Best new openings
The Time Out KL team highlights the bars and restaurants that made an impression on KL’s dining scene over the past year
Mr Chew’s Chino Latino Bar
Located on the highest floor of the WOLO Hotel, Mr Chew’s has injected fun, vibrancy and creativity into KL’s dining scene this year with its unusual hybrid of Asian and Mexican cuisine. This former duplex penthouse is outfitted with decor and interiors mirroring its approach to food – imagine, if you will, a Manhattan loft designed during the 1920s Shanghai jazz era with a bit of Art Deco thrown in.
The kitchen is led by Fuego’s Executive Chef James Thong, who seems to be given free reign by the Troika Sky Dining group to push the boundaries between the two cuisines. Take, for instance, his addictive nori taco made with sushi rice, salmon belly, salmon roe and tobiko mayo, or the grilled betel leaves with five spice duck, foie gras, toasted hazelnuts and shaoxingstewed cherry sauce – all of which present to us familiar ingredients and flavours in a completely new context. The desserts are also worth fawning over – the Dessert Tacos (mango, pomelo, strawberry, hazelnut chocolate) look as good as they taste, and the ais kacang platter invites diners to play around and mix things up as they please.
Cocktails are a highlight here as well; you can expect the same inventiveness in the execution and they’re very easy to drink. We particularly enjoyed Mr Chew’s Take-Away G&T, a drink made with Opihr gin, pink peppercorn and guava that comes in a cool takeaway box. Also go for the Frida Froza, a new take on Frosé (white wine, jasmine cordial, dry vermouth and shiso), as well as the infused sakés. The price of this popularity? Seats are very hard to come by on weekend nights, so book your place well in advance.
The Penthouse, WOLO Hotel, Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL (03 4065 0168/mr-chew.com). Mon-Sat, 11.30am-2.30pm, 6pm-1am; Sun, 12noon-3pm, 6pm-1am.