Malaysians are in love with Malaysia again, and the feeling goes beyond a recent reset in politics, remarks Samantha Lim after visiting Beta KL.
How would you use the word beta in a sentence? I query. Muhammad, whose command of Malay far exceeds mine, is silent for some seconds, the gears in his brain gently whirring.
“Say this restaurant gets a great review from Malaysia Tatler,” he begins, “and the Sultan rings them up to make reservations. After the evening’s repast, his majesty might proclaim, ‘Inilah yang beta inginkan!’ Unlike saya or aku, the pronoun beta is reserved for royalty,” patiently explains my pal. Picturing the hypothetical king lolling in his seat, gesturing for the receipt, I am satisfied with Muhammad’s answer. The ‘2018 Tour of Malaysia’ degustation menu at Beta KL is, after all, fit for a king.
THE SECOND COMING
Doted on by five fast friends, Skillet At 163 and Beta KL were born three years apart in 2015 and 2018. But as these things go, shared parentage doesn’t make for similar personalities.
Akin to the well-travelled sibling, Skillet At 163 presents the world’s rich tapestries on a plate. For instance, English Sticky Toffee Pudding might round out a meal that began with French foie gras.
Conversely, Beta is the child who was tied to its mother’s apron strings. Ingrained with a sense of nationalism, the restaurant probes what it means to be ‘modern’ and ‘Malaysian’—a mystery we hoped to unravel during our visit. For those making their pilgrimage, here’s a hint: investigate the ivy-covered wall for an Alice in Wonderlandesque adventure.
SETTING THE BAR HIGH
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