WiP bills itself as the city’s best-kept secret but frankly it is so well known, most consider it a staple on their gourmet dance cards. It boasts a coastal resort ambiance and food served is a delicious mix of local, Western and Northern Indian cuisine, plus on the drinks side some pretty mean cocktails.
Located along Jalan Maarof, inside Bangsar Shopping Centre, proprietors Fred Choo and Michele Kwok also own Souled Out, a popular alfresco dining outlet in Desa Sri Hartamas, and the upmarket 7atenine bar in KL’s Jalan Pinang. Very popular with expatriates, WiP restaurant seeks to attract an affluent middle-class clientele and has a cheerful and sophisticated feel.
When it first opened in 2007 the restaurant boasted a construction concept: naked pipes, construction tape, hard hats and staff outfitted in work overalls: at the time WiP stood for ‘Work-in-Progress’. In 2009, with feedback gathered from patrons on everything from the menu selections to the interior design, it underwent extensive renovations that saw the launch of a brand new concept – ‘Whipped-into-Place’.
The use of steel, glass and dark wood is dominant inside, giving it an avant-garde, industrial chic atmosphere that reminds one New York City circa the 1920s. Meanwhile, the outside dining area is reminiscent of a Northern Mediterranean beachside resort with a clam-shaped island bar, firefly pendant lights, palm trees and etched bird mirrors.
Start off your meal at WiP restaurant with grilled chicken Caesar salad: some patrons will tell you that it is the best in the city. The homemade dressing is creamy, the chicken perfectly marinated and the turkey bacon bits and quail egg blend oh so well together. Also topping the list of must-try starters are its array of espetadas as well as the salmon tomato bruschetta and Portobello mushrooms baked with garlic chilli butter.
The menu is divided into different regions to make your selections easier.
From WiP restaurant’s western section the chicken cordon bleu, lamb chops, lamb ribs, chicken Portobello burger, Creole shrimp, carbonara and beef burger all deserve top billing; plus there’s a special section dedicated to flat-bread pizzas.
Coast of Asia
Meanwhile, Asian and Indian food enthusiasts are not forgotten: some of WiP’s specialties from this section include curry laksa (yellow noodles with curry gravy and chicken, fish balls, bean curd and cockles), sang har mein (fresh blue leg prawns in egg gravy, served over deep fried wanton noodles) and nasi goreng petai (spicy fried rice with petai, served with chicken wing, mango sambal, crackers and mixed fruit chutney).
Coast of India
However it is WiP restaurant’s Indian food that especially delights. Chicken varuval (boneless chicken cooked with spices and chilli) is the hands-down winner but lamb rogan Josh (lamb cooked with spices and onion gravy served with chana masala and aloo methi) is also worth sampling.
Also popular is nihari gosht (lamb cooked in thick, spicy gravy and served with chana masala and raitha), chicken vindaloo (marinated chicken breast in hot and spicy sauce) and prawn solona (freshwater prawns cooked with tomato, garam masala and vegetables). All mains are served with naan bread or beriyani rice.
Dessert & Cigars
Among the outlet’s best desserts are churro (deep-fried pastry dough with warm vanilla sauce) and banana and peach butterscotch (banana and peach chunks cooked in toffee caramel and served with peanut butter cookies). However if you would like to indulge in more traditional delights, then the chocolate moist cake and espressomisu (layers of coffee, toffee sauce, sponge fingers, mixed nuts, peach and ricotta cheese) is the way to go.
A wide array of Dominican Republic and Cuban cigars is for sale.
The Clam Bar has premium and boutique labels, thirst-quenching cocktails and champagnes. The outlet has over 21 different sangrias and mojitos: just a small indication of its extensive list of drinks.
WiP has themed-beverage nights when the night’s signature beverage is incredibly cheap. Sundays is Get Sparkly with Bubbly, Mondays is Warm up with Whisky, Tuesdays is Bullish with the Beer, Wednesdays is Move With Mojitos Over Latin Jazz etc. You get the drift.
- Opening Hours: 12:00 – 15:00; 18:00 – late
- Address: Lot G111, Ground Floor, Bangsar Shopping Centre, 285 Jalan Maarof
- Tel: +603 2094 1789 or +604 2094 2789