Whether it’s Spanish cuisine or Cantonese dimsum, here are some of the places you need to check out for your next culinary adventure.
Part bar, part art space, W Kuala Lumpur’s Yen wows patrons with its imperial ambience, elevated by an avant-garde concept and a harmonious dining experience. Although inspired by age-old traditions, diners can expect imaginative interpretations of Cantonese cuisine, such as decadent dim sum offerings that include pairings of foie gras, chicken and crispy yam, chicken siew mai with black truffle, and deep-fried cod fillet with cili padi cheese and spicy sauce. Not to be missed are the slow-cooked grain-fed beef short wagyu ribs with Chinese herbal broth and 10-year-old Hua Diao wine, as well as a wide selection of fresh seafood. All meals are accompanied with some of the world’s most exquisite Chinese teas. Private rooms with panoramic views of the city are available for functions, celebratory luncheons and intimate get-togethers.
It’s a fine time for the sweet tooth to be in London, with the opening of Cakes & Bubbles, helmed by Albert Adria of legendary elBulli fame. Housed in Hotel Café Royal on Regent Street, the dessert haven features a selection of treats that carry Adria’s playful yet precise approach that characterises his other restaurants like Tickets, 41°, Pakta and Enigma.
Standout desserts include house-made donuts, fruit cakes, ‘Airwaffles’ with caramelised bananas, and chocolate Japanese ningyo-yaki cake balls. If there’s only one thing to try, it’s The Cheese Cake, a signature creation made with coulommiers cheese, hazelnut and white chocolate. Other must-haves are the selection of bubblies that range from affordably priced cavas to vintage Krug and Dom Pérignon.
Fans of Spanish jamon and iberico pork can satisfy their hunger at Kuala Lumpur’s Curious Kitchen. Located on the alfresco second-floor dining area of Tropicana Avenue, the restaurant is helmed by Spanish Chef Rainer Krieger and Malaysian Chef C.K., who work to bring the best out of slabs of iberico pork ribs, chops and tenderloin by cooking them over a charcoal and oak fire grill – just the way the Spanish like it back home.
If big cuts aren’t your thing, go for the meat board, where a selection of jamon, chorizo and salchichon is served alongside slices of gorgonzola, 36-month-old parmesan and gruyere cheese; choricitos al vino (chorizo sauteed in a red wine sauce with caramelised onions); or the classic cheeseburger, where an all-beef patty is served with toppings of burnt onions, pickles, chilli jam and romaine lettuce.
A night out doesn’t have to be a pricey affair at Los Flowerpecker, Damansara Uptown’s newest cocktail bar that specialises in low-ABV drinks (typically less than 20 percent alcohol by volume) and European vermouths like Dolin, La Quintinye and Carpano.
Conceptualised by Shawn Chong, one of KL’s top bartenders and the co-founder of Omakase + Appreciate, Los Flowerpecker features a wide selection of light spritzes (you can’t go wrong with an Aperol Spritz), Martinis and Americanos that are priced between USD4.80 to USD6.00 (RM20 to RM25), making it one of the city’s more affordable cocktail bars. The colourful Latin American-themed bar is also not short of rum- and tequila-based classics like mojitos, daiquiris and frozen margaritas, as well as nachos and other bar bites for a fun night out without the hangover.
Top Of The Glass
Make your next drink a world-class one when you drop by Melbourne’s Bar Lûmé, which made the news when its resident bartender, Orlando Marzo, beat 10,000 others to be named the World Class Global Bartender of the Year. Previously attached to Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, Marzo leads the way in creating cocktails in the form of seasonal creations like the Olive Oil Royale (mandarin-pressed olive oil liqueur, sparkling wine, green tea extract), as well as innovative takes on classics like the Wattle Seed Negroni (roasted wattleseed, Tanqueray No. 10, Campari, Mancino Rosso Amaranto).
Non-alcoholic drinkers will have a great time too: the zero-proof cocktails are no less impressive, featuring house creations like the Single Origin (ice-cold Houjicha, vanilla vinegar, apple smoke). For the full experience, opt for the Lûmé Looking Glass cocktail flight, which features four of Orlando’s favourite recipes, with snacks from the kitchen.