New Year, New Me(nu): Beta KL, Bocosan Japanese Bowls And Mr Chew's Chino Latino Bar
Proving that adaptability is just as important than innovation, these eateries have put careful thought and consideration into tweaking their menus for the better. Give them another go before singing, "Thank you, next."
When Beta KL appeared on the scene in January 2018, the modern Malaysian restaurant really got tongues wagging. After all, only a handful of chefs dare to transfigure Malaysian favourites (lest they feel the wrath of conservatives). In the August 2018 issue of Malaysia Tatler, I lauded the restaurant and bar for "giving us the option to rediscover Malaysian fare in harmony with highbrow culture."
2019 will see several new dishes by Chef Raymond Tham, but most stalwarts will remain. We will miss seeing Rusho Hassan behind the bar, but look forward to tinkling glasses with Chris Chung; Beta KL's new head bartender has already rolled out several new cocktails (see slideshow above).
Say Goodbye To: The Ox Tongue and Fried Chicken appetisers; Brussel Sprouts with Calamansi, Quail Egg and Crispy Dried Shrimp.
Say Hello To: The Lamb with Garlic and Bak Ku Teh Herbs; Turkey with Cranberries & Potato; Mandarin Orange with Red Bean Snow dessert; new inventive cocktails; and more.
Bocosan Japanese Bowls
What was Bocosan Izakaya, an elegant izakaya channeling Scandinavian design, has been rebranded as Bocosan Japanese Bowls, a no-frills eatery targeting Bangsar South's office lunch crowd. In an admirable display of transparency, Platform Hospitality Group, which handles all PR for the restaurant, issued an announcement via a Facebook post, admitting that "the previous concept proved difficult in this industry’s climate." Though initially saddened, we've come to recognise that change is good... for our pockets. Several signature dishes remain on the menu, albeit minor changes. The Australian wagyu over rice, for instance, has been stripped down to its essentials, resulting in a half-price slash (from RM68 to RM32).
Say Goodbye To: The Truffle Chawanmushi; Bocosan Maki (deep-fried yabby lobster); elaborate lunch sets; and Mizu Shingen Mochi (aka the raindrop cake that took the world by storm in 2014).
Say Hello To: 6-inch Japanese pizzas (variations include Katsu Curry, Unagi and Okonoyami); Japanese pastas (Salmon with Wasabi Cream and Spicy Mentaiko are two examples); Japanese Cotton Cheesecake with Strawberry Cream; and more.
Mr Chew's Chino Latino Bar
Christian Bauer and Eddie Chew's penthouse restaurant and bar at the WOLO Hotel has always fused Chinese and South America flavours to striking effect, but this time, executive chef James Thong is looking a little closer to home for inspiration. The chef has turned his post-vacation blues into a slew of dishes inspired by Malaysia, Northern Thailand, and Korea. Our favourite of the lot, the Salt & Pepper Snapper, is successfully crunchy and creamy at once, while the Sesame Chocolate Noodles marked the first time we slurped down dessert. Mixologist Simon O'Brien will continue shaking, stirring and serving adventurous cocktails, including Mr Chew's signature Take-Away G&Ts.
Say Goodbye To: Grilled Whole Aubergine with Fermented Beans; Mr Chew’s Whole Sesame Roasted Chicken.
Say Hello To: The Tawai Salad; Gochujang Chicken Stuffed Steam Buns; Grilled Chicken with Mr Chew's Secret Sauce; Salt & Pepper Fried Whole Golden Snapper; Sizzling Wagyu Striploin; Sesame Chocolate Noodles; and more.
Mr Chew's Chino Latino Bar | The Penthouse, Wolo Hotel, 12th floor, corner of Jalan Bukit Bintang and Jalan Sultan Ismail, Kuala Lumpur | 03 4065 0168 | firstname.lastname@example.org