Kuala Lumpur is not short of bubbly brunches. With most five-star hotels offering their own buffet spread with all-you-can-drink champagne, you don’t have to go far to find a place to get a bit squiffy on a Sunday. The problem often is, however, that the focus is squarely on the offering of bottomless champagne, and once that novelty has worn off the food can be left wanting. In its latest themed dining experience, Shook! in Starhill Gallery aims to combine the bubbly Sunday brunch with entertainment of the Alice in Wonderland kind. So while guests feast on delights from around the four signature kitchens, characters from Alice in Wonderland roam the restaurant performing tricks, shaping balloons and generally keeping spirits high.
We’d seen pictures before we arrived so knew pretty much what to expect. There’s a whole roast lamb, a good selection of sushi and sashimi, plenty of pasta—and then there’s the dessert counter. We knew it would be big but as we walked into Shook! through the pop-up clockface entrance we realised we were in on something very, very good. To the right of the reception desk is the restaurant’s bar. Normally diners enjoy a drink here pre- or post-meal but for the Mad Hatter Brunch it is turned into a sweet-tooth’s paradise.
Salivating already we make our way to the table and set about our first course. While my wife heads off in search of sushi I explore the bread counter and fill up on tacos and nachos accompanied by more salsas than I’ve ever seen. They go down well, with a homemade freshness that’s a good start to what we know will be a hearty meal. The sushi’s good too, and my wife was delighted to have found a pyramid of peeled prawns. They’re plump, pink and layered in their dozens so she’s a very happy camper indeed.
We can’t stay too long on starters though—not with a dessert spread waiting—so it’s onto mains. The lamb is something of a signature here and rotating on a spit it’s quite a spectacle. I ask for a cut and am loaded up by the chef on duty. It’s no small portion and it doesn’t take many herb roasted potatoes and buttered vegetables to fill up the plate. The lamb is tasty and tender, and though the sauces that come with it are pretty delicious I can’t help but start thinking about the sweets to come, so after a sip or two of champagne to help the lamb go down I’m off to the dessert bar.
The selection here is good by anyone’s standards, with everything from Alice in Wonderland-themed biscuits and cake pops to incredibly indulgent mousses and things we can only describe as half-muffins, half-soufflés. Start-of-the-year diets won’t last long at Shook!’s Mad Hatter Brunch, but some things are well worth breaking good habits for.
Feast Village, Starhill Gallery,
Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL
Tel: 03–2719 8535