Interview: Chef Tetsuya – Stalwart of Japanese Dining in KL
Why did you decide to become a chef and what inspires you? I was inspired by a good friend who worked in a restaurant and I decided I wanted to follow in his footsteps. My favourite aspects of the job include speaking to guests and telling them about our special menus and educating them about Japanese cuisine. I also really enjoy seeing how the kitchen staff improve and learn about how authentic Japanese food is prepared. How did you end up working in Malaysia and what are your thoughts on Malaysian diners in general? For example: are they knowledgeable about Japanese cuisine and have their tastes changed over the years? I came to Malaysia 20 years ago to set up Zimpangu at the Shangri-La Kuala Lumpur. This was an exciting opportunity as I had always been interested to work outside Japan. In the beginning, it was quite difficult to educate Malaysian diners about authentic Japanese cuisine as there were limited Japanese restaurants in the Klang Valley and less exposure. These days Malaysian diners are more adventurous and willing to try new dishes, and there are so many more Japanese dining options available. What do you enjoy most about your being a chef? My favourite part of being a chef is being part of the process of preserving the authenticity of the cooking, and trying new ways of improving flavours, recipes and types of cooking. By doing this, I help ensure that the new generation of diners are well versed on how and what to eat. What would you suggest diners order a
What’s on this week in KL
SkyBar presents Hazel Leong
Penang-born jazz pop singer, Hazel Leong will be performing live every Friday at SkyBar KL. Her richer tone in her lower vocal timbre naturally suits the standard jazz songs and some vocal similarities in the style are Adele and Etta James, with oldies jazz. Also, come and catch her sing to modern hits like Taylor Swift and Colbie Caillat.
Crackhouse Comedy Club presents Cracking Heads
Cracking Heads is an interactive comedy workshop where you get to give your opinions as new premises are shaped and hilarious comedy is born. This work-in-progress show for comics to try out their new materials and for you to stand a chance to win tickets to the Weekend International Shows. Entry fee is at the price of your drink.
iNYALA - Interactive Light Art Installation Exhibition
This is the power of imagination - when light and dark intersect. iNYALA is Malaysia's first interactive light art exhibition fusing art and technology. Featuring a collection of interactive art installations, enter a digital park of boundless visual and sensory where you can relax and have fun.
New restaurants and bars in KL
PJ's highest rooftop bar is located on Level 35 of the Pinnacle PJ Tower, and boasts panoramic views of both the PJ and KL city skyline. This jungle-themed bar gives off plenty of chill tropical vibes with walls covered in leaves, animal-print covered seats and a soundtrack of familiar pop and pop-rock tunes. There's an extensive list of cocktails (which include creative signature drinks made with local ingredients), beer, liquor and wine, as well as a variety of food like pizza, mains and appetisers to pair with your drink.
Sofitel Kuala Lumpur Damansara's specialty French Mediterranean restaurant offers an elegant space in which to indulge in flavourful dishes paired with signature cocktails and drinks. The contemporary restaurant features an impressive art deco ceiling, and there's indoor and alfresco seating by the pool, as well as an outdoor bar. Watch the chefs in action in the open kitchen, or lounge by the pool with tapas and a cocktail.
Located on Level 50 of Naza Tower at Platinum Park, BlackByrd offers diners great views of the city skyline from both its restaurant and lounge. Its warm interiors are outfitted with lots of wood and rattan furniture as well as customised table and wall lamps, making for a cosy yet sophisticated dining environment high above the city. Food comes by way of classic comfort Southeast Asian dishes presented with a touch of elegance. Head to the Lounge for a drink – there's an extensive list of wines and spirits to choose from, as well as in-house signature cocktails.
With the uncomplicated principle of ‘Simple Thai Cuisine’, La Moon is one of the city’s newest additions, serving authentic Thai cuisine in a cosy and slightly upscale setting. The kitchen is headed by Chef Korn (formerly of Erawan), who transforms simple ingredients into delicious dishes with typical Thai spices and great technique.
Bangsar has gone through many phases – unobtrusive residential area, clubbing haven, arts and culture quarter, and now, café district. From the busy streets of Telawi to the more laidback Jalan Bangkung and Jalan Kemuja, we round up the best restaurants, bars, cafés and things to do in Bangsar.
Populated by expatriates and upper middle class families, Hartamas is fancy – even its name says so (‘harta’, treasure; ‘mas’, gold). This isn’t saying that the area is inaccessible for us 'mere mortals' – in fact, it’s quite the opposite now. With many cafés and eateries opening up around the 'hood, plenty of non-Hartamas residents flock here, and not just for the lineup of Japanese restaurants. By the way, we're also including the best places to eat and visit in neighbouring areas Mont Kiara and Solaris Dutamas. Fun fact: The area was the premise of a local TV show titled (surprise, surprise) ‘Hartamas’ starring Ida Nerina and Rashidi Ishak.
The wide land that is Damansara has the privilege of being both KL and Selangor. It can be confusing – Bukit Damansara for example, is not exactly near the main Damansaras while Ara Damansara is somewhat Subang (and sometimes even Shah Alam). To make things easier for you, we've picked some of the best restaurants, cafés, bars and things to do in each Damansara area.
Damansara Utama is home to Damansara Uptown, the land of hard-to-find parking spots and more cafés than you can shake a stick at. We say park in the new Starling Mall and walk about the area before you eventually step in to an eatery. Here are our picks of restaurants, cafés, shops and things to do in the area. PS: If your favourite spot isn't featured here, let us know in the comments.
Let’s not mask the fact that Sunway is an area dominated by students, which isn’t saying that it’s a bad thing. If you need help getting around the area, the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is making things better. It’s fast – not a concept Malaysians are accustomed to hearing and practising. Let’s not also forget about Sunway Pyramid and Sunway Lagoon, where there are plenty of things to do. If you don’t have plans in Sunway, you do now.
The best of Kuala Lumpur
100 best local dishes and drinks in KL
We are a food city. One that caters to the food-obsessed; one that alternates between street and traditional dining, at any budget and time of the day. Here are the 100 best dishes and drinks that truly defines us, from the contentious nasi leamk to the humble roti canai. Loosen your belt – you've got much eating to do.
Best nasi lemak in KL
We pick the best places in town for a satisfying plate of the country's pride and joy – the mighty nasi lemak. Hunt down these nasi lemak joints for breakfast, lunch, dinner or even supper, because our national dish doesn't restrict itself to a certain meal time – which is why we love it so much.