In the diverse region of Latin America, with over two dozen countries covering its nearly 20 million square kilometres of land, is a spread of full-bodied cuisines with illustrious heritage. Across the world in KL, there are a number of restaurants built around this fare, including these shining examples.
With a name that means ‘fire’ in Spanish, the zesty food offerings here are enjoyed with blazing views of Kuala Lumpur and beyond, as the restaurant is one part of the Troika Sky Dining quartet alongside Coppersmith, Strato and Claret.
Charged with South American flavours, Fuego offers small and big plates, with charcoal-grilled meats, ceviche, tacos, moqueca and churros among the items on the menu. The guacamole selection is of particular interest, meticulously prepared and flavoured with creative ingredients. Unique cocktails from the bar do a great job firing up the mood.
Nachos, burritos, quesadillas, fajitas and other Mexican staples crowd the menu at this self-described canteen-style restaurant. While it may be modest in appearance, it certainly goes in heavy with the portions and tastes. There are also inventive treats such as the dessert burrito and special drinks like the jalapeno soda.
Outside of pure Mexican food, Thyme Out dabbles in a bit of fusion as well, with Malaysian essences sneaking into their cuisine line-up. The company also has a mobile arm called Roxanne, with an old-school Volkswagen Bus as a charming pop-up restaurant.
La Boca Latino Bar draws attention to not just the food it pays homage to, but the culture that surrounds it. This grants it a lively, characterful Latin American aura that isn’t diluted in any way. Latino music and dancing is part and parcel of this place, whose name, taken from an Argentinian seaside port, means ‘The Mouth’.
Tempting the mouths of patrons are such dishes as empanadas, arepas, tamales, ‘churrasco’ slow-roasted Argentinian barbecue meats. Alongside usual cocktails is a selection of South American wines, and barista-brewed classic Latino coffees.
Mexican essentials are what you’ll readily find at Las Carretas, which translates to ‘The Wagon’ in Spanish. Chile verde, camarones, ajillo, chimichangas, quesadillas, sopapillas and flautas are among the finds on the menu. There are heftier items too like dry-aged rib-eye, short ribs and home-smoked beef brisket for larger appetites.
Known for its collection of margaritas, the bar also has an elaborate selection of tequilas that do much to enhance the Mexicana vibes. The thematically loaded ambience, with its many references to the country, propagate these warm, charismatic tones.
Another Mexican food specialist is Fresca, a name that can be interpreted as ‘Fresh’ or ‘Cool’. Its repertoire consists of small plates such as tortilla chips with pico de gallo, big plates like enchiladas rojas, and a good deal in between. Fresca is especially keen on traditional Mexican meals, two cases in point being the pescado al mojo de ajo fish dish and carne asada steak platter.
Guests can pick from a healthy array of margaritas and other cocktails, while teetotallers can’t go wrong with an agua fresca mocktail.
WHERE Level 23a, Tower B, The Troika, Kuala Lumpur
WHEN 6.30pm-8.30pm (1st seating), 8.30pm onwards (2nd seating)
TEL 03 2162 0886
WHERE 66, Jalan PJS 11/7, Bandar Sunway, Selangor
TEL 012 506 8416
La Boca Latino Bar
WHERE Lot C3.10.03, Level 3, Pavilion KL, Kuala Lumpur
WHEN 10am-1am, (Sun- Thur), 10am-2am (Fri & Sat)
TEL 03 2148 9977
WHERE No 29, Jalan USJ 10/1F, Taipan Triangle, Subang Jaya, Selangor
WHEN 12pm-2.30pm, 6pm-10.30pm (Mon-Sat), 5pm-10.30pm (Sun)
TEL 03 5637 3058
Fresca Mexican Kitchen & Bar
WHERE G9 & G9A, Ground Floor, Avenue K, Kuala Lumpur
TEL 012 678 7842