Chef Chai Serves A Culinary Ode to Joy
Being food writers, Hiran and I have discovered many interesting culinary gems and the latest addition to our list is Copper KL. Set up by husband-and-wife team, Chef Chai and Zeehan, Copper offers its own unique interpretation of contemporary European cuisines. We visited the restaurant located on Level 5 in Menara Shell and we would have almost missed it if it wasn’t for the music which led the way. It was after 6pm when we arrived, all the shops were closed but Copper’s lively ambience drew us to take a closer look.
While the menu screamed fine dining, the interior revealed a more casual nature with notes of bucolic elegance. We were welcomed with a vast open kitchen where we met Chef Chai Chun Boon who seemed excited to be serving us. Perhaps it was because we were going off menu and he could flex his culinary muscles to put his imagination on our plates. Chef Chai started us off with the Egg Royale, a crowd favourite and we were about to find out why. The dish was presented on a bed of toasted cumin seeds to keep the delicious custard in the egg shell warm. The top was a delicious foam packed with truffle oil flavour. It hardly took more than a minute to consume it and we revelled in the delicate sweetness that lingered.
Next was a dish we foresee trending on the foodie radar, Crystalised Ice Plant served with sesame seeds. The taste was a mix of sour and savoury with a delightful crunch and juice to carry the flavours. Chef Chai’s travels are reflected on the next dish that was presented, the Spanish staple, Gazpacho. He adds his own local twist with the Kulim oil, robust with flavour to compliment the earthy, creamy and smokiness of the broth. The onions added a sweetness while the parsley oil heightened the texture and flavour.
The Wild-Caught White Fish is a dish we’d come back for. In this dish, Chef Chai showcased his finesse in using complex techniques and preparation to give joy to the palates of his guests with a dash of pea puree for creaminess to complement the freshness of the wild caught fish. The balance of colours from the toasted brown of the potato noisette, refreshing green from the Mizuna and elegant purple maroon hue from the coleslaw kraut was a feast for the eyes. With heavy hearts, we ended our dining venture at Copper with an unusual choice of dessert, the Classic Churros served with a dulce de leche, Valhorna chocolate sauce and vanilla chantilly.
This semi-fine dining establishment gave us plenty of excitement in both presentation and taste. It’s considerably surprising how this four-year-old restaurant has missed our radar but perhaps as Chef Chai and Zeehan continue to create themed menus, more will come and appreciate their distinctive approach to modern European cuisines. For foodies on a date, this is where you need to be and make no mistake, romance will fill the air.
Level 5, Menara Shell,
Jalan Tun Sambanthan,
Brickfields, 50470 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03 28569522