Can’t decide where to dine this month? Things are looking up for gourmands as a number of restaurants make their presence felt in KL and PJ this May 2022.

Truly, there’s much to look forward to apart from Hari Raya open houses and Mother’s Day celebrations. Read on for our recommendations.

Check out these KL and PJ restaurants and bars in May 2022:

The Lemon Tree opens in Tropicana, Petaling Jaya

If Lavo is your go-to for evening happy hour in PJ, the next-door Lemon Tree should be where you head for breakfast. The cafe, boasting bright, inviting ambiance encapsulated by a glasshouse, offers all-day breakfast, but more enticingly, an expansive menu of pastries, breads, cakes, coffees and teas. 

Inspired by the Victorian era, the 1,700-square-foot café apart from looking like a lemon grove features a domed ceiling, vivid furniture and glass claddings several storeys tall – evoking the sensation of al fresco dining except you’re bathing in natural light yet luxuriating in the comfort of air condition. 

Go for the blueberry danish, garden focaccia, an assortment of croissants and fruit tarts. If the likes of cafe latte, mocha, camomile tea and green tea are too expected, get the cafe’s signature iced teas – Tangy Pear Honey-nade, Citrus Yuzu Oolong and more.

The Lemon Tree is located at Ground Floor, Menara Lien Hoe, Persiaran Tropicana, 47410 Petaling Jaya, Selangor. Call 011-5763 0433 to reserve. It opens daily 8am-6pm.

Diao Yu Tai Hotpot opens in Tropicana, Petaling Jaya

Sing your heart out while noshing on prime-cut meats as well as an appetising selection of beer, baijiu, umeshu and other spirits. The latest hotpot restaurant strategically located at the intersection of Damansara and Petaling Jaya is serving up signatures such as deep-fried pork belly, glutinous rice with brown sugar, Miyazaki A5 wagyu beef, Iberico pork belly, homemade fish and shrimp paste, alongside the restaurant’s raison d’être — Chengdu style hotpot.

The restaurant offers plenty of choices when it comes to soup bases. You can’t go wrong with mala, tomato and pork bone. With 9,430 square feet of ancient Chinese-inspired interior space, the restaurant is spacious and thoughtfully demarcated to ensure there is plenty of privacy among diners. On top of that, Diao Yu Tai possesses 18 private rooms fitted with a top-notch karaoke-ready audio system that can cater to group sizes from six to 16.

Located at Ground floor, Golf & Country Resort, Menara Lien Hoe, 8, Persiaran Tropicana, Tropicana, 47410 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Diao Yu Tai opens 3pm-12am during weekdays, as well as 12pm till 3pm and 6pm till 12 am during weekends. Call 010-303 1888 to reserve.

Baan Phadthai opens at Pavilion Kuala Lumpur

Baan Phadthai is one of several new cafes and restaurants opening at Pavilion KL in May 2022. Not any Thai street food restaurant, however, as Baan Phadthai boasts a credential unlike any other. Its Bangkok outlet was awarded on numerous occasions by Michelin Guide Bangkok. 

What to order here but its plethora of phad thais – from delicious roast beef to extravagant jumbo mud crab? The secret sauce to its acclaimed phad thai lies with the 18-ingredient sauce and the “Sen Jan” rice noodles. The portion is generous. If that doesn’t satiate you, a range of appetisers and desserts such as satays and mango sticky rice are available too.

Baan Phadthai is located at the Connection Precinct, Level 3, Pavilion Kuala Lumpur. It opens daily, 11am-10pm. Call 03-9779 9113 to reserve.

AlcoHall by Wholly Spirits opens at Qra Arcoris Mont Kiara

To raise your spirit, drop by AlcoHall if you happen to be stocking up on gourmet groceries at Qra’s latest outlet. Wholly Spirits has carved out a niche for its endless supply of independent brands – Eiling Lim, Hernö Gin, Scallywag, and among others – in the Hartamas neighbourhood. Unlike other alcohol retailers that don’t offer you a taste when you make a purchase, AlcoHall is also a bar. Craft beer is on tap, while cocktails made with Wholly Spirits’ exclusive brands can be offered for a fee. 

Since you shouldn’t be drinking and driving, cocktails containing zero alcohol are also offered.

AlcoHall by Wholly Spirits is located at Qra Arcoris Mont Kiara, Lot LG5-1 & LG5-3A, Lower Ground 5 Level, Arcoris, 10, Jalan Kiara, Mont Kiara, 50480 Kuala Lumpur. It opens 11am-10pm daily. Cocktails are available between 3pm and 10pm. 

Shin’Labo by James Won opens at Mitsui Shopping Park Lalaport Kuala Lumpur

Reserve your seat at least seven days in advance. Celebrity chef James Won of Enfin fame has reinvented himself with a brand-new offering to discerning gourmets with Shin’Labo – an omakase experience marrying Japanese cuisine and French culinary techniques, as well as incorporating ingredients indigenous to Malaysia. 

Ambiance here plays as much an importance as food. Every step you take when waltzing into the restaurant heightens your anticipation of the food. And be prepared to splurge and indulge. High on the must-try list are Hambagu and Korokke (James’ play on the Japanese interpretation of the burger patty and croquette), Hokkaido Scallop and Caviar (the finest ocean’s catch with the most delicate ingredient – a clever juxtaposition of scallop’s natural sweetness and caviar’s savoury flavour), and the Blue Prawn served with James’ signature dollop of sambal olek. 

Shin’Labo by James Won is located at Lot G13A & G13B, Mitsui Shopping Park Lalaport Kuala Lumpur, 2, Jalan Hang Tuah, Bukit Bintang, 50450 Kuala Lumpur. It opens Tuesdays till Sundays, 11am-11pm. Click here to reserve.

(Hero and featured images: Diao Yu Tai)

This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Kuala Lumpur

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