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EAT DRINK KL: 100 FAVOURITES 100 Good Places For Food & Drinks

July - Sept 2016

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2OX

2OX charges ahead into The Row with an admirable repertoire of classic French fare; Brittany-born chef Thierry Le Baut relies on time-honoured Gallic cooking to bring the tastes & textures of a Parisian bistro to KL. There are precious few eateries in the city for culinary work whose lineage can be traced from Taillevent to Escoffier. Start with rustic duck rillettes & provincial pork pate, constructed with a solid foundation of shipshape produce. 2OX's meaty mains will warm & nourish - we love the stewed tripe, succulent & flavoursome with tomatoes, herbs & spices. If you're hunting for a recipe with a rich depth, the coq au vin should prove a pleasure - this old-fashioned version of the braised chicken workhorse hails from the kitchen of chef Thierry's own mother. But in keeping up with the times, 2OX also boasts its own Josper oven, for hearty-juicy grilled pork ribs & squid with fresh lemons. 56G, The Row, Jalan Doraisamy, Kuala Lumpur. www.two-ox.com Kitchen opens for lunch & dinner daily. Tel: 03-26922233


3B Drip & Dutch Cafe

This secluded coffee bar could be worth the jaunt to Sungai Buloh true to his new cafe's name, Korean coffee crackerjack Will Jung promises hand drip coffee & Dutch coffee, serving both in engaging ways to brighten up each patron's experience. Take a seat at the counter for a close-up view of how your coffee is made; the cafe roasts its own beans under the banner of Jung's Three Bears (3B) brand, offering choices of blends that customers can select based on their personal priorities - Body, Aroma or Balance - created mainly with Guatemala's Antigua & Ethiopia's Yirgacheffe beans. The beverages are deep, complex & robust, paired with chic desserts crafted for this cafe by PJ's Xiao By Crustz. 21-G & 1, LGSB 1/4, Pusat Komersial LGSB, Off Jalan Hospital, Sungai Buloh. Daily, 11am-8pm


Akashi

Akashi BBQ brings the atmospheric allure of alfresco grilling to Puchong: Follow the scent of the meat, sizzling aromatically outdoors on charcoal-fired stoves, tended patiently & precisely by Akashi's staff. Take a table in this wide-open space & select from choice cuts of pork, beef & seafood, beautifully marinated to preserve the produce's purity of flavour & to best complement the smoky nuances that result from this time-honoured type of cooking. Our favourite is the pork belly (RM10), endowed with an irreproachably crisp juiciness - one plate might leave you asking for more. The Genghis Khan, meanwhile, is protein-powered with lamb shoulder cooked with cabbage in a sweet broth on a dome-shaped skillet. G2 Lot 5362, Jalan Layang-Layang 1, Bandar Puchong Jaya. Tues-Sun, 6pm-12am. Tel: 016-221-5093


Ampersand by Culinary Rebels

Big breakfasts served on banana leaves & chicken wings showered with crispy pork lard or smothered with sticky garlic glaze: Ampersand is one of Damansara Uptown's most enticing destinations, with unique offerings by a band of Malaysians who call themselves the Culinary Rebels, comprising chefs currently working in both KL & Singapore. In pursuit of pork ribs with playful twists? Try the Miso GCJ Ribs, with irresistibly tender flesh that tears easily off the bone, marinated for 12 hours with miso & gochujang. For Instagrammers, Ampersand's desserts are a should-try - take a stab at Killing Me Softly, which sees a Valrhona peanut butter lava cake oozing over crispy pork bacon, chocolate sand & Kapiti vanilla ice cream. First Floor, 19, Jalan SS21/37, Damansara Utama, Petaling Jaya. Monday-Tuesday, Thursday-Friday: Lunch & dinner. SaturdaySunday: Brunch & dinner. Tel: 03-7732-9711


Ante Kitchen & Bar

Following its 2014 Time Out KL’s 'Best Place for Meat' nomination, the establishment that introduced the coveted Char-grilled Pork Steak to the porcine-loving public is storming through 2015/16 with a new artisanal Hickory Smoked Pork Belly Bacon as well as Orange and Thyme Cured Norwegian Salmon, exclusively for its daytime menu. This brunch/lunch menu cultivated by the team brings out the versatile qualities of two artisanal produce, creating fresh favourites in the English Breakfast & the Bacon on Toast. This daytime menu also features current ANTE classics such as the Deep Fried Soft Poached Eggs with runny yolk, which remains a hit since its launch last year. ANTE has also come up with a unique spin on scrambled eggs, coupled with salmon and cured in thyme and orange peel for a tantalising citrus aroma. A2-G1-09, Solaris Dutamas, Kuala Lumpur Open daily, 11:00 am - 11 pm. Brunch Menu 11 am - 4 pm. Tel: 03-6206 3364


Bait

Bait is becoming better with age, growing into a confident & mature destination. And there's cause for continued optimism, with skilful chef Logan scouring both sea & land for fresh, memorable recipes. The ocean remains the main source of Bait's inspiration. If you're seeking terrific oysters at tempting rates, Bait's a solid bet, with its variety of UK, French, Tasmanian & seasonal oysters. Whether you like 'em sweeter or brinier, mild or intense, plump or thin, juicy or firm, there's a West Mersea, Jersey Rock, Creuse or Irish Nugget oyster at Bait for you. But it's in the cooked creations that Bait displays its distinctiveness, with various recipes built for sharing. A half-kilo of freshwater yabbies comes poached in saffron & champagne, served with sumac, sun-dried tomato & mustard dips. 65 Jalan Telawi 3, Bangsar Baru. Tel: 03-2201-8187 Monday-Thursday, 4pm-1230am; Friday 4pm-230am; Saturday 1130am-230am, Sunday 1130am-1230am


BLVD House

Endowed with a handsomely polished setting that evokes a cosmopolitan brasserie & a pretty tempting food selection that spotlights contemporary-minded fare, BLVD House is a seductive destination for restaurant lovers at the Naza Tower in KL's city centre. The visual standout is likely the Bean-Can Roasted Free-Range Chicken, a witty revision of beer-can chicken, featuring a BBQ whole chicken that's set alight at the table, engulfed in flames for spectacular effect before being chopped up & served with baked beans. But for a meal that leaves a more lingeringly impressive impression in terms of flavour, try the timbale of foie gras & unagi, or the barbecued Denver ribs, or the bone marrow, roasted & smothered in oxtail marmalade gravy. Ground Floor, NAZA Tower, Platinum Park, Persiaran KLCC. Mon-Thurs, 12pm-11pm; Fri-Sat, 12pm-1am; Sun, 11am-11pm. Tel: 03-2630-9999


BreadFruits

BreadFruits has deservedly become one of KL's most beloved destinations for wholesome brunches; cafe owner Kah Kwan strives to serve satisfying favorites with healthy twists that range from Bukit Tinggi free-range eggs to steamed cannellini beans that replace canned baked beans. Numerous juices are available for energizing & detoxification, with ingredients that span beetroot to bananas, strawberries to celery. The fruits section is worth inspecting too, comprising the likes of Argentinean tangerines & South African apples. What others say: "Love the interior so much! It is a very small place but somehow they've managed it into a cosy place. Big breakfast is a must." - Gabby Hakim, via Foursquare 17, Jalan 26/70A, Desa Sri Hartamas. Tel: 03-6201-0090


Breakfast Thieves

Serving its sentence in Bangsar, Breakfast Thieves heralds a homecoming of sorts for a posse of Malaysians who launched their first cafe in Melbourne in 2012. After acquitting themselves to full-throated praise in the suburb of Fitzroy, founders Brandon, Kevin & Edwin have ganged up with fresh partners-in-crime for an offshoot of Breakfast Thieves in KL, locking up the first spot at Paper Plates, the F&B belt of the APW multi-function venue. The open kitchen argues a persuasive case for guilty indulgences galore, capably judged & confidently executed: The Legend represents baked eggs with beef salami, okra, caramelised onion jam, sweet corn, mushrooms & basil oil with herbed garlic toast, while Breakfast Chain links cheddar soldiers with soft-boiled eggs, ginger almond crumble & granola-topped berry compote yoghurt. Lot M, 29-5 Jalan Riong, Paper Plates, APW Bangsar. Open Tuesday-Sunday, 9am-5pm (kitchen closes 4pm). Tel: 03-2788-3548


Basil Pasta House Three brothers, one restaurant: The gastronomically gifted Tan siblings - Alven, Seven & Louis - have opened their own outlet, offering a wide range of East-meets-West pasta recipes at some of the Klang Valley's best prices. Highlights include the crab farfalle, comprising bow-tie pasta with crab meat, curried butternut squash sauce, walnut cream & parmesan, plus a Chinese take on mac-&-cheese, featuring macaroni with a golden egg yolk sauce, curry leaves, cili padi & deep-fried baby squid. 21, Jalan Kuchai Maju 6, Off Jalan Kuchai Lama. 03-7972-8884 Open 3pm-10pm, except Mondays

BEAM Stimulating new ideas started brewing this year in a manufacturing neighbourhood of Bandar Sri Damansara, scarcely a ten-minute drive from Taman Tun Dr Ismail. BEAM imports & sells a variety of speciality green beans; try the hand-brewed coffee, which comes in options of 'strong' (with 18 grams of coffee) or 'very strong' (with 25 grams), with potential choices of Papua New Guinea, Costa Rica, Guatemala & Ethiopian beans. Desserts include local favourites like glutinous rice & kaya. 25, Jalan Gangsa SD 5/3B, Bandar Sri Damansara. 03-6261-8255 Open 11am-8pm, except Tuesdays


Boat Noodle

The Klang Valley's pioneering purveyor of Bangkok-inspired boat noodles is sailing full steam ahead, launching unsinkable branches this year in Empire Damansara, Publika, Jaya One & Ikon Connaught, with more to come. These small bowls of beef & chicken noodles have made a big splash; no wonder - Boat Noodle's soul food packs plenty of nuance, with undercurrents of a sweet-spicy, savoury-sour tang in the broth. Boat Noodle branches: 1. G03A, Heritage Lane, Empire Damansara, Damansara Perdana 2. P2, The School, Jaya One, Petaling Jaya 3. Level G, Ikon Connaught, Cheras 4. 30A, Level G3, Block C5, Publika, Solaris Dutamas Open Mon - Sun: 11:00 am - 9:00 pm All Boat Noodle branches are pork-free


Brolly

Follow the bright-red bus to Brolly, a restaurant that brims with colour, character & charm - showcasing nine kitchens in one venue, this adventurous effort offers an eclectic exploration of cross-border cuisines, from the bayous of Louisiana to the izakayas of Tokyo & street stalls of Shanghai, curated by Brolly's founders from their own intimately personal experiences. Customers can take a table anywhere at Brolly & order from any of the nine concepts - oyster lovers will like Moley's Oyster Bar, while Raksaksa Mirai whips up a barrage of Japanese curry rice platters with fun twists. The Ember & Bara charcoal-cooked concept is ideal for folks who favour flame-kissed food, My Wing Man serves our new favourite chicken wings, & Nove 9 dishes out pizzas; you'll also have fun exploring Crab Factory, Vari.EAT.y, Sweet Endings for dessert, & Bang Bang Baller Bar for terrific beverages & cocktails. The decor is fantastic - perfect for Instagram. Ground Floor, Menara Felda, Platinum Park, Persiaran KLCC. Open daily, 11am-11pm. Tel: 03-2181-4122


Copper

It's been nearly a decade since Chai Chun Boon met his future wife Zeehan Zahari; since then, he's cooked everywhere from the Netherlands to Switzerland, Spain & Singapore, while she pursued her own cross-continental corporate career. Now, the couple have embarked on a mutual enterprise - a modern European eatery called Copper that's a showcase for flair & finesse. Try the hamachi cooked a la plancha with smoky aubergine creme, confit tomato & fish crisps flavours here are subtle & somewhat subdued, but what they lack in immediate punch, they make up for in textured nuance. And don't skip the poppy seed crepes with citrus slices, nuts, rosemary, salted caramel & fresh mint - roll the crepes up & eat everything together. Level 5, Menara Shell, Jalan Tun Sambanthan 730am-530pm weekdays & 9am-2pm Saturdays Tel: 03-2856-9522


Crab Factory The Big Easy has roared into PJ's SS2, courtesy of Crab Factory, opened by a merry band of Malaysians who once swung through southern Louisiana on a summertime road trip spiced up by Creole & Cajun cooking & swore to bring home their tastiest recollections of the bayou. Gather here elbow-to-elbow for fun feasts evocative of The Deep South's seafood boils in a setting enlivened by a soundtrack that's suitably heavy on Louis Armstrong & Harry Connick Jr. 21, Jalan SS2/64, Petaling Jaya 11am-11pm, Fri-Sun, 3pm-11pm other days. Closed Tuesdays

Crazy Fish Crazy Fish's tanks are flooded with all manner of creatures, brought in by friendly couple Albert & Anne Kim, who cater to Koreans in KL who miss the fish markets of Seoul & Busan. The highlight might be 'sannakji,' a small octopus that's plucked out live from the water before being swiftly slain, sliced & served with sesame oil, with the severed tentacles still squirming & slithering on the plate, thanks to twitching from residual nerve activity. 9-G, Jalan Solaris 3, Solaris Mont Kiara Daily for lunch & dinner Tel: 03-6211-7313


Dewakan

An unassuming venue with an ambitious vision, spilling over with a cascade of culinary surprises that coalesce into an enriching experience to remind guests that with great food comes great joy. Come to the Glenmarie campus of KDU University College & take a journey through an epically epicurean multicourse-course tasting menu that might begin with crispy edible 'twigs' with mayonnaise made with Terengganu's 'budu' fermented fish sauce - a harbinger of Dewakan's harvest of Malaysian flavours that are rarely thrust into the high-end spotlight. The menu is fun but not flamboyant, playful without being gimmicky, unconventionally remarkable but perceptively restrained. Cucur-style fritters are showered with kerisik, herbaceous & earthy, laced with slivers of duck, a bravura testament to chef Darren Teoh's determination to interpret both familiar & unfamiliar local ingredients through an insightful, inventive lens. Lower Ground Floor, KDU University College, Jalan Kontraktor U1/14, Seksyen U1, Shah Alam. Tel: 03-5565-0767. Mon-Wed: Lunch. Thu-Fri: Lunch & Dinner. Sat: Dinner.


Drift Dining & Bar A slice of Sydney surfaces in KL: Four Australians with wide experience in the restaurant business have combined forces to spearhead Drift, where modern Aussie cooking shines in a relaxed & inviting setting. Sydney-born chef Angus Harrison helms the kitchen, the latest move in a career that has taken him from Tetsuya's in Sydney to Luke Mangan's Salt tapas in Seminyak, Bali. Asian flavours take centre stage for these Manila clams, briny & nourishingly juicy, steamed with soy sauce, garlic & ginger & served piping-hot for rainy-night comfort. 38 Bidara, Jalan Bedara, Off Jalan Nagasari. Dinners, except Monday

DR.Inc First thing to know about DR.Inc: It's meant to be pronounced 'Drink,' not 'Dr. Inc.' It's a soulful little refuge where people can come for a slice of peace & leave hopefully with their spirits refreshed. Try the Presso Bomb - espresso with made-in-Malacca ice cream soda (less cloying & fizzy than big-brand sodas), a comforting taste of nostalgia, both familiar & strange simultaneously. 'Drink at ease' is the mantra at DR.Inc, which calls itself a cafe & 'cultural gifts store.' 8 Jalan Kemuja, Bangsar. Daily - 8am-7pm weekdays, 9am-7pm weekends.


FIQ's Gastronomy

Food, Innovation, Quality: FIQ's Gastronomy lives up to its acronym, with a bustling open kitchen that serves better-than-average cafe fare while still preserving suburb-suitable prices. Highlights include spinach risotto with carrot puree; crispy brined chicken & fried onions; roasted potato gnocchi with mushrooms, herb-tinged walnuts & caper-raisin emulsion; & tagliatelle with duck confit & basil-laced melted butter. What others say: "Couldn't help grinning through the calamari starter, the risotto, club sandwich, salt beef sandwich, duck confit pasta, and s'mores (esp the s'mores). I've finally found the place where my heart & tummy feels like it has come home." - Sharina Razali, via Facebook "Came here yesterday to celebrate my birthday. I must say it has the most comfortable atmosphere, delicious food, friendly staff and excellent guest services!" - Rishni Kaur, via Facebook No 34 Jalan SS19/1D Subang Jaya. Tel: 03-5613 0473 Tuesday-Sunday, 12pm-1030pm


Flint

Flint resets the conversation for where to eat in Ampang, representing another triumph for the Vintry family of restaurants, focused on smoky, sultry cooking. Local acacia firewood sets the scene around the open kitchen & bar, destined for charcoal-&-kindling ovens that produce the food. If you have time for only one order, make it beef - Flint stakes a claim as a compelling recommendation for folks in the throes of hotblooded bovine lust. The oven-smoked roasted Wagyu beef brisket is sensational, almost unbearably rich in its sheer, stunning succulence, slow-cooked on embers for half a day. Come hungry to also enjoy the Aussie Angus rib-eye, pure primal pleasure, ambrosial in its benign char & soul-affirming juiciness. And if you want more, the house-made tagliatelle with spiced Wagyu brisket ragu is heaven-sent for pasta worshippers - we devoured every bite. 24 Persiaran Ampang, Kuala Lumpur. Tues-Sun: Drinks & light bites, 3pm-5pm. Dinner, 5pm-11pm. Tel: 03-4252-8262


French Feast

Founder Jean-Michel Fraisse, chef Mickael Cornutrait & their team now have a new home on Tengkat Tong Shin, turning a former residence into a restaurant with a ravishing old-world charm. It's the kind of venue where the hours will float by effortlessly, as dish after dish of honest, hearty Gallic cooking emerges to remind us why the French are masters of the gastronomic arts. Start with the achingly creamy-rich foie gras terrine with elegant notes of Armagnac, balanced with fig compote; the country-style pork liver & meat terrine, rustically textured & winningly partnered with red wine onion jam & pickles; & the luscious tartare of hand-cut beef tenderloin, an absolute should-try that's exquisitely coupled with smooth, robust-flavoured slices of French Feast's own air-dried duck breast 20 Tengkat Tong Shin. Mon-Fri, 630pm-1030pm; Sat, 10am-1030pm; Sun, 10am-2pm. Tel: 03-2110-6283


Ginza Sushimasa Ginza Sushimasa's forte might be its omakase experience, one of the city's most impressive, with course after course of sushi & other mainly seafood delicacies tackled with the ultimate expertise. Sit at the counter, watch the chefs at work & enjoy a ninety-minute exploration of what's best in season - the selection constantly evolves, so there'll consistently be surprises in store, like seared Kobe beef adorned with sea urchin, cod milt tempura (an awesome preparation that adds a lightly crisp dimension to the shirako), fugu fish terrine & juicy-briny Japanese abalone. Level 7, Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur. Daily, lunch & dinner (except Saturday, dinner only) Tel: 03-2260-1686

Go Thai This Malaysian-owned outlet with an allThai, all-smiles kitchen team specialises in Thai street fare. When the going gets tough, the tough go for tender 'khao kha moo,' stewed pork trotters with rice & duck egg, a soul-food lunch. BBQ skewers are a highlight, showcasing a strong inspiration from the northeastern Isan region. Our favourite's the 'moo ping' pork fillet, juicy & powerfully sweet-savoury. 187 Jalan SS2/24, Petaling Jaya. Open till 10pm, except Mondays


Hanare In a city of limitless Japanese eateries, Hanare posseses the potential to beguile even sashimi-satiated patrons. Luscious cuts of seafood are picked by Hanare's affiliates at Tokyo's Tsukiji fish market & flown to this sleek restaurant to be tackled by Japanese chefs with decades of experience. It's a bounty of sparkling-fresh seasonal delicacies that can span fleshy fugu to creamy cod milt. Hanare's weekend buffet brunches also attract legions of fans. Ground Floor, The Intermark, Jalan Tun Razak. Daily, lunch & dinner. Tel: 03-2164-2133

Hubba Hubba Welcome to 'The Party Hub' - where patrons are prompted to get 'hooked on life.' Hubba Hubba's energy is buoyant, matched by a menu that takes light-hearted liberties with familiar recipes. Skewers with a twist or two are the ideal introduction try the chicken skin, well-seasoned with kosher salt, or the gizzard rubbed with serrano peppers & tomatoes. Cocktails come recommended: Try Dragonfruit Mojito, brimming with fresh fruit, & Hazelnut Mango Daiquiri. Ground Floor, Invito Hotel Suites, 1 Lorong Ceylon, Kuala Lumpur. Daily, 7am-2am.


Haru Specialising in omakase-style dining that showcases imagination & craftsmanship, Haru serves courses that include grilled prawn with salmon belly & flying fish roe, prepared by a head chef who honed his skills in Tokyo, Osaka & Hokkaido. 124A, Jalan Kasah, Medan Damansara Tel: 03-2011-8783 Lunch & dinner, Tuesday-Sunday

Hotshots Coffee & Tea One of Solaris Dutamas' hot spots, Hotshots is a strong bet for Belgian waffles with pitted cherries, coffee made from freshly roasted beans & some of the richest hot chocolate in town. The cafe also sells coffee machines, grinders & roasters. A2-UG1-07, Solaris Dutamas, Kuala Lumpur Tel: 1300-888-138 or 03-6207-9908 Mon - Fri: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Huck's Cafe One of the Klang Valley's private-kitchen pioneers, Huck Seng serves guests in a spacious, gorgeously furnished bungalow with heartfelt hospitality & hearty cooking that flows with creative, personal touches inspired by his travels & experiences; try the Moroccan whole roast chicken, French onion soup or Durian mud pie. Fun fact: Huck's taught himself cooking by preparing food for his children. 22, Jalan Abdullah, Off Jalan Bangsar Dinner, Tues-Sun. Bookings at 012-604-8719


Ippudo Ramen

Nearly three decades after Ippudo's first stronghold unfurled in Fukuoka, followed by an outpouring of outposts worldwide, the fabled ramen chain sailed into KL, buoyed by mighty winds of anticipation, with three types of tonkotsu pork bone broths to choose from: classic Hakata-style white 'shiro,' the 'karaka' spicy interpretation, plus redhued 'aka' augmented with miso paste, garlic oil & sumptuous pork belly that comes perilously close to melting on the chopsticks. Try the prawns with chili mayo dip, steamed pork cha-shu bun & hot stone pot tofu with pork too. What others say: "This is a regular lunch event for me. The broth is spectacular & the noodles and blend of other ingredients are perfect." - Klinsy, via TripAdvisor "My most favorite ramen in malaysia!" - Ses R, via Foursquare Branches: Pavilion, The Gardens Mall & Bangsar Shopping Centre


Kafe Vietnam Seeking a one-stop outlet for feasts of banh mi, pho & plenty of other delicacies, prepared by chefs from Ho Chi Minh City? Kafe Vietnam offers many intriguing recipes, from lala' clam meat, fragrantly fried with saffron & nuts, to duck cooked with fermented bean curd & yam, crowned in a hot pot with choy sum, kangkung & mustard greens. Wash the food down with the ciku ice-blended, rich, smooth & natural-tasting. 1 Jalan Puteri 4/1 Bandar Puteri Puchong Open 10am-10pm. Closed Wednesday & Thursday every two weeks.

Kesom Traditional kampung flavours are in vogue at Kesom, a stylish cafe that showcases rice-heavy recipes beloved in Kelantan & Terengganu. Kesom's Nasi Kerabu meets the mark, tastily built with blue-tinged basmati rice, partnered with the prerequisite pickles, ulam, fish crackers, salted duck egg & sambal belacan. Specials are sometimes available; think laksa kelantan, khao jam & sambal paru. 46 Jalan PJU 1/45, Aman Suria Damansara, Petaling Jaya Open Monday-Saturday, 10am-8pm Tel: 03-7880-7022


Laguna Mabuhay The Philippine clientele, especially strong on Sunday afternoons, indicates which cuisine is offered here. Laguna Mabuhay strives for absolute authenticity; its menu lists dishes in Tagalog without English translations. Bring a Filipino friend to help explain that "morcon" means pork rolls stuffed with hard-boiled eggs & carrots. Order "Sisig" _ pork ears & jowl, cooked with calamansi & flooded with egg _ & "Kinilaw" _ a ceviche-like mix of fish, salted egg & pork _ or "Kare-kare" _ stewed beef & veggies in peanut sauce. 3, Jalan Gereja, Kuala Lumpur Daily, 11:30am-9:30pm

La Mexicana Mexican-Italian chef Carmela's passion & prowess for the cooking she was raised on radiates through this colorful restaurant. La Mexicana takes patrons on a gastronomic journey, from starters of imported cactus leaves with guajillo chili & chilled beetroot soup with crispy fried tortilla chips to a sweet finish of a nuttyfruity chocolate cake with a hint of dried chili passilla. Terrace at Hock Choon, Off Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur Tel: 03-4253 5251


Manja

Pampering guests with distinctive fare that draws inspiration from Malaysia & beyond, Manja is a labour of love by professionals who clearly take pride in their work, from founder Navin Karu (proprietor of TTDI's popular Vin's restaurant) to Chef Vic to front-of-house leaders Zainal Shukur & Melinder Dhaliwal, whose winning team strives to ensure from the start that guests enjoy their experience in Manja's sumptuous setting. Manja's menu is a unique ensemble of original dishes that rise above borders & boundaries, layering familiar Malaysian flavours & textures with influences from across the globe, from the sushi joints of Japan to the tapas bars of Spain, the soul food shops of New Orleans to the osterias of Tuscany. Old Malaya, Jalan Raja Chulan Open Monday-Saturday, 1130am-2am. Tel: 012-373-7063


Maison Francaise

A ravishing residence transformed into an elegant eatery: Maison Francaise, or French House, is a three-level bungalow cocooned in Changkat Kia Peng, spilling over with porches and terraces surrounded by a lush garden and swimming pool - it's a brilliant hideaway, well within the city (scarcely a five-minute drive from KLCC) but with a miles-away feel. What others say: "Great restaurant with a classy but not overpowering atmosphere. The food is classically French and very wholesome, the wine list well priced and extensive. We chose the mid priced fixed menu and had a lovely long dinner and were looked after very well by the attentive but unobtrusive staff." - Andrew S, via TripAdvisor, December 2015 No. 5 Changkat Kia Peng, Kuala Lumpur. Tel: 03-21441474 Website: www.maisonfrancaise.com.my


Manmaru Robatayaki

Our best bet for Japanese gastronomy at Damansara Jaya's revamped Atria Shopping Gallery is Manmaru, thanks to the inventive flair & inspiring artistry of Executive Chef Danny Leow, a passionate craftsman who's sharpened his skills at some of Kuala Lumpur's most respected Japanese establishments of the past 15 years, including Ozeki Tokyo, Yuzu & Sagano. Manmaru gives its chef free rein to unleash his imagination through an extensive a la carte menu, omakase sets & frequent specials such as a platter that evokes a kaleidoscopic garden flowing with fresh produce from both underwater & on land - a centrepiece of sea urchin over silken soft fresh 'yuba' bean curd sheets, surrounded by eel & octopus tentacles mingling with edible flowers & edamame. G-26, Atria Shopping Gallery, Damansara Jaya, Petaling Jaya. Tel: 03-7733-1038


Mhera-1

The repertoire of Thai cooking here is regal & ravishing, from lotus petals served with a piquant medley of roasted nuts, shrimp & shallots in complex herbs & spices to red curry prawns simmered with pineapples, lychees & rambutans to stir-fried egg tofu with minced chicken, prawns & vegetables, seasoned with salted egg yolk. Irreproachably executed, with all the attention to intricate details that results in beautifully balanced flavours & textures. Our favourites might be the cockle curry, brimming with fresh-tasting kerang & the chicken massaman, complete with peanuts, potatoes, gingko nuts & lotus seeds, 22, Jalan PJU 5/16, Dataran Sunway, Kota Damansara. Tues-Thurs: 6pm-1030pm. Fri-Sun: 12pm-3pm, 6pm-1030pm. Tel: 03-6141-2393


Mikey's New York Pizza Mikey's marks a collaboration between native New Yorker Michael Helfman & Andrew Bellucci, a former New Jerseyan who began making pizzas in the 1990s; the pies here are available by the slice, straddling the fine line between thin & thick for their excellent crust, crisp but simultaneously tender & easy to fold, light but luscious. 17 Jalan Telawi 2 Bangsar Tel: 03-2202 0080 Mon - Thu: 11:30 am - 11:00 pm Fri - Sat: 11:30 am - 1:00 am Sun: 11:30 am - 11:00 pm

Miss Ellie Tea House Its calm facade makes Miss Ellie Tea House look like a charming Cameron Highlands cafe, but mercifully, this hidden gem is only a half-hour from KL's centre, nestled on a suburban street where parking's aplenty. Family-run & fabulously friendly, it's a spot we'd recommend unreservedly for brunches & brief getaways. Chef Justin Wong whips up some of the Klang Valley's best pastries & sweet treats, including pandan panna cotta & creme brulee made with real vanilla pods. 7 Jalan H3 Taman Melawati Tel: 03-4162-0113 Tues-Sat, 10am-7pm


Minori Japanese Restaurant

There's no lack of Japanese restaurants in the Klang Valley, but it's always terrific to find one that takes its craft seriously. Stepping into Minori evokes the pleasure of an authentic Japanese dining experience, with deep mahogany walls, designer furniture and clean lines all along this beautiful restaurant. Mentored by esteemed Japanese chefs, Chef Chu Koon Wai has built a sterling reputation in his 20 years of experience in the culinary arts. He possesses a robust passion for Japanese gastronomy and has earnestly mastered his skills, promising to serve vibrantly fresh food that's the hallmark of Japanese gastronomy. What others say: "You're getting value for money well-spent! Seafood's fresh, tempura's melt-in-the-mouth. Meals are real filling with sides of salad, mash, fruits, miso soup and chawanmushi." - Nikkipinkipod, via Foursquare 1st Floor, The Royale Chulan Damansara Hotel, Mutiara Damansara, Petaling Jaya. Tel: 03-7959-9099


Oribe Sushi He's back! Chef Hideaki Oritsuki mysteriously vanished from Sushi Hinata, but thankfully, he never left KL - the sushi maestro's legion of fans can now find him at Oribe, located in the ViPod Residences near Pavilion. Expect luscious cuts of seafood that burst with freshness & flavour. Extra care is taken in even how the ginger & wasabi are sourced & served. From roe-flooded Seiko snow crabs to briny-juicy Hiroshima oysters, Oribe reaches deeply into the bounty of Japan's waters & brings out the best for patrons. Ground Floor, ViPod Residences, Jalan Kia Peng. Tel: 03-2725-8064

OW:L Espresso A first-floor perch in Menara Rajawali where college students of a feather flock together, right beside Inti International University in SS15 Subang. Korean 'bingsu' is the star attraction - the renowned Korean shaved ice dessert is indulgently smooth & well-tuned in flavour. Varieties include Injeolmi with glutinous rice cakes, Milk Fat, Cookies & Cream or Yoghurt & Fruit. No coffee no cry - OW:L Espresso also serves Marley Coffee, founded by the son of Bob Marley. Menara Rajawali, Jalan SS15/8, Subang Jaya. Open daily, 10am-midnight


Nobu Nobu KL is tastefully & thoughtfully outfitted, letting the 56th-floor metropolitan view from Menara Petronas 3 speak louder than the restaurant's warm, woodsy interior. From Wagyu beef tacos to sea urchin tiradito, the world's most recognised name in Japanese restaurants makes a mouth-watering mark in Malaysia, presented by one of this city's finest service teams. Level 56, Menara 3 Petronas, Persiaran KLCC, Kuala Lumpur Monday-Saturday, 6pm-11pm. Tel: 03-2164-5084

Pisco Bar One of KL's most invigorating hangouts, Pisco Bar supplies the sort of nightlife this city needs more of, sleaze-free but still certain to be heaps of hot-blooded fun. Come hungry & thirsty to sample as much as possible from the tapas menu (everything from tangy-fresh tuna ceviche to comfort-food mashed potato causitas) & the cocktail selection (the Chilcano de Pisco packs a pleasurable punch). 29 Jalan Mesui, Kuala Lumpur Tues-Sun, 5pm through late. Tel: 03-2142 2900


Porcupine Place The story of Porcupine Place is as compelling as its food: British-based surgeon Wen Huey leaves the medical profession, returns home to Malaysia & meets Swiss-trained chef Jon Ng while they're both working at a French restaurant in KL. They fall in love, then decide a few years later to open their own place. The menu evokes playfulness & fun. French toast comes in bite-sized cereal-coated brioche, convenient to dunk into delicious kitchen-made citrus curd B-3A-G, Setiawalk, Puchong. 03-5888-9929. Tues-Sun, 930am-10pm

Roost Danish chef Albert Frantzen, his Taiwanese partner Tung Wei & Malaysian friend Priscilla rule the roost with a 'farmto-fork' philosophy. Roost's menu bursts with well-thought-out creations spilling out of Frantzen's open kitchen; most of the produce is locally & responsibly sourced, secured from various Malaysian farms & suppliers. Start with the applewood-smoked, free-range duck with browned butter puree & pomegranates. 69-1, Jalan Telawi 3, Bangsar Baru 1130am-1130pm daily, except Mondays. Tel: 03-2201-1710


Rendez-Vous Rendez-Vous seeks to serve French fare that's both authentic & affordable, a mission that will likely hearten Francophiles hankering for culinary variety in KL. Chef Florian Nigen is no stranger to the kitchen; his family has run a restaurant in Brittany for three decades. At Rendez-Vous, more than 6,000 miles from Nigen's homeland, he carries on that legacy with a menu that's heavy on the classics, with hoards of butter, cheese & house-made sauces. 100 Lorong Maarof, Bangsar Lunch & dinner, except Mondays Tel: 03-2202-0206

Restaurant DC DC's food is infused with character & personality. Its French-trained cheffounder Darren Chin shares what he calls 'the joy of cooking' through innovations like lamb tartare prepared through the prism of Thailand's northeastern Isaan heritage with coriander oil, garlic & Thai basil. This isn't a French restaurant - it's better described as progressive, with Southeast Asian elements crafted with impeccable technique & careful balance. 44 Persiaran Zaaba, Taman Tun Dr Ismail Bookings: Darren at 012-223-2991


Robata Monkey

Firing up our F&B scene, this white-hot restaurant transports the unique art of rustic Japanese slow-grilling into Jaya One, serving a smorgasbord of succulent seafood with smoky, savoury subtleties. Robata Monkey focuses on 'robatayaki,' cooking with 'bincho-tan' traditional oak charcoal that burns cleanly to ensure the restaurant's assortment of fish, flown in from the Land of Rising Sun, retains as much moisture & purity of flavour as possible. Highlights include the Pacific saury (sanma), beautifully juicy & persuasively tasty. It's a terrific representative of the best of robatayaki, a centuries-old heritage of Japanese fishermen. The restaurant also offers 'Curious Monkey' tasting flights for liquor, including ranges of wine, sake & beer. L-12A-G, Palm Square, Jaya One, Petaling Jaya Tel: 03-7932-5168


Sebastian's Venezuelan

Several years ago, Venezuelan teenager Sebastian landed in Malaysia on an art scholarship; now he's made KL his home, opening a restaurant that showcases soul food from his homeland. Sebastian's is a real hole in the wall, with a laid-back, anything-goes vibe. Once the food finally starts coming (prepared by Sebastian's brother), it becomes clear that this is cooking worth loosening your belt for - try the pabellon criollo (a platter of steamed white rice, stewed black beans, savoury shredded beef & sweetly ripe plantain slices, perfect for patrons who favour the produce of rustic kitchens), arepas (two pieces of Sebastian's own-made grilled cornmeal flatbread stuffed with chicken & cheese), croquettes & the cachapa (a traditional thick corn dough pancake blanketed with butter & cheese). 32 Persiaran Ampang, Kuala Lumpur. Daily, 7pm till late (kitchen closes 11pm). Tel: 012-250-2465


Simply Mel's

Simply Mel's unabashedly bears the name of its chef, a remarkable woman whose cooking is heartfelt & honest, whose commitment to making her customers happy is pure & genuine. Call it our imagination, but sometimes you can almost taste the love in each luscious mouthful of Mel's ayam buah keluak. Snack on the freshly picked crab meat, prawns & minced chicken stuffed in a crab shell or have the succulent chicken sehbah, braised in a slightly sweet, mildly spicy sauce. What others say: "Had a delightful dinner here. The dishes were tasty and authentic, the staff attentive." - Wonderinggourmet, via TripAdvisor "To add to the perfect food, are the perfect hosts and dining ambience. Auntie Mel, her daughter and restaurant manager Cheryl, and the crew will make you feel relaxed and at home." - Rudy138, via TripAdvisor First Floor, The Sphere, Bangsar South, Jalan Kerinchi Mon - Fri: 10 am - 10 pm, Sat - Sun: 12 pm - 10 pm Tel: 03-22414525


Strangers At 47 Legions of fans are falling in love with this cafe's striking selection of fanciful & flamboyant crepes, some memorably savoury & others magically sweet. Highlights include the whimsically named 'Shore To Please,' comprising Cajun-inspired tiger prawns, battered squid, salted egg yolk, spinach, caramelised onions & roasted cherry tomatoes. 47, Jalan 17/45, Section 17, Petaling Jaya, 3pm-10pm on weekdays & 11am-10pm on Saturday & Sunday. Closed on Tuesdays.

Sushi Hinata Head to Sushi Hinata, one of KL's most respected Japanese brands, for season-bound sacraments of succulence. Sushi can be served in thematic sets: a trio of tuna, presented in different cuts, or even vegetarian sushi topped with mushrooms, asparagus & radish sprouts. A-0-1, St Mary Residences, Jalan Tengah, Off Jalan Raja Chulan. Tel: 03-2022-1349 Lunch & dinner, Monday-Saturday

Swich Cafe What's truly divine at Swich are the desserts. It's worth ordering a whole carrot-&-walnut cream cheese cake, jam-packed with cranberries, or even avocado sponge with avocado chantilly cream & pistachios, to bring home & enjoy slowly. When they're in season, don't miss the mangosteen cakes. Publika, Solaris Dutamas, Kuala Lumpur Mon - Sun: 10:00 am - 8:30 pm


SugarBun

SugarBun, Sarawak's enduringly successful fast food franchise, with scores of offshoots across Borneo, has resurfaced in peninsular Malaysia, now launching in Menara Hap Seng. Expect many of SugarBun's bestknown 'Borneo Asian' staples, plus new recipes for KL, where the theme tilts toward a food court-style premises, with each stall promising specific signatures. Begin with the broasted chicken, prepared through a combination of pressure cooking & deep-frying - it looks & tastes like fried chicken, notably less greasy than the fast-food norm, but still totally tender & tasty. Fish plays a starring role too, with tilapia & mackerel brought from Sarawak & giant grouper from Sabah. Level 1, Menara Hap Seng, Jalan P Ramlee. Mon-Fri, 730am-8pm (lunch menu starts 11am), Sat, 10am-2pm


Teochiew Restaurant

A worthwhile destination for Teochiew traditional cooking, brought to Sri Petaling by the Lim family, whose matriarch oversees recipes they've served to customers in Ipoh for over two decades. Their first outpost in KL opened this year, offering classics galore, from sour plum soups to steamed & stir-fried staples, with a smattering of Hakka & Hing Hua favourites in the mix too. Come ravenous to savour a whole heap of comfort fare - we scarcely scratched the surface, but our favourite orders were the Teochew kailan pot (a flavour-packed vegetable broth with chunks of tender pork, encapsulating the essence of time-honoured home-cooked cuisine), fried porridge (thick, nourishing soul food that'll nurse a broken heart) & panfried pomfret with garlic chips (so satisfying; we could happily have this perfectly cooked fish over & over). 41, Jalan Radin Bagus, Sri Petaling, Kuala Lumpur. Wed-Mon, 11am-10pm


The Humble Pie Co Proudly run by magazine-editor-turnedbaker Eugene Ng & former banker (now pie princess) Angela Tan, the speciality here is the the 3.5-inch banoffee pie, worth every sen of its RM13 price, with chunks of nicely ripe bananas, bought fresh from the market, doused in toffee sauce, dressed up in vanilla whipped cream & dusted with coffee powder. We also love the Dufee (Durian-Toffee) pie (RM15 for a 3.5-inch, RM88 for a seveninch), built atop a buttery-crunchy crust. 11, Jln 17/45, Sect 17, Petaling Jaya Tues-Fri, 1130am-10pm; Sat-Sun, 11am-1030pm. Tel: 03-7932-1793

The Kitchen Table The Kitchen Table is a name that's already synonymous with Marcus & Mei Wan, two partners who may become poster children for the future of Malaysia's restaurant entrepreneurs. Come in the morning for fresh cakes & cookies, linger for lunches of pulled pork with crunchy carrot-beet slaw, then return for dinners of Malaysian-produced mozzarella with tomato jam, vivacious Thai basil pesto & crisp shaved zucchini. 23, Jalan SS20/11, Damansara Kim, 10am-1030pm (with 530pm-630pm break). Closed Mondays


THIRTY8

In a city where sky-high restaurants have become increasingly trendy, THIRTY8 towers above its peers, presiding over the soaring spaciousness of the Grand Hyatt's entire 38th floor, showcasing a 360degree view of KL's skyline & exuding a calm, confident elegance underscored by the work in its open kitchens. Quantity AND quality both reign here, with a menu that features Western fine-dining, reinterpreted Chinese classics & fresh cuts of Japanese sushi & sashimi. Irresistible indulgences include afternoon Valrhona chocolate buffets & Sunday champagne brunches. What others say: "The view of KL city from THIRTY8 is spectacular. On the dining experience side, the desserts are certainly one of the best I have ever had." - RaymondYkChoong, via TripAdvisor "Comes with the most amazing view to accompany the amazing food. Duck confit is superb." - Madir M, via Foursquare Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur, 12, Jalan Pinang. Tel: 03 2182 1234


Thirdwave Thirdwave, run by three brothers & their sister, is serious about its coffee, ensuring its single-origin beans receive loving treatment. But the food's as impressive: Don't miss the beetroot-tinged gnocchi, served with crispy kale, sage & pine nuts, or the 'The Hidden Gem,' comprising squid grilled with vanillalaced butter & stuffed with risoni, partnered with smoky-charred watermelon slices, feta cheese & mint, as well as the smørrebrød (Danish open-face sandwiches) with various toppings on 100-percent rye bread. 1-11, Level 1, Nexus, Bangsar South, Open 10am-10pm Daily

Thirty Seconds A cafe with nice vibes hidden in a housing estate where father Richard greets the guests (he's genuinely one of the warmest cafe owners ever), while his wife runs the kitchen & his son Aaron is the head barista. Thirty Seconds serves 'Shamaziin,' an independent ice cream brand in creations like ice cream burgers stuffed with flavour-rich scoops of Horlicks-&-Maltesers ice cream. Also try the Sodium Oatmeal - a big, steaming-hot bowl of oatmeal porridge with chicken, mushrooms & sesame oil. 7-G, Jalan Margosa SD 10/4A, Bandar Sri Damansara


Topshelf

Casual but classy, refined but unpretentious, Topshelf stands out amid TTDI's sea of pubs & cafes for its easy, welcoming charm & its morethan-respectable range of French fare (with some Italian flourishes) at suburb-suitable prices. Speciaities include Nicoise salad & pork belly confit; the monthly chef's table dinners, held on the final Sunday of each month, showcase extra inventiveness, with temptations like mackerel with pickled shimeji mushrooms & piquillo pepper puree. What others say: "Food is good and affordable, ambiance is incredibly comfortable and the Parisian music on the background simply completes our date night." - Jacquelinesiow, via TripAdvisor "The tarte tatin is amazing and well worth the try. Thank you chef." Yasmin H, via Facebook 61 Lorong Rahim Kajai 13, Taman Tun Dr Ismail Tel: 03-7727 7277. Open daily: 4:00 pm - 12:00 am


Torii Get acquainted with the inventiveness of a kitchen that hatches steamed duck egg custards with foie gras, shrimp & salmon roe _ a memorable chawanmushi. Or try the Torii 'burger,' comprising Wagyu mini-patties crowned with liver, spinach & caramelised onions, a melt-in-the-mouth stuffing in a sliced scone. Jalan Batai, Damansara Heights. Tel: 03-2011-3798 Open 11:30am to 2:30 pm (Weekdays only); 5.00 pm to late (Daily).

Uokatsu Sashimi lovers, here's some fishy business for you: This lunch-only outlet named Uokatsu, translated by its owners into 'fish victorious,' slices up a smorgasbord of sensibly priced seafood, brought into KL by Masamichi Tomono, who reputedly hails from a Hokkaido-based family of fishermen, & his Malaysian wife Winnie. Bonito sashimi is one of Uokatsu's specialities (RM26). B-0-7, Plaza Damas 3, Sri Hartamas Tel: 03-6201-0339 Kitchen opens 12pm-3pm, Tues-Fri; 10am-3pm, weekend/public holidays


Wondermama

Backed by a colourfully intricate, nimbly nostalgic setting, Wondermama serves continent-hopping comfort food with deep Asian roots; greatest hits from past & present include naan showered with goji berries & truffle oil, otak-otak cheese sandwiches, soft-shell crab nasi lemak, nachos with cili padi-tinged minced beef & Maggi Mee with salmon. What others say: "I have been here twice with different friends... the place and the food, AWESOME!! Prawn katsu burger, spicy salmon and beef nachos are definite faves. Prompt service, too." - Nurazah Ismail, via Foursquare "Had breakfast here this morning & they never fail to impress me. Love love love their Creamy Chicken Bread. Wondermama is da bomb." Atika Safira Herman, via Foursquare

G6, Ground Floor, Bangsar Village, Kuala Lumpur Tel: 03-2284 9821


VCR Run a team of collaborators who are intensely driven over how coffee is prepared & served, this long-gestating caffeine bar, which finally opened in late 2013, is one of the most swoon-worthy spaces in this part of KL. On a dead-end street of decades-old houses near Pudu, VCR is the closest thing this city has to a coffee ashram. Come on a calm weekday afternoon & meditate on how coffee can inspire beauty & change lives. 2, Jalan Galloway, Off Jalan Pudu Daily, 830am-11pm

Zenzero This understated, unfussy outlet nurtures a placid presence; it's casually elegant, maintaining the spotlight on enjoyable food served by a hardworking team. From Burrata Pugliese to house-made Potato Gnocchi alla Sorrentina to Angel Hair Pasta with Bottarga, the repertoire of traditional & contemporary temptations here makes Zenzero one of KL's favourite Italian venues. A-0-9, St Mary Place, Jalan Tengah, Kuala Lumpur. Lunch & dinner, Tues-Sun. Tel: 03-2022-3883

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100 Recommended Restaurants, Cafes & Bars in Kuala Lumpur & Selangor