Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s capital city, is synonymous with picture-perfect skyscrapers and a thriving culinary scene — for both local and international cuisine. One can easily find an excellent dining establishment at every turn in the city, which is what makes Kuala Lumpur so alluring. It truly is a foodie paradise.
Of course, we love the traditional laksa, roti canai (prata), and street food just as much as the next person. Just mention goreng pisang (fried banana fritters), and we’ll come running. Those are what we turn to whenever we’re in need of comfort food, after all. However, we’re excited to see new dining establishments and bars opening up in the city over the past few months, shaking up Kuala Lumpur’s culinary scene. Who said too much of anything is bad for you? We definitely disagree with that statement.
From a tropical rum bar to a restaurant offering the finest oysters from France and one revolutionising Malaysian cuisine with an unexpected twist, here are 5 new restaurants that have joined the Golden Triangle’s vibrant gastronomy scene in 2017. These will definitely justify taking a road trip across the border for a weekend escape — not that you ever needed a reason to.
(Main image credit: JungleBird)
Oyster & Seafood Bar by Mercato opens in Bukit Bintang, serving oysters from various regions in France — including Cancale, Tatihou, and Marenne-Oleron. You are not limited to just oysters, though, as the bar offers the same menu as its adjacent Mercato Cafe — offering options such as tapas, pastas, burgers, tuna steak, and slow-roasted lamb.
The restaurant is beautifully finished, with a double-height ceiling and full-glass facade for an open-concept feel. This is the perfect place to chill out on a Saturday evening with a pint of craft beer from Australia or Ireland.
Oyster & Seafood Bar by Mercato, Lot 1.01.01 & Lot 1.01.02, Level 1, Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, 168, Jalan Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Joining the many other specialist watering holes that have opened up around Kuala Lumpur in recent years, JungleBird, a tropical-themed rum bar located in the heart of Damansara Heights, is set to shake up the city’s drinks scene.
The Jungle Bird cocktail, first invented at the Aviary Bar in the old Hilton KL, is a must-try. Made with Venezuela’s Diplomatico, the cocktail is served with pineapple leaves sticking out of the glass — a refreshing choice for the tropical heat.
JungleBird, 15, Plaza Damansara, Jalan Medan Setia 1, Bukit Damansara, 50490 Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Founded by two Italian chefs, Andrea Rossi and Filippo Tomelleri, Ra.Ft Café/Bistro serves a Western-Italian style menu with Asian influences in an upscale yet relaxed atmosphere. Try the Western breakfast menu with favourites such as fish and chips, burgers, pastas and salads.
The main feature of the café, though, is the coffee roasting — done in-house using green beans from a number of different regions, including South America, Asia, Eastern Africa and Central America.
Ra.Ft Café/Bistro, Binjai 8, Lorong Binjai, Off Persiaran KLCC, 50450 Kuala Lumpur.
Cocott brings authentic French fare to Kuala Lumpur. The restaurant introduces the French cooking tradition of using cocottes (a small cast-iron pot for stewing meat), as well as the concept of communal dining as a way to bring people together.
Must-try dishes are the ratatouille, a well-seasoned vegetable stew sprinkled with parmesan crumbs, as well as the Chicken fricassee, a delicious tender chicken with savoury gravy.
Cocott, Jalan Wan Kadir 3, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, 60000 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Helmed by Chef Jet Lo, who was previously head chef of Ding Dong in Singapore, Duddha aims to bring “Asian flavours reconstructed” to Kuala Lumpur. The restaurant’s interior is decked out with vibrant comic-inspired characters and neon accents, complementing the theme of the restaurant perfectly.
Expect ever-popular traditional dishes with a twist — like the wagyu beef cheek rendang (pictured), which took 48 hours to cook, and foie gras baos.
Duddha, Lot G48, Ground Floor, Suria KLCC,50088 Kuala Lumpur