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Non-CNY January dining and drinking ideas in KL, PJ and Langkawi

In search of fresh dining ideas for KL and Langkawi in January 2022?

By now, your cranium should be swamped with imagery of reunion dinner and prosperity toss (yee sang) in anticipation of Chinese New Year. However, if you yearn for a gastronomic escape from putting your chopsticks together while uttering aloud auspicious messages, like big fat bonuses, favourable fortune, good health and so on, we might have just the cure.  

January 2022 dining and drinking ideas in KL and Langkawi: 

The Datai Langkawi 

Gen, Penang
(Photo: Gen/Facebook)

When you are required to locomote a fair distance, it better be worth it. The Chef Series at The Datai Langkawi is a year-round yet fleeting affair where guest chefs are invited to whip up an indulgent feast for a couple of dates at the luxury resort. To get things underway, Chef Johnson Wong from the highly acclaimed Gēn restaurant in Penang, voted one of Asia’s top 100 restaurants in 2021, is entrusted to deliver a curated 6-course dinner, embodying the new wave of the Malaysian culinary movement. 

RM480+ per person or RM850+ per person (including wine pairing)  

January 6 and 7; The Dining Room; call 04-9500 500 for reservation 

Lady Yi’s Tea House, Four Points by Sheraton Kuala Lumpur, Chinatown 

Lady Yi's Tea House, Four Points by Sheraton Kuala Lumpur, Chinatown
(Photo: Four Points by Sheraton Kuala Lumpur, Chinatown/Facebook)

The newest dining establishment in the heart of the Petaling Street district is an ode to the country’s unique Peranakan culture. Within its visually gratifying confines, Lady Yi’s Tea House embraces a juxtaposition of masonry architecture and rustic wood-heavy aesthetics. The best time to appreciate the stream of natural light filtering in is when the Peranakan Affair Afternoon Tea makes round in the restaurant. Drop by for heritage-rich delicacies such as Onde Onde with extra Gula Melaka, lightly charred Otak Otak and decadent Kaya. 

It opens daily from 11am to 7pm; WhatsApp 012-507 3327 to reserve 

Maristar, The Starhill 

Maristar, The Starhill
(Photo: The Starhill/Facebook)

The latest offspring of The Marini’s Group is a dining-entertainment concept operating out of the revamped Starhill. Part fashionable lounge, caviar restaurant and place to luxuriate and be seen, the cavernous saloon marries Marini’s decadent gourmet offerings and hypnotising music. Go for scrumptious seafood dishes, be warned though – you got to dress up to look the part.  

Mondays till Thursdays, 4pm-12am; Fridays till Sundays, 12.30pm-12am; call 03-2368 6030 to reserve 

The Whisky Notes 

The Whisky Notes
(Photo: The Whisky Notes/Instagram)

There are 2 ways of savouring whisky. One entails you seeking out a bottle. Being a creature of habit, most people usually fall back on the known quantity when presented with choices. The other? A subscription model features curated whiskies delivered to your doorsteps. The Whisky Notes is Malaysia’s first whisky subscription service provider. You can choose from one-off to half-a-year where each month, you are entitled to one tasting set and corresponding tasting notes. By the end of 6 months, you will have gone through 18 expressions. 

Learn more

Reka:Bar, Bukit Damansara 

Dusun by Reka:Bar
(Photo: Reka:Bar/Facebook)

KL’s latest watering hole is located in the city’s version of Beverly Hills. Perhaps the most surprising aspect of Reka:Bar is the interiors. While most veer towards maximalist for an instant visual impact, the drinkery adopts a postmodern approach, part of which is evocative of a futuristic Hollywood film set.  

Don’t know which drink to go for? May I suggest the bar’s signature Dusun. Inspired by the orchard, the cocktail is a mélange of Malaysia’s famous produce – jackfruit, passionfruit and durian. As for how it tastes? I shall not spoil it for you, but it will enrich your taste vocabulary.  

It opens daily from 5pm till 12am; call 010-287 8908 for reservation 

Yue, Sheraton Petaling Jaya Hotel

Peddlers gin  

Although you could make your reservation for reunion dinner at Yue, to jive with the theme, I would suggest you what I adjudge to be a superior pairing – Shanghainese cuisine with a craft gin distilled in the cosmopolitan city. From January 17 till February 20, Yue is inviting gluttons about town to savour the likes of Braised Shanghai Baked Tofu with Peanut and Marinated Fish, and Wok Fried Baby River Shrimp with Sweet Soya Sauce, with cocktails concocted from Peddler’s Gin, itself infused with a medley of Chinese spices such as Buddha’s hand, Sichuan pepper and lotus flower.

Intrigued? The 8-course set meal is priced at RM268 nett per person, while Peddler’s Gin Sichuan Negroni and Peddler’s Gin & Tonic are available at RM43 nett and RM38 nett per glass respectively.

Whatsapp 017-228 6098 for reservation

ATAS Modern Malaysian Eatery, The RuMa Hotel and Residences

ATAS degustation

Inspired by Chinese cuisine, ATAS is presenting a 6-course degustation menu from January 14 till February 6. Specially prepared by Executive Chef Tyson Gee, the menu includes ingeniously reinterpreted dishes such as Lapsang Souchong Smoked Ocean Trout, Roasted Chicken Dashi with Chicken and Foie Gras Dumplings and Roasted Duck and Duck Neck Sausage. It is priced at RM348+ per person.

Those harbouring a craving for afternoon tea can look forward to Chinese-Inspired morsels in the shape of Roasted Duck Crepe and Fried Mantou with Oyster, as well as petit fours such as Cherry Blossom Entremet and Mandarin and Vanilla Profiterole. Available from January 15 till February 13, this special afternoon tea set is priced at RM158+ per person.

Call 03-2778 0888 for reservation


Non-CNY January dining and drinking ideas in KL, PJ and Langkawi

Justin Ng

Digital Content Director, Kuala Lumpur

Often think of myself as a journalist and so I delve deeper into a range of topics. Talk to me about current affairs, watches, travel, drinks, new experiences and more importantly, the business, economics and dynamics behind it.

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