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

Time Out Kuala Lumpur - - Food & Drink Awards winners -

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/ Mon-Sat, 11.30am-2.30pm, 6pm-1am; Sun, 12noon-3pm, 6pm-1am.

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