Vogue Lounge KL

September 27, 2019

As a publication, Vogue has defined fashion, culture and lifestyle since its first issue more than 125 years ago; now, the brand seeks to redefine KL's fine-dining skyline, unveiling its first Malaysian restaurant, lounge and rooftop bar on the 38th-floor perch of Menara SuezCap, promising an eagle's-eye perspective of Bangsar South, Petaling Jaya and potentially far beyond.

The setting is sleek and sumptuous, befitting the gleam and glamour that Vogue stands for. Beneath a soaring ceiling of shimmering teardrop pendant lights, each table is elegantly adorned in the evening with fresh-cut flowers, as patrons slide into plush seats amid a chic collection of Vogue's international covers, with portraits of Cara Delevingne, Priyanka Chopra and Xiao Wen Ju looming overhead along twin staircases to the mezzanine. Each table has a terrific view; every corner is worth exploring, with a wine cave, cocktail bar and VIP rooms to uncover.

An escalator ride above the main dining hall, the rooftop bar beckons for customers who cherish wide-open spaces - an impressively fresh-faced venue for events, eschewing the typical city centre staples, powered by a panorama unobstructed by other skyscrapers, a closer-to-heaven escape from the cosmopolitan claustrophobia.

With this elevated backdrop comes heightened expectations for the kitchen. Thankfully, executive chef Kazuhiro Kojima rises to the occasion with a repertoire that blends the gracefulness of Japanese culinary sensibilities with the flourish of French techniques.

As strains of Parisian chanteuse Pauline Croze play on the speakers, start your meal with the sweet brininess of sea urchin, sourced from no less than Hokkaido for the most prized of these echinoderms, partnered with more Japanese produce in the form of a carrot puree, made extra luscious with consomme jelly - the ensemble would already be a delicate delight if the kitchen had stopped there, but a sprinkling of distinctively sensuous Ossetra caviar might make this one of KL's most coveted appetisers (RM180).

A skilled touch is also evident in the yieldingly tender Japanese wagyu carpaccio, awakening the palate with a gentle marinade of red wine that brings sultry depth to the sliced raw beef, balanced by the earthiness of olive oil powder, Parmesan cheese and wasabi mayonnaise, each component subtle enough to enhance without overpowering (RM60).

Moving on to main courses, European-caught black cod, buttery and flaky, is marinated with Kyoto-origin Saikyo miso for a mellow umami, married with a trinity of Japanese-inspired ingredients - ikura (salmon roe), shungiku (chrysanthemum greens) and daikon (radish) - for layers of flavour and texture that speak resonantly of both sea and land, the perfect order for patrons seeking a fish dish that's simultaneously classic and classy (RM75).

Passionate about poultry? Sink your teeth into the roasted French duck magret - breast meat that's as robust and full-bodied as any steak - furnishing a firm bite and a fleshy chew, tinged with the rich tang of Nagoya's pure-soybean hatcho miso, plus the clarifyingly bitter edge of coffee and chocolate notes of cacao, lingering on the taste buds and in the memory (RM66).

When French chef Michel Bras created the gargouillou in the early 1980s, it became one of the most celebrated recipes of his storied career, poetically representing the bounty of the terroir in all its colourful leaves and petals, vegetables and fruits. Vogue Lounge KL does justice to the gargouillou, a painstaking recipe rarely seen in this city's restaurants, assembling a complete garden on a plate, crisply bracing with plenty of natural sweetness, a marvellous melange of a salad with the chef's own twist of black truffle frits, as well as Japanese elements of kuzukiri root starch noodles and shiraae tofu dressing that make this an invigorating antidote against the heat of our perpetual summer (RM65).

Pastry chef Asako Nishibori works her magic for sweet temptations that conclude the Vogue Lounge KL dining experience on an emphatically consistent note, crafting a densely smooth chocolate terrine of 72 percent Valrhona Araguani, a Venezuelan single-origin that's been likened to the long-lasting tannins of wine and licorice, made zesty and lively with a piquant raspberry sorbet, plus beetroot powder and beetroot croustillant that add rustically aromatic dimensions to a refined concoction (RM39).

If Japanese-inflected desserts are irresistible for you, the matcha 'affogato' is a masterful must - red bean ice cream, crowned with gyuhi (a traditional wagashi treat, slightly softer than mochi), contrasted with the crunch of a green tea langue de chat biscuit, poured over with pure green tea, summing up the union of Japanese and European philosophies in one precisely calibrated bowl (RM35).

Vogue Lounge KL's cocktails, meanwhile, spring for the pinnacle of potent pleasure with infused liquors that imaginatively play on inimitable Asian influences, from the fruity Jack Of All Trades (RM50; jackfruit Pisco, Mezcal, citrus, egg white) to the floral Painting Grey (RM55; Earl Grey-infused gin, elderflower, lemon and egg white), the bittersweet tropic-themed Jungle Fever (RM55; banana-infused rum, Campari, Pimento Dram, pineapple, citrus and palm sugar) to the tartly herbaceous Royal Flush (RM55; lemongrass gin, violet, orange, honey, black lemon).

All in all, Vogue Lounge Kuala Lumpur has the chops to become one of the city's most heralded dining destinations, a respected entry to the ranks of Vogue venues worldwide under the Condé Nast International umbrella, including Vogue Cafés in Kiev, Moscow, Porto and Riyadh, GQ Bar in Berlin, and Tatler Club in Moscow.

Many thanks to Vogue Lounge Kuala Lumpur for having us here.

Vogue Lounge KL

Level 38 And Rooftop, Menara SuezCap, Jalan Kerinchi Kiri, Pantai Dalam, Kuala Lumpur.

Open Tuesday-Thursday, 5pm-1am; Friday-Saturday, 5pm-2am; Sunday; 5pm-1am. Closed Mondays.

Tel: 016-665-5984 or 03-27711530 / 03-27711531

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