[email protected] Kuala Lumpur was recently crowned “Outlet of The Year” at the inaugural HAPA-GAB Excellence Awards 2012.
A bit of background information on the HAPA-GAB Excellence Awards: it’s a collaboration between Hospitality Asia Platinum Awards (HAPA) and Guinness Anchor Berhad (GAB) to seek the best outlets in the Food & Beverage industry.
There were 5 categories of awards, namely:
• Service Excellence – won by SOULed OUT Sri Hartamas
• Best Entertainment – won by The Beer Factory (SetiaWalk)
• Best Product Quality – won by Chin’s Stylish Chinese Cuisine (Penang)
• Most Innovative Guest Experience – won by Chin’s Stylish Chinese Cuisine (Penang)
• Outlet of The Year – won by WIP Kuala Lumpur
From April to July this year, independent experts went around 69 outlets on a quest to find the top outlets which deserve the above titles. Of course, these have to offer the best in terms of quality, service, entertainment and ambience. The awards paid tribute to the best and WIP emerged as the Outlet of The Year, no mean feat indeed.
I still remember, a few years ago, when WIP first appeared on the scene, it was an abbreviation for “Work In Progress”. Back then, the outlet while operational, was still in its raw stage, in terms of the general deco. Ceilings, pipings, electrical conduits were all exposed and unfinished but it was still very appealing in its differentiated concept. I marvelled at the ingenuity behind that concept, which along with their crews’ cute overalls as uniform, were a distinct attraction.
Then, when the whole place was done up and transformed, WIP became “Whipped Into Place”! And it really has been whipped into place – whipped very well too. Located in a prime spot in Bangsar Shopping Center, its urban-tropic garden design at the exterior and terrace section projects a classy yet comfortable ambience. Inside, the Clam Bar remains the focal point where people just love to hang around for their favourite drinks, be it the innovative cocktails, premium champagne, wines, spirits and their gorgeous Mojitos!
Recently we were privileged enough to be invited by GAB to check out WIP KL’s delightful menu which features Western, Asian and Northern Indian cuisine.
We have always enjoyed the Northern Indian dishes in its sister restaurants SOULedOUT and WIP did not disappoint either. The Mutton Varuval was really very aromatic from all the spices used and the boneless mutton, while tender, still retained a good bite and every mouthful became even more flavourful as we chewed along.
The Chicken Chimichangas were actually flour tortilla stuffed with chicken and cheese, deep fried and served with spicy tomato salsa. They were rather like some huge curry puffs but tastier and richer from the cheese.
Their Kakiage were amazingly addictive and that’s thanks to the whitebait added to the pile of onions, carrots and prawns dipped in tempura batter and deep fried! The dip was equally addictive – sambal mayonnaise, how to resist?!
We liked all the appetizers, including the Mushroom & Spinach Pizza which I don’t know why was included as an “appetizer” because it was so substantial it could be a main dish by itself! While that pizza may seem vegetarian-like on the menu, believe me, it’s very tasty and you won’t miss the meat here.
We were told the Espetadas are their signature item in WIP. Sure enough, the presentation was pretty impressive as the grilled meats or seafood chunks hanging on metal poles and hooks were brought to the table. The sirloin beef chunks were marinated with garlic and traditional herbs, lamb with garlic herbs and balsamic vinegar, chicken with jerk spices and seafood with olive oil, garlic and herbs. I liked the sirloin as it was tender and juicy but I found the lamb and chicken were a tad too dry – probably over-grilled.
Grilled Portobello Mushrooms – sweet, silky and oh-so-juicy!
The same could be said about the Roasted Caribbean Chicken. A whole chicken thigh, marinated with spices, oven roasted and served with potatoes, vegetables and roasted garlic sauce – it could have been tastier and less dry.
Roasted Caribbean Chicken
Other mains served were an eclectic mix: there was Branzino (pan-fried barramundi fillet with bisque sauce), Nasi Goreng Petai and Chicken Makanwala (boneless chicken breast cooked in butter and a thick rich gravy with sides of chana masala, aloo methi, salad, papadam served with naan). Can you tell that we were totally and royally stuffed by the end of this meal?!
Nasi Goreng Petai
DL enjoyed the Sang Har Mein. WIP’s version of this used deep-fried wantan noodles and fresh “blue-legged” prawns cooked in a thick eggy gravy are then poured over. This is one dish which needs to be eaten immediately… but if it was passed around for photography, you can be assured that it’ll be soggy by the time you twirl forkfuls into your mouth! I must say the gravy was really tasty.
Oh wait, the meal hadn’t ended yet, not without the Desserts! The beautiful and colourful Tropical Fruit Pavlova and Trio Crème Brulee rounded off the meal nicely. We couldn’t down another bite after that, believe me.
Tropical Fruit Pavlova (dragonfruit, lychee, papaya and passionfruit with coconut cream filling on a soft pavlova shell)
Trio Creme Brulee (Vietnamese coffee, passionfruit and ginger)
Our favourite drinks that night!
Prices are reasonable, given the ambience, service and location. Their price range are as follows:
• Western food (RM12-RM160)
• Local dishes (RM18-RM48)
• Northern Indian dishes (RM18-RM44)
• Pizzas (RM23-RM37)
• Desserts (RM12-RM31)
• Bar Snacks (RM12-RM36)
So, having said all that, WIP remains on my list as one of the great spots to chill out with friends and family – somewhere to eat, drink and be merry this Christmas season. The balance of good food, excellent service and nice ambience all adds up.
[email protected] Kuala Lumpur
Lot G111 Ground Floor
Bangsar Shopping Center
285 Jalan Maarof, Bukit Bandar Raya
59000 Kuala Lumpur
Email: [email protected]
Opening hours: Mondays-Sundays 12 noon till closing. Happy Hours – opening till 8pm