Perched on the 50th floor of the Platinum Park building sits BlackByrd, one of the latest casual dining restaurants in the city centre that boasts an uninterrupted vista of Kuala Lumpur. Diners will be able to enjoy a sweeping 360 view of every skyscraper in town as they walk through the restaurant to the bar lounge and the connecting Dragonfly club. At night, the mood changes into an elegant setting for dining and drinks.
BlackByrd has recently opened it doors to the lunch crowd with a vibrant menu that stems from the idea of comfort food. “I’d describe BlackByrd as a casual dining restaurant with a fine dining experience. And what we are serving here is comfort food that is elevated,” begins Executive Chef Jason Tan.
Working with a kitchen team of 16 strong, the amiable chef highlights a varied menu that straddles along the flavours of Southeast Asia but using mostly locally sourced ingredients. Indonesian offerings are predominant in his repertoire, alongside some modern European dishes with a local twist.
Sharing Small Plates
There are plenty of small plates for sharing that mostly centre on tuna, salmon and beef. To start, Chef Tan recommends the Crispy Nori Crunch — a top-selling dish in BlackByrd. It comes with a tempura-style seaweed crisp, topped with cubes of salmon marinated in ginger and sesame oil, salmon roe and a generous amount of shaved parmesan. Served on a wooden platter, the dish comes pretty as a picture and every mouthful is a celebration of flavours, textures and freshness. The creaminess of the sriracha mayo completes the addictive starter while fresh element of thinly sliced radish gives a much needed sharpness like the wasabi would.
If you’re a fan of satay, BlackByrd’s Wagyu Beef Satay is the perfect sharing option to order. The meat is absolutely tender and beautifully charred. “The meat is left to marinate with a soy-based sauce for four hours to ensure flavour in every bite,” he says.
While the peanut sauce complements the meat, it is the use of kaffir lime that gives the dish a special touch — the zingier citrus notes help balance the fattiness of the wagyu. The presence of sweet soy marinade and fresh lime also suggests an Indonesian-style influence to its satay here.
For diners who prefer something healthier, take a pick between the Freekeh Grain or the Sesame Grilled Chicken. The former is a wholesome Mediterranean-esque salad of freekeh, quinoa, barley, pomegranate and raisin that is folded in cumin yoghurt.
Chef Tan takes pride on the handmade pasta noodles that are served in BlackByrd. These freshly made noodles (available in the form of cavatelli, linguine and tagliolini) are used for both traditional pasta dishes as well as the rustic street-food inspired ones.
First time diners to BlackByrd should give the Truffle Tagliolini a try. The pasta, served al dente, has a luscious coating of truffle butter and topped with a generous helping of freshly shaved black truffle and sharp parmesan. This simple dish proves that less is always more.
For those who prefers something more Asian, Mie Goreng Sambal Matah doesn’t disappoint as well. Instead of the usual yellow noodles, the similar pasta dough is rolled out into stringy noodles to give the dish a nice bite and texture. It is wok-fried with tangy samba matah which is a traditional Indonesian condiment comprising coconut-oil-infused shallots, lemongrass and red chillies. It is cooked with chunks of sea bass as well as a mix of tobiko and chopped unagi (grilled eel) to give a burst of umami flavours.
Meat Made with Care
There are no shortcuts when it comes to preparing the mains at BlackByrd as Chef Tan explains: “We make sure that we bring in the best cuts and the freshest produce to maintain the quality of each dish. There are a lot of R&D involved with multiple tastings to nail every flavour profile of the recipes, which include the number of hours we take to brine, sous-vide and even braise the meats.”
Chef Tan immediately brings out the classic Bebek Goreng, which is the best example of a perfected dish. The duck is brined for three hours, sous-vide for eight hours, and then deep fried until it’s golden brown. The result is a crispy skin duck leg that is succulent and juicy on the inside.
The dish is served alongside traditional condiments — a trio of Sambal Merah, Sambal Idjo and Sambal Matah. Chef Tan recommends a generous helping of all three sambals on the meat to truly enjoy the Bebek Goreng. True enough, it is a delightful main to have.
Another standout main course is the Iga Bakar Sambal Idjo, which is another popular Indonesian street food. Of course, the dish is elevated with the choice of black Angus short ribs MB2, which according to Chef Tan is much more tender and flavoursome.
The dish alone is stunning — the meat is seasoned with a soy-based marinade and braised for four hours until the meat falls off the bone. The tender meat is served with a heap of samba idjo alongside urap (blanched vegetables tossed in spiced coconut mix) and gurih rice (which tastes like local chicken rice but perfumed with shallots and lemongrass).
Try something different and order the Es Cendol Waffle that comes in a shape of an egg waffle topped with cendol, grass jelly shaved coconut, jackfruit and coconut ice cream. Have it with the brown sugar syrup to enhance the flavours of the quintessential cendol dessert — all the flavours are present but this has an extra crisp thanks to the freshly made waffle.
For a slice of an adult dessert, BlackByrd also serves a mean Rum Infused Chocolate Brownie that tastes exactly like the name itself — rich, decadent and alcoholic.
Whether it’s dinner or lunch (it’s never too early for a drink), head over to the bar to try at least one of BlackByrd’s signature cocktails. There are currently eight on the menu and each varies in terms of its flavour profile, alcohol base and mixes.
For something light and refreshing, the Gerry Baldini is the perfect thirst quencher — aperol, aerated orange juice and an icy orange sorbet. Mix them all up and you get a beautiful sweet drink with a kick from the spirit.
Coffee lovers will enjoy the BlackByrd Espressotini comprising vodka, coffee liqueur, espresso and homemade palm sugar. The drink is full-bodied with a strong backbone of coffee and caramel. Try also the Madame St Germain for something more herbaceous and light thanks to the use of mint, cucumber and white vermouth.
BlackByrd strikes us as a place for celebrations, parties and gatherings. Come here with a group of best friends and you’re guaranteed a good time with great food and drinks. The menu has a balance of light and healthy options as well as heavier ones that are perfect for your carnivorous friends. Each dish has been meticulously created and every element are made from scratch as chef believes in bringing the freshest and best to the table. And with new items coming into the menu, we are ready for our next visit to BlackByrd very soon.
(All photography by heartpatrick)
BlackByrd KL, Platinum Park, Level 50, Naza Tower, 10, Persiaran KLCC, 50450 Kuala Lumpur, +6012-689 8576