Malaysians love their food—especially our own local delicacies. It is also in our culture to try out international cuisines whether it’s Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese, or Mexican. While España isn’t exactly close to this part of the world, Malaysians (or KL-ites to be specific) are fortunate because the city is filled with numerous establishments that aim to bring the flavours of Spain here. Relive the memories of your trip in Barcelona, embrace the beautiful Spanish culture, or just dig into some tapas and paella. These are some of the best spots in Kuala Lumpur to savour comida española.
Note: With Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO), some details might be different from the ones stated. Remember to check with the restaurant!
1. Mercat Barcelona Gastrobar
Founded by Executive Chef David Caral, Mercat was established to recreate the dynamic and convivial dining scene that—his birthplace—Barcelona´s tapas bars are popular for. Expect contemporary approaches to traditional recipes without disrespecting the essence of classic Spanish dishes. Specialties include Tortilla de patatas (Spanish omelette with potato and onion), Calamarcitos (Baby squid with vegetables), Fricandó de ternera (Classic Catalonian beef stew), and Mejillones a la marinera (Steamed mussels in a traditional sauce of tomatoes and herbs).
Bangsar: 51G, Jalan Telawi 3, Bangsar Baru
Mont Kiara: 1 Mont Kiara, Jalan Kiara
Contact: 03 2201 5288 (Bangsar) or 03 6211 7969 (Mont Kiara)
2. El Toro Loco
Whether you’re seeking paella, tapas, or pinchos, this is another Spanish restaurant you should check out in KL. Opt for the Ceviche Agazpachado (Fresh Grouper cooked in lime, coriander, and chilli vinaigrette), Huevos Rotos (Fried broken eggs), and Timbal de Carrilera (Slow cooked beef cheek). Pair your meal with some cocktails such as the El Toro Colada and Madrid Mule.
Address: Fraser Place, 10, Jalan Perak
Contact: 03 2181 7388
3. Marta’s Kitchen
Marta Alonso Garcia and her husband, Finn Leijnse, run this restaurant—and they seem to be doing well. Aside from a minimal yet beautiful setting, patrons come here for their popular paella. There are four options to choose from—squid ink, Iberico pork, Valenciana, and vegetarian. In addition to that, those looking for something spicy can go for the Pimientos del padrón (Spanish green peppers). There are also tapas, churros, and Iberico pork ribs.
Address: The Signature Hotel & Serviced Suites, Jalan Sri Hartamas 22, Desa Sri Hartamas
Contact: 03 6411 0832
4. Tiki Taka
By now, you should know that tapas and pinchos are common in Spanish meals. Small bites take the spotlight here at Tiki Taka. This means that you will be able to savour everything you want to try in one seating. Led by Chef Carrie Scully, one thing to note is that the menu consists of non-traditional Spanish dishes. For example, tapas with Wild Boar Rendang, Sriracha Gambas Al Ajillo (Fresh tiger prawns in with Sriracha garlic butter sauce), and Ikan Bakar. Therefore, it’s apparent that customers flock to this spot for Chef Carrie’s unique take on la comida española.
Address: 138, Jalan Kasah, Medan Damansara
Contact: 016 328 7438
5. Tapas Club
Executive Chef Jose Alonso, with more than 10 years of culinary experience including stints with Santi Santamaria, believes in serving cuisine that remains true to its Spanish roots. At Tapas Club, that is precisely what he’s doing—delighting patrons with authentic Spanish flavours. Try the Chipirones Rellenos Con Chorizo (Calamari stuffed with chorizo), Codillo De Cerdo Con Maiz (Glazed Pork Knuckle with Corn), Pulpo A La Gallega (Galician style octopus), and Paella De Pato (Duck paella).
Address: Lot 7.01.01, Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, 168 Bukit Bintang
Contact: 03 2110 2718
6. Pinchos Tapas Bar
This establishment is located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. Ingredients used here are exclusively imported from Spain. In addition to that, you will notice that the setting of the restaurant is designed in traditional Spanish style. Savour dishes from different regions of the country, including Sardinas A La Parrilla (Grilled Sardines with Parsley and Garlic) and Paella De Mariscos (Seafood paella). There is also an extensive list of Spanish alcohol to pair with your meal.
Address: 18, Changkat Bukit Bintang
Contact: 03 2145 8482
7. El Cerdo
This is probably a spot that most KL-ites will know. It is known for its “nose-to-tail eating” philosophy—every part of the pig is utilised. Yes, El Cerdo is popular for its porcine delights. Get the Oven Roasted Spanish Ibérico Spare Ribs with pineapple salsa, Cochinillo Al Estilo Segoviano (Spanish Roasted Suckling Pig) and Pig Tail Stew braised in red wine. While you’re there, take the opportunity to indulge in Paella Arroz Negro (Spanish bomba rice, baby squid, and squid ink).
Address: 43 & 45, Changkat Bukit Bintang
Contact: 03 2145 0511
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