Wine Bar & Restaurant Desa Sri Hartamas

Copaa KL -New Menu & Sake List

Copaa KL – New Menu & Sake List

Words: Matt Brown
Photos: Monica Tindall

It hasn’t been that long since The Yum List visited Jon Chew’s modern and marvellous restaurant and bar, Copaa, in the bustling heart of Sri Hartamas. I couldn’t make it the last time, but after reading the article, I was very mindful of having missed out on something special – the praise for Jon and the team’s hard work, commitment to local flavours and honest food and a general sense of a great place to eat and drink. With a new menu to feature, I elbowed everyone out of the way and booked it on over.

The space is lovely: what could be the ideal size for an intimate date night, family gathering, or groups of friends spread far and wide. You can choose to sit out on the balcony and watch the action around the small green square – where thankfully valet parking is available right outside the entrance to Copaa – or in the middle section with its comfy leather couches and some slightly cooler air, or in the main indoor area where the music fades nicely into the background as you talk excitedly about just how delicious everything is.

I could go on and on about how great the experience at Copaa was. Still, instead, I’ll just say that I was enjoying it so much that halfway through, I messaged my parents, who had just arrived at their hotel from Australia and ordered them into a car to come and eat with me after I had completed my Yum List duties. They happily obliged, and we all agreed that Copaa is just the right amount of cosy, cool and calmly phenomenal.

If you get a chance to meet Jon, you’ll quickly discover that he is a master storyteller with a relentless drive that he enjoys applying across numerous areas of interest. Designing the menu this time around, Jon took inspiration from his childhood memories in Penang, and his favourite foods are offered on the revamped menu with some clever twists, alongside some popular Copaa standards.

Copaa KL
Copaa KL
Copaa KL
Patio Seating Over Looking Desa Sri Hartamas

New Menu at Copaa KL

The menu at Copaa is built to be shared (sometimes twice in a single evening if you’re this writer!). Small starting plates begin with the Prawn Puri (RM45 for 5 pieces), inspired by the Thai appetiser called miang kham. A tiger prawn tartare with dried shrimp, almond and miang kham sauce fill crunchy little deep-fried bowls that replace the traditional cha phlu leaves. It was an instantly tasty beginning to an evening of formidable flavours.

Copaa KL
Prawn Puri

Our taste buds awakened, the next item to come out followed Jon’s mother’s recipe with a clever twist. The Copaa Fried Chicken (RM38 for 6 pieces) are impeccably crispy drumettes and wingettes seasoned with bunga kantan (torch ginger) and served with a special chilli padi miso. These may have almost all been eaten by me, with their light crispiness and sweet and sour flavours, but there’s no proof.

Copaa KL
Copaa Fried Chicken

The Hotate (RM53) is incredible when paired with the sakè now available on the menu (see the Drinks section below for details) and features Hokkaido scallops, cold shaoxin broth, tobiko and Japanese leek. This is another excellent example of what Jon describes as ‘fusion-izing’ – he doesn’t just invent businesses and menus, he’s also a mighty wordsmith.

Copaa KL

One of the most popular dishes from the moment Copaa KL opened is thankfully still on the new menu – the Pucuk Paku Salad (RM28). This is a fresh and impressive mix of jungle fern tips, mandarin orange slices, roasted coconut flakes and a tasty bunga kantan vinaigrette. It is instantly obvious why it’s a crowd favourite and definitely to be ordered every time I return.

Wine Bar & Restaurant Desa Sri Hartamas
Pucuk Paku Salad

And now a brief word about corn. Holy. Moly. I could write beyond my word limit about the Miso Butter Corn (RM28), but Monica will have me committed, so let’s just say: I have never had better corn in my life. The grilled Cameron Highlands white pearl corn is lightly grilled, so it retains an incredible juiciness and natural sweetness, which is beautifully matched with the satisfying savoury qualities of the housemade miso butter. I could barely bring myself to share this – not with Monica and then again with my parents. This corn is special.

Copaa KL
Miso Butter Corn

Larger Plates at Copaa KL

Continuing renaissance man Jon Chew’s creativity with words and flavours, the Copaa-lini (RM68) pasta dish is Penang-inspired with a warm zing to the capellini pasta, tiger prawns, pulau ketam dried shrimp and Copaa’s own prawn paste. It has a glorious seafood flavour that is fragrant but not overpowering.

Wine Bar & Restaurant Desa Sri Hartamas

Two other dishes we sampled from the ocean side of the menu were the Squid (RM50), which is grilled and comes with a delicious sauce with another Jon Chew portmanteau – ulam raja and chimichurri makes….. ulamchurri! The Sea Bass (RM108) is a big dish to be shared, carefully baked so as to retain tenderness and moisture in an impressive manner and served with an Oriental Chimichurri – the twist being an added orange peel for a citrus kick. Traditionally, chimichurri is served with red meat; leave it to Jon and his clever kitchen to find a balance in the flavours that makes it an ideal match for white meat as well.

Wine Bar & Restaurant Desa Sri Hartamas
Wine Bar & Restaurant Desa Sri Hartamas
Sea Bass

Our final item from the Larger Dishes section of the menu was the Chicken (RM42), a mouth-wateringly tender pan-seared boneless thigh served with an excellent carrot purée, watercress, mushrooms and a special chilli padi miso. Jon makes sure that everyone in his kitchen knows how to effectively work the flames on all the dishes, which shows exceptionally well with this dish.

Wine Bar & Restaurant Desa Sri Hartamas


When friends from Australia ask me what flavour would remind me the most of Malaysia, I always feel like a failure because my weak Western stomach cannot handle any spices at all, so I know I miss out on a lot of amazing choices. I am pretty sure I’ve found my definitive answer at Copaa, though, with the Malaysia Delight (RM30). This beautiful and delicious dessert combines pandan lemongrass mousse, gula Melaka gel, sago and biscuit crumble in a sweet, light and instantly nostalgic creation.

Wine Bar & Restaurant Desa Sri Hartamas
Malaysia Delight

Drinks at Copaa KL

The new menu also features the addition of some excellent sakè that are highly recommended for pairing with the dishes. The Heiwa Shuzo KID Junmai Daiginjo is a well-balanced, slightly fruity drop from Wakamaya prefecture and has an amazing ability to be fully flavoured while in your mouth before all traces of the pear, apple, melon, and honey disappear in an instant, allowing the food to again take centre stage. We sampled two of the KID range, the Junmai Daiginjo and the Junmai Ginjyo, over the course of our visit, and both were fantastic complements to the kitchen’s creations, well worth considering as you set up your evening.

The House Red that was previously raved about in the previous Copaa KL article is still on the wine list, and it’s easy to see why it has remained a favourite. The L’Âme Souer (Syrah de Seyssuel) hails from the Northern Rhône Valley in France, and its rich herb and fruit flavours are a classic set of notes for elevating an evening of great food.

Copaa KL
KID – Junmai Daiginjo Sake
Wine Bar & Restaurant Desa Sri Hartamas
KID Junmai Ginjyo Sake
Wine Bar & Restaurant Desa Sri Hartamas
L’Âme Souer , Stephanie Ogier, 2013, Northern Rhône Valley

Reasons to visit Copaa KL: It’s a cool space with a lot of authentic charm from the wonderful staff, all serving honest, reactive and delicious food that celebrates Malaysia with plenty of modern twists. The corn will change your life – maybe Jon should consider changing the restaurant’s name to Cobaa?! Sorry about that. Great wine and sake list.

Copaa KL Food Menu
Copaa KL Food Menu

Copaa KL
No 38-1, Jalan 24/70A, Desa Sri Hartamas
50480 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
+6017 272 8791

Copaa KL Opening Hours
Everyday: 5:00pm – 12:00am

Stay up-to-date on KL’s food and beverage scene here and here.


  1. The squid looks like to die for!

  2. Look like a lovely place to dine.
    Coffee is on, and stay safe.

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