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Fine Dining in Petaling Jaya & Kuala Lumpur


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#1 NasiLemak

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Posted 27 January 2005 - 09:41 AM

Hello,

I will be in KL from Feb 5th-26th. And I've read the pinned discussion for the food info galore. But I am looking for one or two places in the fine dining category. Any suggestions?

I've done some research, it seems many fine dining establishments are located in hotels and are very narrow in their choice of cuisine. It's either French or Italian. I am looking for a cozy restaurant with a talented innovative chef that uses fresh ingredients.

Thanks in advance for any help!

#2 Pan

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Posted 27 January 2005 - 11:38 PM

Undoubtedly, Shiewie (if she has the time) could help you, but perhaps you could clarify how fancy a place you're looking for, and whether it has to be dinner. Would dim sum at Xin at the Concorde fit the bill, for example? What about some of the great Chinese seafood restaurants in PJ that have white tablecloths?

#3 JC

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Posted 28 January 2005 - 05:49 AM

Hi,

Fine dining in KL is often associated with Italian or French or generally European cuisine. And yes, many such restaurants are located in the hotels. But there are many other standalone ones as well, e.g.

- Frangipani
- Nerovivo (http://www.nerovivo.com/)
- Scalinis
- Bon Ton

For something asian try Eest at the Westin Hotel.

#4 PCL

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Posted 30 January 2005 - 01:31 AM

Bon Ton's original owners still have the old site, but it's now called Top-Hat after their signature Nonya appetiser. INMHO it's one of the best restaurants in KL.

Scalini's is like, dirt poor for quality and the prices extravagant. I'd avoid anything on Jln Sultan Ismail, save for Xin!!

Isn't Frangipani in Bukit Damansara? Another bungalow conversion a'la Bonton aka Top Hat??

Pan, you're good... very good...

Can't wait to hear from Shiwie though!!


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#5 NasiLemak

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Posted 01 February 2005 - 09:03 AM

Thanks all for the suggestions.

Pan,

I'm looking for either lunch or dinner. I am taking someone special out for a treat (non-romantic). I guess fancy wasn't the best wording, just somewhere with very well prepared food leaning towards more Western/fusion. I have a feeling there are a few talented chefs hiding in Asia who don't get much exposure because of location.

Thanks JC for the Bon Ton/Top Hat suggestion. They are on the shortlist and the menu looks very promising.

#6 Shiewie

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Posted 01 February 2005 - 10:22 AM

Hi guys

Have been busy and not logged on for almost a week. Sorry for the late reply - hopefully NasiLemak gets to read this before leaving for KL.

NasiLemak - what kind of fine dining are you looking for, as in what kind of food?

Frangipani is set in a couple of converted art nouveau terrace houses in the heart of Kuala Lumpur where quite a few of the old houses along street have been turned into restaurants and pubs - the restaurant's a very pretty place with a pool in the middle of the dining room. It's been around for about 3 years I think and has built up quite a good reputation since it opened - some of my friends didn't like it at first, they thought that the portions were small but they've improved tremendously. The food there is French inspired, quite innovative and the last time we went (though that was about a year ago), our foodie friends who were visiting loved it.

BonTon used to be set in old bungalow round the corner from the Petronas Twin Towers and was one our old favourites 10 years ago when there were far fewer restaurants in KL. It was previously used as a school and a couple of my friends used to go to school there. When the lease on the premises ended, the restaurant moved to another house closeby while the owners of the building set up a restaurant of a similar concept, named Top Hats at the old premises. Top hats are kuih pei tee, a Nyonya appetizer of delicate crisp top hat shaped cases filled with a shredded jicama filling, served with chilli sauce on the side - it's like a fried spring roll, just presented differently. Both Bon Ton and Top Hats serve the same kind of food, a mixture of Asian and fusion. Again, I haven't been to either in quite a while but both were pretty good in the past. The dessert chefs from Bon Ton have opened up a couple of popular cafes in KL, Alexis and SuChan Deli.

Scallini's is Italian set on a little hill on Jalan Sultan Ismail, opposite the Equatorial Hotel - it used to be pretty good when it first opened but the standard has plummeted and is very poor value for money in KL.

Nero Vivo is opened by the former maitre d' from Scallini's - seems he opened a place in Phuket first where the cost of setting up is cheaper and when he had sufficient capital, he moved back to KL and opened up here. It's just up the street from Frangipani's and next door is a Malay fine dining restaurant named Bijian. The owner brings in his head chef from Italy and changes them every 6 months to keep them on their toes! He's on his 2nd chef at the moment - we thought his food was very salty initially (and not as good as the first one) but he's since adjusted the salt level to local tastes. I enjoy his pastas more than his meat main dishes.

Oggi's is at the Regent is excellent for Italian and it's one of our favourites. The service is excellent, food generally good, portions satisfying and the degustation menu for dinner is very good value for money.

Cilantro at the MiCasa Apartments on Jalan Ampang is also very good - the chef used to be the private chef at Japanese Embassy - try the foie gras and unagi starter. If you have time for a long lunch on Friday, check and see whether Cilantro still has free flowing champagne for Friday lunch.

The previous chef from Cilantro's trained under Tetsuya and has now moved over to Third Floor at the Marriot. Third Floor does Tetsuya style degustation menus but the quality of some ingredients used falls a tad short of what you can get in Sydney so it's not worth going to if you can get to Tetsuya's. Portions are a bit on the small side as well.

Another new place in KL that's recently opened up is La Chine in Crowne Plaza Mutiara Kuala Lumpur (what used to be the old KL Hilton), and is owned by the same people who own the Indochine chain you get in Singapore. Some friends went last week and mentioned that it was pretty good. I've only been to the Indochine at the Singapore Asian Heritage Museum, which I thought was only ok.

There is also Senses at the KL Hilton at Sentral - it's styled by Cheong Liew of The Grange at the Adelaide Hilton who sent his protege to head the restauant here. Haven't managed to go there yet.

Another place you might like to try is Lafite at the Shangri-la. They have a new chef there who trained with Alain Ducasse and was here for a food promotion last year but it seems he was so popular that the hotel wrangled him to stay. According to a friend who loves to eat, he's better at seafood than meat. She also mentioned that the quality of foie gras he uses is excellent but not cooked quite as well as her favourite French restaurant in town (Ma Maison).

A couple of western fine-dining places that have survived in KL for quite a long while (more than a decade or two) are Chalet at the Equatorial and The Grill.

Hope this helps.

Ahh ...just noticed after pressing the preview post button that you've just posted on what you're looking for, NasiLemak - if you're looking for western/fusion fine dining in a sleek setting, I'd recommend Cilantro.

#7 JustKay

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Posted 15 March 2005 - 07:37 AM

I know NasiLemak have come and gone but .... just to continue the discussion on 'fine dining' .....

The Seri Angkasa for one comes to mind. Or is it not fine enough? They have white tablecloths too. :laugh:

Or the Indian restaurants The Bombay Palace & Annalakshmi. And Barath Curry House in KLCC?

Or The House of Sudanese in Suria KLCC ?

What about Thai? Heavenly Amarin in MidValley, Megamall and The Chakri Palace in Suria KLCC. Or Sri Ayutthaya Restaurants? And Tham Nak Thai?


Btw, I wasn't impressed with Top Hat. I find the food not up to par with it's reputation. But ::shhhh:: the owner's are my neighbor and they are really nice people. :biggrin:

Of course, my experience is rather limited ... not as lord-lord as some people :raz: plus I've got to watch the Halal requirements. So, usually we resort to the restaurants at the hotels - our favorites being those at The Palace of The Golden Horses, The Equatorial, Bangi. and The Istana, Kuala Lumpur.

Btw, I just saw they have all-you-can-eat Dim Sum promotion at The Istana for only RM38 per person. Haiyah! Must go mah! Shiewie, Tepee ... how about having our 'gathering' there? :biggrin:

Edited by kew, 15 March 2005 - 07:51 AM.


#8 Tepee

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Posted 16 March 2005 - 03:30 AM

Btw, I just saw they have all-you-can-eat Dim Sum promotion at The Istana for only RM38 per person.  Haiyah! Must go mah! Shiewie, Tepee ...  how about having our 'gathering' there?  :biggrin:

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Any idea when the promotion ends? This week is not good. Any good spots in PJ? Hate to drive downtown.
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#9 JC

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Posted 17 March 2005 - 06:00 AM

PCL, have you tried Indulgence in Canning Garden? I've only had dessert there.

#10 PCL

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Posted 17 March 2005 - 02:56 PM

Is it like a bistro type place?

In Ipoh?

If so, I must send my grandma down there to check it out!


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#11 JC

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Posted 18 March 2005 - 07:18 AM

Indulgence is a bit of an anomaly. Imagine a restaurant with KL fine dining prices in Ipoh! I mean they even have wagyu beef on the menu at RM80 per 100 g!!

Yet, I hear their business is very good. I was there during Chinese New Year this year and it was packed. Surprising thing was that many of the patrons were the young-ish crowd. Despite the prices, the atmosphere and decor is not like Lafite; it's more casual and similarly the dress code is casual - smart casual.

#12 PCL

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Posted 18 March 2005 - 03:56 PM

Wow, Ipoh is back to it's tin-mining glory days!!

Separate thread maybe??


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#13 Matutu

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 07:43 AM

Hey Guys,

Travelling to Petaling Jaya in 5 Months, any recommendations for some great good eats.

Also after one special fine dining restaurant to take the girlfriend?

Many Many Thanks.