Enter any W Hotel and notice that the all-day dining area would typically be called Kitchen Table. Here at W Kuala Lumpur, it’s a different story altogether. Welcome to Flock.

Flock is a unique concept kitchen, the first of its kind for all of W hotels worldwide. In fact, it is the first all-day kitchen with its own identity.

“When we were presented with this space, it was an open brief. We thought, why not do something different. So we surveyed the interesting bits in Malaysia and came out with a concept that centres around sustainability. Here, we involve the local farmers and food community to be part of the ‘flock’,” explains Chef Richard Millar, Director of Culinary in W Kuala Lumpur.

If you think that Flock is yet another ordinary dining space, think again. The menu focuses on modern Australian cooking with an eclectic menu that revolves around fresh locally grown produce as well as locally-sourced ingredients like cheese, poultry and more. You’ll be surprised to know that fruits and vegetables like kohlrabi, black Russian kale, fennel, heirloom tomatoes and carrots, watermelon radish, and beetroots are actually grown here.

The Australian-born chef uses memories from his childhood – growing up visiting farms and tasting some of the freshest produce the Aussies have to offer – into the conceptualisation of Flock. The idea came about when chef Millar saw an opportunity to cultivate produce here (like farms in Australia) instead of importing.

He shares: “We have two farms in Cameron Highlands growing over 30 varieties of crops, many of which are heirloom vegetables – meaning they haven’t been cross-pollinated. The project started in January 2018 and it’s a long-term commitment we’re looking at. What we have is 100% organic traditional farming that, of course, takes time but makes a difference in our cooking.”

Chef Richard Millar

Place
Sprawled across the 8th floor of W Kuala Lumpur is a vibrant all-day dining venue that is not your typical open kitchen in most flagship luxury hotels. The interiors champion a contemporary take on minimalism with edgy accents of chrome thanks to W’s swanky identity. Choose to sit inside surrounding the 180-degree open kitchen or at any of the wooden tables dotting the outdoor terrace.

Flock advocates sustainable food movement that is friendly to vegans and vegetarians whilst showing a strong passion for gastronomy. Chef Miller calls it the ‘Farm to Flock’ concept, where every bite is ethically and locally sourced, fresh, and organically grown.

Food
Chef Millar emphasises modern Australian cooking, putting in the kind of dishes that he loves to eat, which he describes as fresh and flavourful. You can find an array of salads here from classic Baby Gem Salad (RM45) to the Organic Salad Bowl (RM52) of red quinoa, avocado and cucumber mix served with watermelon radish for crunch and a yuzu ginger dressing.

Lentil Tabbouleh Salad

Another vegetarian-friendly dish is the Lentil Tabbouleh Salad (RM42) with heirloom cherry tomatoes, mint, parsley, quail eggs and Milky Whey Chèvre (goat’s cheese) purveyed from a local cheese maker based in Kuala Lumpur. Each mouthful presents an explosion of flavours – some from the sweet tomatoes and some from the creamy chevre – but every flavour is well-balanced. While you’re at it, order also the Harissa Roasted Vegetables (RM40) that comprises aged pumpkin, heirloom carrots, chickpeas, watercress, and yoghurt.

Harissa Roasted Vegetables

Using the flavours of yee sang, Chef Millar put together the Torched Fish Salad-bration (RM42), a refreshing dish of salmon trout, daikon, pickled ginger, organic carrot, and coriander. Try also the Shabu-Shabu (RM62) that comprises dashi-flavoured wagyu slices, cabbage slaw, shimeji and tofu, topped with goma dare and ponzu sauce.

Torched Fish Salad-bration

Another crowd favourite is the Hot Volcanic Stone (which is only available for dinner) where diners will be able to sear a choice of wagyu beef, lamb loin, salmon or tofu on top of the sizzling hot rock. Each protein comes with its own complementary dipping sauce.

Cooking on the Hot Volcanic Stone.

The only letdown would be items from the starch menu. The Seafood Spaghetti (RM78) could do with some more seasoning despite the generous amount of seafood. It’s disappointing to find overcooked mussels and squid in what could potentially be a stunning dish. The Crustless Japanese Pizza (RM58), which is supposed to be a take on okonomiyaki, fell short in terms of texture and flavours – an evident lacking of umami typically associated to the dried bonito flakes on the traditional Kansai dish.

Perhaps, the only consolation to the lacklustre carb menu would be the Wok Fried Red Rice (RM38). This dish hits the mark with natural flavours of kale, corn, seaweed, and egg, fired up with the ubiquitous waft of wok hei.

Some of the dishes from the Carbs menu.

Dessert
Artisanal delights such as cheese and chocolate are sourced locally to give customers a rather unexpected surprise – they are as good as high-quality imported ones. The cheese platter comprises Blue Vein, smoked Gouda, goat’s cheese with Sarawak black pepper, soft and cili padi cheese as well as a cow’s milk cheese named Tom de Kiara. Enjoy the selection of cheeses with the special Tualang Honey, a Malaysian multi-floral jungle honey sourced from the north-western region of Peninsular Malaysia by the Orang Asli tribe.

The cheese platter comes with homemade plum jam, Acacia honey and Tualang honey.

If you’re up for something unique to impress a friend, go ahead and order The Rojak, a rojak-inspired dessert that looks nothing like the famous street food but tastes exactly like one. The Rojak is served on a large banana leaf and the chef will build the dish right in front of you. Each component is clearly explained and plated with precision — from rose apples to coconut espuma and mango granita — creating a piece of art upon its finishing drizzle of rojak sauce.

The Rojak

Verdict
Flock changes your perception of all-day dining with a menu that is packed with flavours and a variety of fresh ingredients. While offering palatable dishes that are perfect for the many health-conscious diners, each item on the menu actually celebrates the natural flavours and qualities of the ingredients – sweet, sour, crunch, texture, umami and salty.

Whether you’re here for lunch or dinner, come with a group of friends as the dishes are all meant for sharing. Salads — either classic leafy ones or grains and roots renditions – are equally fulfilling as the meat options; so be mindful not to order too much at one go. It is also wise to save some space for desserts that are also served in a sharing-portion.

Opening Hours:
Breakfast: 6:30am — 10:30am
Lunch: 12:00pm – 2:30pm
Dinner: 6:00pm – 10.30pm

Recommended dishes: 
Lentil Tabbouleh Salad, Lamb Loin on Hot Volcanic Stone, Wok Fried Red Rice, Bubur “Whop-Whop”, Artisan Cheese

Noise Level: Moderately relaxing to busy depending on the crowd

Service: Welcoming and attentive

Martin Teo
Content Editor
Martin loves traveling the world to see ancient ruins and classical architecture. He enjoys the culinary experience of various cities but (still) refuses to eat anything insect-like. On a daily basis, he finds time hitting the gym to compensate for the amount of food he needs to eat just to write an article.