Food & Beverage

Kartik Kumar

Photo: @nadodikartik/Instagram

The brand director of Nadodi, regarded as one of the best eateries in Asia, Kartik Kumar honed his culinary chops at famed Bangkok restaurant Gaggan as well as top hotels in the region

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Kartik Kumar is the brand director of Nadodi, one of the top fine-dining restaurants in Kuala Lumpur, known for its innovative and modern reintepretations of South Indian cuisine. It is one of only three Malaysian restaurants to make it on William Reed’s Extended 51-100 Best Restaurants in Asia list for 2021, or indeed ever to be featured on the list.

With more than a decade of work experience in the hospitality industry, particularly in F&B including at Starwood and Taj Hotels, it was Kartik also had time at Michelin-starred Gaggan restaurant in Bangkok that particularly inspired Nadodi. Teaming up with his fellow Gaggan colleague Sricharan Venkatesh, who trained in the kitchen under its famed chef Gaggan Anand, Kartik envisioned a fine dining restaurant that served progressive South Indian cuisine. It was to focus on food from three regions—Tamil Nadu, Kerala and northern Sri Lanka—and be complemented by the creations of the duo’s award-winning mixologist partner, Askhar Chalwadi.

The restaurant was named Nadodi, which means “nomad”, after realising that the South Indian cuisine in Kuala Lumpur—as well as elsewhere in the world—was similar to the food from their homeland of India. Winning immediate praise from food critics on opening its doors in 2017, Nadodi was also featured on CNN Travel and was awarded Most Innovative Restaurant by Tourism Malaysia.

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Kartik hails from Puducherry (formerly Pondicherry) in India, and always dreamt of working in the luxury hotel business. 

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