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Oct 4, 2011 07:17 PM

The best KL has to offer.

Where can we go to splurge on the best KL can offer on a weekend binge.

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  1. Any particular cuisine? Songket (Malay cuisine), Il Lido (Italian), Cilantro (fusion), Third Floor (also fusion), Frangipani (French-continental), comes to mind, amongst others.

    14 Replies
    1. re: klyeoh

      Many Thanks. Re: Songket, IMHO I hesitate to go to a restaurant anywhere, where live entertainment is included, esp when the focus is on good food. Am I wrong this time?
      What is your take on Bijan?
      Any high end Chinese? Was informed that KL has the best suckling pig in the region (?)

      1. re: towkay

        I'd been to Bijan a couple of times, and their food tasted better than those I had in Enak (Starhill), Bunga Mas (Royale Chulan) and Ibunda in Jalan Bukit Bintang - which are the other premier Malay fine dining restaurants in town. Coincidentally, Songket's restaurant manager and chef de cuisine were both ex-Bijan.

        My fave high-end Chinese in KL are: Oversea Restaurant in Jalan Imbi, Ming Room at Bangsar Shopping Centre & Reunion at Bangsar Village - but that's just MHO, in a city replete with lots of Cantonese dining options.

        Best suckling pig I'd had in KL was not in a Chinese restaurant though - it was at El Cerdo Spanish restaurant in Changkat Bukit Bintang - you'll need to book ahead, it's crowded every time I was there.

        1. re: klyeoh

          Ooohhh Bijan. I was there about 3-4 years back on a holiday trip to KL. Chanced upon it in a magazine while looking for "high-end" Malay food. Can't remember what I had exactly; i do recall that the dishes were good though.

          klyeoh: Are the rest of the Malay "fine-dining" places quite similar to Bijan in terms of ambience? i won't exactly call Bijan "fine-dining" in the first place; it seems more like a mod-dish place rather than a "fine-dining" one (think: Vansh rather than Rang Mahal in Singapore as a comparison).

          Interesting that there are no high-end Malay restaurants in Singapore; or am I mistaken? hmmm...

          1. re: akated

            Bunga Mas had the best ambience - but the blandest food, I'm afraid.

            Enak has a typical nice restaurant in a mall atmosphere.

            Ibunda, despite being a standalone restaurant, felt much like Enak.

            Another Malay restaurant to try would be TV celebrity-chef Ismail's Rebung in Lorong Maarof, Bangsar.

            On Singapore's Malay fine-dining scene - things had never been the same ever since Sukmaindra (Scotts Road) and Aziza's (Emerald Hill) closed down in the early-90s.

            I'm not sure if Tepak Sireh in Kampung Glam is still there, their website's still active:

            1. re: klyeoh

              ooohh thanks! will check out the restaurants the next time I am in KL =)

              1. re: klyeoh

                IIRC you mentioned in a post on another thread that "high-end" Malay food in KL was a misnomer-of-sorts and that what it purported to be was not up to what one might expect for high-end dining, given the nature of the food etc... Am I off base?

                1. re: huiray

                  Yes - the thing about Malay food culture is that, unlike say Chinese or French food, there's been no dichotomy between "home cooking" and "haute cuisine" in its history. So, in a high-end Malay restaurant (with prices to match), you'll be served basically the same kind of food which you'll get in a home, or a street-side stall, i.e. beef "rendang", "ayam masak merah" (spicy red-hued chicken), "pucuk paku masak lemak" (ferns cooked in coconut milk & turmeric-chilli spices), or "ulam-ulam" (selection of raw vegetables, with sambal dips).

                  Personally, I think it's not worth paying top dollar for something which you can get off the streets for 1/10 the price! I had lunch at Bunga Emas (Royale Chulan) once, and the bill for one person came up to RM250 (nearly US$80)!

                  I wouldn't have minded paying that much if they used luxe ngredients (e.g. a high-end Thai meal at David Thompson's Nahm was different as you get lobster tom-yum and guinea fowl green curry), but at Bunga Emas, everything on your plate can be found in an average Malay eatery - and which would have more taste as wel!

                  I find trying to elevate Malay food to haute cuisine is a challenge, even back in Singapore - the satays I had at Tiffin Club (fine dining Malay) were nowhere *near* those served at the humble street-side stalls at Lau Pa Sat (Festival Market

                  1. re: klyeoh

                    "I wouldn't have minded paying that much if they used luxe ngredients (e.g. a high-end Thai meal at David Thompson's Nahm was different as you get lobster tom-yum and guinea fowl green curry), but at Bunga Emas, everything on your plate can be found in an average Malay eatery - and which would have more taste as wel!"

                    you mean they don't? oh my... the justification for the higher prices is solely because of atmosphere?

                    1. re: akated

                      Sadly, that's the case with Bunga Emas!

              2. re: klyeoh

                OK, we have reservation at El Cerdo for sat. Oct.22. for their suckling pig. And Santi in Singapore on 23rd Oct.
                Iberico pork is one of the tastiest pork ever!
                Thank you.

                1. re: klyeoh

                  Glad to see others are enjoying El Cerdo.

                  I had a great meal there during my last trip to KL. The house made sausages are a great choice along with the suckling pig. The theatrics of cutting the pig with a plate and then smashing the plate in a barrel are a little over the top... but make for a bit of fun. Owner is very friendly, and I do remember them having a nice wine list.

                  1. re: epeter03

                    My parents' friends enjoy el cerdo too. My mom can't wait to go there. hehe.

            2. Sao Nam for brilliant Vietnamese. Lunch at Lafite in the Shang RI La, Modern European done well. Dinner at the Hilton Central main dining room. Lived in KL for 3 years, left 18 months ago, so may be out of date.

              1. Best dim sum place and Chinese: Shang Palace ( However, they do really bad hot Chinese desserts) and grand imperial, bangsar (the food here always get me addicted. Like I just can't stop eating. Their suckling pig and tea smoked duck is v. good but you must pre-order for the suckling pig if i'm not mistaken)
                Best fusion: Sage (I prefer Sage over Cilantro)
                Best Thai: Erawan

                In my opinion, these three places are my MUST GO. Hehe.

                3 Replies
                1. re: micheniche

                  Got to dine in Sage, and even though Chef Daniel was not working that evening. It was NOT a disappointment with his sous chef.
                  Should try Cilantro next.

                  1. re: micheniche

                    Does one judge dim sum (and other Chinese/Cantonese food) based on merely what the food is, or is one also judging the surroundings it is served in? Just curious, just asking.

                    1. re: huiray

                      Would be perfect to dine in fine surropundings and have excellent dim sum as well, like in some of the H.K. restaurants.