Hotel cuisine has never left a deep impression on me. While I’ve had some delicious meals in hotels, I’ve never thought of returning just for the food.
But when our team met up for a workcation at The Westin Kuala Lumpur, I was open to changing my mind on that. So we happily accepted The Westin KL’s kind offer to stuff us silly with all of their food, in several meals across 3 days and 2 nights.
But first, safety
The Westin KL takes the health and protection of their guests very seriously and they have made it a point to follow their own standard operating procedures for Covid-19 safety.
For example, they prepare individually packed utensil sets and serviettes for each diner. Plastic gloves are placed at the buffet areas and it is mandatory for all guests to use them when taking their food.
Location: The Living Room
The breakfast buffet selection is very extensive, there’s a thorough assortment of dishes available, from the usual Western and continental dishes to local Indian food, healthy selections for a salad mix, and more.
Hankering for porridge with at least 9 different toppings? Done.
Craving for Chinese soup noodles with a minimum of 10 accompaniments? Certainly.
Thinking of freshly cooked crispy thosai and paratha? Coming right up.
Feeling like it shouldn’t be a cheat day and want something healthy? Absolutely. In fact, go harvest your own vegetables while you’re at it. No, really.
One interesting feature was the BoomGrow crate of leafy greens at the salad bar whereby guests can “harvest” their own vegetables for their salad. Picking your own greens straight from the source is a sure way of knowing it’s as fresh as it can get.
It’s difficult to go into every dish and detail that’s served at their buffets. Pastries, fruit salad, yoghurt, kuihs, even a corner that’s specifically for kids with desserts, chips, healthy snacks, The Westin KL has got us covered.
In-Room Dining Lunch
Getting us off to a good start was the pie tee placed in our room as a welcome gift. Instead of the usual Nyonya fillings, a tray of smoked salmon, chopped red bell peppers, onions, and guacamole was served with the crispy pie tee shell.
Everyone agreed that this Peranakan inspired snack was one of the best welcome hotel treats we’ve ever had.
We decided to take our lunch in our hotel room, ordering a seafood pizza, a Margherita pizza, the Indian vegetable tiffin, wild mushroom soup, cream of tomato soup, and gratinated rosemary and garlic cocktail potatoes.
The food preparation and service took almost an hour but the fairly long wait was understandable seeing as we ordered a lot of food and they had to deliver everything to us at a go.
The dishes were served to us from a food warmer trolley with all the necessary condiments, dining ware, cutleries, table napkins—everything that we needed for a complete and very comfortable in-room dining experience.
While laying out the assortment of dishes, I was immediately drawn to the tiffin set of Indian food as it smelled so good. The flavours were wholesome and so satisfying.
The soups were also fantastic, the tomato one especially was just the right thickness and acidity. The roasted potatoes were perhaps a little undercooked but were seasoned well.
As for dessert, the sago Gula Melaka was a little too dense and starchy, so even with the generous amount of coconut milk and Gula Melaka, with our 90% full stomachs, it was hard to finish everything.
Location: The Living Room
The pie tee had skyrocketed our expectations, and so because of that, the high tea set ended up slightly disappointing because not every single item was memorable.
That said, the variety is commendable. Each level of the three-tiered stand covered a different flavour profile—savoury, hearty, and sweet. There was plenty to explore, but some of them lacked oomph.
The ones that showed the most potential for me included the Szechuan smoked duck from the savoury tier and the chicken serunding roti jala from the hearty section.
The duck itself was a bit salty, but when mixed with the chopped vegetables, it made for quite a refreshing taste. The slight spicy kick is an added bonus.
The roti jala was tangy and creamy, which is an enjoyable mixture of flavours. My colleagues also took a liking to the lamb bolognese tortilla wrap, though the gaminess was a bit strong for me.
Dishes such as the potato croquette, fried margarita breaded pizza, and vegetable charcoal sliders would’ve tasted much better and crispier if served hot.
High tea typically makes for a dessert lover’s heaven, but for me and my colleagues, the entries were a bit too sweet for our liking.
It should be noted that usually the high tea comes with the pie tee set, but since we had already tried it earlier, the chef thoughtfully served us with some other entries to try. Still, knowing how much we enjoyed the pie tee combo, they generously gave us another serving!
Chinese Cuisine Dinner
Location: The Living Room
The Chinese Set Menu was a six-course affair and they specially selected the dishes for us. The meal started with hot and sour soup that was warm and punchy.
The kong po chicken was a pleasant surprise. Even though it’s a fairly common dish and the flavourful nature makes it an easy crowd pleaser, the execution really sold it. The crisp texture and juicy meat is accentuated by the sauce.
The deep-fried garoupa fillet with special wasabi sauce also did not disappoint. The special sauce coating the crispy fish skin turned out to be a mixture of mayonnaise and wasabi. It carried a refreshing taste that brought out the mild flavour of the fish.
Continuing the seafood train is the tiger prawns with king soy sauce. The prawns were plump and looked absolutely mouth-watering, especially with the glistening king soy sauce.
The prawns were sweet, salty, savoury, and basically hit all the right spots. We even ordered seconds for this one.
Compared to the other dishes, the golden seafood fried rice was on the blander side and could do with more seasoning. I also personally prefer fried rice that has a stronger garlicky fragrance.
For dessert, we were served a bowl of chilled snow fungus with red dates. While it tasted refreshing, it could not beat the one thing we raved about non-stop that evening—a special winter melon based drink.
Concocted by the bar manager, Zack Lee, the drink is made with winter melon soda, jujube, and chrysanthemum. It’s nothing like any winter melon drink we’ve had before, the unique mixture of ingredients and flavours really made our night.
Break & Bar Time
Location: Splash and 443 Lounge
We took a break from work at Splash, the poolside restaurant and bar. We were served coconut juice and blueberry panna cotta.
Fries and nuggets also make the typical poolside snack and continue to fuel our work tank.
Next, we hit up 443 Lounge. The bar manager, Zack, insisted on preparing some of his latest creations that haven’t been released yet.
The first drink was a rum-based one called Apricus, and it tasted like sunshine with the refreshing fruitiness of the pineapple. I really enjoyed the passion fruit foam at the top.
But the talk of the evening was the second drink, called Remedy. Remember that winter melon beverage I mentioned earlier on? Well, Zack actually based that off the original alcoholic rendition.
It’s called Remedy because the ingredients are said to be healthy and “cooling” in Chinese culture (except for the gin but hey, at least it’s infused with red dates).
Zack shared that he makes his own infusions and tries to cap his creations at RM45 whenever possible. His amazing ability to meticulously balance the flavours from the ingredients with the alcohol strength convinced even the non-alcoholic among us to genuinely enjoy his cocktails.
Malay Cuisine Dinner
Location: The Living Room
Our dinner on the second day was personally prepared by Chef Hamid Buyong, the head chef.
One of the stars of the meal was the oxtail soup. I watched as my colleagues raved enthusiastically about it because I don’t eat beef. But the rich and fragrant smell was enough to convince me that it would taste as good as it looks.
The pan-seared salmon solidified my opinion that The Westin KL has really good seafood dishes. The pesto sauce elevated the fish and the salmon was cooked just perfectly.
The sweet and sour chicken served with rice and fried egg had a really good sauce and the chicken meat was cooked to tenderness. The portion of the char kuey teow was decent and the prawns weren’t overcooked.
My colleagues said the beef burger was alright, but the homemade BBQ sauce stole the show.
I was excited about the oven-roasted half chicken, but it was a little overcooked and dry so the black pepper sauce could do little to help.
At the end of our stay, we’ve come to the verdict that Westin KL’s strengths lie in their Asian cuisine dishes, soups, sauces, and drinks. We joked that they had outstanding “liquids”.
Another observation that is noteworthy is their impeccable and friendly service. We felt at home, no matter where we were dining in the hotel.
The hotel staff, restaurant chef, and servers went out of their way to make sure that we were well taken care of and had everything that we needed to really enjoy our The Westin KL experience.
This, and their outstanding dishes, is something that I would bear in mind if I were looking for a spot for a memorable family dinner in the future.
The Westin Kuala Lumpur
Address: 199, Bukit Bintang St, Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur