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Tis’ the season to be hungry. And why wouldn’t you, with all the Christmas culinary offerings available in Kuala Lumpur? With restaurants and hotels getting into the festive spirit, there are plenty of Christmas (and New Year) specials on offer. Some are traditional, some are modern, and some are a mix of both. Find out which one you should be spending your stomach with this year.
1. The Majestic Kuala Lumpur
We kick off our list with a temporal treat. In the splendid colonial setting of The Majestic Kuala Lumpur, there are two ways to eat your way through the holidays. At Contango, an assortment of dishes from all over the world are available at the Christmas Eve Dinner and Christmas Day Lunch/Dinner (RM180 nett), repeated on New Year’s Eve Dinner and New Year’s Day Lunch/Dinner (RM200 nett). For something a bit more curated, Colonial Café offers a special wine-pairing to go with a coursed menu with highlights such as a Traditional roast turkey with trimmings, Roasted veal rack, Slow-roasted short ribs and Ginger cake trifle. The menu is on offer Christmas Eve and Christmas Day (RM280 and RM220 nett, respectively; add RM100 for wine pairing), with a special menu for New Year’s Eve Dinner as well (RM350 nett; RM480 with wine pairing). Preserve the memories with The Majestic Christmas Album, performed by the Malaysian show business clan the Solianos, featuring Christmas classics for only RM60 nett, as well as digitally on Spotify and iTunes.
2. Nobu Kuala Lumpur
Celebrate the most wonderful time of the year up high at Nobu Kuala Lumpur. Panoramic views of Kuala Lumpur will serenade as you tuck into Chef Philip Leong’s special Omakase Christmas lunch and dinner menu, putting a Japanese-Peruvian spin on the festive season. For Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, there will be two seatings for dinner with a seven-course omakase menu (RM560++; RM598++ with a glass of Cava) that includes Poached lobster with crispy watercress, Kobe beef with tamari pepper sauce and Christmas Forest dessert with black goma and green tea olive oil sponge. Lunch (RM250++) is a curated adaptation of the dinner omakase. The experience repeats itself over New Year, with different ingredients. The New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day seven-course dinner omakase (RM580++; RM730++ with a masu of Junmai Daiginjyo sake) includes grilled lobster with jalapeno sauce, Kobe beef with truffle tamari sauce and a special Zensai Moriawase with lily root ceviche and anikimo with caviar yuzu miso. The lunch menus will be a five-course edited version of the dinner menu, priced at RM250++. The view from Nobu’s vantage point of New Year fireworks is, of course, priceless.
3. Ritz-Carlton Kuala Lumpur
It’s the most wonderful time of the year. And the Ritz-Carlton Kuala Lumpur kicks it off with a three/four-course Christmas Eve dinner (RM250 nett) featuring a Roast turkey carvery. Turkeys also take the spotlight on Christmas Day brunch (RM198 nett), freshly carved to go with an encyclopaedic brunch selection that might leave you soporific. But try and save space for the Christmas Afternoon Tea, a spin on the hotel’s classic high tea experience with Christmas-inspired delicacies clamouring for your taste buds (RM80 nett). A New Year’s Eve dinner (RM250 nett) and New Year’s Day brunch (RM198 nett) will follow in six days, with seafood and succulent beef claiming the spotlight.
4. Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur
The spirit of Christmas is everywhere, sprinkling cheer over the nine restaurants, bars and lounges of the Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur. At Mosaic, the chefs will be whipping up a Polar Express of international and local cuisine daily (from RM118 nett), with a lavish Christmas Day Mega Brunch (RM438 nett) planned for December 25 depicting a German Weihnachts market. Mandarin Grill gets the heat on with seasonal offerings (from RM128 nett), while Lai Po Heen gives a Cantonese twist to the New Year (RM348 nett, with a glass of champagne). Repose at Lounge on The Park with high tea under the glittering Happy Chopard Tree, while the hotel hosts a New Year’s Eve Gala Dinner & Dance (from RM298 nett) to ring in 2017 in sublime style. The fun doesn’t stop at the lobby either; The Mandarin Cake Shop has a superlative array of festive goodies to take home, from gingerbread houses, Yule logs, mince pies and shimmering macaroons.
5. Tanzini, GTower
With its fresh food, farm-to-table ethos, Tanzini is eschewing tradition for its festive menu. Instead, the restaurant’s five-course meal starts off with a Goose liver and saffron parfait, nestled cutely in a wafer cone, setting the scene for its more modish take. Next is Fresh trout carpaccio and Crab meat timbale, a sweet freshness that goes well with the tropical weather, before moving into a Lamb crown pot or a Rolled turkey as mains. Freshen the palette with a Tanzini raspberry sorbet, then dive into the sweetness of a slightly deconstructed Christmas Pudding, bite-sized with less of the guilt while losing none of the pleasure. The dinner menu is priced at RM330 nett for 23 and 25 December, and at RM380 for 24 and 31 December, with a complimentary glass of bubbly.