An eccentric ocean dream by Thai designer Bill Bensley, Kayuputi Specialty Restaurant sits over the ocean and offers a magical man-made coral reef above the water. Peacock chairs, giant wooden fish, coral sculptures and shell chandeliers present a maritime wonderland encased in white walls and French windows. On a clear day however, the quirky interior design competes for gaze time with the glossy blue sea and hilly jungle backdrop.
Around 6pm is the perfect time to visit, enabling guests to witness the transition from day to night as the sky forms a kaleidoscope of colour setting the horizon alight with magic. Kayuputi’s signature Sunset Cocktail (for two RM145) is a flawless choice for the scene. Two martini glasses are pre-chilled with a giant rosella ice ball. Tequila, Cointreau, lime juice, mango puree and mango juice are shaken and poured over the centerpiece creating its own dusk in the glass. Fruity with a whisper of sourness from the citrus, it’s a wonderful sundowner. Another one please!
As night takes over and the tunes of the bar’s band draw to a close, we head inside to dine, and check out the rather fabulous Decanter wine menu. Wines from around the world fill an entire booklet. A decent range of wines by the glass too sees a global trend in offerings. I’m looking for something versatile to go with the first two dishes of this evening’s four-course menu, and a French chardonnay seems to fit the bill. Pouilly-Fuisse AC 2014, Domaine de La Creuze Noire from Burgundy (RM72) performs well, providing a creamy complement to the oil in the oxtail and the crisp ending pairs well with the scallops.
First course, Traditional Oxtail Consommé, features a giant oxtail filled ravioli superbly al dente, dressed with pickled chili and fried scallops. A little eatertainment sees a delicious rich beef broth poured atop moments before serving. Altogether it’s a yum!
Pan Seared Scallops are given some local styling with otak-otak mousse topped off with Avruga caviar. Our daily greens are found with a seaweed base, and once again table side service witnesses a Japanese fashioned dashi drizzled over last minute. Turns out the molluscs are caught in local waters and we find them fresh and clean. It’s another pleasing dish.
We change wines and continents with a New Zealand Te Kahu 2011 by Craggy Range in Hawkes Bay (RM72). This red blend with its elegant structure, hints of spice and lingering finish reminds me of Bordeaux. Although my instincts would have chosen a powerful white for the cod pairing, I’m glad I listened to the wait staff with this recommendation. It’s a lovely drop playing nicely with the rich fishy main, but also a charming drop on its own.
Roasted Cod Fish is the main and a clever cucumber spaghetti tops it. A wonderfully tangy assam pedas broth is poured over tableside, and seaweed and a pretty black squid ink lattice furnish a little drama and contrast in colour to the moist flaky white fish flesh. The addictively moreish fish broth has us scooping until the very last drops in our bowls. What a wonderful way to prepare cod – not the easiest fish to cook, this recipe ensures it shines.
The finale of our four-course menu at Kayuputi is the Signature Dark Chocolate Cardamom Cake. Childhood fun, sugar floss, crowns the dark dessert and warm pineapple syrup dissolves it as soon as it’s presented. Smoothness from vanilla balances the tartness of the pineapple, and a beautiful contrast is found in the temperature with the heat of the sauce and the chilled pineapple middle of the velvety chocolate mousse.
It’s been a beautiful and delicious experience from start to finish. The dining scene in Langkawi has really been taken up a notch with the addition of Kayuputi Specialty Restaurant. Put it on your must-visit list, if not for the wonderfully fresh seafood menu, for the cocktails and sunset views.
Reasons to visit: beautiful views (be sure to come before the sun sets); a contemporary and quirky environment; fresh light cuisine – we especially recommend the roasted cod fish in assam pedas broth, the signature dark chocolate dessert, and the sunset cocktail for two.
Kayuputi Specialty Restaurant
The St. Regis Langkawi
Jalan Pantai Beringin
+6 04 960 6666