I have not been back to Hotel Istana Kuala Lumpur for the longest time and recently when I was there to check out their Executive Set Lunches, the hotel still looked the same. It’s as if time has stood still. The same elaborate Malay “palatial” style still dominated the decor – after all, it IS called Hotel Istana. Ornate carved wooden furniture, intricate floorworks, arched walkways and heavy chintz drapes dictated the theme, reminiscent of regal Malay palaces.
Therefore it was quite refreshing when I stepped into Urban, their contemporary western dining restaurant. Its spacious, relaxing, and informal ambience was just nice and a perfect backdrop for the Executive Set Lunches I was about to check out. Urban is a cavernous venue, one which no diner would complain about lack of space or privacy. It’s so spacious that a variety of seating configuration can be accommodated without problem. So, there are round tables, long tables for big groups and smaller tables tucked in corners for more intimate dining.
Urban’s menu features interesting and almost controversial mix of Asian and International cuisines, sometimes served up together on a plate but not in fusion style.
The Executive Set Lunch Menu in Urban features mostly Western fares though. Priced at RM50 nett, the 3-course lunch is available from Mondays to Fridays, from 12.00pm till 2.30pm. Diners get to choose 1 item each from the special menu listing Appetizers, Main Courses and Desserts. There are 3 options from both the appetizer and dessert categories while the main courses featured 5 choices.
Ballotine of Chicken & Truffle – mushroom puree, asparagus, pommes mouseline, golden raisins and morel jus
Thread Fillet – kenya beans, le puy lentil, crabmeat beignets, celeriac puree, Chardonnay orange butter
Exotic Fruits with Basil Sorbet
Crispy Custard – home-made creme brûlée topped with fresh fruits
My personal favourites were the Nicoise Salad, Spicy Chilli Prawn Spaghetti, Classical Beef Burger and the Urban Chocolate Fudge. The tuna in the Nicoise Salad was nicely seared while the centre remained pink and juicy. Looking deceptively simple, the spaghetti packed quite a punch with the chilli padi and I like how the pasta was not overcooked, pairing well with the bouncy prawns. The beef burger was a whopper, the best-value item, in my books with a thick Angus beef patty made in-house and drippy melted cheese. The pickles in the burger made a good balance of flavours in this won’t-go-wrong item.
Reservation Hotline: +603 2141 9988 ext. 3691
Hotel Istana Kuala Lumpur City Centre
Lobby, East Wing
73 Jalan Raja Chulan
50200 Kuala Lumpur
Mondays-Fridays: 3-course Executive Set Lunch (12 pm to 2:30 pm), Dinner (6:30 to 10:30 pm).
On Saturdays, Urban is open for dinner only
Closed on Sundays and public holidays