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New Restaurants, Cafés And Bars in KL: December 2016

New Restaurants, Cafés And Bars in KL: December 2016

Alas, the end of the year is here, but if you're not a fan of farewells, then say hello to these new joints in town! It's not too late to make more memories in 2016, so bring your loved ones out this holiday season for nighttime brunch, comforting Macanese cooking or a fun tipple that involves drinking out of a tin can.
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For Creatively Crafted Cocktails

The first alcoholic establishment to grace Paper Plates in Bangsar is this hip cocktail bar. The name Case Study is a nod to chief bartenders Alvin and Joel's visionary cocktail experiments so adventurous drinkers, here's the place for you. Drinks are sectioned according to potency, from refreshing to boozy. There is also a special segment for experimental drinks, which we highly recommend for a one-of-a-kind experience! The Gourd (RM36) is one of KL's only cocktails that features Slovakian Bentianna liqueur, and the unique elements of thyme, a crispy rice cracker and gummy bears make the drink well worth ordering. For a safer sort of swig, order the Tin Can (RM36) that refreshes with carambela juice. Part of the fun here is watching your drinks come in creative goblets like a watering can and a terrarium. So bring friends and chill outside (seats are made of criss-crossed canvas hanging over greenery) or kick back indoors for a closer look at what goes on behind the bar.
Avg price per person: RM70

For Trendy, Tasty Western Food

Food has many interpretations at the new Define:food, where well-executed Western classics take on innovative twists. Come for casual dining — a celebration with family or a pleasant dinner with your partner overlooking Mid Valley Boulevard's streetwalks. For starters, the Hand-Breaded Atlantic Crab Cakes (RM48) will hit the spot, first with their crunchy exterior and then, fleshy crab meat within. The seafood streak continues with the Provencale Seafood Risotto (RM48) that delivers bisque-like depth and a medley of seafood atop plump grains. There are two reasons to cheer if you favour meat — the DF Wagyu Cheese Burger (RM42) as well as the Beef Wellington (RM88). Both are well on their way to becoming heroes on this menu, but we recommend the more affordable burger so you can splurge on desserts! Standouts include the Bomb Alaska (RM30) and Chocolate Dome (RM36).
Avg price per person: RM70

For Reliably Delicious Viet Delights

Ngon opens this month in Damansara Kim to a menu of promising Vietnamese street fare in a comfortable cafe-like setting. The next time lunch hour swings around, bring your colleagues for something new and phobulous! Don't miss the value for money Banh Beo (RM6.50), an enjoyable trio of steamed rice cakes redolent of prawn paste and turnips. Then, with the knowledge that Ngon is helmed by a chef-cum-ladyboss who hails from Ho Chi Minh City, order the Beef Pho (RM18.50) with confidence. The bowl of thin, flat noodles in clear broth delights with the splendid flavours of basil leaves and beef slices. Albeit lesser known locally, Vietnamese dessert Che Dau Trang Khoai Mon (RM4.50) is a worthy sweet treat with black-eyed peas, yam and coconut milk. Wash it all down with a must-have Ca Phe Nong (RM5.50) — Vietnamese Iced Coffee that awakens with potence.
Avg price per person: RM20
Photo by Burppler Trisha Toh

For Cocktails With An Oriental Charm

At TTDI's The Pawn Room, you can trade your soul for drinks — just kidding — but you can trade other things for a cocktail. This bar transports patrons to the oriental 1920s, where crimson lights offer a sultry charm and the enthralling pawn shop concept occassionally allows you to put up belongings (or services) in return for a filled glass in your hand. For a less conventional date, this place will do wonders. Asian-accented cocktails are served alongside classics — order the Bunga Kaseh (RM36) that incorporates chrysanthemum juice and pandan syrup in gin, or the Liang Moi (RM40), a rum-based drink that tastes a lot like kuih talam. A third winner is the refreshing Mr. Brightside (RM45), which uses elderflower syrup with egg white, yuzu and lime juice. Look into the menu or the secret menu (ask the bartenders) for more concoctions, if you happen to extend your stay past three drinks.
Avg price per person: RM70
Photo by Burppler Trisha Toh

For Authentic European Fare

Both expatriates who once struggled to find a familiar taste of home in local restaurants, this Australian and French duo attempts to fill that gap by running a kitchen driven mainly by European flavours. The enclave along Lorong Kurau opened last month with a compact menu, which stars a rare Scandinavian dish — Salmon Soup (RM35). If you enjoy the fish, you will love this soup that straddles a unique balance between light and creamy. Interestingly, neither owner-chefs are from the region and instead, it is through the breakfast fare that their own roots come through. Ask for the classically British Big Breakfast (RM25), then switch it up with scrambled eggs done the French way — deliciously soft and airy — for a taste of both cuisines. On drinks, there is light-roasted coffee and a repertoire of wines, to satiate from the early morn till evening. These guys are also wonderful hosts, making Mat Salleh a fine spot for solo breakfasts with spontaneous company.
Avg price per person: RM40

For Super Affordable Fine Food

Set above a mamak in SS15, The Crazy Chef is positively insane to offer fine fare in an area famed for economical eats. But with its ingenious recipes at incredibly modest prices, it's a space you will want to bring everyone you know for a (cheap) treat! You can't go wrong with the excellent appetisers (yes, order more than one). Topping the list is a delicately done Crab Omelette (RM13), stuffed with crabmeat and served with a pouring of flavoursome miso broth. The warm dish teams up beautifully next to the Cold Somen (RM8), which features a combination of cold noodles dipped in soba broth. We especially love the extra dimension provided by the chef's choice of garnishings — spring onions, grated radish and wasabi. Set lunch boasts a sound lineup, from Red Wine Braised Beef to Minced Pork Spaghetti, all rounded off with an appetiser and a drink for a super affordable RM15.90.
Avg price per person: RM20

For Hearty Macanese Cuisine

Putting Macanese food on the grid is Fat Tea that strives to emulate soulful Macanese recipes in their homey Damansara Perdana eatery. Earmarked by Portuguese and Cantonese influences, Macanese cooking leans toward heavy comforts so save this for a laidback lunch. Expect dishes unheard of, like the Minchi (RM22). Touted to be Macau's national dish, the specialty is a very comforting jumble of pork mince, onions, fried potatoes and fried egg on rice. Another rice dish on the rise is the Duck Rice (RM26) — it's nothing like the local version. Baked in a Macau-imported porcelain dish, the herb-fragrant rice shares its spotlight with lots of delicious pulled duck and on top, chorizo, duck bacon and crusty cheese come together for a scrumptious mouthful. End your Macanese meal with the popular Serradurra (RM8). Also known as sawdust pudding, it layers crumbled Marie biscuits with whipped cream and soft, fluffy sponge cake.
Avg price per person: RM30

For Desserts And Great Service

A newcomer in Damansara Uptown's madding crowd of dessert cafes, Shugatori banks on its easy-to-love honey toasts, pancakes and waffles to pique interest. Rejoice; it's a spanking new venue for a dessert day out with the girls! The signature here is customisable — Yin & Yang (RM27.90) can be either a thick toast or a waffle, and the outcome is a mishmash of charcoal and classic flavours, topped with fruit, ice cream and soft meringue. Also recommended is the Matcha Azuki Mousse (RM18) that gleams with a mirror glaze and satisfies with an infallible duo of green tea and red bean. If the weather calls for a drink, and you're anticipating a long walk back to your parking spot, a glass of Carbonated Lemonade (from RM12) is in order. Plus points for this dessert contender for such excellent service, even Burpple Tastemaker Alyssia couldn't help but mention it in her review!
Avg price per person: RM30
Photo by Burpple Tastemaker Alyssia Yu

For An Intimate Introduction To Japanese Drinks

An alternative to your run-of-the-mill bars, newly opened Takumi Craftbar in Isetan The Japan Store offers much more than a nightcap — it offers an experience. The small island bar seeks to be a place of introduction, where one can learn about, taste and experience Japanese spirits. Drop by for pre-dinner drinks (they close early at 9pm) and sip on their Tasting Set (RM50 for 3 glasses). You can opt for beer, wine or whiskey, and that flexibility is fantastic for friends who may not agree on the same drinks. If three is too many, start the night easy with the sweeter notes of their Hokkaido Melon Wine (RM28). Note that due to limited seating, there is a minimum order of one drink per patron.
Avg price per person: RM40
Photo by Burppler Tiffany Ng

For New Dishes In A Feel-Good Cafe

The heart of Damansara Uptown's Nara has always been healthy dishes with a subtle Asian inflection, and the recently-added goods on the menu stay true to that core. Our favourite new suspect is the Scotch Eggs (RM29) — parmesan-crusted boiled eggs wrapped in minced chicken. Savour it with the compelling combination of crispy noodle nest, hummus and chickpea ratatouille on the side. The Chicken Mantao Sliders (RM33) may verge on the brink of an overrated idea, but this version is out to impress with well-marinated fried chicken, punch-packed kimchi mayo and plum jam. From the sides section, a Lobster Freakin' Poutine (RM33) deserves to take centrestage. Tuck into this sauce-laden snack that merges rich lobster flavours with crispy shoestring fries — and look out for the surprise bites of lobster flesh! The quiet locale has always been a great place to catch up with a close friend, and now you can do it again over new eats.
Avg price per person: RM45

For All-Day Fancy Brunch

Joining the legion of cafes and restaurants arriving in from Singapore is Wild Honey, breakfast advocates who aren't afraid to serve daytime fare as late as 10pm. When in Pavilion, strut up to Level Six with your partner, or your business partner — whoever you need to please — for long lunches in this classy restaurant with oak furnishings. Perfectly poached eggs take the focus here, either coddled by a circle of tasty smoked salmon in the Norwegian (RM40) or sitting precariously atop toothsome beef pastrami and house-baked bagel in the Delancey (RM44). The Barbary (RM36), on the other hand, sees a golden fried egg next to a sweet-savoury combo of duck hash, duck confit and pink grapefruit hollandaise. For something daintier, the Trio of Scones (RM14) is teatime nirvana — plain, date and cranberry scones beckoning to meet the embrace of a dollop of clotted cream, French butter or raspberry jam.
Avg price per person: RM60
Photo by KL Burpple Tastemaker Melanie Yu

For Thai-Japanese Dinners With A Punch

Under the majestic aura of an origami dragon hanging overhead, Kaiju is a marriage of artful aesthetics and experimental Thai-Japanese dishes. An intimate setup and a small but sufficient drinks menu make this joint fit for a night out with close friends. For dinner, expect a deuce between fiery Thai flavours and its milder Japanese counterparts. The Salmon Manow Nabe (RM26) is the real deal for rainy nights, but order only if you can take the heat — the hotpot bubbles with a sharp, spicy broth that intensifies with every spoonful. Of all the waiter's recommendations, the Kaiju Open Sandwich (RM24) is most satisfying. The baguette and lamb patty are both mild-tasting, allowing the teriyaki garlic sauce to lend its saltish flavours for a tasty mouthful. End the night with a Japanese tipple — the Calpis + Sake (RM20) melds the soothing virtues of the yoghurt drink with an invigorating hit of sake. Yum!
Avg price per person: RM50
Photo by Burppler Muriel A.

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The top picks, popular finds and newly opened places in Singapore, curated by Burpple editors!

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