Fusion cuisine has been around for a long time, combining flavours and ingredients from different cultures to create dishes that are entirely unique yet familiar, and Malaysians can’t seem to have enough. After all, we are a multicultural nation, so we’re no strangers to the art of mixing flavours. In celebration of our love for food, we’ve drawn up a list of a few places that take fusion cuisine to the next level.
1. bōl, Bukit Bintang
Head to Bukit Bintang, where you’ll find an art deco-style restaurant serving up modern, reimagined Asian cuisine highly influenced by Peranakan flavours. Walk in, and you’ll see a chic bar leading into the green-hued dining area.
Entrees include dishes like the Rojak Tart, Squid-Ink Assam Octopus, and Itek Tim, a pulled duck Asian tortellini, amongst others. Sea Bass Masak Lemak Nenas, Cod Assam Pedas, and Buah Keluak Lamb Shank sit on the menu of mains.
Desserts are classics with a twist, like Cendol-Pop, Onde, and Hawthorn Melaka. Expect to spend an average of RM200 per person, and be sure to make reservations up to three months in advance for you and your guests.
Address: 15 Jalan Sin Chew Kee, Bukit Bintang, 50150 Kuala Lumpur
Contact: +6010 283 8869
2. Apollo Dining, Bangsar
Apollo Dining in Bangsar embodies the modern fusion restaurant dining experience. Contemporary with old-fashioned interior influences, the restaurant comes across as a rather zen space, highlighting its beautifully plated dishes.
Char Siew Lamb Rack, Thai Laksa Crab, and Cempedak Fritters with Coconut Sorbet are just a few of the picks from their East meets West fusion menu. Elevate your experience by pairing a meal with a cocktail or grab something off the brunch menu. Dining here averages at about RM60 to RM150 per person.
Address: 28 Jalan Kemuja, Bangsar, 59000 Kuala Lumpur
Contact: +603 2201 7565
3. Table & Apron, Damansara Kim
Comfort food is the foundation of this restaurant in Petaling Jaya. Created from the belief that good food should be shared, Table & Apron is a great spot to take family and friends to. Forget fine dining portions and indulge in hearty meals of claypot rice, roasted vegetables, pumpkin hummus dips, poached fish, pies, and more. Try their famous Buckwheat Fried Chicken or freshly baked sourdough bread paired with their flavoured butter.
How does a mix of fresh golden snapper, diced onions, and tomatoes, dressed in lime and lemon juice with a hint of bunga kantan, scooped up with a papadom sound for a refreshing bite? Slow-cooked pork doused in Guinness sauce and the Kabayaki Claypot Rice will undoubtedly leave you full and satisfied.
Address: 23 Jalan SS 20/11, Damansara Kim, 47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Contact: +603 7733 4000
4. ATAS, Kuala Lumpur
It’s no secret that The RuMa is home to some pretty fabulous restaurants, and the ATAS is just one of them. Serving up all-day meals, this modern eatery aims to provide high-quality dishes with the best influences from Malaysian, Asian, and European cuisine.
Ingredients are sourced locally from Tanjung Malim to Cameron Highlands and Borneo — one of our favourite dishes is the one that heroes Pahang-grown Japanese tomatoes. Go on a gastronomic journey and indulge in the Japanese Squid with Kerabu, Asam Pedas Risotto, Charred Calamari with Keladi Rice, Black Feet Poulet with Modena Aged Vinegar, and more.
Address: 7, Jalan Kia Peng, Kuala Lumpur, 50450 Kuala Lumpur
Contact: +603 2778 0888
5. Leonardo’s, Bangsar
Also known as Leo’s Dining Room & Wine Bar, Leonardo’s combines good food and a cosy dining atmosphere to offer you an experience you won’t soon forget. Have a full-course meal of soups, appetisers, mains, and dessert, or stop by for a glass or two of wine from their wine cellar, complemented with a selection of cold cuts.
Their pork skewers, fried frog, and barbecue ribs are customer favourites. Dishes fall on the pricier end, so be ready to spend an average of RM150 to RM200 per person.
Address: 61-1 Jalan Bangkung, Bangsar, 59100 Kuala Lumpur
Contact: +603 2096 2226
Located in the neighbourhood of Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI), Ember is a modern bistro focusing on sustainability and making contemporary Asian fusion cuisine from local ingredients and flavours. Almost everything is made from scratch and sourced locally; their portions here are made for sharing.
While the food is very much Asian-inspired, Ember is a progressive eatery that conjures dishes with influences from all over the world. Cold noodles, beef tartare, plantain chips, kampung fried chicken, and wagyu short ribs take over the menu, promising you a flavourful meal unlike any other.
Address: 20 Jalan Wan Kadir 1, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, 60000 Kuala Lumpur
Contact: +6018 323 2786
7. Calia, Bukit Bintang
Callia is a restaurant-to-retail trade originating from Melbourne, Australia and specialising in Asian fusion cuisine created with high-quality ingredients sourced from local and global suppliers. Head to the Pavilion Kuala Lumpur for a taste of their signature premium Australian marbled wagyu steak with 63° egg and yuzu kosho on Japanese Akitakomachi rice, or upgrade your steak to a Japanese A4 wagyu steak, air-flown direct from Japan. We love how the meals here are so hearty.
There’s also a selection of pastries and sweet treats from well-known local establishments and coffee made from Australian roasted coffee beans and matcha from Uji, Kyoto in Japan. The restaurant’s retail area has a selection of premium local and imported products like Australian macadamias, Italian truffle oil, or fine bone China tea sets. Customise bespoke gift sets with the help of one of the friendly staff.
Address: Lot 6.11.00, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur
Contact: 011-1078 1134
8. Palillos Yakitori Bar, Bukit Bintang
A Spanish yakitori bar and restaurant sound right up our street. With ingredients and dishes influenced by Spain and Japan, you really do get the best of both worlds. The menu celebrates dishes like the Iberico Spanish melon and Serrano ham, grilled tuna belly, fresh uni, ox tongue, Spanish wagyu, and more. Complement your meal with a cold pint of beer or a cocktail.
Address: 23 Jalan Mesui, Bukit Bintang, 50200 Kuala Lumpur
Contact: +6016 472 3635
9. Common Man Night Shift, TTDI
Make your way to Common Man Coffee Roasters for their newly unveiled evening session, Common Man Night Shift. Zafigo had the opportunity to preview this new night-time extension, and it’s a place we’ll keep coming back to. Tuck into an ensemble of Italian-inspired dishes made with a touch of Japanese and Middle-Eastern flavours.
The menu must-haves (based on our personal preference) include the Green Hummus starter, made with laksa leaves for a local taste and served with vegan sourdough flatbread. The Duck & Foie Gras Pie is rich and buttery, with the crust baked to perfection and a standout main dish.
For dessert, the Okinawa Black Sugar Tiramisu adds a delicious twist to a classic Italian dessert, dipping Savoiardi (ladyfinger sponges) in hojicha instead of coffee; it’s served with Okinawa black sugar and soy sauce caramel. If that doesn’t pique your curiosity, their list of natural wines that are specially selected to pair well with the food probably will.
Address: Plaza Vads, A-G-1 New Podium, 1, Jalan Tun Mohd Fuad, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, 60000 Kuala Lumpur
Contact: +603 7731 7095