Eat Drink KL: Thirty8 @ Grand Hyatt

Monday, August 27, 2012

Thirty8 @ Grand Hyatt

Malaysia's first Grand Hyatt has officially opened, occupying highly coveted real estate within a five-minute walk of the Petronas Twin Towers.

The star restaurant here, Thirty8, takes up the hotel's entire 38th floor, showcasing a 360-degree view of KL's skyline and exuding a calm, confident elegance.

Thirty8 isn't as immediately striking as, say, Marini's on 57 at Petronas Tower 3 nearby, but it's a risk-free bet for folks seeking a spacious venue to mix business with pleasure.

A battalion of workers whips up a melting-pot cornucopia of Chinese, Japanese and Western specialties at Thirty8's open kitchens. Something for everyone, since Grand Hyatt KL features relatively few F&B outlets (more on that in awhile).

Thirty8's executive chef is Swedish-born Tommy Fransilla, who has toiled at Hyatt hotels in London, Melbourne, Bangkok and Sao Paulo. Not sure whether he was around when we visited Thirty8, but his Kuala Lumpur team worked very well nevertheless.

This sushi-sashimi platter supplies pure and simple satisfaction. Sure, it's less memorable than what top-breed Japanese restaurants offer, but it's still impossible to criticize.

Two can share a RM120++ serving. Thirty8 probably charges up to 40 percent more for its food compared to earthbound establishments.

Half a duck roasted with Chinese five spices, served with pepper compote (RM60++). Other Oriental offerings here include wok-fried Szechuan tiger prawns, double-boiled chicken soup with wolfberries and soon hock fish with soy sauce and spring onions.

Hot off the Western section: uber-creamy, ultra-sweet pumpkin soup, with notes of walnut oil singing through each slurp. Sunshine in a bowl.

Macaroni and cheese, filling and fulfilling. Like the soup, it's also RM20++. More elaborate (but extravagant) options on the menu include a whole Boston lobster salad and Australian Wagyu and Black Angus steaks.

Thirty8's wine is costly (five reds are available by the glass _ the cheapest is RM29++, with each subsequent one priced progressively higher up to RM69++), but the choices are inspired and the pourings are generous.

Sacha Lichine Merlot (Languedoc, Fr, 2009) and the most potent vodka martini (RM30++) we've sipped this year. Bucking the trend for hotel outlets, Thirty8 serves still water for free.

Service at Thirty8 is award-worthy by every possible measure. To get here, take the elevator from the ground floor to Grand Hyatt's Sky Lobby, where guests check in.

Grand Hyatt has two excellent other eateries: the Malaysian-centric JP Teres and the alfresco Poolside. Reviews to come very soon.

Thirty8 Restaurant and Lounge,
Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur.
Hotel line: 03-2182-1234