While Kuala Lumpur is most often lauded for its street food, the restaurant scene is also thriving and dynamic. If you’re looking for a romantic night out, take your pick from restaurants with a view, rainforest dining and cocktails on the veranda. Here are our top spots for a special night out.
Dining in KL is all about the views, and the newly opened Cantaloupe boasts some of the best in the city. Perched on the 23rd floor of The Troika (the Norman Foster-designed building on the edge of Kuala Lumpur City Park), Cantaloupe is a beautiful, wholeheartedly modern space. Floor-to-ceiling windows provide a 360-degree view of the KL skyline, and the nonlinear layout of the building means there are plenty of private corners for intimate dinners (famed Melbourne interior designers Hecker Guthrie were responsible for the layout of the dining room). If you’re hungry for the traditional oyster (something chef Christian Bauer excels in), try the Fine de Claires with marinated anchovy cream. The menu also features many experimental dishes such as chorizo-dusted scallops, pigeon terrine and butter-poached Nova Scotia lobster.
You wouldn’t think it when you’re in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, but the city has pockets of rainforest amidst the concrete. Drive out to the eastern suburb of Ampang (a short five minutes to the suburb proper but up to 30 minutes for areas deeper in) and you’ll find Tamarind Springs, an Indochinese restaurant set amongst the rainforest. Lantern-lit decking leads into the resort-like restaurant overlooking the jungle, where you can settle down for an evening of modern Southeast Asian dining. Tamarind Springs takes influences from the surrounding region, incorporating flavors from Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia into the dishes. Try the Laotian coconut milk soup, or the Phnom Penh-style wagyu beef lok lak with lime and black pepper.
La Vie En Rose
Who are we to argue with the long-held conviction that French cuisine is the most romantic in the world? Two years ago, La Vie En Rose transformed an abandoned colonial house into one of KL’s most distinguished fine dining destinations, serving classical French cuisine from head chef Mickael Cornutrait. Start the evening off with The Eiffel Tower (a champagne cocktail with a Grand Marnier base) on the terrace, and then move indoors to enjoy traditional and updated French dishes — try the foie gras crème brûlée for a slightly mind-tilting starter or the excellent duck confit. Warmly lit by low-slung chandeliers and with vistas looking out across the city, La Vie En Rose is a relaxed but intimate space for a romantic dinner.
Photos courtesy of La Vie En Rose, Tamarind Springs and Cantaloupe