The last couple of months have seen several new commercial and property developments popping up across Kuala Lumpur’s landscape. Naturally, this means the addition of many exciting new restaurants for local foodies to check out.
In Damansara City mall alone, you can find at least four new restaurants and bars that have opened their doors. These include Nero Nero, which serves California-Italian cuisine, and vibrant watering holes Modern Society and The Locker Room Sports Bar & Kitchen. The official launch of Kikubari — a sake, wine, and tapas bar — has also got us excited about the fusion food offerings from chef Jun Wong, who boasts a resume of stints at two- and three-Michelin-starred restaurants in Macau, Tokyo, and Sydney.
But the fun doesn’t end in Damansara town centre. The latest hotel to open in the heart of KL, Element Kuala Lumpur, has had epicureans raving about its local and international delicacies. Over in Telawi, Bangsar, two new restaurants offer repertoires of Italian and French cuisine inflected with Korean flavours.
From an eclectic restaurant with Latin-American influences to a dual concept eatery that functions as a coffee salon by day and gin parlour at night, here are 10 new dining venues you should definitely try this month.
(Main images: Nero Nero)
This sophisticated bar offers a comprehensive wine tasting experience that’s paired with a borderless menu — a first of its kind in KL — that sources the freshest ingredients from Japan. Kikubari’s executive chef Jun Wong then prepares the dishes using classic and modern European or Japanese techniques. Try the shellfish capellini with jelly and the A5 wagyu beef cheek, which is slow-cooked in red wine.
Kikubari, L3-01A, Jalan Damanlela, Damansara City Mall, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, +603 2011 8200
This modern bistro serves California-Italian cuisine, where authentic Italian food is prepared in a healthier way — using less oil and butter, just the right amount of spices, the freshest ingredients, and almost zero fat. Its menu features a repertoire of traditional Italian fare including Napoli-style pizzas in flavours such as marinara, pepperoni, margherita classica, and more. Other must-try dishes include ravioli oxtail and Branzino alla Ligure (oven-baked whole Mediterranean sea bass).
Nero Nero, L3-02, Jalan Damanlela, Damansara City Mall, Damansara Town Centre, 50490 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, +63 2011 3811
This contemporary bar and restaurant offers experimental cocktails, innovative food, and upbeat music that’s perfect for those who want to drink, eat, and socialise at the same time. Aside from its creative drinks, it also serves comfort fare such as herb-marinated butternut squash, Scotch eggs and its addictive chicken ramen burger. See our review here.
Modern Society, Lot L1-10, Level 1, Damansara City Mall, No. 6, Jalan Damanlela, Pusat Bandar Damansara, 50490 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, +60 3-2771 9710
A coffee salon by day and gin parlour by night, Maze is the first lounge in Malaysia that transforms from a laid-back brunch spot to a velvet-cloaked watering hole when the sun goes down. Check the place out between noon and 6pm for its “Hi-Tea and Champagne Duet” set, which comprises sweet and savoury canapés and delicacies along with two hot teas of your choice.
Maze, First floor, Menara Lien Ho, No. 8, Persiaran Tropicana, 47410 Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, +610 311 1888
Located inside the city’s newest hotel Element Kuala Lumpur, Trace Restaurant & Bar offers a wide array of food options. From Western fare to local cuisine and fusion food, guests can enjoy an assortment of local kueh, nasi ambeng, dim sum, French pastries, and more. We also love the restaurant’s interesting desserts such as a Madras-inspired curry ice cream and carrot lava cake.
Trace Restaurant & Bar, Element by Westin, Ilham Tower, No. 8, Jalan Binjai, 50450 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, +603 2771 3345
This sophisticated bespoke bar presents a range of Italian and French dishes, with delicious offerings such as air-flown Hokkaido scallops, 120-day grain-fed black Angus beef tenderloin, farm-raised smoked duck, and lightly cooked rainbow trout paired with vegetables such as spears of white asparagus and heirloom carrots. It also lays out a bold and creative cocktail menu of concoctions infused with Malaysian flavours, such as Borneo Sour (made from Tuak, a chilli-infused sticky rice wine from Sarawak), and Malaysian Lady (which is mixed with pandan syrup, chendol ice cream and coconut).
Atelier on Telawi, No. 9, Jalan Telawi 2, Bangsar Baru, 59100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, +60 14-662 2942
This eatery serves Italian cuisine with a touch of Asian and Korean flavours. Its extensive menu features all-day breakfast, healthy salads, pizzas, spaghetti, sandwiches, risotto and Mediterranean-inspired concoctions. Round off your meal with one of its eight types of Patbingsu (a Korean shaved ice dessert with sweet toppings).
Table 9, No. 21, Jalan Telawi 3, Bangsar Baru, 59100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, +60 3-2201 1055
Tucked away in a quiet corner in Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Cocott is a casual bistro that offers French fare with a modern twist. Its menu of hearty French dishes spans house-baked bread, confit of lamb shoulder, pan-seared foie gras, and beef bourguignon. Served in cast-iron pots, everything on Cocott’s menu is meant for sharing.
Cocott, Level 1 – Unit 1, Greens Terrace, Jalan Wan Kadir 3, Taman Tun Dr. Ismail, 60000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, +60 3-2712 4481
More than just a sports bar where you can fuel up on beers, The Locker Room also serves comfort food that you can find being sold in American football, baseball or basketball stadiums. Prepared with Japanese ingredients, you’ll like its fusion bar bites such as Season Pass (a platter of fried chicken, sashimi, croquette, and edamame), tempura prawns, and French fries. Don’t forget to try The Locker Room’s house specialties, which include the Coney Island hot dog with meat sauce and onions, miso chicken katsu and matcha bread sandwich, as well as penne with Japanese mushrooms in a soya-butter sauce.
The Locker Room, L3-01B, Damansara City Mall, No. 6, Jalan Damanlela, Damansara Heights, 50490 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, +603 2011 6322
From the same team behind Troika Sky Dining, this restaurant and bar serves food with bold flavours. Its menu has plenty of Asian cuisine such as buns and dumplings, alongside fried snacks with Latin-American flavours. Its salt and pepper prawn tofu is a fine example. Covered in classic peppery batter, the tofu is fried and topped with papaya salsa. There are also some salads, tapas, taco with sushi rice, salmon belly, salmon roe and tobiko mayo (a Mexican take on a maki roll).
Mr. Chew’s Chino Latino Bar, The Penthouse, Wolo Hotel, corner of Jalan Bukit Bintang and Jalan Sultan Ismail, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, +603-4065 0168