Throughout the existence of this little corner of the internet that I called home, I’ve been fortunate enough to get invitations to try out interesting offerings from many restaurants. They’re often exciting, delicious, surprising,Â or even romantic, but at Beta KL, it was something that also brought a sense of pride.
Allow me to explain.
Beta KL is located at Cormar Suites, just a few minutes’ walk from the famous Petronas Twin Towers. As you work your way across to the rear of the building, behind a wall that looks more like an entrance to a tropical butterfly farm is an expansive dining area that’s tastefully decorated with a theme that seems to be inspired from Malaysian culture, including a wall that reminds me of batik fabric.
Our menu of the day was the season 1 of 2023’s Tour of Malaysia (RM 450 p.p), with cocktail pairing (RM 128 p.p for 3 glass, RM 168 p.p for 4 glasses).
We startedÂ with the first cocktail – Jambu Royale, consists of cachaca, fermentedÂ guava,and kaffir lime. providing a refreshing start to the evening.
First trio of the night was
- ulam, with budu from Terengganu & one of our favorite local lime variety – calamansi
- fish cracker, aÂ play of anchovies andÂ fermented chili, presented as a crunchy ball
- baby corn, with lempeng & buah kulim, of course, the product of Cameron Highland
Next trio were more exquisite dishes served together
- oyster, with galangal & lime
- quail egg, mushroom & cincalok
- yam, with duck & long bean
A mix of traditional ingredients with molecular gastronomy technique & treatment, an eye opener. There’s also the 0.00% Yeast, tapioca with fermented black beans & green chili emulsion. A sort of “not entirely unlike bread” thingy that we enjoyed quite a bit, especially surprised by the green chili emulsion that carried a bit of a kick.
Malaysian Sling was my second cocktail. A fizzy and aromatic drink consists of more local produce – pandan gin, lemongrass, tea, lime, honey, and ginger ale. Better than the Singaporean counterpart I’d say!
The first entree came in the form of Tiger Prawn with papaya, torch ginger, and kombucha. Flavorful acidic base with lightly cooked seafood, a good partnership.
Next was Treadfin, with deep fried Bentong ginger, mustard green, and homemade rice wine. A fine dining treatment through and through.
Cornfed chicken was a compact puck of minced poultry with asam pedas sauce that carries a mild but rather flavorful note. I also love the deconstructed coconut milk (?) on the side.
There was also a surprise during this time, with a bit of an exhibition and flair was how the Kombucha sorbet was prepared and served on the spot. A nice pivot from the more serious
The two mains we picked were lamb rack and duck breast. The lamb served with lawas rice and the classic Chinese 5 spice, expertly cooked, juicy, and satisfying. Duck breast was seasoned with tamarind, gula melaka, and betel leaf, the skin was especially crispy, can’t get enough.
The third drink was served as well, Asia Fashioned. A strong & umami cocktail with bourbon infused logan, rum keluak infusion, and gula melaka soy sauce. Yep, soy sauce. Surprising ingredient? Maybe by now we should come to expect it from Beta KL.
Desserts were Loyang Vol 3, with red beans & sesame; and Musang King durian, with peanut & Chemor chocolate. A fittingly sweet & rich ending to an excellent dinner that showcase the ingredients around Malaysia, with cooking techniques & creativity to match its uniqueness.