Our pick of the best places to dine in Kuala Lumpur this month – plus foodie events and restaurant openings in Singapore and the UK that you won’t want to miss.
Go Have Some Pun
Located in a nondescript house in Kuala Lumpur’s Taman Seputeh neighbourhood is Puntry by Pun’s Ice Cream, a charming ice cream and comfort food restaurant created by Euwie and Beh E Laine. True to its charming name, casual vibe and cute logos, the diner specialises in house-made ice cream flavours including Hee Haw Haw (made from Haw Flakes, a sweet-sour childhood candy); Gimme Smore (inspired by Smores), Berry Naise (berries), and Getting Caught In The Rain (an ode to Pina Colada). There’s more than desserts served though, as the Chiffle (Fried Chicken & Waffles) alone is worth the drive, as is Peking On You, a version of duck rice served with homemade XO sauce, hoisin sauce and duck fat rice. The savoury food menu is usually served only on weekends, and offerings change from week to week, so be sure to check their Facebook page for regular updates.
A CHOCOLATE HAVEN
Chocolate lovers should check out the newly opened Harriston Chocolatier’s boutique in The Linc, Kuala Lumpur, which showcases the best of the Malaysian homegrown brand. The premium artisanal chocolates are made by experienced hands and includes pralines, chocolate bars and panned chocolates. The varieties aren’t what you’d find in most chocolate shops: among the unique flavours are the single-origin chocolate bars from Titiwangsa and Raub, as well as herb chocolate bars such as Chilli, Ginger, and Curry (made from a spice mix that has cumin, cardamom and coriander). The chocolate pralines include the Josephine praline (a dark chocolate praline that has a tinge of pineapple), durian and crunchy coconut. Harriston’s flagship stores can also be found in other places in Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Pahang.
Bringing Italy’s most famous food export to the suburbs of Petaling Jaya is Pizza Mansion, a neighbourhood pizzeria that’s fast becoming the talk of the town. Located in the old Happy Mansion apartment blocks in Section 17, Pizza Mansion serves up wood-fire oven pizzas prepared with quality ingredients and generous toppings, priced affordably. The pizzas range from the humble but delicious vegetarian offerings Hey Margherita (house tomato sauce, buffalo mozzarella, aged parmesan and fresh basil) and Zucchini Eggplant Chickpeas to the filling Big Brunch (beef bacon, button mushrooms, roasted cherry tomatoes, baby spinach and Fior Di Latte) and Carbonara (cheese sauce, mushrooms, parmigiano reggiano, egg, mozzarella, black pepper, and beef bacon). For those unafraid to go where Italians won’t, order the Pineapple Express (roasted pineapples, smoked duck, jalapeno, tomato sauce, and mozzarella) and have the side orders of ‘Baby’ Garlic Bread (made with confit garlic), and Classic Mac & Cheese, with grana padano, mozzarella, gouda and aged cheddar.
London’s dining scene recently celebrated the opening of No 5 Social, the latest restaurant opened by Jason Atherton and The Social Company on Mayfair’s Pollen Street. The restaurant is headed by Executive Chef Kostas Papathanasiou, who was formerly the Senior Sous Chef at Atherton’s Michelin-starred Pollen Street Social and has worked in Ledbury and The Fat Duck. Here, you’ll find a menu that focuses on seasonal ingredients and British produce, with highlights including Isle of Wight tomato salad with goat’s curd, fennel and almonds; poached Hebridean halibut, roasted violet artichokes and sunflower; and Herdwick lamb chop and braised neck, crushed Jersey Royal potatoes, peas, mint and cucumber. End your meal on a sweet note with desserts like Richmond Park honey, oat crumble, milk ice cream and meringue; and a dark chocolate fondant with homemade blackcurrant sorbet. The menu changes seasonally, so check the website to find out what new dishes Chef Kostas has whipped up.
Any well-travelled gastronome will tell you that one of the world’s best cuisines can be found in Spain’s Basque Country. But you don’t have to travel to San Sebastian for a taste – a short flight to Singapore’s Basque Kitchen by Aitor on Amoy Street will do just fine. Headed by Chef Aitor Jeronimo Orive, who has worked in some of the world’s best restaurants, such as Mugaritz, The Fat Duck, and Iggy’s, the restaurant serves up tasting menus that come in three-, five- or eight-course dinners that include classic Basque dishes like Marmitako, a traditional fish stew made with bonito crudo, potatoes, and peppers; black grouper served with sweet peas and piquillo espuma (a Basque red pepper puree); and Oxtail Bomba Rice (creamy short grain rice infused with 12-hour braised oxtail stew, served with a confit quail egg yolk and chive aioli). For fans of grilled food, opt for the five-course grill menu that includes Kokotxas, desalted bacalao in pil-pil sauce made with black garlic; Txuleta, Angus prime rib of old cows that are charcoal-grilled to perfection on the Josper-made Basque grill; and Mud Crab placed in sweet tomato water and katsuobushi.