Notification: the restaurant is permanently closed
Top Hat Restaurant Kuala Lumpur is an award-winning venue set along Jalan Stonor, just a few minutes’ walk away from the Ampang Park LRT station. Housed in a converted colonial-era bungalow, its kitchen serves up cuisine that blends western and Asian influences to create dishes that are both inspiring and comforting.
Though there are hot venues opening every week in Kuala Lumpur, it is often the long-standing institutions like Top Hat Restaurant that impress us time and time again. Opened in 2001, its quirky name is derived from one of its signature dishes: kuih pai tee (top hat sweets). At RM10 for six pieces, they are bite-sized appetisers of shredded moist, sweetened radish strips, carrot ribbons and spring onions in fried wanton wrappers: light and crispy, they are more than worth the trip here.
Top Hat’s whitewashed facade belies the dining room’s trendy and extravagant interiors: inside the décor is a mix of old and new with bare white brick walls and speckled grey marble floors act as an understated backdrop to sumptuous red, golden beige and black fabric-upholstered wooden chairs.
Add to that glass cabinets along the walls hold odd knick knacks (snowmen-shaped vases and novelty plates), and red velvet-trimmed chaise lounges and it creates an ambiance at once relaxed and elegant. Just outside the house are lush patches of greenery, done up to look like a Balinese-style garden, complete with a pond.
At the head of the kitchen is Chef Richard Moreira, who comes up with classic western dishes that have a touch of Asian influence – think Thai salad (RM35) with hot and sour dressing, served with tender, smoky-flavoured slices of beef and pieces of mango to add a juicy, sweet taste to this inventive dish.
Standouts on the main menu include the hearty rack of lamb, served on a bed of caramelized onions, creamy mashed potatoes, balsamic reduction sauce and grilled asparagus with roasted garlic (RM78). Besides that there are also local specialties like Nyonya laksa, fat yellow noodles immersed in a thick coconut-based curry flavoured with prawns, chicken and bean sprouts. In an effort to keep things fresh, the menu at Top Hat Restaurant is revised every three months, making it just the ticket when you are craving an artful tasting menu.
Finally we come to dessert where we select a French pastry called millefeuille – it is a divinely airy custard slice with layers of velvety fresh cream and sweet strawberry jam, served with a satiny ribbon of vanilla sauce. Besides that, we also sample peach and banana crumble – served with a scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream, the peach slices act as a sour-ish counterpoint to the velvety banana slices.
Top Hat Restaurant’s innovative menu is complemented by one of the most extensive wine cellars in Kuala Lumpur, with a collection of old and new world labels suited to the restaurant’s food choices and, more importantly, customers’ budgets.
Top Hat Restaurant
- Opening Hours: 12:00 - 24:00
- Address: No 3, Jalan Stonor, 50450 Kuala Lumpur
- Tel: +603 2142 8611