Did it trend?

The Time Out KL team re­viewed the past year’s food trends to see which ones took off, and which ones failed to launch

Time Out Kuala Lumpur - - Food - Edited by John Lim

HITàKakigōri The shaved ice dessert was bound to be a suc­cess: what bet­ter way is there to beat the KL heat than with freez­ing cold sweet treats? Be­sides, any­thing Ja­panese-re­lated will un­doubt­edly find fans in this city (we’re look­ing at you, Ja­panophiles). Dig­ging a spoon into moun­tains of ice, lay­ered with syrups and purées, topped with unique ad­di­tions the likes of rose es­puma, Ky­oto matcha, ginger syrup, Ja­panese pump­kin and more is – to put it sim­ply – a de­light. You can get your kakigōri fix at Kakigōri ( kakig­ori.my) and Mykōri ( fb.com/ myko­ridessert­cafe). HIT & MISS à Nasi lemak ev­ery­thing Let us count the ways we have shown our love for nasi lemak in 2017: as gelato; as a burger; as a limited edi­tion KitKat flavour; as a flavoured con­dom; as a smoothie; as a cake; as a Miss Uni­verse cos­tume. While we did love some of them – MyBurger Lab’s Nasi Lemak Burger clearly knocked the socks off Sin­ga­pore’s ver­sion – we may have gone a bit over­board on a cou­ple of oc­ca­sions: the cake was un­nec­es­sary, and the gelato is a nov­elty more than any­thing else (granted, we’ve yet to try the flavoured con­dom). We won­der what will be next – nasi kan­dar, per­haps? time­outkl.com De­cem­ber 2017 MISSàKom­bucha Kom­bucha – fer­mented black or green tea – might have taken Hol­ly­wood by storm be­cause of its ‘heal­ing qual­i­ties’, but it didn’t have the same im­pact in KL. True, many cafés – like Com­mon­ers Space ( fb.com/ com­mon­er­scar­tel) and Real Food ( fb.com/ re­al­food­mon­tkiara) – have started to sell kom­bucha and even some cock­tail bars – PS150 ( fb.com/PS150KL) – have tried mix­ing it into their drinks, but most KLites who aren’t into yoga and health trends are likely to think it’s the an­cient name for Cam­bo­dia. Why didn’t it take? Maybe it’s be­cause we al­ready have our fair share of drinks with ‘medic­i­nal prop­er­ties’ like tongkat Ali and teh kacip Fa­timah.

HITàPoké bowls It’s easy to see why the poké bowl trend boomed – it’s whole­some, grease-free, fresh, tasty and fill­ing. What’s es­sen­tially a Ja­panese chi­rashi don that has been Hawai­ian-ised with loads of raw veg­eta­bles, spices, mayo and pineap­ples, poké bowls pack in a lot for a price tag of un­der RM20. Early pro­po­nents like Paper­fish ( fb.com/pa­per­fishmy), The Fish Bowl ( fb.com/the­fish­bowl­malaysia) and Fin ( fb.com/thefin­peo­ple) kicked off the fishy trend, and a num­ber of out­lets have started of­fer­ing their own take that in­cludes beef or chicken – at which point you have to won­der where the line is drawn be­tween a nasi cam­pur and a poké bowl.

HITàVege­tar­ian There was a time when most KLites couldn’t imag­ine a life with­out their favourite fried chicken, mut­ton curry or pork noo­dles. That time seems to have passed. Over the past cou­ple of years, the city has seen a num­ber of veg­e­tar­i­an­friendly or ve­gan restau­rants open­ing such as Good­ness Greens ( good­ness­green­scafe.com.my), Kind Kones ( fb.com/ kind­kones) and Sim­ple Life ( sim­plelife.com.my) which of­fer wor­thy (read: tasty) al­ter­na­tives to our sta­ple foods. Crav­ing dairy-free ice cream? Kind Kones has over 20 flavours of ve­gan ice cream. Even purists who stand firmly on the opin­ion that good nasi lemak should al­ways come with ikan bilis will be sat­is­fied with Sala’s ( fb.com/salakl) ve­gan ver­sion. Re­ally. HITàCock­tails When bars like The Locker and Loft ( fb.com/ lockerandloft), Omakase+Ap­pre­ci­ate ( fb.com/ OmakaseAp­pre­ci­ate), PS150 ( fb.com/PS150KL ) and Co­ley ( fb.com/LongLiveCo­ley) opened up a cou­ple of years ago, lit­tle did they know that they were lay­ing the foun­da­tions for a fast-ma­tur­ing cock­tail scene in the city. These days, it’s not enough that bar­tenders know how to make a perfect Old Fash­ioned or Ne­groni – they’re start­ing to cre­ate sig­na­ture cock­tails us­ing lo­cal in­gre­di­ents like bunga telang, li­mau pu­rut, pan­dan and hibis­cus flow­ers. And there are now more spe­cial­ist bars in KL than ever with Pahit ( fb. com/barpahit) putting all their fo­cus on gin, and Jun­gleBird ( fb.com/jun­glebirdkl) on rum. Then you have more re­cent ad­di­tions like Bo­tak Liquor ( fb.com/BOTAKLiquor), who re­ally pushes the en­ve­lope on con­cept cock­tail bars with their farmto-glass ap­proach and botan­i­cal-based cock­tails. Ex­pect big­ger things from the bar scene next year. HITàKorean fried chicken Just when you think our love for fried chicken couldn’t get any more in­tense, here comes Korean fried chicken – ex­tra crispy pieces of chicken wings glazed with a choice of sweet, salty or spicy sauces made from Asian in­gre­di­ents like soy sauce, sesame seeds and go­juchang (Korean chilli paste). The dif­fer­ence be­tween this KFC and the Colonel’s is more than just the va­ri­ety of sauces – the bat­ter is made to cre­ate an eggshell-thin crust that crack­les and crunches when you sink your teeth into it. Sure, it costs more than your reg­u­lar fast-food joint, but it’s worth the splurge. Hit up Korean fried chicken spe­cial­ists like Ky­oChon ( ky­ochon.com.my), Chicken Up ( fb.com/chick­enup. sj), 4Fingers ( fb.com/4Finger­sMY) and Nanda ( 03 6211 3517) for your fix.


Chicken Up


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