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Kikubari welcomes new chef and a refined French-Japanese menu

Cinnamon group appoints Chef Sean Thu as the new Head Chef of Kikubari, one of city’s most vibrant French-Japanese casual fine dining restaurant in the heart of Damansara Heights, Kuala Lumpur. 

Like walking into a fancy izakaya in the streets of Japan, Kikubari gives off similar vibes with an extra sliver of finesse. The interiors are unpretentious, teeming with a welcoming spirit for patrons who walk in. One friendly greeting and a couple of smiles later, the waiter shows us to our table, set beautifully on top of a cantilevered glass floor that exposes a zen-like sand art akin to a Japanese garden narrative. 

new restaurants to dine in this August 2017
Enter into the interiors of Kikubari

With great hospitality comes a great dining experience. Helmed by the newly appointed Head Chef Sean Thu, Kikubari now embodies a new spirit that is refined by Thu’s decade long experience in fine dining and an impressive resume encompassing culinary leadership at several upscale restaurants in Malaysia. Prior to Kikubari, Thu has served as Sous Chef and culinary lecturer at the Academy of Culinary Arts, as well as Chef de Partie at NOBU Kuala Lumpur. 

Head Chef Sean Thu (Photo: Kikubari)

“I’d like our guests to feel the soul of the cuisine in every dish we put on the table, and believe that food itself should bring the ultimate joy to a diner. Our creative, sustainable approach to cooking is sure to create a viable excuse to get together, along with ensuring a memorable experience for everyone,” enthuses Thu. 

Under his leadership, the Head Chef brings forth a brand new Executive Lunch menu as well as an á la carte list featuring popular must-haves like the pigeon teriyaki, spicy miso lamb, braised beef short rib and more. The menu at Kikubari is very much Japanese at its core interlaced with classy French accents. 

Take the White Asparagus Velouté with Truffle Toast for instance. It is exquisitely minimal on the table but packed with intense flavours. Delicate and definitely French, flavourful toasts makes for the perfect vehicle to soak up the creamy velouté. Another standout in the Executive Lunch is the Katsuo Open Fire Tataki with Ginger Ponzu and Charred Orange. The rich taste of a lightly charred tuna is elevated with bright and zesty touches of the orange and pickles, subtly nuanced smoky undertones. 

For something comforting and fulfilling, the Grass Fed Striploin Donburi with Red Wine Yakitori has all the right answers. Intensely seasoned meat, sharpness from the pickled daikon, freshness from the radish and cucumber, and the creamy onsen egg — when folded together with fluffy Japanese rice carries such nostalgic flavours that’s transportive and experiential. And if you think we’re exaggerating, go try it for yourself. 

Another signature at Kikubari would be the must-try Japanese sando creations. While you indulge in a full course, there’s always space for either one of these — Ebi Katsu Sando, Wagyu Katsu Sando, or Unagi Katsu Sando. A popular take-home treat, especially during the thick of the pandemic, it is always a good idea to revisit this dish post-lockdown as a reminder of how satisfyingly delicious each mouthful is. 

The new Executive Lunch menu is available from 12.00pm to 2.00pm, Monday to Friday at RM180++ per pax. Come here for dinner, serving from 5.00pm to 10.30pm to try an amazing spread of delicious á la carte dishes to pair with a great selection of sakes and wines. 

Martin Teo
Martin has a bent for history and food culture, especially of the Peranakan heritage. Since the pandemic, he finds joy in plant parenting and continues to expand his collection of Philodendrons, Anthuriums, and Syngoniums. He's now on a lookout for the elusive Philodendron Florida Beauty to add to his urban garden.
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