madhu faced several challenges, from price fluctuations to manpower issues and high operating costs. His approach to overcoming these hurdles was unwavering innovation.
Tiki Taka has mastered the art of customer engagement with multiple promotions during special events and continuous social media influencer collaborations. Madhu’s personalised approach to building customer loyalty extends to knowing each patron by name. A recent addition to their marketing strategy is the corporate card, which has been embraced by over 20 companies. This card offers exclusive discounts to company staff, fostering stronger ties between Tiki Taka and the corporate community.
Beyond being a restaurant, this Spanish-inspired restaurant also offers catering services and hosts private events, accommodating up to 100 guests, adding to its versatility and charm. The latest menu overhaul features tantalising dishes across various categories. In the mains section, you’ll find the Paella alla Valenciana, a Spanish-style seafood paella that boasts tiger prawns, squid, black mussels, clams, and chicken. The Jamaican jerk chicken, a roasted whole chicken leg seasoned with cumin and jalapeno, is a flavour-packed delight. The braised Beef Short Rib, rib-eye steak, and lamb chop also stand out as popular choices.
What sets their pizza category apart is the incorporation of local flavours, including sambal ikan bilis, mutton varuval, and prawn batu lesong, showcasing the restaurant’s unique twist on traditional dishes. For pintxos enthusiasts, the new pintxos platter offers Spanish tuna and anchovy, alongside a delectable vegetarian option, aceituna verde marinada – marinated green olives with garlic and rosemary. The tapas menu introduces sizzling chicken fajitas, featuring bell-caramelised onions with chipotle, Mexican chilli, and tortilla bread. Two new soups, truffle mushroom (vegetarian) and prawn bisque, provide a comforting start to the meal.
Tiki Taka has recently expanded its culinary offerings by introducing a delightful brunch menu. Served from 12pm to 4pm, this brunch extravaganza boasts a tantalising array of options to satisfy your midday cravings. From the hearty Big Brunch platter to the exquisite smoked salmon benedict and the savoury turkey ham benedict, there’s something to please every palate. And for those seeking a touch of elegance, don’t miss out on the delectable brioche and scrambled egg dish. Tiki Taka’s brunch menu has an abundance of other mouthwatering choices that will make your brunch experience truly unforgettable.
In the realm of beverages, this restaurant has revamped its wine list based on customer preferences. The cocktail selection is equally impressive. The copacabana, with rum, mint leaves, coconut cream, pineapple juice, and mint syrup, has been a standout hit. The sangria, a harmonious blend of wine, brandy, sliced apple and orange, orange juice, and syrup, is perfect for those who seek a fruity twist. The aroki crush, a gin-based cocktail muddled with kiwi and lemongrass, offers a refreshing and zesty delight. Lastly, the Jingle Gin, featuring fresh mango, red capsicum, lemon juice, pineapple juice, and egg white, provides a unique and tantalising option.
Having had the opportunity to sample Tiki Taka’s new menu, I was thoroughly impressed. The sizzling chicken fajitas, lamb shank, and local sambal ikan bilis pizza left an indelible mark on my taste buds. The flavours were exquisite, and the presentation was top-notch, leaving me longing for more. The cocktails at Tiki Taka are to die for, offering a tantalising blend of flavours that will transport your taste buds to paradise.
Madhu’s advice for those embarking on a similar culinary journey is invaluable: learn the business, immerse yourself fully, and never give up. Tiki Taka is not just a restaurant; it’s a haven for family and friends to come together and savour delectable dishes in a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere. From the tasteful décor to the impeccable service, every aspect is designed to ensure an unforgettable dining experience.
In conclusion, Tiki Taka, with its dedication to innovation, commitment to customer engagement, and menu that caters to diverse palates, including both vegan and vegetarian options, stands as a culinary gem that surpasses expectations. This Spanish-inspired restaurant in Kuala Lumpur promises an unforgettable dining experience for all, living up to its motto, “Your Ultimate Dining Partner.” Don’t miss the chance to savour the exquisite flavours that Tiki Taka has to offer; you won’t be disappointed.
Address: 138, Jalan Kasah, Medan Damansara, 50490 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur
Hours: Mondays to Thursdays (12pm-12am), Fridays-Sundays (12pm-1am)