After happily chow-ing my way though Manhattan for 7 years, I am finally back in KL, my hometown for awhile. So far, have had very satisfying local food experiences making up for all those years of lost time... But one can only do Jalan Alor/ckt/ba kut teh so many times no matter how yum it is... So far my ventures into Japanese, Spanish and even fine Chinese has been disappointing. Not expecting to find the likes of Jean Georges or Nobu type experiences in KL but surely there must be innovative and creative places to eat in KL - Malaysians are among the pickiest eaters I know! Thoughts/suggestions most welcome.
Sage in the Gardens Residences was quite good when we went (duck confit with foie was almost perfect). Go for lunch if you can--more attention from the staff. The chef there (originally from the Hokkaido area, I heard) has a favourite Japanese place. I can't remember what it is, but if you ask, I'm sure they'll let you know (if you're still craving Japanese food).
The Solaris Mont Kiara dining precinct has some interesting eats. I didn't quite enjoy Dubrovnik Croatian as much as I'd like to, but Providore round the corner serves terrifically fresh & crisp salads, some good pastas & grills.
As for upmarket Chinese, have you tried Ming Room at 3rd floor of Bangsar Shopping Centre? I think it serves the best Cantonese I've had during my forays into KL's dining scene last year.
The best Shanghainese I've had is at Shanghai Restaurant in the Marriott. Dragon-I's outlets also serve xiao long bao as good as those you'd get in Shanghai.
Not too enamoured with most Chinese fine-dining restaurants in KL hotels (Mandarin Oriental, Shangri-La, etc) which are halal. Chinese food without pork is just not the same!
Kampachi is prob the best Japanese rest in KL but no match for such restaurants in Spore or HK where sashimi quality is superior.
Have you tried Overseas at Jln Imbi? Noisy and chaotic, best avoid Sat night but superb char siew, steamed soon hock, butter prawns, home made tofu with gourd, etc.
Ritz Carlton chinese is not bad. Yu Jia and Noble House are sister restaurants to Ming Room in BSC. Reckon the trick to eating well in KL chinese restaurants is to find out the signature dishes from the head waiter/waitress.
Sage is prob the best fusion fine dining spot in KL, not aware of anything else that comes close.
El Cerdo (Changkat Bkt Bintang) has good pork knuckle & suckling pig. Bruno's in Jaya 33 has yummy pork ribs (which don't taste like typical american bbq ribs, think it's their own special marinade).
Thanks for all the wonderful suggestions - had wonderful experiences at both Ming Room and Reunion but I think I will have to go back again several more times...
Love the suckling pig at El Cerdo as well although I could do without the plate breaking - not so cool after the first time. It is also the only place I have found in KL to get excellent jamon serrano as well - so don't order the parma ham.
For Japanese, I actually like Zipungi at the Shangri-la better than Kampachi for sashimi.
Despite strong intentions, haven't made it to Sage yet (too much rich food over chinese new year) and sadly I am off to HK in 3 days. Will have to wait for my next trip...
ywwan, next time if you want to look for Japanese food in KL, try
(1) Benkay, Nikko Hotel, Jalan Ampang - very popular among Japanese business travellers
(2) Genji, Hilton Petaling Jaya, Jalan Barat (not to be confused with the other Hilton in KL Sentral. Many KL-lites regarded Genji's the best Japanese in town for years
(3) Kogetsu, Hyatt Regency Saujana (near Subang) - it overlooks a lake, very nice
(4) Miyako, Sheraton Subang - nice setting, you walk along a pebble path to the restaurant, feeling like you're in some tiny alleyway in Tokyo. The food's not bad - very popular amongst business travellers
(5) Wasabi Bistro - American-Japanese cuisine, by way of Hawaii. Kumi Iseki's creations are very interesting, like the Papaya Motoyaki.
P.S. - I liked Shangri-la's Zipangu too, but more for its central location.