If the names Blue Moon, Sabayon, Kampachi, Nipah and Etoile bring back memories then you’re in luck as they’re back.
Bigger, better and trendier with tantalising newcomers Bottega Lounge, a cocktail bar in collaboration with luxury brand Bottega of Italy and the swanky Sky51, an entire floor dedicated to fine dining, fine wine, creative cocktails, and spectacular views.
The new improved Sabayon is located here, specialising in gourmet Continental cuisine, as is the open-air rooftop lounge Blue, the reincarnation of Blue Moon.
This is the continuing story of the Equatorial, now re-branded EQ, a name that embodies high standards of service and hospitality.
The Equatorial Kuala Lumpur opened its doors in 1973, while demolition followed by the construction of the new building started in 2012.
Seven years of rebuilding and re-branding include an extensive market study that led to the hotel’s current concept and guest-centric services.
A redevelopment cost of over RM1 billion enabled the hotel’s interior design team to furnish it with beautiful Asian accents.
Modern touches such as high, sunlit ceilings flanked by large glass windows give it a bright and airy feel while natural tones in wood, bronze and leather provide a warm ambience. Local designer Gillian Hung provided the inspiration for EQ’s elegant uniforms.
EQ has been awarded the Green Building Index, an accreditation it achieved shortly after re-opening. The building façade is adorned with a unique mosaic of steel strips on glass that serve as energy harvesting elements.
This hotel recycles water, conserves energy with natural sunlight in all rooms and meeting rooms, and is one of the first to use a new magnetic chiller technology that is highly efficient.
While it has 440 rooms, they’ve opened 200 so far. EQ chooses to have a controlled occupancy rate. Their soft launch was in March 2019 and by May, they had received their five-star accreditation.
You have numerous options for events, conferences and corporate meetings, and one of the highlights is an impressive two-tier diamond shaped ballroom, inspired by world-famous opera halls.
EQ boasts other exciting features such as its infinity pool fringed by frangipani trees, which provide a visual delight and instant relaxation on the 29th floor.
This entire floor, called Sanctum Wellness, is dedicated to wellness, fitness, gym and spa, with the 25-metre infinity pool, a large adjoining vitality pool and the Himalayan salt sauna.
The heart of EQ must surely be the Nipah coffee house which serves an express buffet lunch featuring a stone oven that produces fresh pizza on order.
Their famed curry noodles, created by the late Chef Azhar, one of the hotel’s pioneer chefs, is thankfully retained in the menu.
Azhar insisted on using the shells and heads of tiger prawns, so the roe would melt into the stock.
Dried shrimp and his secret blend of herbs and spices, plus slow simmering for four hours creates a rich gravy, not unlike a hearty seafood chowder. Another of chef Azhar’s dishes to make it in the new menu is his richly satisfying oxtail soup.
Another classic crowd favourite, the chicken rice from pioneer chef Pak Hamid is also on offer at Nipah. Legend has it that the fresh chicken supplier for this dish has not changed since the hotel’s opening in 1973.
The seafood-on-ice station is a big draw among diners, as a chef is on standby armed with a knife and metal mesh gloves to freshly shuck your oysters.
He will then brush the oysters off with clean water before presenting them for your enjoyment, with a dollop of tabasco and a squeeze of lemon.
After lunch, EQ’s signature strawberry cheesecake beckons from the heavily laden dessert table. It is unusually light in texture, a happy result of aeration from purposely over-whisking it.
EQ’s restaurants have been designed to shine with their own personalities and at Nipah you can expect pan-Asian cuisine all-day dining while Etoile is a hip “grab and go” street cafe.
Best of all, the award-winning Kampachi Japanese restaurant is back with an impressive Omakase menu.