It’s been an amazing year for Malaysia’s food scene as new dining options focusing on local ingredients continue popping up across the city with one exemplary example situated in the heart of the city centre at Frasers Place Kuala Lumpur: Beta KL, a modern Malaysian dining establishment brought to you by the same visionaries behind Malaysian-French bistronomy restaurant, Skillet at 163.
First time visitors to Beta KL will feel immediately transported faraway from the city by the establishment’s chic, Insta-worthy interiors. The space houses several distinct areas including a well-stocked bar decorated with vintage Chinese apothecary cabinets; and an elegant dining area next to the open kitchen featuring an eye-catching batik mural as its centrepiece that also doubles-up as a fabulous event space for special occasions worth commemorating with your nearest and dearest loved ones.
This multi-cultural feel is especially evident upon skimming through Beta KL’s innovative menu. Celebrating the distinct culinary flavours found in several regions spread across Malaysia, the dishes have been divided into five catchy categories: Ringan for appetisers; Earth for vegetables; H2O for all things seafood; Land for meat and poultry; and Manis for dessert.
Helming the kitchen at Beta KL is the restaurant’s co-founder and Executive Chef, Raymond Tham. The former culinary instructor at KDU University College has made it his mission to guide Beta KL’s creative team of chefs to transform humble local ingredients into innovative dishes that makes every delightful bite presents an opportunity of discovery. Popular favourites worth sinking one’s teeth into include the crispy Inverted Karipap that transforms the popular street snack into a potato cylinder shell filled with creamy curry; and the deliciously delicate Bird’s Nest comprising of a coconut sphere, lychee bits and water chestnut served on a bed of dry ice.
Never one to rest of his laurels, Chef Tham is ready to seduce the hungry masses this Chinese New Year with an array of tantalising new dishes with an unexpectedly fun twist. First up is the Yee Sang, a unique interpretation of the traditional deconstructed salad dish served scallop, abalone and pellets of flash-frozen pomelo-flavoured sorbet which adds a refreshing mild sweetness to the overall dish. Other delicate bites worth noting include tasty tiger prawn served with slivers of torched ginger flower and a crunchy prawn head aioli; and decadent chilli crab custard topped off with caviar and gold leaf.
For those in search of heartier dishes that pack a flavourful punch, Chef Tham presents a tasty menagerie of meats that will surely whet one’s appetite. There’s the Bidor Spring Chicken, a comforting meal enhanced with yam, Bentong ginger and precious Bentong honey; barramundi spiced with pungent turmeric with a side of fermented pineapple; and succulent beef short-ribs elevated with hints of wondrously aromatic black Sarawak pepper. To complete your dining experience, be sure to order a generous scoop of the fruity Kedondong Asam Boi sorbet, a sweet-sour palate cleanser made with fresh ambarella juice and preserved plums.