Muugu Garden Bistro and Bar, Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

By (The Yum List)

Muugu – plenty of parking and a great garden for functions

Do You Want To Go To Muugu?

Words by Han Sen HauPhotos by The Yum List (Monica Tindall)

We are greeted with a converted bungalow in splashes of grey and orange—a modern edifice that purrs avant-garde amidst its unprepossessing neighbours. Indeed, the drive up to Muugu had been rather mind-numbing with the seemingly untended landscape, so to be welcomed with well-manicured lawns, perfectly groomed plants, and a paintjob that could survive a nuclear fallout is in a word, refreshing.

The Bar at MuuguThe arresting visual aesthetic of the place continues indoors, which doesn’t disappoint with its austere simplicity. Most of Muugu’s walls are bare, save for an artwork here and eighteen clocks there, none of which display the accurate time, might we add, in… anywhere. But hey, if their cuisine could enthral and amuse just as their clocks do visually, we’re game.

Muugu Garden Bistro and Bar, Bukit BintangMuugu Dining AreaLike everything else, the menu is conspicuously uncomplicated with the occasional humour wedged wherever possible. ‘How much whine would a wine drinker whine if a wine drinker couldn’t drink wine?’ Oh stop it, you. Nonetheless, it is a pleasant change to simply browse through an economic and well-defined menu than to have been presented with a byzantine tome saturated with ingredients.

Muugu Garden Bistro and BarLychee MartiniAs it is a rather warm day, and there are four of us, we decide to explore all four available mocktails: Frozen Lime Tea, Kiwi Grape Cooler, Lychee Watermelon Cooler, and Frozen Mango Tea (RM9 each). The Frozen Lime Tea is essentially a virgin mojito, quite pleasant on the palate though I wouldn’t recommend beginning a meal with this. The Kiwi Grape Cooler is my favourite of the bunch while the Lychee Watermelon Cooler is an exceedingly fragrant combination I’d personally like to try blending myself at home, perfect during torrid weather. The Frozen Mango Tea is what it is, a sweet treat.

Muugu Garden Bistro and Bar, Bukit BintangMocktails – Frozen Lime Tea and Kiwi Grape Cooler (RM9)Muugu Garden Bistro and Bar, Bukit BintangMore Mocktails – Frozen Mango Tea and Lychee Watermelon Cooler (RM9)We commence lunch with Muugu’s interpretation of an ever-popular standard, French Onion soup (RM12). Served with two slices of garlic bread, the soup isn’t gratinéed with the usual suspects and is devoid of an overwhelming cheesy flavour I associate with the dish. In fact, the broth is clear and does not resemble traditional French Onion soup. Regardless, it is far more salubrious than the classic and doesn’t congest the tummy as quickly.

Muugu Garden Bistro and Bar, Bukit BintangFrench Onion Soup (RM12)Having lived in the United States for some time, I’ve had my fair share of buffalo wings so the Honey-Glazed Chicken Wings (RM15) are nostalgic to me. They’re great on their own, piquant with the accompanying home made chilli sauce, and only fabulous when devoured immediately after serving.

Muugu Garden Bistro and Bar, Bukit BintangHoney Glazed Chicken Wings (RM15)Jaded with the salad offerings at other venues, the Wild Rocket and Pear (RM16) salad definitely has our seal of approval with its eclectic mix of rocket, raisins, blue cheese(!), and particularly so with the addition of crisp walnuts which pairs beautifully with the pear slices.

Muugu Garden Bistro and Bar, Bukit BintangWild Rocket and Pear (RM16)The Pan-Seared Scallops with Quail Eggs (RM23) are a delight to our eyes and taste buds. Served with dollops of sweet corn cream and a streak of beetroot purée, the eggs ooze and dribble lasciviously over the scallops… we stop ourselves from ordering more of this decadent appetiser.

Muugu Garden Bistro and Bar, Bukit BintangPan Seared Scallops with Quail Eggs (RM23)We move on to the mains starting with Pan-Fried Fillet of Salmon (RM29) lounging atop a bed of cherry tomatoes, baby potatoes, and asparagus spears. The presentation of the dish is impeccable and incredibly photogenic, but the best thing about this is the wasabi mayonnaise that comes with it. I absolutely recommend relishing each bite of the salmon with a hint of it.

Muugu Garden Bistro and Bar, Bukit BintangPan Fried Fillet of Salmon (RM29)Muugu, though not primarily a steakhouse, has three pretty impressive steak mains: the Tenderloin (RM55), NY Strip (RM35), and Ribeye (RM42), all of which can be paired with our choice of potatoes (truffle fries, mashed potatoes, sautéed potatoes), greens (ratatouille, mixed greens), and sauce (creamy black pepper, red wine sauce, brown sauce, mushroom sauce). We have the ribeye rare, and the other two medium rare. For what it’s worth, the steaks are tender, a little on the dry side, but worth the price tags. The sides are decent too, with particular mention to the truffle fries—fluffy on the inside with a perpetual light crunch on the outside. We’d willingly believe them had they told us they prepared each fry individually.

Muugu Garden Bistro and Bar, Bukit BintangNY Strip (RM35)Muugu Garden Bistro and Bar, Bukit BintangRibeye (RM42)Muugu Garden Bistro and Bar, Bukit BintangTenderloin (RM55)The Pesto Pasta with Chicken (RM19) is simple, light, and the perfect denouement to lunch. With its sizable proportions, it could easily feed four even though our kind hosts insist they’re perfect for two. We’ve clearly overestimated our supposed ravenous appetites, and we haven’t gotten to the desserts yet! Hence, we do the most obvious thing to conclude the feast—we celebrate gluttony with cheesecake and a strawberry granita.

Muugu Garden Bistro and Bar, Bukit BintangPesto with Chicken (RM19)The KL Cheesecake (RM12) is worth returning to. We prefer having the dense cake on its own without the ruby-tinted sauce drizzled over it, which engulfs the cake in a cloying sweetness. The Strawberry Granita (RM9) on the other hand, is marvellous and is as described by the menu, ‘pure strawberry goodness’.

Muugu Garden Bistro and Bar, Bukit BintangKL Cheesecake (RM12)Muugu Garden Bistro and Bar, Bukit BintangStrawberry Granita (RM9) Being in the heart of the city, Muugu certainly delivers in terms of attractive dishes at affordable prices. A wonderful refuge untouched by the shadows of glistening skyscrapers, we look forward to returning to this chic setting.

Muugu Garden Bistro and Bar, Bukit BintangHouse Wine – a bargain at RM15 per glassReasons to visit: Value-for-money meals; Pan-Seared Scallops with Quail Eggs; KL Cheesecake.

32 Jalan Jati (Off Jalan Bukit Bintang)
Kuala Lumpur
WP 55100 Malaysia
+603 2110 3603

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Food Blog by: THe Yum List

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