Words by Polly Szantor
Images by Cheryl Hoffmann
|View of the Twin Towers from Thirty8|
|Thirty8 at the Grand Hyatt, Kuala Lumpur|
The first time I stepped out of the elevator at the sky lobby on the 39th floor of the new Grand Hyatt, I’m sure my jaw dropped. The view of the Twin Towers is awe-inspiring. Take the bubble elevator or the stairs down to the 38th floor and the view expands to a panoramic 360˚ vision of Kuala Lumpur as you walk around the dining area at Thirty8 Restaurant. The open kitchens and live cooking stations are in the centre of the building, and it’s worth another circuit just to take everything in. I was feeling a bit blasé on my second visit, however I found that I was just as impressed. The thrill of arriving at the 39th floor, with the towers straight ahead, must be one of the iconic experiences in the hotel world. If you haven’t tried it yet, I totally recommend it.
|Chefs at Thirty8|
|Radish in Sweet Soy Sauce|
|Jellyfish and Fungus in Vinegar|
Thirty8 serves Japanese, Western and Chinese food and I was delighted with the Chinese Sharing Set Menu, especially created by Chef Byron Zhang to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival. The four appetisers are in perfect harmony, creating an explosion of tastes and textures. Radish in Sweet Soy Sauce combines sturdy blocks of pickled radish with quite a sweet sauce. The flavour is intense and this dish has a brilliant crunch. For those who don’t mind the occasional chewiness, the bouncing Jellyfish and Fungus in Vinegar will please, with its slightly sour sauce.
|Pacific Clams with Kailan|
|Golden Sand Prawns|
The Pacific Clams come from somewhere near Russia (I have to wonder if the exact location is a trade secret) and are air-flown for maximum freshness and flavour. They are served on a bed of blanched kailan with just a hint of wasabi and sesame oil. I think this was the best kailan I’ve ever tried. Even better were the Golden Sand Prawns; superbly flavoured tiger prawns gently sautéed in butter, along with seasoned breadcrumbs, tiny morsels of red and green pepper, and dried chilies – very delicious.
|Double-boiled Chicken Soup|
|Braised Whole Abalone with Black Mushroom|
|Steamed Codfish with Black Bean Chili Sauce|
|Braised Boston Lobster with Scallops and Vegetables|
|Chinese-style Salty Glutinous Dumplings|
I enjoyed the Braised Boston Lobster with Scallops and Vegetables (carrots and bok choy). The sauce was quite strong however, which rather overpowered the generous serving of lobster. The stars here were the air-flown scallops from Australia, sweet, tender and tasty. To round out the mains, Chef Zhang prepared a Hakka dish, Chinese-style Salty Glutinous Dumplings, which are traditionally served in his native Guangdong Province to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival. I missed having a filling in the glutinous rice balls, but it’s always good to try traditional dishes and the soup was rich and hearty.
|Lemonade and Iced Lychee|
For dessert, what else but Mooncakes? Because the hotel is newly opened, it was decided that they would only make traditional mooncake flavours this year, such as Red Bean, Lotus and Pandan. They also prepared mini snowskin mooncakes, with corn, date and white lotus fillings, plus my favourite that’s filled with extra-tasty pandan.
Thirty8 offers an extensive beverage menu, and I tried its signature non-alcoholic drinks, Iced Lychee Tea and Homemade Lemonade with Mint and Soda (RM12++). The tea is quite sweet, while the lemonade is nicely concentrated and tangy.
Reason to Visit: For delectable dining in a beautifully designed space with stunning views in every direction.
There are three variations of this special Sharing Set Menu priced at RM188++, RM208++ and the set that’s reviewed above, RM238++ per person, with a minimum of two dining. Hurry, hurry as this special will be ending with the arrival of the Mid-Autumn Festival on September 19th.
Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur
12 Jalan Pinang
50450 Kuala Lumpur
+6 03 2182 1234 ext. 2340
+6 03 2182 1234 ext. 2340
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