Bijan Bar & Restaurant is perhaps one of Kuala Lumpur’s best-kept secrets. An award-winning restaurant opened in 2003, it was listed as one of the Malaysia Tatler’s 2011 Best Restaurants in Malaysia and was also the fully-deserving winner of Time Out KL’s Food Awards Best Malay Restaurant in 2009.
Serving high-end Malay cuisine, the food served here is halal and only the best ingredients are used. The décor is a fusion of traditional and contemporary with verdant surroundings and an intimate kampung-style setting. The restaurant is divided into indoor and outdoor dining areas, with the kitchen headed up by Chef Zulkifli Razali.
Décor in Bijan Bar & Restaurant
The décor at Bijan Bar & Restaurant is predominantly traditional with plenty of batik-print wall hangings and paintings: even the menu is batik-inspired. Chairs and tables are wooden, predominantly bamboo, lending a rustic feel. The al fresco setting is cool and classy, with tables and chairs that spill out onto a wooden deck underneath banana trees and subdued lighting.
The specials for the day are written on a large chalkboard at the entrance: these are usually well worth a try. Piped-in music and lights placed on the tables at night give the restaurant a decidedly romantic atmosphere.
Bijan Bar & Restaurant’s menu is pork free so it is the perfect dining venue for those looking for an introduction to top quality Malay cuisine. Dishes here are prepared using recipes passed down through generations by the owners’ family, so meals have that wholesome feel to them.
The food at Bijan restaurant is magnificent and the starters are extensive and oh-so-irresistible – especially noteworthy is the grilled satay and pegedil. Overseas visitors should sample the restaurant’s appetizer platter, comprising beef and chicken satay, cucur udang (deep-fried prawn fritters), tauhu sumbat (fried stuffed tofu cakes) and popiah goreng (fried stuffed spring rolls). Each is deliciously flavourful and the accompanying hot chilli sauce is thick and uncompromisingly spicy.
The restaurant’s wide range of dishes is MSG-free and excess fat is trimmed off all meat. For mains Bijan Bar & Restaurant’s signature dish of rusuk panggang (char-grilled short ribs) is undoubtedly the best – the meat is tender, juicy and succulent. You also will not go wrong with rendang daging, a traditional spicy Malaysian meat dish that is delicious to the bone, and the ulam (raw plants shoots and herbs) with sambal belacan (spicy shrimp paste). Other signature dishes on the menu include kurma kambing (spicy coconut milk curry) and masak lemak udang tempoyak (prawns cooked in spices, coconut milk and fermented durian).
Dessert & Drinks
Finish off your meal with Bijan Bar & Restaurant’s range of desserts which includes local and fusion desserts – a rather broad and exciting list. The bowl of pandan cendol (ice shavings with coconut milk) is refreshing and delicious but the smooth and creamy coconut crème caramel and chocolate durian cake are simply heaven-sent.
Though it is a Malay restaurant there is a bar, serving alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, that takes up a huge portion of the interior space. Bijan restaurant has a good selection of French, Spanish, Australian, Italian, South African and New Zealand red and white wines on offer, with regular wine promotions making them reasonably priced. Also on the beverage menu are martinis, sparkling wines, champagnes, dessert wines, fortified wines and a collection of cocktails and mocktails.
Service & Where Is It
Bijan Bar & Restaurant’s service is exemplary with staff members who are friendly, knowledgeable, experienced and observant. The best part is that they know the menu like the back of their hands and can make excellent, helpful recommendations. What a world of difference from other fine-dining establishments in the KL area.
Located along Jalan Ceylon, next to Nero Vivo, it is one of two restaurants on this stretch; further down the road is Changkat Bukit Bintang, the city’s trendiest stretch with some of the most popular upmarket nightclubs.
Bijan Bar & Restaurant
- Opening Hours: Mon - Sun 16:30 - 23:00
- Address: No. 3, Jalan Ceylon 50200 Kuala Lumpur
- Tel: +603 2031 3575 or +603 2031 6568