Mr Chew’s Chino Latino Bar
Fusion Delights Fit For Royals
BY JACQUELINE BENITA PAUL
For some time, I thought about visiting Mr Chew’s Chino Latino Bar due to its social media hype, so I was quite excited to get the media invite to sample the new additions to its menu. Since it’s the sibling of Troika Sky Dining and Brasserie Fritz, my expectations were as high as of the former penthouse the restaurant is located.
While I love coming to the city, it’s always best to travel here via public transport or you could opt to park in Fahrenheit to enjoy a reasonable parking rate. After a short stroll, I arrived at the WOLO Hotel Bukit Bintang and made my way up to the restaurant. My mind completely blurred out as the kind hostess showed me to my table as it was preoccupied with pure appreciation of the Manhattan
loft design. Exposed bricks, glorious natural lighting from the tall glass windows and marble tables make this a space that would make your Instagram feed envy-worthy.
This is a place you’d want to clear out your schedule for and explore the various chic spaces upstairs. If you have an appreciation of pure white and gold space with a hint of marble and sake, then the Kirin bar is where you’d want to be. I finally made my way to my table to join the other invited media and another marvel caught my eye, the painting of the Empress Dowager Cixi – the bold colours, her history as one of most stylish empresses and even the fact that she had her own “Western Kitchen” brings together what Mr Chew is all about.
The menu features a medley of signature Asian flavours with Latin American influences. Chef James Thong, who helms the kitchen at Mr Chew’s said the new menu was inspired from a recent trip to Thailand. The first dish to arrive at our table was the Tawau salad from the small plate section of the menu. The combination of the sweet shredded apple and pear enveloped in a creamy and slightly spicy fish sauce topped with crispy flakes, made me wish I didn’t have to share it.
Next up was the Gochujang chicken-stuffed steamed bun with pickled pumpkin and chestnut. As I had hoped, the pau was soft and a nice contrast to the crispiness of the surprisingly sweet Gochujang chicken. The mains were the star of our menu tasting. The salt & pepper fried whole golden snapper with dill and leek may sound simple, but the flavours left us wondering – how could there be so much creaminess without gravy? It was even better when I paired the dish with the fragrant jasmine rice steamed in lotus leaf.
In between the mains we enjoyed an array of pickled dishes that were in season. Our palates were refreshed and perked up for what came next. The grilled chicken prepared with pickled onion, ginger, Thai basil ulam with a side of Mr Chew’s secret sauce was impeccably moist. Given that it was cooked in the sous vide style and marinated in brine water for 24 hours, this shouldn’t come as a surprise.
The sizzling wagyu striploin also teased our palates with a mix of savouriness and sweetness from the Palermo pepper. The flavours seemed to heighten when I drank the Ancient Fashion – a cocktail made from Akashi White Oak blended whiskey, 5-spice syrup and ginger-cherry bitters topped with a flowered ice, creating perfectly balanced cocktail – both in sweetness and temperate together.
Finally, we reached the dessert which was equally as innovative as all the dishes that we had sampled so far. I believe Chef James took into consideration that we might have been quite full with the feast that we had so the desserts were light and easy to digest. The Coconut & Mango Ice Kacang had many winning qualities with the combination of the fresh mango cubes coated with the creamy coconut ais kacang and young coconut flesh that gave us something to bite on to savour the flavour longer. My culinary adventure at Mr Chew ended with the Sesame Chocolate Noodles that also excelled in making contrasting flavours work together with the sesame ice cream, crystalised pine nuts, chocolate noodles and orange candy with milk syrup.
The Penthouse, Wolo Hotel
Corner of Jalan Bukit Bintang and Jalan Sultan Ismail Bukit Bintang,
55100 Kuala Lumpur
+60 3 4065 0168