A sneak-peak at the Ritz’s impressive restaurants.
I happily accepted an offer to stay at the gorgeous Ritz-Carlton Kuala Lumpur for three nights, and I didn’t leave the premises. Instead, I tried almost every item on the restaurants’ menus. I enjoyed a culinary experience that makes this authentic palace a foodie destination.
Let’s start by saying I didn’t even want to leave my spacious one-bedroom suite (with a walk-in closet!), but I did because I was on a mission — to try the diverse food options offered on the hotel’s many restaurants. Here’s a taste of what you can expect at the lavish estate in the prestigious Golden Triangle district.
1. The Cobalt Room
When you stay at the Ritz-Carlton Kuala Lumpur, you’ll enjoy breakfast every day either in bed or at The Cobalt Room.
The spacious dining room with high white ceilings and peanut-brown leather armchairs and booths offers a plentiful food display to take care of your most important meal of the day. It does so by providing a local and international experience highlighting Malaysia’s organic produce.
Various food stations make breakfast an interactive experience in which there are no limits to satisfy your morning cravings. Sweet bakes and Viennoiserie are a given, and fresh fruit is the star of the show. A sociable chef cooks fresh omelettes à la minute, and there’s a wide range of cheese and artisan bread to complement your plate.
The Cobalt Room is also open for dinner with the same attractive self-service food display. If it weren’t for the other fantastic restaurants on-site, most of them specialised in lavish dinners, I would have had dinner here more than once. If you do leave the hotel to explore the tropical country, this is where you want to restore your energy after a long day of walking around.
The Sunday brunch at The Cobalt Room is exceptional and features a live band to pair with your meal.
2. The Patisserie
Talking about live music, The Patisserie is where you go for a laid back, still sophisticated lunch or dinner. I had lunch here and loved it.
The open dining room has a dazzling mirror ceiling that heightens the geometric diamond tiles on the floor. The bar has a speak-easy feel to it and also serves as a coffee bar. Order anything from beer and wine to a steamy macchiato and speciality tea. I ordered a mocktail called Nojito, made with local calamansi orange juice, dried plum powder, coconut sugar and 7Up.
As for the food, I didn’t try the burgers or the colourful BBQ chicken wings, but I did snack on lamb samosas and the club sandwiches as I waited for my main course.
Order something from the Taste of Asia section, an excellent selection of local specialities including Hainanese Steamed Chicken and Char Kway Teow — tiger prawns and scallops served with a sunny side up.
You’ll find rustic, more traditional flavours in the From the Farm section, including a grilled lamb rack with heirloom tomatoes and a tender stuffed chicken breast served with red pepper mousse. La Patisserie offers salads and pasta too, and you can always start your meal with the Soup du Jour.
3. The Lobby Lounge
The Lobby Lounge is just that, but this is one luxurious lounge indeed. The Ritz reserves the spacey sitting room for the traditional Afternoon Tea, and they serve it with all the bells and whistles, including freshly baked scones, sans-crust sandwiches and cakes.
If you haven’t experienced a proper English Afternoon Tea, The Lobby Lounge at the Ritz-Carlton Kuala Lumpur is a fantastic place to get you initiated in the time-honoured ritual. The tea menu is extensive and offers tea and infusions from all over the world, from Chinese Fujian white tea to Moroccan mint tea.
You can also upgrade your experience to the Champagne Afternoon Tea if you feel like having bubbles instead.
4. The Library
Timber floors and wood panelling make The Library a comfortable, polished room to enjoy Chef Wai’s seasonal tasting menu.
Dinner starts with tender, sea-scented Hokkaido Scallops sliced like sashimi and served over a peach-tomato concasse. You can have Pan-Seared Foie Gras instead. Drizzled with aged balsamic, you probably should. After that, all guests are treated with a bowl of white corn soup over smoked salmon, garnished with chives and creme fraiche.
The third course can either come from land or sea. Choose from a sous vide Ocean Trout with herring caviar, a smoky Rack of Lamb with an intense gorgonzola-miso sauce or decadently soft Wagyu beef served two ways — grilled tenderloin and braised cheek.
Last but not least, the desserts in The Library are amongst the most elaborate in the Ritz. This is no ordinary chocolate cake; it’s gluten-free and made with the acclaimed 85% Kacinkoa chocolate. The Bavaroise is a tip of the hat to the classic desserts of the 19th century, and it’s served with almond gateaux with berry compote.
5. Li Yen
Li Yen means ‘beautiful garden’. The restaurant’s decor of Chinoiserie inspiration is, in their own words, “a blossoming garden of elegance.”
The award-winning, intimate restaurant is home to Chef Alex Au Ka Wah, who brings authenticity and heritage to the menu with seasonal Chinese specialities for lunch and dinner.
The acclaimed Bird’s Nest stew is a great way to start your meal at Li Yen. Served with caviar, black truffles or lobster, this is a nice way of splurging a little. The speciality is known for being amongst the most expensive foods on earth.
Of course, you need not spend a fortune to enjoy the restaurant’s traditional cuisine. Deep-Fried Enoki Mushrooms and Sakura Shrimp with Snow Pea Sprouts are lovely ways to start the evening, too. For a substantial main course, the Slow-Cooked Bone Ribs with Black Sugar are a house speciality, and so are the King Prawn Noodles.
Chef Tan Tiong Guan oversees the Dim Sum menu. An homage to Hong Kong’s delightful two biters. Two dozen small plates make this an authentic Dim Sum experience in Malaysia, including Rice Porridge with Pork and pungent Century Egg, Prawn and Mango Rolls, and, of course, a wide range of steamed dumplings.
Leave room for dessert because the Mango Pudding and the Deep-Fried Avocado Roll are great ways to end the night on a high note.
Come for the Views, Return for the Food
Yes, the Ritz-Carlton Kuala Lumpur sets the bar high for five-star hotel restaurants not only in The Garden City of Lights but in the continent. Staying at the Ritz is all about leisure, and the food certainly helps you feel like a Queen in the city of palaces.