Planning a big get-together? These restaurants are good for dining in large groups.
The vibe here is clean, rustic flavours dished out in homey surrounds. Send the year off over sharing platters of crispy buckwheat fried chicken, kicap manis-glazed Sanbanto pork chops, roasted cauliflowers with ricotta, charred eggplants, and mushroom orecchiette with miso butter and kampung eggs at our favourite neighbourhood restaurant Table & Apron. Best for a gathering of four to six people.
The restaurant serves seafood feasts in a relaxed setting. While à la carte sharing dishes such as lemongrass-steamed clams, fresh oysters (air flown from Seattle), charcoal-barbecued crabs, flower crab glass noodles and more are available, opt to have your seafood served on a three-tiered stand or have it spread on the table for a blowout. Also order the fried Mars Bars with ice cream for dessert. Best for those office gatherings with seven to nine of your colleagues.
Have quality seafood dishes in a swanky setting. The interior aims to portray an 'international' look with traditional aspects of Chinese decor – wooden columns, bamboo ceiling, and calligraphy. Cantonese fare dominates the menu, with signatures Peking duck, beggar’s chicken, Mongolian lamb chops, baked cod fish with honey sauce, mando dragon and fresh scallops and lily bulbs in clear broth.
Southern Rock’s seafood-centric menu features oyster tasting plates with bivalves from Ireland, England, Holland and more. With its beginnings as Shucked the oyster bar in Ben’s Independent Grocer’s and as a seafood supplier in Bangsar, it’s no surprise that the focus here is on seafood, and very fresh ones at that. Also try the mussel laksa.
Having crabs for dinner means a messy eating affair, but Lala Chong’s crustaceans are worth the dribble and stained fingers. The decor won’t win the hearts of design-lovers, but who’s here for pretty interiors when there’s the restaurant’s famed siong thong lala (clams steamed in fragrant Chinese rice wine, ginger, garlic and cili padi) to dig into?
Chef Heng Kit, formerly of Kitchen Table, heads the open kitchen at neighbourhood restaurant Li, where updated Malaysian fare comes in the form of pork toast (think roti babi made with chilli mayo, house-made sourdough, and lots of cilantro), rice bowls (with a ginger scallion sauce that’s reminiscent of the sauce in chicken rice), a pan mee-like version of pasta with slow-cooked pork, ikan bilis congee, and more. For dessert, order the lychee with coconut milk, meringue and lime granite that’s made in house for a sweet finish. With lots of white walls punctuated by old wooden chairs, the space evokes a minimalist kopitiam vibe.
If you want classic-style cooking for family dinners, head here. Celebrate the end of the year at Gao Ren Guan with a traditional Chinese round table dinner. While Cantonese-, Szechuan- and Hokkien-centric restaurants in KL are aplenty, it’s not often that you get Gaozhou cuisine. Must orders: crispy nam yu pork, steamed organic chicken with pickles and boxthorn leaf egg soup. Grandma would approve.
You can never go wrong with steamboat for group dinners. If you’re at Xin Cuisine with a group of three to ten friends, you’ll only have to pay RM50 per person. Selections here includes all your usual favourites – freshly cut meat, chicken, pork, tiger prawn, fish fillet, handmade dumplings and more. Don’t forget to try the restaurant’s special curry soup.
When you’re dining in a group, you want a massive amount of meat that you can all tear into with your hands. Naughty Babe Dirty Duck is super casual, so you don’t have to feel embarrassed about licking your fingers after a meal – and you most certainly will with their perfectly cooked pork ribs, which are slick with sticky barbecue sauce. The restaurant has long tables, food portions are big, there’s a slew of sides on the menu and it’s all very affordably priced (RM38 for the ribs). The only downside? The restaurant is so popular they only take bookings for seating before 6.30pm.
The biggest challenge in planning for a group is taking into account everybody’s diverse food preferences. The Social has got that covered. The crowd-pleasing menu is one of the lengthiest we’ve seen – from sharing platters to sandwiches, salads, pastas, Western dishes (fish and chips, shepherd’s pie, burgers and pan-fried salmon, etc) and Asian favourites (noodles, fried rice and the usual standards). So really, there’s something here for everyone, and the prices are very reasonable too.
Away from the heaving Upfront gig nights, The Bee’s carefree vibe is made for lingering. It’s tucked away in a corner at Publika, with a laidback vibe that’s suitable for large group gatherings. The menu features sandwiches, salads, burgers, pastas and sharing plates of quesadillas, nachos and fries, along with the occasional live bands on certain nights. Check with the café for special birthday packages.
Acme is the place to hold your birthday lunch or dinner if you’re out to impress. The New York-like lofty space is classy and sophisticated, and the menu is one of the most creative in town, with dishes that use seasonal produce to whip up updated café classics. It’s all very stylish but the ambience is still quite casual, and there’s outside seating as well if you prefer a garden-like setting, or an upstairs area if you want privacy. For an all-night party, the private bar can stock up on cocktails and wines upon request.
With canteen-like communal tables, Brotzeit’s made for group dining. The food takes on the same concept, with huge platters dominating the menu. The sharing platters come in various combinations of sausages, pork knuckles, ribs and schnitzels, accompanied by your choices of sides – bring an appetite, because each of these platters can easily feed four to five people. And if you’re a fan of German beers, you’ll be glad to know that some of the brands are available on tap.
Inspired by the communal seafood boil get-togethers that are part and parcel of southern American festivities, Crab Factory is all about dishing up a liberal serving of tantalising Cajun-style crustaceans emptied directly onto long dining tables and shared among friends. Crawfish and crabs are the star attractions at this eccentrically decorated eatery, which is renowned for its piquant, must-try Signature Southern Bang sauce. Pair the lip-smacking seafood mains with Louisiana delicacy gumbo, a hearty soup dish with sausages, shrimp and rice, as well as pleasingly spicy Cajun fried chicken wings.