New dining openings outside of KL to keep on your radar, including Genting Highland’s first 1-Michelin star restaurant and Ipoh’s coolest new speakeasy
1. Tiga Bar, Ipoh
Tiga Bar’s menu of cocktails and mocktails riffs on classic standards, adding Malaysian influences through the use of tropical spices, herbs and fruits. Sip on any one of its creative cocktails: the Vintage Fashioned, an Asian-style spin on an Old Fashioned using whiskey infused with smoky lapsang souchong tea, galangal honey and Angostura and orange bitters; or the Market Club, Tiga’s bestselling concoction of pandan-infused gin and raspberry liqueur with gula melaka (palm sugar) and a twist of lemon.
35 Market Lane, 30000 Ipoh, Perak
2. Rempah, Penang
Rempah is Penang’s newest Nyonya eatery. Make no mistake; this isn’t not your average traditional Peranakan restaurant, however. Featuring sleek and chic furnishings, Nonya cuisine classics are served with a modern twist here. Highlights on its small and compact menu include a buah keluak chicken; otak-otak in filo pastry and peng hu.
149 Lebuh Pantai, 10300 George Town, Pulau Pinang
3. POUND, Kota Kinabalu
Comfort dishes are the name of the game at POUND. This modern-casual all-day dining restaurant features a menu of mouthwatering classics like pizzas and pastas, and boasts an incredible panoramic view of the South China Sea from the restaurant. Try its signature fried chicken for a spot of sinful eating or the delicious pan-seared halibut.
L1-29, Level 1, Jesselton Mall, 3 Jalan Haji Saman, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
4. Beni, Genting Highlands
Beni is famed in Singapore for its inventive contemporary French-Japanese cuisine by chef Kenji Yamanaka, and it has retained its Michelin star every year since 2016. Now the restaurant brings its fresh take on Japanese ingredients and flavours to Malaysia, opening in Genting Highlands’ SkyAvenue mall. Opt for the lunch or dinner degustation menu to sample the best of what chef Kenji has to offer. The Ozaki A5 wagyu, imported from Japan’s Miyazaki prefecture and available for dinner, is a must-try.
Lot T2-19, Level T2, SkyAvenue, 69000 Genting Highlands, Pahang, Malaysia
5. OITOM, Kota Kinabalu
At OITOM, locally-grown Sabahan produce are the star ingredients on its tantalising tasting menu. The restaurant, helmed by chef-owner Raphael Jay Peter Lee, hopes to celebrate the richness in Sabah’s flavours and ingredients. “Oitom” actually means “black” in the indigenous Kadazan language, which also translates to the restaurant’s sleek and dark interiors. Try its Beetroot, Rose and Kombcha dish which is as delicious to the tastebuds as it is pleasing to the eye; the beets are fermented with the restaurant’s housemate kombucha for five days, and later thinly sliced and rolled into the shape of a flower.
Unit J-1-1, 1st Floor, Block J, Lorong Pusat Komersil 88/1, 88 Marketplace, Jalan Pintas, Sri Kepayan, 88300, Penampang, Sabah