Review: Vogue Lounge KL serves fashionable dining with a side of views

Food for the fashionable, drinks and views for all.

At a time when fashion and food are often integrated to create unique experiences for the modern luxury consumer – think Breakfast at Tiffany’s, the Louis Vuitton Café and Gucci Osteria, for instance – enters Vogue Lounge: an upscale restaurant, lounge and rooftop bar bringing that hype to Bangsar South.

Sprawled across 18,500 sq ft on the 38th floor of Menara Suezcap, the establishment launched last November in partnership with global media company Conde Nast, which operates household magazine titles like Vogue, GQ and Vanity Fair.

It is the first-of-its-kind to open in the Asian region, drawing the attention of KL’s fashion designers, models, socialites and talents that seek a taste of the fashionably Instagram-worthy dining experiences led by global trendsetters in the industry. So far, it has hosted fashion shows by Carven Ong, Maatin Shakir and Justin Yap Atelier, to name a few, with more line-ups to come.

Runway presentations aside, Vogue Lounge’s grand interiors and innovative menu make it an ideal venue for celebrations and parties. Step into the trendy space and you’ll see what we mean.

An eye for style and opulence

Past covers of Vogue magazines line the walls of the staircase leading up to the mezzanine floor

More framed photos of Vogue shoots including familiar faces like Cara Delevingne, Rihanna and Priyanka Chopra decorate the entire space

The tables are spruced up with floral arrangements adding a touch of elegance

Guests are treated to bird's eye vistas of KL's skyline from every corner of the common dining area

There's also a cellar featuring a collection of fine wines and spirits to indulge wine aficionados

The bar and lounge area occupies an intimate corner on the first floor of the establishment

On the other hand, the rooftop bar offers a more laid-back setting for guests to unwind

A mural painted by Penang-based UK artist Thomas Powell at the rooftop bar

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As soon as the elevator doors open on the 38th floor, portraits of Vogue covers and photoshoots dot the hallway leading to the entrance of Vogue Lounge – heralding the inspiration behind the establishment. These portraits continue to adorn the walls inside the space, appearing also in frames decorating shelves and furniture.

Contemporary teardrop-shaped lighting fixtures hang from lofty, double height ceilings to light up an LED platform cum runway. Meanwhile, tall gold arches frame the sophisticated yet unusual table setting that seats guests in such a way that allows them to enjoy a meal while basking in bird’s eye views of KL’s skyline via floor-to-ceiling glass windows.

Taking the escalator upstairs to the rooftop bar presents a completely different ambience. Striking gold accents and fashionable décor are replaced with 360-degree views of the Klang Valley, from central KL (marked by the iconic Petronas Twin Towers) to Bangsar and Petaling Jaya. We’re told that the views stretch as far as Genting Highlands, on clear days.

Art is not absent in the picture, however, with two attention-grabbing murals by Penang-based UK multidisciplinary artist Thomas Powell smack in the centre of the al-fresco area.

Drinks for the wind-down

Since our visit came after a light drizzle, we obliged a few rounds of drinks at the lounge area instead of the more laid-back rooftop. Here, the bar area reflects the gleam and glamour of the dining space, with its plush bar stools, sleek countertops and contemporary setup.

We kicked off the evening with a glass of Painting Grey, a floral blend of earl grey gin, elderflower, citrus and egg white. Wonderfully fragrant and smooth, this easy-to-drink concoction proves a refreshing choice to warm up the palate.

The bar’s play on Malaysian elements is presented in our next cocktail of Jungle Fever, which calls to mind our tropical rainforests and jungles with its use of a bamboo straw, pandan garnish and a dehydrated pineapple. Consisting of banana-infused rum, Campari, Pimento Dram, pineapple, citrus and palm sugar, the blend packs a bittersweet and sour punch that doesn’t skimp on the alcohol.

Food for the fashionable

When it comes to food, Vogue Lounge’s tagline is a good indication of what to expect: food for the fashionable. Helming the kitchen is Japanese Chef Kazuhiko Kojima, who is responsible for curating the French-Japanese fusion dishes on the menu. Among highlights on the extensive menu encompassing appetisers, soups, salads, mains and desserts include Hokkaido Sea Urchin with Ossetra Caviar, Japanese Wagyu Steak and Blue Crab Bisque.

Alternatively, guests can opt for the degustation menu which, we’re told, changes every month to keep fans coming back. We settled for this 5-course option and were presented with a few misses, but mostly hits.

Our first course of Hokkaido Sea Urchin with Ossetra Caviar started our meal on a positive note. The cold dish had a good play on textures given by the buttery sea urchin and slightly firm caviar that is complemented with a light consommé jelly. Balancing the fresh, umami flavours of the seafood duo was the sweet Japanese carrot puree that elevated the creaminess of the uni for a delightful climax in the mouth.

Unfortunately, the Apple & Beetroot Millefeuille didn’t live up to expectations despite its pleasant presentation. Inspired by the traditional French pastry, Chef Kojima’s take combines crunchy apple slices with beetroot, avocado and a quinoa base – but the flavours felt conflicting. The layers of apple and beetroot proved difficult to cut through due to their rigid texture, whilst the quinoa tasted slightly bland and out of place.

Things picked up again at the third course, Saikyo Miso Marinated Black European Cod. The Japanese side of the cuisine truly came out in this dish, where the Kyoto-style miso lifted the flavours of the buttery, flaky cod and the trio of ikura (salmon roe), shungiku (chrysanthemum greens) and daikon (radish) added dimension to its flavour and texture.

Next up was a Charcoal Grilled Japanese A5 Wagyu Steak served with seaweed salt, shungiku puree, pickled soy sauce, micro greens and mushrooms. On its own, the ribeye cut was as good as the standard A5, but a sprinkle of the seaweed salt brought out its juiciness and heightened its flavours further. Meanwhile, the slightly sweet, creamy puree helped to cut through the fattiness of the game in between bites. It was a nice dish overall, though not outstanding.

Matcha lovers will not be disappointed with the Matcha Affogato dessert, which comprises of red bean ice cream, gyuhi (the softer, sweeter version of mochi), matcha langue de chat (a small French biscuit) and matcha poured at your table. Once again, the texture play – the soft, chewiness of the gyuhi, the crunchy bite from the biscuit and the freshly poured warm green tea – made this a hit and an enjoyable end to our meal.

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For more information, please log on to the official website at voguelounge.my. To make a reservation, email reservations@voguelounge.my or call +6016- 665 5984 or +603-27711530/1531.

Location: Level 38, Menara SuezCap, Jalan Kerinchi Kiri, Pantai Dalam, Kuala Lumpur

Opening hours: Tuesday to Thursday, 5pm-1am; Friday to Saturday, 5pm-2am; Sunday; 5pm-1am (Closed on Mondays)

Photography: Anson Siau

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