Modern grill cuisine elevated with cross-cultural culinary influences – at chic new KL restaurant
Launched in February 2015, Bakar is certainly among the notable restaurant openings in Kuala Lumpur this year. Serving an elevated concept of modern grill cuisine, Bakar is very much on-trend with its restrained, utilitarian decor and simple, yet sophisticated cooking. Taking its cues from contemporary Australian BBQ cooking – creatively overlaid with cross-cultural culinary influences – Bakar serves a tantalising selection of grill dishes created from imaginative combinations of ingredients and tastes. The latest innovative addition to the expanding portfolio of local restaurant and cafe operators The BIG Group, Bakar offers discerning diners a rewarding culinary experience comparable to that of trend-setting international modern grill cuisine restaurants.
Unobtrusively located in an unremarkable row of shophouses in a quiet residential neighbourhood, Bakar’s white-tiled facade melds comfortably into the tree-lined streetscape. Entry via heavy industrial glass doors reveals a brightly lit and compact interior anchored by the gleaming centrepiece open kitchen and its counter seating, with additional counter seats set along the opposite white-tiled wall – and a couple of high tables for small groups towards the rear of the room. The stylish simplicity of the decor keeps the focus on the cooking, and underscores the casual yet refined dining sensibility of Bakar.
Designed by well-credentialed head chef Keith Choong (also heading up the acclaimed sibling restaurant Hit & Mrs located next door), the Bakar lunch and dinner menu offer selections of seafood, vegetables, meats, and several desserts. Deploying the controlled heat of the Josper oven in combination with the raw flames of the charcoal grill, imparts the distinctive flavours of grill cooking. Added elements of Korean, Japanese and local cuisines are balanced carefully to achieve an alluring array of dishes. Epitomising the accomplished renditions of modern grill cuisine are dishes such as Short Rib – with man tau, cucumber, kimchi, mung bean and gochujang; and Lamb Shoulder – with dukkah nut and greek yoghurt.
A concise wine list features an eclectic compilation of boutique, small producer wines – thoughtfully selected for their compatibility with the grill cuisine. Additional beverages include a compact selection of classic-inspired cocktails, updated with local ingredients and designed by the mixologists from next-door Hit & Mrs restaurant and bar. Fresh juices, Italian mineral waters, coffee and teas offer further options.
Bakar is open Tuesday to Saturday for lunch and dinner. The well-priced Lunch Menu is an abbreviated version of the main Dinner Menu – with some variation in dishes offered. With limited seats available, reservations for dinner are definitely recommended.