Add a little zip to your lunch by heading to enfin by James Won, at Menara Hap Seng, Kuala Lumpur, which recently introduced a new lunch menu with a focus on fresh seafood. For USD30 (RM128), diners can get a three-course degustation menu that comprises one entrée, one main and one dessert. Start off your meal with the Fisherman’s stew pot prepared with house-made tuak (palm wine) – think bouillabaisse but smoother and more mellow in flavour – or enfin’s elevated take on the prawn cocktail salad made with heirloom tomatoes, perfectly cooked prawns, and beetroot. For the mains, diners can choose from several seafood ingredients including North Sea White Cod, Norwegian Salmon, King Crab, Yabbies or Tiger Prawns that can be pan-seared, poached, fried in batter or chargrilled before being served with a selection of sauces. Finally, wrap up your lunch with gelato or sherbet and a selection of cakes before heading back to work with a spring in your step.
Room For Rum
Have fun with rum at The Rum Bar, Changkat Bukit Bintang’s latest bar, which prides itself on its 250-plus labels of rum, with more to come. First-timers to the drink are best served by ordering a ‘For The Virgins’ flight of rum, while those acquainted with finer rums will find every notable brand stocked behind the bar: Ron Zacapa, Diplomatico, Pyrat, Plantation, Matusalem, El Dorado – you name it, and they’ll have it. From the kitchen comes a rotating menu of Borneo-inspired dishes made from ingredients sourced from Sabah and Sarawak like tuhau (wild ginger from Sabah), Bario rice, barley and salt, as well as Sarawak pepper. Start with the savoury Bone Marrow Butter toast before moving on to the grilled Sabah King Prawns served with Bario barley risotto and ulam béchamel.
Pizza With A Twist
The Bee in Publika has an all-new menu thanks to The World Is Flat, a Singaporean-born pizza bar concept that took over the bar’s operations earlier in the year. The brainchild of food entrepreneur Howard Lo and chef Wing Lam, The World Is Flat specialises in unconventional pizzas that are oblong-shaped and feature some unusual ingredients. Their speciality is the monster-sized Fat Samurai, a two-inch deep pizza loaded with cheese, pulled duck confit, sliced beef, prawns, burnt onions, konbu mayo and okonomiyaki sauce. Those who fancy a lighter bite can opt for the Garden State, a vegetarian pizza made with roasted beetroot, pumpkin, baby spinach, garlic glaze, cheese and portobello mushrooms. There is also a selection of deli sandwiches like the Deli Melt and Pastrami Melt that are made from scratch.
Grab And Go
Hong Kong’s street food scene welcomed HAWKR, a grab-and-go dining concept that brings the best of Southeast Asian favourites to those too busy to sit down for a bite. Located on the ground floor of 36 Hoi Kwong Street on the corner of Tong Chong Street, HAWKR takes its cues from the hawker food centres of Southeast Asia, specialising in freshly made salads like the Vietnamese Chicken Cabbage, Rainbow Peanut Noodle, and Balinese Salmon and Long Bean. Those looking for that spicy hit can try out the Javanese Beef Rendang and Thai Chicken Green Curry, while those craving soupy noodles will be more than happy with The Penang meatball or the Songkhla vegetarian soup noodles, which come in instant cup noodles packaging – just add hot water and you’re good to go.
Kick back and relax on the weekend with the all-you-can-eat dimsum brunch at Tai Zi Heen, Pullman KLCC. The restaurant, which specialises in Cantonese-style cuisine, is offering a yumcha session on weekends and public holidays, with a selection of 45 steamed and fried dishes. Fluffy egg tarts, soft steamed meat buns in bamboo baskets, crunchy deep-fried bean curd rolls and traditional har gau (shrimp dumplings) are just some of the delectable items available. After the meal, sip on aromatic cups of Pu-Erh and other speciality teas from U.S.-based tea company Harney & Sons, while enjoying conversations with family and friends. The Yumcha promotion is available on weekends and public holidays from 11.30 am to 3 pm until 30 September.
Tuck into a scrumptious meal 40 floors above ground at TRACE, Element Kuala Lumpur’s restaurant and bar that offers a stunning bird’s eye view of the city below. Committed to serving fresh, local produce, guests can expect a well-balanced menu of both local and Western-fusion cuisine. Kickstart the day with healthy breakfast options like homemade granola and a hearty Beans and Toast Supreme of stewed beans with spiced minced beef topped with a soft-centred fried egg. For lunch and dinner, go for signature main courses such as sous-vide baby chicken, Alaskan Cod and Live Well Salad, and end the meal on a sweet note with delectable desserts, including the Earl Grey Chocolate Sphere and exotic Fruit Lava Carrot Cake.
Proudly presenting dishes from Singapore, the Malaysian state of Johor and the Riau Islands in Indonesia, Sijori is a portmanteau of these locales as well as the originating places that the restaurant’s signature dishes come from. Now, foodies in Bundoora, Melbourne can get a taste of the most popular flavours from these areas, which are also Sijori’s signature dishes. Focusing on home-cooked-style dishes that can be enjoyed with family and friends, menu items to look out for are the Malaysian favourite of Laksa Johor, prepared with spaghetti and served with a fish-based bolognese-like sauce; the flavourful Kacang Pool fava beans served Johor-style with fried egg and toast; the yellow, netted Roti Jala with curry; and the sour and spicy Gulai Ayam Asam Pedas gravy, influenced by Malay and Straits Chinese cooking, except the southern style is with chicken instead of the usual fish.
Dine In Style
Make it an occasion to remember when you check into the Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat with their new Dine & Dream dining selections, which are also available for casual diners not staying at the resort. The Banjaran has not only prepared a sumptuous dinner menu but tailored experiences to go with it as well. For the Star Struck package, a seven-course set dinner will be served on a private deck overlooking the hot springs lake, complemented by a telescope for some star-gazing after your meal. The Secret Escape takes diners into Jeff’s Cellar, a romantic hideaway built into a 260-million-year-old limestone hill, for a seven-course dinner, while Sizzle & Flames is set at The Balcony, a private cave chamber with a view of the thermal lake, where guests can enjoy a barbecue dinner with premium meat and seafood grilled and served by a personal chef. Meanwhile, similar private lunch or dinner is also available in-room for guests booked into one of its villas.
At the Alila Anji hotel in Zhejiang, the newest dining experience, Amber, is a previously abandoned farmhouse turned into a cosy restaurant using salvaged materials. Located in China’s first national ecological county of Anji, the restaurant’s concept is in line with the county’s sustainable environmental policies. At Amber, the food is prepared using organic ingredients from the restaurant’s own garden, and dishes are cooked using open-fire cooking techniques such as smoking, grilling, and smothering, bringing out all-natural flavours for a more healthful and tasty meal. Situated near the resort’s picturesque lakeside, Amber offers a year-round outdoor cooking experience.