The nightlife magnet of Kuala Lumpur, Changkat Bukit Bintang, has its fair share of flaming shot bars, bouncing clubs, sports pubs, and some of the best restaurants in town. Here are a few you should book for your next date night, or lavish dinner out.
9 best restaurants in Changkat Bukit Bintang
Nefariously named, beyond the tongue-in-cheek signage sits a culinary den thoughtfully decorated to reflect a bygone Oriental flavour. I shall spare you the Sino-Anglo history lesson. Come here for some pork-free modern Chinese and Asian fusion delights like Opium Wanton Noodles, Angus Beef Rendang Bun and an assortment of dim sum straight out of the steamer. The drinks menu is bursting with signatures like infused gin and tonic in various flavours, but please complement the dumplings with rice wine.
Dining in the Dark
A novel concept when it first debuted, this unlit restaurant continues to draw crowds mesmerised by its reticent menu that reveals no ingredients. Be in for a sensorial surprise where you must recall olfactory memory and gastronomic vocabulary to discern and savour every bite. I shall not spoil it for you further. The restaurant is pork-free and since you’re putting your nose to the test, let’s go for wine pairing too.
6pm-9.30pm, closed on Mondays
A perennial favourite for traditional Malay fare served in a fine-dining environment, Bijan while enraptures with rustic staples like Kerabu Pucuk Paku Daging Salai and Rendang Kambing, it also tantalises with specialties including Masak Lemak Udang Tempoyak, Kerabu Nangka and Rendang Itik Bijan. While the heat is never intense, with rounded flavour perpetuated, you can simmer down with a glass of wine.
SPG by Bijan
If Bijan looks to be a place to impress your future mother-in-law, SPG is where you will want to drag your bridesmaids out for an evening of tapas and cocktails in a vibrant, Instagrammable setting. We love the bright sunlight streaming through to the patio where we can indulge in some tête-à-tête. After much moral-decaying gossiping, you must repent with Fries Celup, Duck Curry Bun, Seabass & Acar Noodles, Blur Like Sotong Pizza, and cleanse yourself with the Kampung Girl cocktail to replenish some stripped innocence.
6pm-11pm, for special live events
The Whisky Bar KL
Any whisky or whiskey you could think of would have found its way to the aptly named Whisky Bar. A perfect place to expand your boundaries, the bar houses established names like The Macallan and Royal Salute, as well as independents like Eiling Lim. You don’t have to excuse yourself when your tummy calls for gluttony. Nibbles such as beef carpaccio and pan-fried foie gras are offered, while gourmands can look forward to Steak Rossini or Butter Poached Boston Lobster.
El Cerdo (non-halal)
For the satiation of pork cravings, you can’t go wrong with El Cerdo. A specialist in pork knuckles, ribs and roast, the rustic interiors of the restaurant transport you into a Spanish home presiding over an open plain in the countryside. Signature dishes include Cochinillo Al Estilo Segoviano, a Spanish-style roast suckling pig, Jamon Iberico de Bellota, and oven-roasted Iberico spare ribs. What else to pair with but wine which is extensively cellared here.
5pm-12am, Mondays to Saturdays; 12pm-2.30pm and 5pm-12am, Sundays
Bottega Mediterranea (non-halal)
An unassuming deli at first glance, this café packs any Mediterranean imported products and produce you might want to whip up pizzas, pastas and other delights at home. While your eyes explore the stocked shelves and your mind ponders over what to shop for, stay for a cheese and cold cut platter complete with a bottle of wine. Indulge further with a homemade tiramisu perfected through family traditions.
11am-10pm, Mondays to Saturdays
For nearly 2 decades, Ciccio has been the purveyor of authentic Italian fare in KL. The homespun restaurant stays true to tradition with everyday but no less delicious dishes including Prosciutto e Melone, Parmigiana di Zucchine, Rigatoni all Amatriciana, Porchetta and Calzone. If winding down after a long day is on the card, there are a rich array of pizzas fresh out of the oven and beers on tap.
5pm-12am, Tuesdays to Sundays
Pinchos Tapas Bar (non-halal)
Spanish tapas prepared with imported ingredients from the Iberian Peninsula, Pinchos is all about sharing with the right company. With an impressive variety, vegans and vegetarians don’t lose out. We particularly enjoy Tomates con Ajo, Pinchos de Chorizo, Costillas Ibericas and Pinchos de Gambas con Jamon. As for drinks? Sangria, of course.
(Main image credit: SPG by Bijan. All images by respective restaurants unless stated otherwise)
This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia KL.