Located on the mezzanine floor of the fabulous The RuMa Hotel and Residences, Atas Modern Malaysian Eatery offers a welcoming respite to passersby from the every day hustle and bustle of the big city. Bathed with natural light thanks to its floor-to-ceiling windows, the interiors of the restaurant showcase minimalist colour palettes paired with cozy accents and modern furniture, livened up with plenty of other eclectic touches personally handpicked by the hotel’s owners including antiques dipped in gold paint and historical photos decorated with punchy stickers.
Helmed by Executive Chef Tyson Gee, diners who delve into Atas will have an opportunity to undergo a culinary journey that celebrates the diverse ingredients that have made Malaysian cuisine one of the most exciting in the world. Inspired by his own personal journey of discovery and exploration, the Canadian-born chef shared how he was tasked by the hotel’s owners to conceptualise an entire menu from scratch in a mere seven days. Driven by sheer determination and his passion for food, the tenacious chef managed to materialise a variety of impressive dishes that showcased his bold and unconventional approach to traditional Malaysian ingredients. Some of these ingredients can be found growing right within the restaurant’s premises including colourful bird’s eye cili and adorable Malaysian aubergines, as well as various other ubiquitous greens including nasturtium and basil.
Every culinary journey at Atas begins with a small selection of savoury-sweet appetisers featuring surprising pairings to result in unexpectedly tasty combinations. These bits and bites include creamy chicken liver parfait served on a buttermilk waffle and topped with tangy roselle jam; and smoked eel donut, a melt-in-your-mouth morsel perfectly fried until light and fluffy, topped with Chinese parsley and fresh salmon roe before being served with a quenelle of whipped kaya. Also worth a bite are the intriguing starters that offer a plethora of interesting textures and flavours to ensure that each bite is extra memorable. There’s cured ocean trout served with crispy puffed tapioca plus a side of addictively spicy sambal dressing to offer just the right amount of heat; and raw beef tartare served with smoked oyster aioli, puffed beef tendon and aromatic fried garlic.
Carnivores who wish to sink their teeth into Atas will be rewarded with gastronomic creations freshly prepared using the restaurant’s charcoal oven, an essential kitchen appliance that is key to creating the authentic flavour of the grilling without destroying the texture and juiciness of the meat. This is evident the moment one digs in to Chef Gee’s juicy wagyu sirloin. Served with local kai lan and sour leaves, this version of the coveted marbled meat from Japan includes a dash of tangy sambal asam, a fermented hot chilli sauce made with tamarind, that ensures every savoury bite results in a memorable explosion of exquisite flavours and textures.
Flexitarians and vegetarians hankering for something light and easy will have a field day sampling dishes such as baby corn charred to perfection served with sweet coconut cream and shavings of pleasantly pungent Pecorino cheese; the simple-yet-sublime salad made of Jasmine rice, spring onion, sesame oil and addictive chicken skin; and succulent braised red mushrooms topped with aromatic peanuts and Thai basil.
Of course, no hearty meal could possibly be complete without delving into Chef Gee’s sweet creations inspired by the exotic flavours of the tropical plants that reside in Asia. Sensitive palates will certainly delight in deciphering the subtle flavours found in the pandan creme caramel paired with coconut sorbet and the lychee panna cotta served with rose jelly with a roselle sorbet; however, if it’s bolder flavours that you’re after, have a go at the chocolate parfait made with Pahang single origin 70% dark chocolate and the intoxicating Durian ice-cream sundae topped with pistachio, gula melaka and coconut.
The RuMa Hotel and Residences, 7 Jalan Kia Peng, 50450 Kuala Lumpur, Tel: +60 3 2778 0888