KUALA LUMPUR: Sometimes, the best place for an afternoon escapade is one that is shut off from the chaos of the city outside.
The Iki Lounge, part of the Iki Omakase restaurant, is a hidden pork-free bar and lounge nestled in the heart of Kuala Lumpur.
This Japanese patisserie welcomes you with its beautiful Zen garden at the entrance, complete with bonsai trees, stone lanterns as well as dark-coloured stones. The lounge is intimate and dimly lit, with walls that look like they were hewn from cave rock.
Start off your afternoon with a glass of Spring Day, one of the seven mocktails here. The citrusy zing of lemon and lime coupled with the nutty warmth of genmaicha evokes images of sunny days along a Japanese coastline. A ghostly bubble sits atop the glass, releasing a smoky aroma upon bursting.
Proceed with Iki Lounge’s tantalising desserts. The Kuri Mont Blanc for one, is a sight to behold.
The Mont Blanc is a classic Parisian pastry that derives its name from the snow-capped Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in the Alps. A typical winter favourite at patisseries, especially the well-known tea shop Angelina, it became a famous pastry in post-war Japan.
The Kuri Mont Blanc is an unusual looking creation. But don’t let its looks fool you for every mouthful is scrumptious. It is essentially a chocolate almond tart filled with an airy layer of meringue. It is capped with Mont Blanc’s famous dome of vermicelli sweetened with chestnut puree.
The slight bitterness of the chocolate tart was a great counterbalance to the sweetness of the chestnut puree and the lightness of the meringue in the middle. Every mouthful was pure decadence and if you have a sweet tooth, forget sharing. Best to devour it all by yourself.
The best part of this showstopper of a dessert is the tableside preparation. Get ready with your smartphones as the creamy and velvety chestnut puree is piped fresh at your table over the tart. Sure makes for a great Instagram post.
For something classic, try the Burnt Matcha Cheesecake. Creamy with the slightly bitter undertones of matcha, this luscious dessert literally melts in your mouth. A small glass of milky matcha sauce with crunchy white chocolate pearls accompanies the serving. Drizzle over the cheesecake to elevate your dessert experience.
For main courses, Iki Lounge serves up an impressive spread, from salmon nasi lemak and tomato beef rice to ramen noodles either dry and in a soup. Even more impressive is the premium food selection, straight from the Iki Omakase menu.
Try the Bara Chirashi Don for a delectable bowl of raw fish, bursting with colour and flavours. Served in a Japanese stone bowl, the Bara Chirashi Don is an assortment of delicious and fresh mixed sashimi, consisting of lean tuna, fatty tuna, yellow tail and shima aji, resting on a bed of brown rice.
Blooming like flowers in this colourful bowl are bright red pearls of ikura or salmon roe, which burst in your mouth with surprising richness.
For something truly premium, get the Foie Gras Sando, which is Japanese for sandwich. Despite the bite-sized portions, these tiny sandwiches are satisfyingly indulgent and rather filling.
The crispy, sweet and buttery mini toasts pair perfectly with the rich, melt-in-your-mouth foie gras, enveloped with the omakase’s signature homemade sauce. It’s so sinful, you might have to fend off your friends for that last bite!
Complete your Japanese affair with a hot pot of green tea or one of Iki Lounge’s signature lattes.
Overall, the Iki Lounge is a good spot to spend your afternoon or evenings if you’re in search of a nice cuppa and mouth-watering desserts. And if you’re feeling fancy, the premium savoury food selection is rather wonderful company too.
Iki Lounge [Pork-free]
16, Jalan Kamuning
Off Jalan Imbi
55100 Kuala Lumpur
Contact: 012 885 5184
Follow Iki Lounge on Instagram.