The newest outlet in the charming block known as Old Malaya, and taking pride of place among the other outlets here is Canvass, a restaurant that revolves around a number of interesting concepts unique to KL’s F&B scene.
Copenhagen-born chef Nikolaj Lenz and Bangladeshi mixologist M.I. Rony have joined forces to promote what they call ‘sustainable hedonism’ and ‘enlightened hospitality’; the former being a form of sustainability that makes the best of what is available depending on customer demands, and the latter focussing on affordability and quality, and anticipating customer needs.
Eliminating food waste is a big part of the set-up here, and to that end, Chef Nik and Rony’s mission is to use every last part of the ingredients they acquire – and up cycling for other means whatever they can’t. From composting to ensuring used cooking oil gets properly recycled or reused, these practises form the core of the operation.
Pickling and fermenting – processes by which one can extend the life of foods – is another central theme here, evidenced by the mason jars filled with various ingredients that sit on the bar counter in the dining room. Their pickled contents are used across the Nordic-based menu and cocktails. Naturally, all ingredients are locally sourced from farmers around the region.
You’ll find bright flavours and vibrant textures across the menu, with Scandinavian-inspired dishes that have been prepared with heart and soul. Elements that are perfectly encapsulated by the cured salmon, apple and beet tartare with sweet mustard sauce – a delicate combination of ingredients that play with sweet and salty notes.
A must-try is the Danish style ‘Fiske Frikadeller’, a dish that will instantly transport you to Copenhagen or Frederiksberg. The pan-seared Barramundi fish cakes are expertly cooked and come served with a parsley sauce and remoulade that will have you moping up every last bit with the available bread.
If you’re after something altogether meatier, the slow braised Australian boneless lamb leg in its glace with carrot puree and greens will hit the spot. Much like the beef cheek on the menu, the meat is buttery soft with deep umami notes. It pairs perfectly with the creamy and light carrot puree.
The dessert options are by no means an afterthought here so make sure to leave space for them. The baked chocolate mousse comes served as a slice, and mimics the texture of a moist chocolate cake, creamy and moreish. Spoon it up with the accompanying redfruit licorice coulis and thickened cream, and you’ve got a winning dish.
If chocolate isn’t your thing, opt for the compote of apple and sweet fermented tulip, which comes layered with yogurt and sour cream, and topped with caramelised crispy oat and buckwheat. Summery vibes infuse every part of this dish, which is the perfect way to cap off a meal.
Cocktails here have been designed to pair with dishes, and each also with sustainability at the heart. All garnishes are fully edible, while a number of green techniques like lacto-fermentation and dehydration are used in cocktails’ creation. You’ll also find some interesting twists on classics that will play with your taste buds!
There’s plenty to love about Canvass, from the ecologically-conscious thinking that underpins the whole operation, to the meticulously prepared and presented fare, and finally the mouthwatering beverages. All the pieces of this new restaurant fall into place like a well-designed puzzle and we can’t wait to see what else crops up on the menu in the future!
Where 2, Lorong Raja Chulan, Kuala Lumpur, 50250 Kuala Lumpur
When 3pm-10pm (Tue-Sat)
Tel 012 329 2820