Twas the last couple of weeks leading up to Christmas that we ventured to Bangsar for a late and loooong lunch. When it comes to a British food fare in Kuala Lumpur, very little actually comes to mind. We’ve tried a few British / Irish pubs around KL, but nothing really tickles our fancy enough for us to come back again. This is until we met W1, a central London inspired restaurant located in Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur.
And at first I wondered… why W1? W1 represents the central London post code. Duhhh! All makes sense now!
W1 Bangsar is humble. Its comfort food inspired by British classics. And when I say inspired, I mean W1 has turned British food on its head, with its creation of a few ‘deconstructed’ versions of classics. The restaurant is also inspired by the melting pot that is London, which is best represented in W1’s menu – with so many cultures and nationalities living together in harmony, the food culture of London (and W1) is one of diversity. And so it’s not your typical conventional British fare.
W1 is not your traditional British pub, it’s far from this. In fact, the restaurant has a lovely space with dark blue and grey brick walls, and way cool artworks on the wall. It’s a more sophisticated version of a British pub, and you can very much see that especially through their food. My favorite is the large mural of Winston Churchill with a quirky quote next to him “Behind every great man is a surprised woman” – surprised indeed!
Run by British expat Danny, he brings years of F&B experience to the table. Danny’s love for the best of the London food scene combined with Kuala Lumpur has created W1. And behind the scenes in the kitchen is Chef Chong who adds a lot of intriguing twists and turns to many British classics.
And so the first order of business – two Pimm’s Cup…Cheers big ears!
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The Menu at W1, Bangsar
The menu offers enough variety to tickle everyone’s taste buds. And as the saying goes, sharing is caring, and W1’s menu is all about sharing. With its tapas style dishes than comes in small and big plates, guaranteed no one leaves hungry.
Here are some W1 favorites to order on your next visit.
W1 Scotch Egg
No British food fare would be complete without a scotch egg. It’s been a loooong time since I’ve seen scotch egg on any menu, so of course I was curious.
The W1 Scotch Egg hit the spot.
The egg was a perfect consistency. It was soft boiled so the yolk was still a bit runny. Paired with the meat which had a good taste and texture, the scotch egg was golden and had a slightly crisp outer shell. This dish was well-balanced; combining the molten egg yolk, with a layer of meat filling and a crisp shell was delicious.
Ahh prawn cocktail. This classic has been turned on its head at W1.
W1’s prawn cocktail includes prawn, house-made sriracha aioli, avocado, rice puffs and a side of crispy wonton skins. It was a ‘deconstructed’ traditional prawn cocktail for a lack of better words.
The sriracha aioli was creamy, it had a perfect level of kick, and paired beautifully with the prawn and avocado. Heck I even enjoyed the sauce on its own.
The Prawn Cocktail with avocado, puffy rice, Sriracha aioli and a side of prawn wonton skins (RM25) was another combination of varied tastes and textures on one plate. The prawns were accompanied by cubes of creamy avocado, crunchy puffy rice, golden prawn wantons, all tied together with a definite chilli undercurrent.
There’s nothing like a good plate full of grilled squid…if it’s done right. And W1 have gotten it right. The squid is perfectly cooked without becoming chewy. It was cooked beautifully with a slightly tangy sauce using capers, and tossed with potatoes and tomatoes. Just delicious!
Pie & Mash
This is what dreams are made of. Since moving from Australia, I’ve found it quite difficult to find places that serve a decent pie. And W1 definitely delivered here.
The pie crust was just perfect – it was not too doughy and thick – just the perfect consistency. And the filling was delicious! Paired with the creamy mash potato and graaavvvyyyyy, babyyy, we couldn’t stop eating this dish.
The portion was generous too so it was perfect for sharing. And even though we were already in a food coma, we still kept eating the pie and mash right to the bitter end because it was damn good.
Butter Fish Tikka Masala
This dish sparked my curiosity. I do love Indian food, and do love a good tikka marsala. The usual suspect is chicken tikka masala and so I was intrigued. First there’s butter fish, there there’s an almond cream, AND then there’s an okra tempura. Not your usual tikka masala combination. Then again, I did mention from the beginning that W1 was not typical.
The fish had a lovely creamy texture, the tikka marsala had a good level of spice which was nicely paired with the almond cream giving this dish a good balance in flavour. The okra tempura was a real hidden gem – I have never had okra in a tempura and I have to say, I’m sold.
A Sweet Finish – Sticky Cola Pudding
I had to take a double look when I saw this on the menu. Naturally I thought it was a sticky date pudding, but when I looked carefully, I saw the word ‘cola’ in there. Intriguing! The pudding came served with a chocolate caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream, making this ‘royal recommendation’ sinfully delicious.
It’s Always Cocktail Hour at W1 Bangsar
When it comes to cocktails and drinks, W1 has a good selection to tickle everyone’s fancy.
To start, a Pimm’s Cup is a must and it is absolutely perfect on a hot day here in Kuala Lumpur. I mean common, nothing says British like a Pimm’s Cup! And so when it comes to a Pimm’s Cup, W1 take it very seriously – so seriously that there’s a good range of Pimm’s cocktails available for Happy Hour too.
If you’re looking for something with a bit more of a kick, try the Gilbert & Sullivan – there’s a reason it’s been crowned the crowd favorite at W1. Tanqueray gin is combined with vanilla and lemon making this gin-based cocktail well-balanced and not too sweet. Another one please!
Then there’s the Easy 8 Hold Up, a pretty in copper cocktail that is on the sweeter side. Combining vodka, aperol and pineapple juice, this is an easy to drink cocktail for those who prefer a fruitier concoction.
And while you’re at it…you totally have to try their range of house-made shooters – from peanut butter vodka to nutella – all I can say is, shot shot shot!
The Verdict – W1 Bangsar
There’s a great sense of humour at W1 paired with a delicious menu and fabulous drinks, making this a great spot for everyday dining or even for an extended lunch session on the weekend.
W1 reigns supreme when it comes to delicious British favorites including classics such as pie and mash, scotch egg, fish & chips, and eton mess. And with a number of hidden gems lurking in the menu, there’s definitely something for everyone.
Open every day from 4pm until late, with the exception of Sunday where you can enjoy long lunches starting from 12pm onwards. It’s best to book your table at W1 Bangsar as it does get busy.
No compensation was received for this review, however we were guests of W1. All opinions remains my own and I only promote products/services that I love.
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