16 new restaurants, cafes & bars to visit in KL & Selangor, June 2017
Cocktail on tap, single-origin chocolate, Bornean fare and more.
1. The Dark Gallery, Cheras
The Dark Gallery casts a new, relatively refined light on the chocolate experience, allowing for an appreciation of cacao in a nuanced, thoughtful fashion. Scoops of single-origin chocolate ice cream and glasses of hot chocolate, presented in tasting flights that constitute a canvas of cocoa, showcasing Madagascan, Dominican Republic and Venezuelan varietals for an exploration of chocolate in contrasting shades of fruitiness, bitterness, acidity and intensity. The Dark Gallery casts a new, relatively refined light on the chocolate experience, allowing for an appreciation of cacao in a nuanced, thoughtful fashion.
Address: L1-K-007, MyTown Shopping Centre, Jalan Cochrane, Cheras, Kuala Lumpur.
Read review for The Dark Gallery.
2. The Mockingbird, DC Mall
‘Nasi campur’ with globetrotting twists offered in a setting that swings for nonchalant, chilled-out vibes. Trivia: The Mockingbird’s name is a nod to Harper Lee’s classic novel of courthouse justice, linking up with outlet founder Elaine Zarina Lamb’s legal background.
Address: 1-08, Damansara City Mall, Jalan Damanlela, Kuala Lumpur.
Read review for The Mockingbird.
3. RAY, Petaling Street
6pm is the magic hour at RAY, when the interplay of sunbeam and shadow on this new Chinatown bar’s walls illuminates the main reason for its name. But its true cornerstone is a range of cocktails on tap, ready-mixed and served straight from the keg, potentially bringing your beverage to you within a minute or two. Don’t expect run-of-the-mill concoctions – RAY unites the talents of Karl (of Omakase and Appreciate) and Shin (of Chocha Foodstore), both known for exhibiting experimental streaks
Address: First Floor, 156, Petaling Street, Kuala Lumpur. Above Chocha Foodstore.
Read review for RAY.
4. Rumah Asap Borneo KL, Cheras
Specialities from Sarawak seize centre stage at this new venue – on Saturdays and Sundays, customers can relish the taste of firm-favourite vegetables like cangkuk manis, kemiding and daun empasa, while throughout the week, umai udang and kasam babi evoke the time-honoured flavours of Bornean villages. And of course, you’ll find versions of kolo mee and laksa Sarawak, plus an assortment of classic snacks, coming as close to Kuching as we might get in KL.
Address: 9-G, Jalan Orkid 9, Taman Orkid, Batu 9, Cheras, Kuala Lumpur.
Read review for Rumah Asap Borneo KL.
5. Pahit, Sin Chew Kee
Take the bitter(s) with the sweet: KL’s Ginaissance hits a high with this new watering hole dedicated to the joys of juniper – Pahit takes over the bar space of Sekeping Sin Chew Kee, the rustic guesthouse on a row of forgotten-by-time homes whose history stretches back to the 1920s. CK (of Bangsar’s Coley) and fellow bartender Boy offer the elegant and the experimental, focusing on the aromatic botanicals of gin to cast a spell of glamour and mystique.
Address: 3, Jalan Sin Chew Kee, Between Bukit Bintang & Pudu, Kuala Lumpur.
Read review for Pahit.
6. Piu Piu Piu, Kampung Attap
Steered by the mystery man known only as Unagi, inspired by the standing bars of Tokyo, Piu Piu Piu is a casual, intimate space where customers can crowd around the counter, chat with each other and perhaps find a new friend or two. Piu Piu Piu (the playful name reflects Unagi’s love for water pistols) isn’t shooting blanks with its compact, purposefully curated selection of cocktails, mocktails, coffee, lager, and pale ales as well as desserts.
Address: Second Floor, 80B, The Zhongshan Building (above the OUR ArtProjects Gallery), 80, Jalan Rotan, Off Jalan Kampung Attap, Kuala Lumpur.
Read review for Piu Piu Piu.
7. Sala, Desa Sri Hartamas
This vegan haven is a melting pot of flavours from Mexico, Malaysia and more, illuminating how a meatless meal can consist of full-bodied, fulfilling fare. Tacos topped with textured combinations like BBQ jackfruit, purple cabbage, chopped cucumbers, pico de gallo and cilantro or house-cooked chilli that’s comfortingly rich with beans, sweet potatoes, lentils, tomatoes, vegan sour cream, vegan nacho cheese and crackers – it’s food that’s good enough to make omnivores gladly forgo the familiarity of flesh for an afternoon.
Address: A-03A-G, Galeria Hartamas, Jalan 26A/70A, Desa Sri Hartamas, Kuala Lumpur
Read review for Sala.
8. Atelier on Telawi, Bangsar
Bangsar’s new wine bar places a premium on pasta with dishes that are potential pleasures for patrons who prefer their pasta to boast unabashedly big, bold flavours. By-the-glass pairing recommendations cost between RM26 and RM40, with vintages spanning France, Italy, Argentina and New Zealand.
Address: 9, Jalan Telawi 2, Bangsar Baru, Kuala Lumpur.
Read review for Atelier on Telawi.
9. Makanhouse, Bangsar
Bangsar’s new hive for local fare brings the neighbourhood together for everything from nasi dagang to fish ball noodle soup in a community-spirited setting filled with rustic touches and fun flourishes (take a seat on the swing or the repurposed bathtubs).
Address: 5 Jalan Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur.
Read review for Makanhouse.
10. Outdark Malaysia, SS15 Subang
The Korean fried chicken craze continues to claw across Subang, with Busan-birthed Outdark opening its first Malaysian branch this month, following scores of offshoots across South Korea and Hong Kong. Outdark’s flagship chicken comes boneless in bite-sized pieces that’ll reward patrons who prize crisp batter above tender flesh – each strongly seasoned original-recipe serving is partnered with four sauces (spicy, sweet-spicy, ganjang soy and honey-garlic) for added-flavour dipping
Address: 104, Jalan SS15/4, Subang Jaya, Selangor.
Read review for Outdark Malaysia.
11. Steaped, Pavilion
Steaped, is taking root in KL first, with outposts in Pavilion & Sunway Velocity Mall that serve as one-stop hubs for spirit-reviving beverages & retail accessories. For casual customers, the ideal introduction to Steaped rests in its range of signature iced drinks that rely on teas from multiple continents, sourced from the likes of Japan, Taiwan & South Africa, blended with fruits, juices & spices to produce harmoniously balanced refreshments. But our favourite feature of Steaped is its repertoire of more than 50 loose-leaf blends, which can be served hot, cold, sparkling, or as lattes.
Address: Pavilion: Level Six, P6.06.00
Read review for Steaped.
12. Modern Society, DC Mall
True to its name, Modern Society strives to carve a contemporary edge in everything from its design to its dishes – its founders have envisioned a habitat for social creatures to mingle over two levels called The Gallery and The Loft (comprising the main space and a lounge upstairs), with the centrepiece of a bar built of Greek marble beneath a light display hovering from on high. Modern Society is primarily a watering hole, with a complete liquor selection to prove it, including the sort of signature cocktail selection that we gravitate toward
Address: L1-10, Level 1, Damansara City Mall, Jalan Damanlela, Kuala Lumpur.
Read review for Modern Society.
13. Whip Up
Plated desserts that reveal playful secrets, served in a cheerful, creative cafe. ‘A For Apple’ features fruit morsels and sponge cake cloaked in white chocolate mousse, shaped and shaded to resemble a full apple, surrounded by lime jelly while ‘Do You Want To Build A Tiramisu’ deconstructs the Italian classic, so you can assemble your own version with a tray kit of ladyfingers, espresso and mascarpone – each concoction is tasty and textured, ideal for the young at heart.
Address: 270, Jalan Changkat Thambi Dollah, Pudu, Off Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur.
Read review for Whip Up.
14. Ketuhar, Menara Ruyi
Similarly focused on Malay cuisine served in an upmarket setting, Ketuhar is tucked in the calm confines of Menara Ruyi, scarcely a five-minute drive from Mid Valley, but its discreet location makes it a potential destination for patrons who dream of eluding the crowds. Service is affable and astute.
Address: Menara Ruyi, Level 1, 30A, Lorong Kapar, Jalan 2/87G, Off Jalan Syed Putra, Kuala Lumpur.
Read review for Ketuhar.
15. BilaBa, DC Mall
The open-all-day bar reflects one interpretation of the restaurant’s name (bila-bila boleh mari ke ‘ba’r). Trivia: BilaBa is the sister outlet of Bangsar’s LoKhaba; service is equally enthusiastic and welcoming, making BilaBa a potential favourite for workers in Damansara Heights seeking a casual new hangout destination. One the something-for-everyone menu of crowd-pleasers you’ll find everything from yong tau foo and satay to assam laksa and ayam penyet here, plus Western staples like fish and chips and more.
Address: G-17/01 DC Mall, Jalan Damanlela, Kuala Lumpur.
Read review for Bilaba.
16. Zao, Petaling Jaya
This calm new cafe is a white-walled haven for daytime dreamers, open purely for breakfast and lunch (starting at 6am on weekdays!), specialising in freshly grilled sandwiches, with no fewer than 10 varieties packed with fun combinations washed down with Zao’s own cold-pressed juice.
Address: 50G, Jalan 19/3, Petaling Jaya
Read review for Zao.