Food + Drink

Review: Beta’s new menu honours culinary heritage from all corners of Malaysia

Fit for a king


By Amanda Fung

Review: Beta’s new menu honours culinary heritage from all corners of Malaysia

Newly minted with a Michelin star, Beta is known for its culinary celebration of Malaysia’s endemic ingredients and iconic dishes on every menu. Its name carries double meaning, both significant to the brand. First, it refers to the second letter of the Greek alphabet, marking restaurant number two in the KARLS Group’s lineup. On top of that, it is also a nod to the team’s belief that everyone should feast like a king, as “beta” is the Malay word that the royal would refer to himself as. 

BURO Malaysia, Beta food review

Though the city has no shortage of modern Malaysian eateries nowadays, Beta stays true to itself, continuing to provide its guests with an experience that will leave a lasting impression. A meal here offers a snapshot of what Malaysia’s gastronomic landscape offers, bringing you from north to south and east to west through each dish and its elements. 

Chef Raymond Tham—along with his team at Beta and KARLS Group—work tirelessly to keep things exciting with each new menu they introduce and its latest Season 1 / 2024 menu is no exception. As always, the dishes are curated to fit the seasons, ensuring each produce is at its best when presented to you. Keep reading for our full take on Beta’s newest menu. 



BURO Malaysia, Beta food review
From front to back: Coral, Mackerel, and Sago

The menu kicks off on Peninsular Malaysia’s eastern coast and East Malaysia. We start with a trio of bites that are named after three key motifs and ingredients from the regions: Coral, Sago, and Mackerel. Each dish features elements that can be attributed to Pahang, Kelantan, Terengganu, Sabah, or Sarawak. 

For our first bite, we went with Coral, a dish of calamansi and cocoa butter, topped with an oyster emulsion and latok (sea grapes). Delightfully creamy with a hint of brininess, this snack transported us to the salty air and sandy beaches of Malaysia’s coastlines. 


Next, we moved on to the Sago, a bite inspired by traditional Sabahan ambuyat. Beta’s take on the dish is made with a sago porridge disc, served atop a cuttlefish croquette. I was a fan of the texture combination with the slight chewiness from the cuttlefish, crunchiness from the croquette’s crust, and the gelatinous bite from the sago disc. 

Finally, the Mackerel—my personal favourite from the trio—is an elegant combination of cured mackerel, pickled bamboo shoots, and fermented Tuhao (wild ginger) from East Malaysia. Each element came together beautifully in this refreshing and slightly tangy bite. 



BURO Malaysia, Beta food review
0.00% yeast bread

Most bread courses at such fine establishments consist of toasted sourdough slices or soft rolls accompanied by artisanal butter or olive oil with balsamic vinegar. Beta—of course—hits that preconception out of the park with its 0.00 per cent yeast bread. A ode to the days of yeast-less baking, these little spheres of joy are made with tapioca flour and fermented black beans and served with a delightfully spicy red chilli emulsion. 

Crunchy to the bite and chewy on the inside, each steaming piece is delicately sweet and dipping it into the chilli only made it even more irresistible. I, for one, had to hold myself back from asking for more and remind myself that there was still the rest of the meal to get through. 



BURO Malaysia, Beta food review
Humble Salad

We move on to the more substantial bites on the menu with the introduction of flavours from Negeri Sembilan, Melaka, and Johor—all southern states in Peninsular Malaysia. First, we dig into what Chef Raymond calls a Humble Salad. Mirroring the traditional yee sang platters of Chinese New Year tradition, this multi-dimensional salad brings together the bright flavours of pomelo with yam, carrot purée, and mandarin yuzu pearls. Each mouthful was also graced by subtle notes of buah kulim and some crunch from roasted peanuts alongside yam and sweet potato “crackers”. 

BURO Malaysia, Beta food review

After licking our salad plates clean, we tuck into the next course of the meal. Wrapped in cabbage, the scallop was served with a broth and coriander oil. Inspired by the heartwarming fish maw soup that many indulge in during celebrations, the dish was reminiscent of a soulful and sweet soup from a Malaysian-Chinese home kitchen. For extra presentation points, the broth—made from fish bones, tomatoes, and fermented mustard greens—was poured from a ceramic Peranakan Kamcheng jar. 

BURO Malaysia, Beta food review
Tiger prawn

The last of the starters was an incredible ode to prawns. A slow-cooked tiger prawn took centre stage and was presented with a fried prawn head, prawn shell sauce, and smoked MD2 pineapples for some tang. Every bite was packed with sweetness from the prawn and the accompanying sauce, balanced with a tinge of acidity from the pineapples. The deep-fried prawn head also added an extra element of crunch to the plate. 



BURO Malaysia, Beta food review
Miyazaki A5 Wagyu beef

When it came time for our mains, we could choose between a chicken, lamb, and beef dish. Dedicated to the northern states of Perlis, Kedah, Penang, and Perak, each dish came with its own distinct flavours. Being an enthusiast for all things beef, I opted for the Miyazaki A5 Wagyu. It came with a silky smooth sauce made from glutinous rice wine and some yellow daylilies as garnish. As expected, the beef was luxuriously fatty and umami, while the sauce added a delicate tartness to the dish. 

BURO Malaysia, Beta food review
Lamb rack

Meanwhile, my dining companion went with the lamb dish. It comprised two ribs marinated in koji spices, a dollop of smoked aubergine purée, and a tapioca leaf wrapped in roti jala. A stark contrast from the glutinous rice wine sauce I was served, the meat came with a vibrant and spicy gulai dressing that complemented the gamey notes from the meat. 

BURO Malaysia, Beta food review

As a supplement, Chef Raymond also treated us to a special abalone Lawas rice course. Though appearing simple, its flavours were nothing but. The Sarawakian heirloom rice was topped with plump abalone cubes, Malaysian caviar, and fragrant herbs. A drizzle of kaffir lime oil also offered the dish subtle zesty notes, which I enjoyed. 



BURO Malaysia, Beta food review
Loyang Vol. 5

The Season 1 / 2024 menu concludes with not one, but two desserts—both of which centre around familiar Malaysian flavours. First, we are served Loyang Vol. 5, a signature at Beta that gets a facelift with every menu. This time round, it pays homage to the beloved tang yuan dish, featuring black sesame and ginger.

BURO Malaysia, Beta food review

The second dessert—called Bananas—follows, made with its namesake fruit processed in three ways: banana ice cream, crispy banana fibres, and banana kombucha. Chemor chocolate from Perak is also added to the dish for some extra depth.

As the meal concludes, it’s clear that Chef Raymond is dedicated to bring out the best in Malaysian cuisine, whether it be in our dishes or produce. For those who want their palates and minds to be opened to the possibilities that come with our ingredients, a visit to Beta awaits. 

The Season 1 / 2024 menu is priced at RM490 per person with an optional cocktail pairing available with an additional charge. 


Address: Cormar Suites Kuala Lumpur, Lot 163, 10, Jalan Perak, Kuala Lumpur, 50450 Kuala Lumpur

Opening hours: 6pm to 10pm (Sunday to Thursday) | 6pm to 11pm (Friday to Saturday) | closed on Monday

Contact: WhatsApp +6019 212 1094

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