The 39 Restaurant in Kuala Lumpur
Ampang Restaurants & Dining0
The 39 Restaurant is a restaurant in PNB Darby Park that redefines classic Malay cuisine. Set in elegant surrounds, it presents Malay cooking in an all-new setting by entering the fine-dining circle. Here, special emphasis is placed on food presentation and dishes use only top-notch ingredients.
The 39 Restaurant is divided into an air-conditioned indoor dining area and an al fresco rooftop section. There are no alcoholic beverages served so patrons enjoy the excellent teh tarik (milk tea) and kopi o (coffee), which is not really a hardship since the food pairs up better with these drinks anyway.
High-level Malay fare is becoming more and more popular with Malaysians in fine-dining restaurants, such as Bijan, Bunga Emas, Enak KL, On the Table, Rebung Restaurant and more. In fact, a majority of these elegant eateries are located downtown KL: a testament to their popularity with tourists as well.
Established in 2005, The 39 Restaurant was named for its location on the 39th floor of PNB Darby Park, set along Jalan Binjai. The restaurant has contemporary furnishing with a rooftop al fresco dining area and the resulting views are one of its greatest draws. At lunch and dinner there is soothing live music and the atmosphere is relaxed with a wait staff team that is friendly, attentive and pleasantly efficient.
Malay cuisine has come a long way from its kampung days and while there are some traditionalists who believe that an upmarket Malay restaurant cannot stay true to authentic Malay fare, The 39 Restaurant thoroughly proves them wrong.
Old-style dishes are presented in a very voguish, contemporary manner, forgoing some of the over-the-top artiness that other fine dining restaurants cannot seem to do without. Although the food is not as spicy as authentic Malay cuisine – making it perfect for western visitors with tamer taste buds – (the spicy classic oxtail soup being the only exception) plenty of locals frequent the place.
Your meal at The 39 Restaurant starts off with a basket of slightly addictive crackers – crunchy and flavourful, you will wish there was another basket before the first course arrives. The starters’ menu features the usual suspects such as raw ulam (a salad of raw shoots and vegetables) but it is sup ekor (oxtail soup unusually served in crusty bread) that is the star attraction in this section of the menu.
The signature mains will catch your attention with succulent glazed cod, ayam golek perchik (grilled marinated chicken), daging kerutup and siakap tigarasa (barramundi in three spices). Also good is tenggiri otak-otak (spicy mackerel loaf) with mango kerabu and rusuk kambing kurma (braised lamb rack with kurma) served with ghee rice and pineapple curry.
Alcohol has never been a particularly necessary accompaniment to Malay food (or any other type of spicy fare): in fact Malays look down their noses at the idea of alcohol with their native cuisine, so the wine list here is nonexistent. Determinedly halal, The 39 Restaurant takes its Malay credentials very seriously and manages to keep patrons happy without so much as a drop of beer.
Instead at The 39 Restaurant there is a variety of non-alcoholic drinks served including fruit juices. There are some pretty unique yet delicious blends available – try the kaseh puteri (avocado, kiwi, vanilla ice cream and milk) and The 39 Restaurant’s signature drink cinta 39 (a mocktail of Boh tea, lychee, lime, lemon, mint and basil).
Malay fare features a healthy variety of pemanis mulut (desserts), so it comes as no surprise that some of the finest offerings at The 39 Restaurant are found in the dessert section of the menu. Lots of the dishes use durian, the ‘king of fruits’, and when it comes in the form of kasih menanti (creamy durian with ice cream and wild berries), no one can resist. Locals will be glad to know that more old-fashioned takes on their favourite desserts are also available.
The 39 Restaurant
- Opening Hours: 12:30 – 15:00; 19:00 – 22:00
- Address: PNB Darby Park, 10 Jalan Binjai, 50450 KL
- Tel: +603 7490 3333