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New Restaurants, Cafés And Bars in KL: October 2017

New Restaurants, Cafés And Bars in KL: October 2017

There hasn't been as many new places as we would have liked to eat our way through this month, but the handful of great spots that did pop up make exciting news! Over in Overseas Union Garden, a neighbourhood joint for prawn noodles is warming tummies while a little food shop in Bukit Damansara feeds hungry shoppers and DC Mall adds a ritzy tapas bar to its directory — all these and more in this week's nifty guide.
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If you missed out on a seat at their pre-opening pop-up, now's the time to visit Bocosan Izakaya, which has officially opened in The Vertical. The location is sublime, decked out in sweeping greenery and fine furniture, which makes it excellent for business lunches. Bocosan's menu is focused on sets for now, with elegant choices that fit smart casual occasions. Priced from RM35, expect each to come with a tofu appetiser, salad and fruit for dessert. Though on the pricier side, the Bocosan Wagyu Don (RM85) is an enticing option that sees grilled Austalian wagyu with onsen egg, salted seaweed and truffle shoyu with rice. On noodles, the Bone-In Short Rib Ramen (RM75) is an equally opulent choice with tender short ribs and ramen in a concentrated chicken and beef broth. The portion for this particular dish feels extra large, and will fare well for sharing. For an extra treat, try the Bocosan Maki (RM38) with deep-fried yabby lobster — the one that's smaller but yields sweeter flesh!
Avg price per person: RM60

Attuned to the lifestyle of Bukit Damansara folks, The Little Food Shop is the new neighbourhood avenue to eat, shop and linger for a little while. The food store stocks a fair share of fresh produce and canned goods, neatly arranged in aisles behind a row of dining tables. The menu may be small, but it's well equipped with a pretty design and a handful of quick grub options to cheer you on your next food shopping trip. In the morning, the Eggs Any Style (RM15) has our votes for its use of fresh ingredients — mushrooms, tomatoes, baked beans and sausage tossed into the frying pan with eggs for a fast, filling breakfast plate! For local eats, consider trying the hearty Nasi Lemak (from RM10), sourced from the owner's favourite nasi lemak seller. The staple is available through to lunchtime, when there are also Beef Noodles (RM15), Chicken Rice (RM18) and a smoky Beef Burger (RM18) made in-house.
Avg price per person: RM20
Photo by Burppler Trisha Toh

The simple decor at this new steamboat place is pinnacled by an oriental painting and nothing else, which means the real allure is in its food. Introducing the concept of huddling over Cantonese-style hotpot while sipping on sake to its diners, The Hotpot makes a great dinner idea for your next group gathering. Of the five broths available (all boiled for a minimum of six hours for optimum flavour), the delicious but not overpowering Premium Cantonese Pork Bone Soup (RM25) is the clear winner. If you prefer variety, get a double soup base with something spicy on the other side — Seasonal Curry or the Spicy Szechuan Ma Lat Soup. Freshness is a key quality in the ingredients here, and Tastemaker Alyssia recommends ordering the handmade Fresh Prawn Paste (RM20) to attest to it. Also look to the Premium Beancurd Roll (RM15) that soaks up all the soupy goodness. Part of what we love about The Hotpot is also their stunning sauce tray — individual ramekins of sauce that come together to create a chef-curated blend of shacha sauce, chilli sauce, nam yue and bird's eye chilli. When here, don't forget to ask for a sake pairing (from RM38 for 200ml) to go with your choice of broth.
Avg price per person: RM50

The Japanese term for 'the art of being mindful of others', Kikubari is also the name of this new tapas bar in DC Mall. Service should be effusive and efficient as the restaurant strives to live up to its name. For low-key dinner and drinks with a foodie friend, a seat by the sleek bar counter or their neatly tucked away tables will prove to be very apt. On food, try the modern Japanese small plates with a touch of French-style finesse, best paired with a bottle of sake or wine from the bar. Start with the Binchotan Roasted Cabbage (RM32), glazed in anchovy foam for a delicious brininess. For a meatier pick, the Botan Ebi Capellini (RM68) swirled with shoyu, king crab jelly and fresh, plump prawns is distinctively flavourful yet still gentle on the palate. Aside from the repertoire of an a la carte tapas menu that changes seasonally, there are also tasting menus — five-course samplers from RM338 onwards for an exquisite experience.
Avg price per person: RM150
Photo by Burppler Amayzing

This new under-the-radar restaurant is powered by two good friends, devoted to bringing Penang's Hokkien mee buzz here to KL. Housed in an air-conditioned shoplot with easy four-seaters, perfect for lunch with a few colleagues, Prawn Mee King is a notch up from your usual neighbourhood haunt. Choose to have your bowl laden with Pork Ribs (RM14.90), Pork Belly (RM14.90) or even Mantis Prawns (RM18.90), which will add an extra bite to the robust meal. If you're in the mood to splurge, the Four Heavenly Kings is a whopping meal featuring all of the above plus large prawns at RM48. Prawn mee purists, fret not — you can also have the Original Prawn Mee (RM6.90) done to tradition's way. The secret is in their full-bodied broth, bolstered by a strong whiff of prawns and chilli. The owners credit this inimitable flavour to the long, painstaking cooking process, taking after a 37-year-old recipe from Penang. Also order the homeboiled Luo Han Guo (RM3.50), meant to be more bitter than sweet to help offset the heaty effects of the meal.
Avg price per person: RM20

As the BIG Group continues on its rebranding streak, we welcome Bella in place of the well-loved Mario & Luigi's along Lorong Kurau. The former choice for date nights has transformed into a fun Italian restaurant, sporting brighter colours and better variety. Do like Burpple Tastemaker Melanie Yu and wind down with your girlfriends here on a quiet weekday night. To help tide you over while ordering, enjoy the complimentary side of bread and grissini (breadsticks). Fresh, off-the-stove Italian dishes are the focus here, best represented by their seafood pasta dishes. The one that gets most of the limelight is a Spaghetti Al Granchio (RM68), spaghetti in roasted sauce garlic butter crowned with a whole mud crab. Less eye-catching but also delicious is the Linguine Vongole (RM38) steeped in a flavoursome clam broth. For drinks, look to the wine list or ask the staff for a glass that goes best with your dish — they'll be happy to help.
Avg price per person: RM50
Photo by Burpple Tastemaker Melanie Yu

The next time you're in Chinatown, head into the new Tian Jing hotel to find Lim Kee, a privy spot to huddle up with a cuppa in the city. The cafe shares the same traditional-made-contemporary charm as its building, and the old-time aesthetics of wooden chairs on ceramic print tiles are easy to love. The menu is now limited to sweet sustenance: cakes and ice cream for those who want a little treat in between meals. Hot food will be offered much later, perhaps when the hotel too is open for business. For now, cool off the KL heat with a scoop of Ice Cream (RM6). Theirs are aptly flavoured with a local twist, from pandan to teh tarik and soursop. Cakes are also on offer, sometimes a decadent chocolate or a light, spongy raspberry tiramisu. Pro tip: Keep an eye out on their Facebook page to chance upon the occasional daily deals — a free slice cake with every coffee purchase and the likes!
Avg price per person: RM15
Photo by Burppler Trisha Toh

Replacing Manhattan Fish Market in Pavilion is a newer, bigger seafood destination, Nice Catch. Fronted by a display of fresh catch on ice, the revamped restaurant now exudes classier vibes but we're glad to find prices stay well within affordability. For groups looking to celebrate an occasion, there's plenty space to do so here — the servers will even lend you the giant fish plush toy mascot to take photos with! You won't go wrong with the Lobster Bisque (RM23), a solid starter of deshelled lobster tail sitting on a smooth, creamy bisque. On mains, consider sharing the Great Ocean Fiesta (RM119, good to share between two to three), which puts together grilled Norwegian salmon fillets with Korean squid and prawns on salsa rice, plus a pot of spicy poached mussels. We like that the Western-style cooking features versatile ingredients, like the Korean squid that boasts a punchier bite. The Crispy Battered Fish & Friends (from RM35) may sometimes see soggy batter in play but comes with a housemade grapefruit tartar that's to die for.
Avg price per person: RM50

Naro's charm lies in its nostalgic old apartment location with neighbourly vibes, evocative of an older era. This is a spin-off of the nearby Leaf & Bean and while both shops embody a Taiwanese-inspired persona, this new name boasts better aesthetics — keep an eye out for the quaint menu 100 percent handdrawn by the owner! The set lunch is worth the trek for its variety, from pastas to chicken rice, as well as its great value. The decent price of a meal (from RM18) includes not only the main, but also a starter of mushroom soup and grass jelly in coconut milk for dessert. Go for the Salted Egg Yolk Chicken Rice (RM18), starring tender and delicious fried chicken evenly coated in rich salted egg yolk. The rice makes a nice feature too, shaped like a donut and sprinkled in tasty furikake. Ordering sets also means you get 20 percent off all drinks, including their popular Exclusive Milk Tea (RM7.90) with black pearls.
Avg price per person: RM25

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