Food fests, pop up bars – there’s no shortage of excitement in the Malaysian gastronomy scene this month.
Elevating Malaysian Cuisine
Discover a new side to modern Malaysian cuisine at ATAS, The RuMa hotel’s restaurant that cooks up locally sourced vegetables, herbs and spices using traditional and contemporary cooking techniques. The man leading the restaurant’s creative direction is Chef Tyson Gee, whose previous experience as the Chef de Cuisine at Park Hyatt Melbourne has encouraged him to create an upscale dining experience through dishes like foie gras torchon with roselle, peanut brittle and sourdough bread; raw yellow fin tuna with pomelo, hot mint and green chili; and wagyu sirloin with sambal assam, kai lan, and sour leaves. Fans of healthy greens will find no shortage of ulam-based salads, including foraged fiddle head ferns with dark soy sauce and crispy shallots; red braised mushrooms with peanuts; and Thai basil and charred baby corn with reduced coconut and pecorino.
A Matcha Made In Heaven
Niko Neko Matcha’s concept store in Bangsar’s Lorong Maarof is Kuala Lumpur’s new haven for green tea lovers. The calm and cosy-looking space – complete with white walls, minimalist wood décor and an adorable white kitten in Niko The Odd – is the ideal spot to discover more about the local brand that specialises in high-grade artisanal Japanese matcha. Not sure where to start? Ask the store attendant to take you through the range of high-end to affordable matcha, or have one of the refreshing mocktails, like the Le Blanc Matcha Mocktail (green tea with Muscat white grape, lemon, sparkling water and thyme), the Pisang Hijau (a banana matcha latte made with peanut crumbs, adzuki sauce and kerepek pisang), or the Champagne Supernova, a sparkling cold-brewed houjicha drink. If you can spare the calories, have the matcha sourdough croissant or the signature Crunch Cubes (green tea fudge brownies coated with rice crispies).
Pop-Up Bar Fun
PS150, the once-discreet cocktail bar on Kuala Lumpur’s Petaling Street, is taking its cocktail-making expertise outside Malaysia through PS150 x YTL Hotels, a series of pop-up events in collaboration with YTL’s properties in Malaysia, Japan and the United Kingdom. Following appearances in The Majestic Malacca and Niseko Village, the pop-up bar is due to appear in Threadneedles Hotel, London on 7-8 May, and The Alchemy Bar at The Academy, London on 9 May. Each pop-up will feature speciality drinks and cocktails created by PS150, such as Malt & Juniper, a concoction made with sweet vermouth and dry spice syrup; the Salty Chinaman, a PS150 classic made with vodka, preserved orange, lime, lemonade and bitters; and Lychee No 3, the bar’s take on the lychee martini, made with gin, torch ginger and lime.
Malaysia’s gastronomic paradise gets busy this April with the return of the Penang International Food Festival (PIFF), an annual event that highlights the best of the island’s street food and restaurant scene. Taking place on 13-28 April, this third edition of the annual festival is expected to draw over 400,000 visitors to various events across Penang, such as the Street Food Festival (13-14 April) on Lebuh Pantai, which gathers the best of Penang’s hawker fare; Taste of Penang (20-21 April) on Jalan Kelawai, which features Penang’s most popular cafés and restaurants on one street; and the Penang Seafood Galore (27-28 April), where Malaysia’s biggest outlet mall, Design Village, will host a feast for seafood lovers cooked up by dozens of chefs. Other pocket events include mini festivals, food walks, dining experiences and a food photography contest.