Wildflowers, Petaling Street
September 16, 2019
Wild horses shouldn't keep fans of modern Asian fare away from this lovely, leafy eatery; across the street from Merchant's Lane, the team behind one of Chinatown's top cafes has crafted another alluringly atmospheric venue, heralding the evolution of their ambitions with a full-fledged restaurant where the kitchen explores rambunctiously original recipes that blend Japanese with Thai inspirations, Chinese with Mexican, Malaysian with French; where memorable meals are made for sharing and talking about throughout a two-level space; where dynamic cocktails and delectable wines flow for hours after the sun sets.
Commence with the Japanese-inflected creations: Casting aside cliches of unagi teriyaki, Wildflowers introduces KL to assam unagi, imbued with the tang of tamarind that complements the tender eel, spread on sushi rice and nori sheets for fun finger food to perk up the palate (RM32). Another worthwhile starter is the salmon sashimi, fresh and luscious, spiked with a savoury-spicy dressing of fish sauce and green chillies, thickened with coconut milk for a crowd-rousing indulgence with the punch of Thai cuisine (RM34).
Cancun comes together with Canton for the pulled duck tacos, braised with five-spice powder, fleshy and full-bodied, rich in a deep, dark umami over wheat tortillas (RM28; a sprinkling of salsa might help for uplift), while San Luis Potosi meets Sichuan for the nachos, swapping the typical dip of cheesy minced beef for chicken mapo tofu instead, sultry but not overpoweringly fiery (RM24).
Wildflowers loves cooking under the influence of liquor: Red wine brings a sweet smoothness to the light-and-mild sambal prawn that's plopped with Peranakan-style vegetables over papadum, messy but moreish (RM28), while the kitchen's take on beef brisket evokes a cross between rustic French bourguignon and Hong Kong beef stew, slow-cooked initially with red wine, then splashed with Shao Xing minutes before being served, partnered with sliced Hainanese bread to soak up the meaty gravy (RM42).
Cocktails also sparkle with unmistakably Asian nuances: Korean soju for the signature Mugunghwa (RM34; with elderflower, lemon and lemonade soda), Japanese sake for The Last Sumo (RM32; with apricot and lemon) and Sarawak's own tuak for the Spirit of Borneo (RM36; with violet liqueur, lemon and honey), all of the pleasantly easy-drinking variety that'll have you downing three entire glasses before you even realise it.
153, Jalan Petaling, 50000 Kuala Lumpur.
Currently open for dinner by reservations; will commence regular lunch and dinner operations within this month. Tel: 03-2856-3369
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