Wednesday, September 18, 2019

WheyChillin, Chinatown KL

Cool, reviving relief on hot, hazy days: KL's latest ice cream parlour promises relatively healthier treats, prepared with whey powder, skimmed milk and sugar substitutes, for reduced-calorie ice cream that's higher in protein and lower in fat and sugar. It might be less guilty an indulgence, but there's still sufficient creamy comfort to be found in each spoonful of WheyChillin's flavours, spanning pistachio to tiramisu, matcha to macchiato latte, at this friendly Chinatown spot (the simplest single scoop starts at RM8.80). This is the first KL outpost of WheyChillin, which first launched in Kuching in 2017.

5, Jalan Balai Polis, 50000 Kuala Lumpur. Daily, 12pm-10pm. Tel: 013-665-2233

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The Elbow Room, Allama Iqbal International Airport

Before departing Lahore's international airport, have a final taste of the Pakistani omelette, rife with spicy chillies, at The Elbow Room cafe, washed down with fresh Pakistani mango juice.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

A Day, The Intermark

A piping-hot cup of tea a day, coupled with pillowy mochi, keeps the blues away at this new cafe-store, a hub for local artisanal goods that span honey to handicraft. Browse the products in a Zen-inspired setting with a soothing soundtrack of chirping birds, then sip on gynostemma herbal tea (RM14; believed to be restorative for the immune system) and snack on Japanese mochi (RM6 for two pieces, with fillings like black sesame or red bean paste); a set of tea with mochi costs RM18.

A Day
G-07 and G-03C, Ground Floor, Intermark Mall, Jalan Tun Razak, 50400 Kuala Lumpur. Daily 10am-10pm. Tel: 012-440-4494

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Monday, September 16, 2019

Wildflowers, Petaling Street

Wild horses shouldn't keep fans of modern Asian fare away from this lovely, leafy eatery; across the street from Merchant's Lane, the team behind one of Chinatown's top cafes has crafted another alluringly atmospheric venue, heralding the evolution of their ambitions with a full-fledged restaurant where the kitchen explores rambunctiously original recipes that blend Japanese with Thai inspirations, Chinese with Mexican, Malaysian with French; where memorable meals are made for sharing and talking about throughout a two-level space; where dynamic cocktails and delectable wines flow for hours after the sun sets.

Commence with the Japanese-inflected creations: Casting aside cliches of unagi teriyaki, Wildflowers introduces KL to assam unagi, imbued with the tang of tamarind that complements the tender eel, spread on sushi rice and nori sheets for fun finger food to perk up the palate (RM32). Another worthwhile starter is the salmon sashimi, fresh and luscious, spiked with a savoury-spicy dressing of fish sauce and green chillies, thickened with coconut milk for a crowd-rousing indulgence with the punch of Thai cuisine (RM34).

Cancun comes together with Canton for the pulled duck tacos, braised with five-spice powder, fleshy and full-bodied, rich in a deep, dark umami over wheat tortillas (RM28; a sprinkling of salsa might help for uplift), while San Luis Potosi meets Sichuan for the nachos, swapping the typical dip of cheesy minced beef for chicken mapo tofu instead, sultry but not overpoweringly fiery (RM24).

Wildflowers loves cooking under the influence of liquor: Red wine brings a sweet smoothness to the light-and-mild sambal prawn that's plopped with Peranakan-style vegetables over papadum, messy but moreish (RM28), while the kitchen's take on beef brisket evokes a cross between rustic French bourguignon and Hong Kong beef stew, slow-cooked initially with red wine, then splashed with Shao Xing minutes before being served, partnered with sliced Hainanese bread to soak up the meaty gravy (RM42).

Cocktails also sparkle with unmistakably Asian nuances: Korean soju for the signature Mugunghwa (RM34; with elderflower, lemon and lemonade soda), Japanese sake for The Last Sumo (RM32; with apricot and lemon) and Sarawak's own tuak for the Spirit of Borneo (RM36; with violet liqueur, lemon and honey), all of the pleasantly easy-drinking variety that'll have you downing three entire glasses before you even realise it.

153, Jalan Petaling, 50000 Kuala Lumpur.
Currently open for dinner by reservations; will commence regular lunch and dinner operations within this month. Tel: 03-2856-3369

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Sunday, September 15, 2019

Kaching Island, Chow Kit

Customers seeking a wholesome, hearty meal at a friendly restaurant might hit the jackpot with Kaching Island's Nasi Lemak Salmon (RM25), pairing Malaysia's de facto national dish with a fish that's a cut above, plus plenty of peanuts, a poached egg, anchovies and sambal for completists.

Kaching Crew's kitchen goes the extra kilometre by serving every customer with complimentary roselle juice spiked with oranges, instead of conventional plain water, for a cooling quencher. There's more: If you order the set lunches, you'll also enjoy a complimentary soup (red cabbage when we visited) and a dessert (chocolate pudding, perhaps?).

There's a bit of a hidden bar upstairs, though customers can also order cocktails to be served downstairs.

The beverage list was a work in progress when we visited, but even typical-sounding potions like the Mai Tai and Mojito (RM25 each) might surface in surprising presentations.

Kaching Island Cafe And Bar
12, Jalan Kamunting, Chow Kit, 50300 Kuala Lumpur. Daily, 11am-1am. Tel: 012-474-3544

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