My partying days are so over. I’ve not been out clubbing at all in recent years. Most people who’ve met me would find that very hard to believe. Apparently to them, I’ve got a face of a party-goer. Me, clubber? NOooooo! I hate to break it to them, but what they’re actually looking at is the face of a guy who prefers to spend his evenings in a cozy place and enjoying the company of dear friends. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
However, that hasn’t stopped me from knowing that up until today, it’s highly unlikely for someone to say, “let’s go eat at the club”. Food and thumping music are rarely spoken of in the same sentence, let alone being able to experience it together. Let’s face it, a club isn’t a pub where hearty food can be found. And if and when a club does serve anything that resembles food, it’s often just deep-fried snacks or dehydrated peas and nut that are insufficient to provide one with the energy to party all night long. Most social-party goers would find themselves eating at another place before adjourning to a club.
Trying to overcome this misconception of party food are the people behind 7atenine and Twenty.One_table + terrace. I’ve recently been invited to take a step back into the club circuit and savour a new experience at these two establishments.
I. 7atenine, The Ascott KL
Located at the foot of the mighty KLCC Twin Towers is this very cosmopolitan club. To be honest, I’ve never really considered them a real club. It’s more of a chic and cool bar where you can still enjoy a drink and laugh without being too caught up with the DJ’s grooves. I love its semi-outdoorsy concept and how the “al fresco” area is just under lush greeneries. It’s a relaxing spot despite being in the heart of the city.
Operated by the people behind other successful eateries and watering holes like Soul’d Out and WIP, it comes to no surprise that they pay a lot of emphasis on their food as much as their drinks. With its kitchen watched over by the capable Chef Warren, our feast at 7atenine includes a fair mix of seafood (fresh and grilled) and grilled meat. Be prepared to be wowed by creative dishes like 7-Mushroom Soup with Fried Mantao, Lemongrass Infused Pumpkin Chowder, Green Tea Smoked Salmon, Sakyo Cod and Sukhotai Lamb. My favourites from the evening’s sampling were easily the best-selling Pommery Chicken, which uses Moutarde de Meaux to glaze its succulently grilled chicken breast (it was one juicy breast) served with a fluffy whipped potato; and the tender and fat Smoked Duck breast served between layers of crispy homemade potato waffles and greens. The latter tasted very much like pork bacon – perhaps all hotels should use these as substitute instead of the blend turkey version.
If you’ve always love your alcohol with your sweets, then look no further than the innovative blends created by their very own bar staff. 7atenine’s latest pride and joy, Haagen Dazs Dessert Cocktails using the 7 different ice cream based-flavours to create a creamy and pleasurable dessert drink for only RM25.70++.
II. Twenty.One_tables + terrace
I’m not too sure what’s the deal with the numbers in their names, but it’s clear that these numerical places sure do whip up a good meal. According to Richard, who’s the don of the place, this place was meant to bring back the sexy into Bangsar. Long gone are the days when Bangsar’s Telawi streets were THE dining and partying spot for all KL-lites. These days the crowd has moved on to places like Changkat Bukit Bintang, where Richard also has previous success with his first Twenty.One_restaurant + bar. The place was created to be a seamless spot for its patrons to enjoy and chill from Happy Hours all through to supper. Located on the 3rd floor of the new renovated Bangsar Shopping Centre, it offers its patrons a spectacular panoramic view of the city not too far away.
Twenty One also prides itself with the creation of its sexy drinks, namely the 21 Degrees, T&T Martini, Twice as Nice and Popcorn Martini. The latter is a creative blend of creamy butterscotch and vodka and topped with, what else, a popcorn. Cute to say the least.
The variety of food here is much wider compared to 7atenine, which means it has something for everyone. The menu includes appetizers like the Rolled Smoked Duck Breast (similar to Peking Duck but with thicker pancake), a hearty Roasted Wild Mushroom Soup (I love its milkshake like consistency!) and the excellent Sauteed Green Asparagus with Hollandaise Aioli. The last dish was topped with a perfect poached egg that’s was cooked, textured and runny at the same time. Orgasmic. The chef also took some creative liberty in the making of his fusion-based mains like the sweetish Spicy Linguini with a Mild Braised Lamb Red Curry (which reminded me of a Japanese curry), a rather gammy Slow Braised Beef Cheeks on a creamy bed of mash, and a Braised Beef Burger (instead of the usual grilled) which resulted in a juicy and thick patty. Nice. If I have to pick a favourite from the evening, it’ll have to be the fork tender and melt-in-your-mouth Braised Lamb Shank, served with steamed potatoes, green asparagus, tempura eggplant and the surprisingly good chili mint salsa.
Chocolate lovers will find it easy to love Twenty One tables + terrace’s bowl of Baked Dark Chocolate Ganache with Warm Chocolate Cream, White Choc Lemon Curd and Choc Soil, which is a combination of 3 different kinds of chocolate. Didn’t I say it was a chocolate-lover’s paradise? If you prefer something lighter (as opposed to the guilt-laddered chocolate affair), order yourself the Passion Fruit Mousse with Fruit Compote. This panna cotta styled dessert will get you started dancing on the inside, before you head over to the dance floor.
Thanks to Aly of Red.FM, Dinesh of BDRB and the team behind both clubs and restaurants to take your time off to host both dinners. I thoroughly enjoyed myself on both evenings (despite not drinking much – I get high naturally around happy people).
Ascott Kuala Lumpur,
9 Jalan Pinang,
50450 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +603-2161 7789
Twenty.One_tables + terrace
T1, 3rd Floor, Bangsar Shopping Centre
285, Jalan Maarof, Bukit Bandaraya,
59000 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +603 2287 0021