Fancy dinners aren’t just for birthdays and anniversaries! A lovely dinner out of the blue for no reason in particular can really help keep that loving feeling going.
In that case, you might want to check out some of the more relaxed but no less unique and romantic dinner spots. They won’t sweep you off your feet like a three-Michelin Star stalwart, but they’ll usher you in warmly like a good friend. Combine that with good food and drink, comfortable privacy, and a reasonable price tag, and we guarantee an evening at one of these restaurants will be one you’ll look fondly back on in the years to come.
And if you’re like me, and you find fine dining intimidating, you’ll really love these low-key, unpretentious restaurants even more for your special nights.
1. Graze, Hilton KL
Head over to the Hilton’s latest addition for a classically romantic dinner experience in a refreshingly unpretentious setting. There’s something deeply comforting about the predictability of a standard three-course dinner– without an over-the-top bill at the end. If you can, request a window-side table so you can spend your dinner gazing out at a homelier – but no less beautiful – view of the KL city streets. And if you don’t feel like tussling with crowds for brunch, their weekend brunch menu is equally as enticing and reasonably priced.
A: 3, Jalan Stesen Sentral, 50470 Kuala Lumpur.
2. Bonfire Restaurant & Bar, The Starling
Bonfire’s no-nonsense but delicious modern Australian-style fare makes for a seriously enjoyable laid-back date. Our tip? Skip the main dining area and head for the outdoor tables. Order a couple of beers to go with their fantastic charcoal-grilled meat platter (perfect for two to share, and definitely try the Wagyu skirt steak), sit back, and relax. Sitting outside means it’s quieter and easier to hold a nice, meandering conversation. With a cool breeze and live music wafting over from the bars across the road, it’s one of the most enjoyable ways to while away a casual evening. And if you’re more of a cocktail person, you’re in luck – their resident bartender and cocktails are both award-winning.
3. Hanaya Japanese Dining, Grand Millenium
I wanted to heartily recommend Ten, which was simultaneously the best and most humble Japanese fine dining experience I’ve had in KL. Unfortunately, they’ve since closed for renovations and suggest would-be diners visit their sister restaurant Hanaya instead. As they’re run by the same group (who also run the ever-popular Senya Izakaya), you can expect delicious, authentic Japanese cuisine in the most beautiful setting, complete with signature Japanese hospitality. Like Ten, the restaurant managers will happily accommodate requests to make a special night even more memorable. (When we were at Ten last year, the restaurant manager snapped a photo with us on her own camera and went to print it herself so we’d have a souvenir to take home!) While tables offer privacy, a seat at the sushi counter is highly recommended.
A: Lobby Floor, Grand Millennium Kuala Lumpur, 160 Jalan Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur.
E: Ground Floor, Marc Residence, No.3 Jalan Pinang, 50450 Kuala Lumpur
4. Soleil Restaurant & Wine Bar, Damansara City
Soleil serves up contemporary European cuisine with innovative Asian influences. From canapes to multi-course meals from Belgian head chef Evert Onderbeke, their reasonable prices and high standards have won Soleil no shortage of fans. Their new digs at the swanky Damansara City Mall has been specially designed with diners’ comfort and personal space in mind, so you can enjoy a blissfully private time with your loved one. Doesn’t that sound heavenly? Complete your experience with your choice of wine from their joyously extensive wine menu, which allows you to sample rare vintages by the glass.
Soleil Restaurant & Wine Bar
A: 2nd Floor, Damansara City Mall, Jalan Damanlela, 50490 Kuala Lumpur.
5. 33 Blue Room, Petaling Jaya
Music connoisseurs should hurry over to this place, stat. With its expansive high ceilings, ambient lighting, walls adorned with legendary jazz album covers, warm wood-meets-industrial finishings, and audio system that spills out the wonderful strains of jazz masters like Bill Evans and Miles Davis, 33 Blue Room serves up a cozy dining experience like no other. Its solid pork-centric menu also goes down a treat. Diners can and should spend long hours here, languid over glasses of wine and immersed in a steady stream of jazz. Their sound system is so good, it’ll sound like Miles is right there with his icy cool notes sliding delectably alongside you.
33 Blue Room
A: 2a, Jalan 51/225a, Section 51a, 46100 Petaling Jaya.
T: +6011-3444 1313