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May 29th, 2023
Small plates are getting big in the Klang Valley – here are 12 restaurants for contemporary tapas with cross-border inspirations, ideal for sharing and snacking.
Asian-accented appetisers are a highlight here – for the citrus-cured salmon carpaccio with pickled daikon, yuzu shoyu and avruga caviar, Mr. Wolf adds memorable dynamics by introducing an extra element of bunga kantan prawn tartare, Also available: Everything from crunchy pork skin ‘nachos’ embellished with a sweet-savoury, meaty mix of beef bolognese, sriracha mayo and cucumber salad to squid surimi strips, served cold with morsels of salted duck egg yolk and teriyaki vinaigrette.
Read review: Mr Wolf at Taman SEA, PJ
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Guests are encouraged to drift from course to course, sharing wine and conversation while grazing on platters of, say, Moroccan-spiced crunchy cauliflower, made creamy with saffron yoghurt and supplied with a sweet spark from rum-soaked raisins.
Read review: Drift Dining at 38 Bidara
Find: Contact details and map for Drift Dining and Bar
Authentic tapas, from roasted peppers and eggplant marinated in balsamic vinegar and EVOO, with a hint of garlic and parsley, to the classic tortilla de patatas, a thick omelette served fresh, warm and wonderfully fluffy, laced with truffle oil for extra aroma.
Read review: Marta’s Kitchen at The Signature
Find: Contact details and map for Marta’s Kitchen
Beef rendang mantou with pickled vegetables, catfish fingers with Creole-style plantain chips, and roasted cherry tomato bruschetta, made with Hainanese toast and topped with sambal kantan mayo, are just a few of the shining beacons of inventiveness here.
Read review: The Locker & Loft at Damansara Kim
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Ante 1 Utama specialises in beautiful small-plate recipes personally created by the team here, separated into cold & warm categories. The former includes Jamon Iberico balanced with poached and fresh apple slices, shaved radish and chive flowers, while the latter boasts highlights like succulent cuts of sous-vide cured pork loin coated in a delicate tuna cream, shallots, celery leaves, capers and tomatoes.
Read review: Ante at 1 Utama
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Doma’s dinner menu consists of small, medium and large plates, constructed for sharing, bearing Korean influences, including yellowfin tuna sashimi with horseradish emulsion, cucumbers and white soy dressing.
Read review: Doma Korean Cafe at Mont Kiara Shoplex
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Portions here are predominantly tapas-sized, with highlights like the Imperial Prawn, a crisp spring roll stuffed not only with the eponymous crustacean but also morsels of century egg, cushioned with rocket leaves, subtly invigorating ginger and poppy seeds.
Read review: Gastro Bar By Burgeon at Bukit Mayang Emas
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Supperclub’s food highlights consist of European-accented tapas – the kitchen does a decent job with seafood small plates, from bruschetta topped with prawns, textured avocado paste and cilantro to grilled baby octopus with extra virgin olive oil and lemon.
Read review: Supperclub at TREC
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Basil Tapas Bar’s menu is surprisingly extensive and ambitiously elaborate, with no fewer than 20 types of tapas. The ideal introduction might be the slow-cooked octopus with spicy marinated duck fat potatoes, vegetable confit and sweet paprika.
Read review: Basil Tapas Bar at Damansara Uptown
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Mercat does complete justice to the Catalan tapas bars that its founders David Caral and Jorge Fernandez and their team work extremely hard to evoke. Order the Esparragos en Lata, a striking composition of invigoratingly fresh asparagus on a soft, light bed of asparagus foam.
Read review: Mercat Barcelona Gastrobar at Telawi, Bangsar
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The selection showcases mainly Spanish and Italian inflections – tapas-style spicy chorizo, garlic prawns, beef meatballs and potato omelettes share the limelight with poached egg cushioned with shaved cheese and pesto.
Read review: Bacchus at The Row, Doraisamy
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The tapas here absolutely have us at Hello – our should-try favourite is the chicken liver pate, soaked in milk and whiskey, blended and prepared in a water bath, producing buttery-soft mouthfuls of rich and robust flavours, paired with fried bread that’s the epitome of a guilty pleasure.
Read review: Hello by Kitchen Mafia at Section 17, PJ
Find: Contact details and map for Hello! by Kitchen Mafia
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