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Buro Orders: 8 Dishes you should definitely try at Beta KL

Just to give you a beta idea about the restaurant

Buro Orders: 8 Dishes you should definitely try at Beta KL

Text: Rachel Au

You know your classic Malaysian dishes but you don’t know it the way Beta KL does it

When it comes to Malaysian food, we are decisively both proud and judgemental. Luckily for us—and everyone else—we are blessed with an abundance of good restaurants and hawker stalls to satiate our cravings. But out of this giant pool is only a mere handful of restaurants that dare to put a twist to the familiar flavours we grew up with. One of them is newcomer Beta KL, sister restaurant of Skillet@163. 

Beta KL started with a map. Literally. When conceptualising the menu, they decided to focus on the diverse flavours of each distinct regions of Malaysia: North (Kedah, Perak, Pulau Pinang, Perlis—zesty and fresh); Central (Selangor, Kuala Lumpur—char, savoury and complex); South (Negeri Sembilan, Melaka, Johor—sweet, tangy and creamy); and East (Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang, Sabah, Sarawak—sea-inspired and herbaceous).

It sounds interesting yet complicated but don't worry, we've rounded up some of the dishes you could start off with—separated based on its section in the menu—on your first visit. Fun fact: The name 'Beta', which might remind you of the Greek letter, also stands for 'I' or 'me' as a royal salutation for kings or sultans. And boy did we feast like one. 

 

RINGAN

1. Sago {E}, RM30

It's clear that Beta KL puts a lot of thought into assembling their dishes. The presentation here is certainly on point, evident from this very first dish we were served. The sago has been pieced together to form a crispy taco-like shell, holding a mix of curry powder-coated shrimp and laksa aioli. Delightful though the curry powder is a tad strong.

2. Ox Tongue {C}, RM27

By dish number two, here's another relevation—Beta KL uses a lot of bold flavours, as does most Malaysian food. Served on a small toast, the ox tongue carries a strong taste of turmeric with a tinge of spiciness.  

3. Inverted Karipap {S}, RM30

Oh so crispy and thin. Loved it though we're not sure if the potato and curry cream warrants its price tag.

 

EARTH

4. Spicy Garden {N}, RM32

Both salads that we tried were refreshingly tangy but if you're not a fan of cincalok, this one isn't for you. If you are, the mix of cincalok fermented shrimp granite and vegetables could come off as addictive. 

5. Winged Beans {E}, RM27

So is this one. Finely chopped and mixed with Budu aioli, anchovies and chilli, this goes wonderfully on its own in a whole mouthful or with rice. 

 

H2O & LAND

6. Fish Collar {N}, RM60 

The Barramundi collar was quite fresh and the flesh, tender. The addition of a bushy pile of pucuk petai on top is a nice touch but otherwise, nothing much to shout about. 

7. Duck Leg {S}, RM60

"Twice cooked" made it really tender but it's the accompanying fermented black beans sauce that takes the dish a step further in terms of flavour. A must-try, for sure. 

 

MANIS

Buro Orders: 8 Dishes you should definitely try at Beta KL (фото 1)

8. Bird's Nest {C}, RM80

Out of the three options available in their humble-sized dessert menu, this is the one to order if you've eaten so much that you're past the gates into food coma level. Sounds exaggerated but we've all been there. Despite its fancy Frozen effect from the dry ice, this is definitely a delicious treat. The combination of bird's nest, coconut sphere and water chestnut makes it very light on the palate with only a mild sweetness coming from the accompanying lychee bits. However, again, it feels a little overpriced.

 

DRINKS

Call this a bonus round as Beta KL also prides itself as a bar (one that has been designed after a traditional Chinese medicinal cabinet). If you're not up for something with alcohol though, opt for the Orange Mule (orange, sweet potato, lemon, hibiscus ginger soda). Despite its vibrant colour, it's more refreshing than overly sweet.

As for cocktails, we tried the Winter Elixir (longan Pisco, goji berry, Osmanthus, sesame, lemon and egg white) and Hybrid Brew (jujube gin, coffee vermouth, Fernet Branca, Islay Whisky, Lapsang Souchong Tea). The former is floral and fruity while the latter is an interesting mix but essentially fruity-yet-smoky-yet-bitter-dry. 

 

BETA KL

Address: 163, Fraser Place, No. 10 Jalan Perak 

Opening hours: 12pm - 3pm; 5pm - 1am (closed on Mondays)

Phone number: 03 2181 2990

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