Malaysia’s Latest Gastronomic Surprise: The Skillet Kuala Lumpur

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It has been a good year for the KARLS Group—first a Michelin star at Beta KL, and now a new home for Skillet KL in the swish Menara Hap Seng 3. It’s about time the group’s first child got an upgrade, and at our recent visit to the restaurant, we think it’s heading in the right direction.

Located on the first floor of Menara Hap Seng 3, the newly-opened restaurant—dubbed Skillet 2.0—is vastly different from its predecessor at Colmar Suites. The restaurant has been thoughtfully sectioned out, so going from room to room feels like an experiential process. Upon entering, you’re greeted by the wine cellar to your right, with an impressive display of wines personally curated by Chef Raymond Tham himself. We recommend opting for the wine pairing with your tasting menu—each bottle is paired to perfection with the course.

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Sous chef Eric Kit

After admiring the selection of wines in the cellar, we’re whisked away to the Social Room, a cosy sitting area facing the cocktail bar. As its name suggests, it’s where you come to socialise while waiting for your party to arrive, or your table to be prepped. Sip on a welcome drink while you’re here, or get the night started with signature cocktails by the restaurant’s resident mixologist to whet the appetite. We were also told that patrons who do not wish to dine can also visit the Social Room for drinks and small bites. Tham has also told us of plans to create a separate snack menu to complement the cocktails.

It’s now time to head over to the main dining area. Along the way, don’t forget to stop and smell the flowers—quite literally—on the Symphony of the Four Seasons floral installation. These botanical creations are reflective of Skillet KL’s dedication to seasonal produce and its tasting menus, which typically rotate several times each year: Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter.

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The Social Room

For the new opening, we got to try the Spring menu. While Tham continues to curate where the menu direction heads for Beta KL and Skillet KL, Sous Chef Eric Kit was able to flex his culinary prowess to a greater deal at the latter restaurant. The menu features European flavours and execution, but the ingredients are locally sourced.

Like the season, the overall Spring menu is fresh, laden with sweet vegetables, seafood in full bloom, and red meats tender to the bite. The amuse bouche sets the stage for the night, featuring a trio of bites: Spot Prawn with an aspic jelly topping made of prawn head broth; Spring Peas that were fresh and snappy, melded in with chicken blanquette; Quail Eggs prepared in a manner inspired by Scotch eggs but given a local flavour thanks to a filling of fermented soybean chilli.

For the next dish, Skillet KL dove deep and emerged with Oyster—a classic Skillet favourite—topped with Amur caviar typically found near the borders of China, renowned for its light and butter flavour. Paired with kombu cream for richness and cucumber granita for freshness, the dish is topped with homemade chilli oil for a little bit of heat. Then, we return to ground level with Cameron Highland Asparagus, a classic spring produce, paired with another popular springtime produce: firefly squid. For the third course, Skillet KL veers slightly Asian with Morel, a mushroom-forward dish with radish and a Silkie chicken broth flavoured with chicken garum.

We are given two choices for the main course: Threadfin Fish from Pulau Ketam with a Shaoxing wine emulsion or Aged Cherry Valley Duck from Penang that’s been dry aged for five days and slow seared for crispiness, served alongside foie gras mousse and a sauce made of mandarin peel jus. Both are great choices depending on how you’re feeling—choose the fish if you want a lighter main course, while the duck is rich in flavour that sates your desire for something meaty.

And then, there was dessert. Skillet KL regulars will be familiar with this one, as it is a Chef Raymond Tham signature that has taken on many forms throughout the years: Textures of Chocolate. This time, it’s dressed in strawberry pink, flavoured with strawberry compote and a hint of spice thanks to pink peppercorn, while the sphere is made from ruby chocolate whose pink hue is naturally occurring. The execution is still the same: smash into the sphere and eat it up. It’s fun, it’s delicious, and it’s a reminder that Skillet KL doesn’t forget its roots despite going onwards and upwards.

Click here to make a reservation.

Address: Lot 1-01, Level 1, Menara Hap Seng, 3, Jalan P. Ramlee, Kuala Lumpur, 50250 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

This article was first seen on Grazia.My

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