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New Restaurants, Cafés And Bars in KL: March 2017

New Restaurants, Cafés And Bars in KL: March 2017

Bring your family for fine Hainanese delights in the city, enjoy fresh poke bowls alfresco and devour delicious biryani in a busy building. We're marching into the month with these 10 new places that you should get to know!
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This month saw Isetan The Japan Store unveil their concealed fourth floor to be The Table KL, a collective of premium dining establishments. For now, five esteemed Japanese restaurants have taken residence here: Yakiniku Toraji, Toriden, Tonkatsu Anzu, The Tokyo Restaurant & Bar and Tokyo's Michelin-starred Sushi Azabu. The central bar area with Japanese lanterns and red noren cloths hanging overhead afford mysteriously enticing vibes — perfect for an exciting date night. Head to Tonkatsu Anzu for a quality meal that won't break the bank. The restaurant uses only premium aged black pork from Kyushu and the lush experience is affordable, starting from RM35 for the Pork Loin Katsu Set. The light batter is crisp while the deep-fried meat remains moist and tender. Savour this with the supplied tonkatsu sauce, and the tiny dollop of mustard at the corner of your dish. On rainy nights, consider visiting Toriden for Fukuoka-famous chicken hotpot — a hearty meal of chicken meatballs in peppery soup.
Avg price per person: RM80
Photo by Burppler Amayzing

Anson Colonial Cafe is a modern Hainanese eating house, born out of award-winning chef Isadora Chai's revere for her childhood haunt, Coliseum Cafe. Housed in a 98-year-old building along Lorong Raja Chulan, the restaurant has an old-world charm that will set the mood for weekend outings with your family. Expect to see local delights on the menu, spiked with Chai's inventive twists. The specialty is a Marmite Chicken Rice (RM28) — think deep-fried chicken skin and steamed chicken flesh steeped in a toffee-like Marmite sauce. Served with oiled chicken rice, the dish is adventurous while still teeming with nostalgic flavours. If you prefer your local dishes original, try the Ipoh Sar Hor Fun (RM28) with its flavour-packed chicken and prawn broth. When dining at Anson, you have the option of ordering from neighbouring Antara, their sister Malaysian fine-dining establishment. Do that for dessert — the Terribly Alcoholic Cendol (RM38) is delicious (and intoxicating)!
Avg price per person: RM50
Photo by Burppler Trisha Toh

Here's an all-new breakfast option for those working in Publika: acai bowls! Cabana is the first of its ranks to serve acai bowls and smoothies made from acai pulp (instead of powder), sourced directly from Brazil. For a quick meal to uplift mornings or to fuel up before gym time, make your way to this joint with beach-like vibes. Order the Rio Classic (from RM12.90) that blends acai with apple and banana for foolproof flavours. This granola-topped combination is popular, as it allows the pleasant chocolatey notes of acai to come through. Alternatively, build your own bowl with fruitful options like fresh-cut mangoes, blueberries and goji berries. A small bowl with one fruit makes a great mid-day snack for RM12.90, whereas a large RM24.90 bowl will fill you up nicely with three fruits and one dry topping. These colourful bowls of cheer are good to have on the go, but the small stand also has rattan chairs to lounge on if you're not in a rush.
Avg price per person: RM25
Photo by Burppler Trisha Toh

At Bukit Damansara's new FLOUR, an open kitchen in the back dishes out piping-hot biryani pots as the front bustles with filled tables — meet your next venue for group lunches! The Vegetarian Thali (RM15) is a fast, tasty option for those on a tight lunch schedule, but we highly recommend saving this spot for when you have time. The Mutton Biryani (RM20) requires that you wait 20 minutes, but we assure you that it is worth every minute. The long grains boast a herby fragrance while large pieces of flavoursome mutton rest beneath. Owner Natasha advises eating the biryani on its own, and should you find it too spicy for your liking, add on raita (yoghurt) for a creamy balance. Our favourite order here has to be the Murgh Makhani (butter chicken, RM18) that comes with your choice of bread. Go with the Laccha Kulcha (leavened bread) with layers made for mopping up sweet, buttery gravy. The eatery also does their cha very well. End with the invigorating spice of a Ginger Cha (RM4) or Masala Milk Cha (RM4) — served in clay cups for an authentic feel.
Avg price per person: RM20

Secluded in Greens Terrace at TTDI, Cocott' boasts classy settings and fine food that make it a suitable venue for business lunches. This new French restaurant serves everything in cast-iron cocottes and the authentic experience doesn't end there. The menu is a picture of French comfort food, relying on roasts, stews and casseroles to please. Start with the Ratatouille (RM22), a well-seasoned vegetable stew topped with parmesan crumbs. For a hearty, easy-to-love main, the Chicken Fricassee (RM28) straddles perfectly tender chicken with sumptuous, savoury gravy. Not surprisingly, bread is taken seriously here. The restaurant's house-baked bread is soft, crusty and delicious for dipping. Set lunches (RM32 to RM58) feature a medley of two to four dishes on a weekly rotation, and all include the stellar bread.
Avg price per person: RM50
Photo by Burpple Tastemaker Melanie Yu

We've found our new favourite stop for poke bowls at this unassuming stand, set along the al-fresco Art Row in Publika. For a cloudy day lunch with colleagues, swing by Fin's Poke Bar for fresh poke fare. Of the three signatures available, we favour the Moana (RM16), which focuses on fresh salmon chunks and a crunchy, colourful combination of purple cabbage, sweet corn and edamame. The yummy bowl is then boosted by roasted sesame mayo sauce and a punch-packed togarashi (Japanese spice powder) egg. For tuna poke, go with the OG (RM16) that melds avocado and ahi tuna with the saltish soy-based 'Action Bronson' sauce. The option to make your own poke bowl for RM15 is great value for money, especially if you have specific preferences. Fin's poke bowls are served in shallow plastic bowls and we love this little detail that eases the entire eating process, from mixing rice to being able to see the ingredients come together.
Avg price per person: RM20

Burpplers working in the One City vicinity, here's a spanking new spot to satiate your local food cravings! Malay weave rattan paintings and vibrant blue and pink furniture make this a quaint location for both team lunches and after-work dinners. Malaysian classics are the draw here, with a scrumptious Curry Laksa (RM13.90) at the top of the list. Upping the noodle dish is its light and spicy broth, chock-full of tau fu pok, mussels and fried dumplings. When it comes to rice, Bibisik does a soulful, satisfying Nasi Ayam Stim (RM11.90). If the day is long and you need a pick-me-up to fuel you on, come by for their tea sets! The Set Nadiah (RM4.90) comes with a warming local drink (tea or coffee) and Roti Kahwin Mak Bibi — the Malay moniker for kaya butter toast.
Avg price per person: RM15

Bearing an uncanny resemblance to its sister Shelley Yu's, the new Naughty Nyonya offers similar fare for those in the Sri Hartamas area. Come to this swanky spot for a Peranakan feast and stay for a tipple with the girls! The highlight is the Kulit Ayam Goreng Sambal Petai (RM22) — deep-fried chicken skin paired with the exuberant flavours of sambal petai. Have this either with white rice as a reliably delicious appetiser or as a highly addictive bar snack after. Also good is the Telur Dadar Cincalok (RM18), tasty omelette redolent of piquant fermented prawn paste flavours. For a mellow night drink, have the Beefeater & Pandan Tonic (RM20 a glass) that features the use of fragrant pandan in gin and tonic. Non-drinkers won't be left out with the bar's menu of tempting mocktails, including a soothing Cold Brew Hibiscus Tea (RM12).
Avg price per person: RM35

From the people behind Chakri Palace comes Sanoook, a casual restaurant for Thai-Japanese dining. The next time you're planning a group dinner, book a table for the gang at this fun spot! The dishes are mostly Thai, tweaked with Japanese elements where it works. To begin, order the Mieng Kam (RM17.90). There is nothing noticeably Japanese about the betel leaf appetiser but that doesn't make the spicy snack any less delicious! For mains, Sanoook specialises in sushi burgers. The Chicken with Teriyaki Sauce (RM17.90) definitely outshines the rest with juicy chicken patty sandwiched between rice buns, thanks to its accompanying duo of wasabi mayo and green curry sauce. Another tasty example of Thai-Japanese food done right is the Massaman Chicken Skewers (RM17.90 for two sticks). Yakitori-style chicken skewers are doused in their brilliant Thai red curry sauce — this is one dish you cannot miss!
Avg price per person: RM30
Photo by Burpple Tastemaker Junior How

Nestled in a quiet PJ neighbourhood, this new cafe arrives to the scene with a picturesque courtyard, retro vibes and tasty fusion food. Spend weekday afternoons here with a close friend and take advantage of their super affordable RM12 lunch sets. The Kung Pao Chicken Spaghetti makes a great choice, melding lightly spicy Sichuanese sauce with al-dente spaghetti and crispy boneless chicken. Every set comes with a Summer Lemonade but if you're craving a cup of coffee, make the switch for an additional RM4. If you're extending your stay at the cafe, add the Houjicha Latte (RM12) or Matcha Latte (RM12) to your order. Both are fragrant, milky renditions of green tea. Also look out for the unique features that have been putting the cafe on the Instagram map — an old lamppost and black and white television sets, among others.
Avg price per person: RM20

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