• Ronn Tan

A Raw Review: Sharing platters by The Chow Kit Kitchen & Bar

Hello there, it's Ronn!

A Raw Review. My column where I give my honest reviews of all the noms I have had the opportunity to try; delivering the true essence of food reviews: raw.

It's fun, casual, and simple; and I hope you enjoy reading my thoughts as much as I enjoy writing them for you.

Photo: The Chow Kit

Travel along Jalan Sultan Ismail and you'll notice a building with a luxurious design reminiscent of the late-night revelry in Chow Kit’s alleys and bars during the 1970s and 1980s. Since the launch of The Chow Kit in 2019, the hotel has cemented quite a reputation for itself. In addition to the in-house restaurant being named one of CNN Travel’s Best New Restaurants in Asia Pacific to Try in 2020, The Chow Kit was also included in Travel + Leisure's Best New Hotels In The World list.

Photo: The Chow Kit

I was fortunate to be able to dine at The Chow Kit Kitchen & Bar a few times — and my experiences here have always been pleasant. Recently, I had the opportunity to check out The Chow Kit Kitchen & Bar's new sharing platters (also known as The Chow Kit Platters).

Chef Ell, who helms the culinary team, has curated three platters; served with two portions of nasi ulam as well as sambal hijau and sambal merah. If you're a fan of seafood, the From The Sea platter (RM220) consists of a selection of fresh char-grilled seafood sourced from Sekinchan — including Grilled Tiger Prawns with sea salt and kalamansi juice as well as Sautéed Clams with lemongrass, chilies, and garlic. The From The Land platter (RM210) includes char-broiled and grilled meats such as Grilled Lamb Chops with spicy curry marinade.

Together with my friends (the platter serves three to four), we tried the Best of Both Worlds platter (RM250). This tray of delights comprises of Chef Ell's favourites, such as Grilled Squid with turmeric and daun cekur glaze; Barbecue Beef Spare Ribs with galangal and star anise; a choice of Whole Red Snapper or Seabass; as well as Barbecue Ayam Kampung with coconut percik glaze.

The Chow Kit Kitchen & Bar is an open space at the heart of the hotel and the restaurant celebrates Malaysia through the use of locally-sourced produce. The surf and turf platter is a clear reflection of that; infusing local flavours with traditional grilled meats — and thus, giving light to a unique concoction.

The Grilled Squid stood out among a star-studded culinary cast. Grilled to perfection, the dish was both aromatic and toothsome. It's pleasantly spicy (with just a mild hint of heat) and the complemented well by turmeric; bringing out the seafood's unique natural flavour. Oh, look out for the divine crunch!

While the Barbecue Beef Spare Ribs could have been a tad more tender, I enjoyed the slight tartness from the use of galangal; a rare flavour profile worth exploring. As for the Barbecue Ayam Kampung, it's easy to notice how flavourful and succulent the meat is — both by sight and taste. It's sweet, nutty, and thoroughly delectable. To up the ante, pair the chicken with either the choice of sambal hijau or sambal merah.

When you're done with your platter, consider checking out the desserts, such as Appam Balik (RM15) and Bubur Chacha Pulut Hitam (RM22). While they're not part of the platters, there will always be room for desserts.

Dining at The Chow Kit Kitchen & Bar has always been akin to a no-frills adventure of gastronomical proportions — from the brilliant service to the warm, cosy feeling one gets from its food. The Chow Kit Platters are great sharing options filled with a splendid array of grilled treats. It's a massive dish and we were all happily stuffed. If you're wondering where to go for heavy yet enjoyable meal, consider The Chow Kit Kitchen & Bar.


1012, Jalan Sultan Ismail, Chow Kit, Kuala Lumpur

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