|Naked Restaurant and Bar|
Naked Restaurant and Bar
Down-to-earth with a touch of glam, might sum up the atmosphere and menu at Naked Restaurant and Bar in Plaza Damas. The feel is casual, but a stroke of bling brightens the interior. Subtle twists are added to familiar dishes making them special, but not undesirably unusual. It’s a comfortable place to be, supplying just enough of the novel to maintain the interest of guests and keep them returning.
Two levels offer dual experiences. Downstairs, with its dominating palette of red and black, polished cement walls and floors, and soft lighting, is seductive yet casual. In the evenings red scented candles glow from ebony tables. Hollywood lights frame the bar mirror and, giant James Bond wall images inspire conversations of who really was the “best Bond.”
A red industrial metal staircase links the ground and upper floors. Upstairs is washed with white, and benefits from natural light streaming in from the second floor windows. It’s brighter, airier and too offers a peak into kitchen preparations.
We’re here as we’ve heard the cocktails are sensational and the food wholesome. First order is the Tea for Mojitwo (RM38). A plain white teapot along with two tea cups filled with ice and brightened with a sprig of mint, are delivered to our table. A mint tea infused Bajan Mojito with a splash of fresh passion fruit and a good swig of dark rum, make a wonderfully refreshing beginning and take the edge off the sweltering afternoon.
|Tea for Mojitwo|
With the name, School of Awesomeness (RM22), how can we resist this cocktail? Crossed with a Faber Castell ruler and streak of lemon peel, this blend of Beefeater London Dry Gin, Aperol, lemon juice and frothy egg white definitely merits its label.
Food is a variety of North American classics with a few modern adaptations and gently artful presentations.
Sweet Potato Chips (RM18) make me wonder why more chefs have not caught on to the wonders of sweet potatoes. Not only are they more nutritious than the white potatoes, they have more flavour too. Naked’s version is sprinkled with grated Parmesan, which melts onto the hot chips. Salty and sweet - we like them.
Cali Crunch (RM22) is a colourful platter. Petite rings of herb marinated tempura fried squid are mixed with crunchy micro salad and basil leaves. Italian parsley crowns the top along with black sesame seeds. Lime and a spicy mayo add another level of flavour. While the plateful looks bright and cheery, we might not order these a second time.
The Romaine Emperor (RM18) is a generous serving of crisp lettuce leaves tossed in a creamy lemon dressing. Garlic butter croutons provide a good dose of crunch and shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano gives a savoury finish. We have it fully loaded with the house made creamy lemon dressing. What a surprise! I am usually the annoying patron that always asks for dressing on the side. My experience in Malaysia has been that dressing, more often than not, drowns the leaves rather than enhances flavour. Naked’s coating however is wonderful, with lemon the dominating flavour and mayo adding consistency rather than overpowering taste.
Spinach Reggiano (RM20) is presented beautifully and tastes just as nice. Baby spinach leaves are sprinkled with a maple (yum!) balsamic emulsion. Sautéed butter mushrooms and caramelized beef bacon add texture to the dish. The tower of leaves is divided into two by a delicate baked Parmigiano-Reggiano circular wafer. We love this one too!
Three red and three white wines are available by the glass but we’re thirsty so order a bottle. Luis Felipe Edwards from Chile provides an award winning Gran Reserva Sauvignon Blanc for RM147. I detect tropical mango with a hint of lemon on the nose, and enjoy light minerals and a crisp finish in the mouth. It works well with our seafood selections and tomato sauce based pizza.
Pizzas are thin crust and we try the Naked House Pizza (RM39). A house made tomato sauce lubricates the base while herb marinated roasted chicken breast, pickled jalapenos, red onions, mushrooms and whole-milk mozzarella colour the top. A shower of fresh chives adds garden freshness. We appreciate the lean poultry and subtle fire in the chilis. Overall it’s a mouthful of flavour and encourages me to want to try the other two on the menu, which are both vegetarian.
Naked House Burger (RM39) is hubby’s order. A seared beef patty fills a soft white bun. Crispy beef bacon and melted aged cheddar contribute a rich flavour. Spicy onion rings, lettuce and thick slices of beefsteak tomato bulk up the burger. A metal basket of French fries side the plate (which hubby finishes far too quickly), but these can also be replaced with sweet potato chips (Love these - highly recommend the substitution). This too can be ordered Naked (without mayo, cheese, onions rings and bacon), Half Dressed (minus the onion rings and beef bacon) and Fully Loaded (with everything).
Now cod is a difficult fish to cook. It can turn out slimy if not done just right. Naked House Cod Fillet (RM48) is superb! The chef has done well with this fish. It’s pan seared in a herb butter, leaving the edges lightly golden and the flesh white and flaky. Shaved fennel, spinach and pea shoot salad lifts the flavours while a creamy bed of mash earths them. Charred red pepper vinaigrette rings the plate not only prettifying the plate, but annexing a savour of its own.
Dessert time finds us tasting a classic lava cake, Ko Ko Kinabalu (RM20). Made a la minute, this chocolate fondant with white chocolate ganache is served warm with a slight but differentiating twist. Coffee soil enriches the smooth rich cocoa sauce and seasonal berries freshen it. I’m a long time fan of a lava cake and appreciate the caffeine inclusion.
Naked House Semifreddo (RM19) is one of the restaurant’s most popular desserts. It’s right up hubby’s alley with its smooth semi frozen white chocolate and rich vanilla crème. I appreciate the change in texture given by the dusting of lightly salted chocolate crumble. Hubby has this one polished off before I even get a second spoonful. That’s okay though. I have most of the oozing chocolaty Ko Ko Kinabalu to myself. ;-)
For “health and no hangover” freshly squeezed juices and fruit smoothies look rather tempting. Hubby can’t resist the name, Happy Juice (RM14), so ends with a third dessert in liquid form. A thick cold mix of blended bananas, honey, milk and natural yoghurt make a filling ending. For a regular person, it would make a great afternoon snack or even a healthy breakfast. A clever garnish amuses hubby just as much as the name, with half a banana bending over the glass edge made to resemble a dolphin’s head.
Returning to cocktails for digestifs I choose the Peater Parker (RM34). With its strong whisky base, I assume a fine finish. Johnnie Walker Black Label Scotch Whisky, Lagavulin 16 year old peated Islay single malt whisky, orange liqueur, citrus and soda combine to make a calming ending. Foamy egg white spills over the top of a white mug with the Naked ensign, bestowing the appearance a newly poured beer with a generous head.
We’ve delighted in Naked’s cocktails, and very much enjoyed the fruits of chef’s skill in the kitchen. We hear the menu will be expanding next month and already make a note to return.
Reason to visit: awesome cocktails with a slight twist; Spinach Reggiano; Romaine Emperor; Naked House Cod Fillet; option to dress (or undress) your salads and burgers to personal preference.
Naked Restaurant and Bar
E.0.1 and E.1.2 Plaza Damas
Jalan Sri Hartamas 1
Taman Sri Hartamas
50480 Kuala Lumpur
+6 03 6206 1623
Open daily 11am – midnight
View Larger Map