AQUA at Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur is the latest addition to the hotel’s range of F&B offerings – an al fresco setup for a relaxed dining experience overlooking the city skyline. The interior is undeniably stylish, with polished copper finishing and a stunning white marble top bar where wicked tipples are concocted.
The dining theme for AQUA is global, from Japanese to Mediterranean, so there’s a bit of something for everyone. I love the French Onion Soup, made with three types of cheeses and oven baked for that “pull factor”. One of the best of its kind I’ve tried outside of France.
If you’re into something light, check out the Smoked Salmon Tartar, served on a bed of crisp potato cakes and crème fraiche to finish. I liked this better than the Pan-fried Shanghai Dumplings which I found a tad one-dimensional in texture and taste.
My favourite dish from the menu has got to be the 180g Peppered Black Angus Beef Medallions, cooked to tender perfection. I liked how the caramelised garlic adds sweetness to the beef and that the mushrooms still retained a bit of bite. Good stuff.
If beef isn’t your thing, AQUA also serves Fish & Chips with malt vinegar for that wholesome English experience. Or try the Linguine Gamberini, which may look rich at first glance but the flavours are nicely balanced by the lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil.
The Tiger Prawn & Ricotta Pide Flatbread had a combination of sweet, savoury and tangy flavours, and textural contrast from the nuts, prawns and bread. It’s substantial enough to be shared between three or four pax, and flatbread is nicely charred around the sides for that crusty finish. That said, I liked the Pizza Chorizo better – spicy beef chorizo with plenty of buffalo mozzarella, garlic, tomatoes and olive, finished with drizzles of olive oil for aroma.
I felt the Classic Beef Burger wasn’t as tasty as the one from the previous restaurant, Cascade. The latter had a firmer bun and I remember the patty being more flavourful. AQUA’s version features a 200g grain-fed Australian beef patty, with relish, tomato slices and onions. Not bad, but not my personal favourite unfortunately.
Check out the Durian Ice Cream Supreme for dessert if you’re a fan of Malaysia’s king of fruits – caramelised sticky rice with mango, sago, kuih ketayap and coconut milk for that “lemak” finish. Otherwise, the Affogato works as a dessert and coffee in one which I like doing as I get to have my sweet finish and caffeine, in one bite.
AQUA Restaurant & Bar is open daily from 8am to 10pm with food serving hours from 12pm to 10.30pm. For more information, call 03-2179 8887 or email [email protected]
Food: 6/10 (pork free)
Verdict: A good venue for casual dining. Try the beef medallions while you’re there. :)