From Japanese-style tapas to a vibrant Mexican joint, read on for our guide to the best new group-friendly eats in KL
1 – Willow KL
Occupying the building where mod-French restaurant Saint Pierre used to sit, this new fine-dining establishment boasts an intriguing East-meets-West menu. Sink your teeth into delightful fusion dishes that’s perfect for sharing; we recommend the heirloom tomato tarts served with an anchovy mascarpone; Spanish octopus leg with gojuchang (Korean fermented chilli paste), garlic and pico de gallo; and Hokkaido scallops served in a lemongrass velouté with seafoam and chilli oil. It’s not just items on the menu that we find impressive: check out the dramatic floral display hanging from the ceiling and and the stunning view of Petronas Twin Towers. Be sure to make room for the Sabahan-inspired cocktails at the bar.
8F W Kuala Lumpur
This cosy new bistro in Bangsar South whips up a delicious brunch and an all-day dining menu. Dining in with friends? Dishes like the sumptuous seafood paella and roast chicken are ideal for group sharing. Its expansive, airy and light-filled interiors are also perfect for whiling the hours away in good company. It’s always five o’clock somewhere, so if you feel like kicking back with a glass of vino at noon, why not?
The Sphere, 1 Avenue, Bangsar South
3 – Chipta 11a
Omakase dining with a twist is the name of the game at Chipta 11a, located at PJ Seapark. Chef Jack Weldie reinvents the omakase concept with his curated “no-menu” menu. Park with your gang at the long communal table and enjoy a smorgasbord of genre-bending dishes like a Yellowtail Turmeric Risotto and Cured Horse Mackerel topped with Sabahan wild ginger, all prepared in front of your eyes. No two meals here are the same, and the dishes on offer vary daily depending on the produce available and the chef’s whim.
11a Sea Park, Petaling Jaya
4 – Chica Bonita
Craving for tacos? This new Mexican joint in Publika, opened in October last year by the folks behind Penang’s popular Holy Guacamole, brings plenty of flavour to the Klang Valley. Its extensive menu runs the gamut of antojitos (appetisers) and enchiladas to postres (dessert). Tacos and burritos are aplenty here, so order yourselves a few and share among your group. Try the Mexican tlayuda (handmade fried or toasted tortilla typically served with toppings like beans, avocado, meat and Oaxaca cheese) as well as cocktails like the Lomo Paloma (tequila with grapefruit soda and lime juice). The striking maximalist interiors are worth a mention too – think floor-to-ceiling Día de Muertos murals, fluorescent La Catrina portraits and a sombrero-wearing mannequin.
Publika Shopping Gallery, Solaris Duatamas
Japas is Michelin-starred chef Jeff Ramsey’s latest culinary brainchild. This new endeavour, the rebirth of his popular Damansara joint Babe, bills itself as an izakaya-style “Japanese tapas wonderland”. Its menu is thoughtful and simple, boasting both small sharing plates and sumptuous mains that heavily feature Japanese ingredients. Tuck into dishes like the Grilled Pulpo al Ajillo (Spanish-style smoked paprika with aioli and lemon) and Shimaaji Carpaccio (served with white tsuyu, lemon and leek) which you can enjoy along with the stunning backdrop of Kuala Lumpur’s skyline from the restaurant.
WORK@Clearwater, Bukit Damansara
Following its three-month-long closure, Nobu KL is now finally welcoming back diners at its sleek new home in Four Seasons KL. The swanky restaurant space features a cocktail bar, sushi counter bar, private dining rooms that are perfect for big-group special occasion meals, as well as a sake room offering diners an experiential way to learn about the drink. Fans of the Michelin-starred fine-dining restaurant can look forward to its famed Japanese-Peruvian cuisine. Start with the melt-in-the-mouth Wagyu Tataki and its slew of signature small plate dishes that run the gamut of a yellowtail sashimi with jalapeno to mini lobster and creamy wasabi tacos.
Four Seasons Hotel KL, 145 Jalan Ampang