Thursday, 17 September 2015

Skillet @ 163, Fraser Place, Kuala Lumpur

Skillet @ 163, Fraser Place, Kuala Lumpur
Skillet @ 163, Fraser Place


Skillet@163, Modern European Cuisine with a Malaysian Twist, Fraser Place



Joni Kerr and Monica Tindall (The Yum List)


Monica sums up our visit to Skillet@163 as “pleasantly unexpected. It’s rare to be surprised in the KL dining scene these days, but, wow, this spot has turned out to be an undiscovered gem!”

Just a short distance from the heart of KLCC, on the ground floor of Fraser Place many can walk here from their offices. There’s a car park downstairs too, but once you’ve tasted the cocktails here, you might decide that grabbing a taxi is a better option.

When entering this establishment one would think it to be a friendly casual eatery, which it is, but once the dishes start to appear it turns into a platform for Chef Raymond Tham to display a delectable line-up of inventive and beautifully plated creations. Chef infuses modern European cuisine with touches of Asian inspiration to fashion his culinary masterpieces. The portion sizes are substantial, and paired with quality ingredients and masterful technique, are good value for money.


Skillet @ 163, Fraser Place, Kuala Lumpur
Skillet @ 163
Skillet @ 163, Fraser Place, Kuala Lumpur
Chef Raymond Tham

The ambiance is relaxing, assisted by high ceilings, large windows to let in the natural light, and plenty of greenery gifting a fresh feel of the tropics. The sound system is of good quality and hums away at a comfortable volume with contemporary tunes. There is a cozy nook upstairs with lounge seating and a dining table: it would be a great place for a private party. In addition, a small outside area awaits patrons who may like to enjoy their happy hour cocktails al fresco style.

Skillet @ 163, Fraser Place, Kuala Lumpur
High Ceilings and Lots of Natural Light
Skillet @ 163, Fraser Place, Kuala Lumpur
Relaxed Area Upstairs

We thought we were coming for food, but were surprised by an excellent drinks menu to launch. The restaurant manager, Shaun Ong, also doubles as the barman and has constructed a beverage list that even the most seasoned of imbibers are sure to appreciate.

Skillet @ 163, Fraser Place, Kuala Lumpur
Barman and Restaurant Manager, Shaun Ong

From the Bar

A light start was had with the Virgin Mango Margarita (RM16), which proved a refreshing portion of frozen mango with salt on the rim. Made with fresh fruit, and a decent squeeze of lime this one takes the edge off the warm outside temperatures.

Skillet @ 163, Fraser Place, Kuala Lumpur
Virgin Mango Margaritas

A new concoction, Chamomile Dream, is another invigorating mix. It’s vibrant and tart in the mouth, with chamomile smoothing the edges. Tiny pieces of cucumber make a great crunch! This is the perfect after work thirst quencher: reviving and calming at the same time.

Skillet @ 163, Fraser Place, Kuala Lumpur
Chamomile Dream

Now, we are fussy drinkers and have been disappointed on too many occasions by overly-sweet, not-enough-alcohol beverages in this city, so when the Signature Mojito (RM28, or RM18 Happy Hour) was presented it would be an understatement to say we were doubtful that it would impress. But… we were oh so happy to be proven wrong! Skillet@163’s version is up there with the best of the classics. Mint, lime, sugar rum – splendid.

Skillet @ 163, Fraser Place, Kuala Lumpur
Mojito

The Lychee-tini (RM28, or RM18 Happy Hour) is another tipple we often avoid in KL, and again Skillet@163 had given us renewed hope. This vodka based cocktail with lychee syrup and fruit, is not too sweet and has just a hint of mint to add a finishing touch.

Skillet @ 163, Fraser Place, Kuala Lumpur
Lychee Martini

Bringing a taste of local to the bar is the Green Apple Assam Boi (RM30). Sour plum and lime are revved up with a good dose of vodka and a pretty garnish of apple.  

Skillet @ 163, Fraser Place, Kuala Lumpur
Green Apple Assam Boi Cocktail

Just as we think we’ve got a good handle on the range of mixed drinks Skillet@163 offers, a tray of shots takes centre stage in the Sea of Citrus. Glasses of Grand Marnier and Tequila nestle amongst a bed of chopped citrus. As a jug of liquid nitrogen is poured over the base, the scent of the citrus is released and wafts to our nostrils. Eyes and noses appealed, our taste buds are next and we find the shot a flawless palate cleanser with a delicious kick.

Skillet @ 163, Fraser Place, Kuala Lumpur
Sea of Citrus

Lunch and Dinner

The food menu is casual and quick during the day, and morphs into more of an elegant dining theme in the evenings. The Nasi Lemak Inspired Sandwich (RM28) is an open-faced sandwich version of the Malaysian favourite. Thick slices of toasted bread replace the rice, and the sauce on the chicken is rich and viscous. All the usual suspects of anchovies, peanuts and soft-boiled eggs are included, and added to with some crisp spicy paprika fries. Full of flavour and punch, this dish pays a fine tribute to the classic.

Skillet @ 163, Fraser Place, Kuala Lumpur
Nasi Lemak Open Sandwich

Asian Herb and Tempeh Salad (RM22) got the stamp of approval from us ladies. A tasty vegetarian option is found seasoned with ginger flower, mint leaves, tempeh and chef’s signature vinaigrette. 

Skillet @ 163, Fraser Place, Kuala Lumpur
Asian Herb and Tempeh Salad 

The next plate pleased Caning to no end. To say the Chicken Schnitzel with Potato Wedges is an enormous portion is not an exaggeration. The moistness of the chicken was well kept in its crispy crust, and a sumptuous spicy tomato sauce contributed further oomph in flavour. A robust cushion of herbed potato wedges were not wasted either.

Skillet @ 163, Fraser Place, Kuala Lumpur
Chicken Schnitzel

The Pan-Seared Salmon (RM55) showcased a perfectly baked piece of salmon gently placed on a bed of potato mash along with a side of chili peppers, edamame, carrots and finely shaved radishes. This lovely combination was pleasing to both the eye and the palate.

Skillet @ 163, Fraser Place, Kuala Lumpur
Pan-Seared Salmon 

French, Italian and Malaysian greatness merges in the Chicken Mille-Feuille (RM39). Chicken has a similar texture to that of Malaysian otak otak (grilled fish cake) and is layered between paper-thin wafers of pastry. Arancini, firm spears of asparagus, pickled vegetables, a toothsome percik sauce and an incredibly appetizing risotto of crushed cashew nuts paint the side a gorgeous landscape of succulent flavors, colors and textures.

Skillet @ 163, Fraser Place, Kuala Lumpur
Chicken Mille-Feuille

Caning was again excited when the Braised Australian Beef Brisket (RM39) arrived. Meat coated with an inviting, Mexican inspired mole style sauce had us all deeply contemplating the unanticipated seasoning in our mouths. The tender beef cubes are accompanied with balsamic onions, potato mash and glazed vegetables.

Skillet @ 163, Fraser Place, Kuala Lumpur
Braised Australian Beef Brisket

Dessert

Peanut, Banana and Black Sesame (RM35) is one for peanut butter lovers. The mousse is whippy and light, yet sticks to the roof of the mouth just like the nut spread. Caramelized banana slices, black sesame soil, dehydrated sponge and a drizzle of caramel sauce complete the ensemble. Yum!

Skillet @ 163, Fraser Place, Kuala Lumpur
Peanut, Banana and Black Sesame 

The Black Sesame Pancakes are much more than dessert: they're more of a size suitable for brunch (and we soon learn it will be on the brunch menu when it launches shortly). Fat dense inky pancakes are stacked with vanilla Chantilly cream, topped with fresh pieces of jackfruit, dribbled with gula melaka (a decadently sweet syrup), and sided with dobs of kaya (coconut jam). This makes for an immensely satisfying sweet.

Skillet @ 163, Fraser Place, Kuala Lumpur
Black Sesame Pancakes

Liquid nitrogen makes a return in the preparation of a Lychee Watermelon Sorbet. Grand theatrics see tableside service whip up this frozen treat for our ‘eatertainment’ delight. It’s smooth and gently flavoured, a wonderful finisher… or palate refresher as it turns out… there’s one last dessert to come!

Skillet @ 163, Fraser Place, Kuala Lumpur
Preparing the Sorbet
Skillet @ 163, Fraser Place, Kuala Lumpur
Lychee Watermelon Sorbet

The five senses of sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch are used to fully appreciate the Textures of Chocolate (RM45). A chocolate sphere (Chef Raymond has specialty training in chocolate, so anything with this ingredient is a must!) centres the round platter, and guests are invited to crack it open with a small hammer revealing a white chocolate ‘popcorn’ interior which is frozen with a crackling buzz with liquid nitrogen. Hot dark chocolate sauce, chocolate soil, raspberries and mint burst with vibrancy: this is a truly spectacular finale!

skillet@163
Textures of Chocolate

Reasons to visit: refreshing light bright ambiance with plenty of greenery in the city centre; modern European cuisine with a Malaysian twist; excellent cocktails; it’s impossible to narrow down a list of our top three – all dishes here are meticulously prepared and an adventure for the tongue – try everything!

Skillet@163
Fraser Place
Jalan Perak
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
+60 3-2181 2426

Operating Hours: 11:30am -10:00pm

16 comments:

  1. The caged birds are a nice touch! Lovely presentations and a very nice ambiance.

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    Replies
    1. The bird cages are a common decoration here. I think it gives a nice touch of flavour for the region.

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  2. Now that's one awesome looking bugger...I mean., burger! LOL!!!

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    1. Hee... hee - apparently one of their most popular orders.

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  3. The place reminds me of Plan B except with a more creative menu

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    Replies
    1. I can see that too. The menu here definitely gets more points for creativity however.

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  4. Hmmmmmmmm!
    The bird cages appear to be bird-less I sure hope so.
    Maybe out on the balcony but not inside.
    Good to note no ashtrays - smoke free.
    That is an enormous Nasi Lemak Open Sandwich - I'll allow
    Cordobes Junior to stretch his mouth around that!! ha ha
    The desserts as shown in all these Malay restaurants would suggest
    that the Malays have very sweet "Toothy Pegs and palates"!!!
    I see the Hemmingway bug still prevails - the usual martini for starters???
    I think back to the Argentinian Pampas for fast steed riding and rounding up
    cattle is in order - or better still you and Cordobes on a cattle drive from Bourke.
    NSW right up to Katherine in the NT - sleeping under the stars and a billy boil
    and damper existence, eh????
    Cheers
    El Colin Cordobes, the rather concerned on these exotica intakes!!!

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    Replies
    1. No birdies in the cages, purely there for decoration.
      No smoking inside plus lots of lovely green potted plants - nice to see a bit of greenery in the city centre.
      When you see the size of hubby's mouth you will know why I'm smiling right now - it's huge and has been known to wrap its lips around triple deckers burgers without the slightest of efforts.
      Ahh... damper, billy, and the swag - been a while since I've done that.

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  5. wow, it has been quite some time didn't visits your blog d, cheers~

    Regards,
    (A Growing Teenager Diary Malaysia)

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    Replies
    1. Nice to see a return Happy Walker. Hope you're well. :-)

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  6. Mmm.....the food and cocktails look equally delightful. I'm intrigued by that Textures of Chocolate, so bookmarking this place! ;)

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    Replies
    1. Oh yes, you could easily come just for dessert and be satisfied. A bit of "eatertainment." ;-)

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  7. Ha ha... Nasi lemak open sandwich! Another Malaysia boleh!
    When are they going to create mee rebus pasta? ;)
    I'm sure I'm going to love it!

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    1. Sounds like you've got a few fusion creations of your own. Let me know when you perfect the mee rebus pasta - I want to try it! ;-)

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  8. What a find! I would really love the place, for sure. And the name is so unique.

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    1. Yes Linda, lovely spot with all of the green.

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