BREF by Darren Chin is probably the most exciting restaurant opening in Kuala Lumpur in recent years. In a city pretty much glamorized by foreign celebrity chefs (there’s Saint Pierre at W Kuala Lumpur and Nobu at KLCC), KL-lites thus relies on talented local chefs like Darren Chin to set the benchmark in international-class culinary excellence for Malaysia

Darren Chin, of course, first came to the notice of local foodies with DC by Darren Chin in TTDI, with his precise interpretation of French dining, and use of locally-sourced, excellent quality ingredients. The restaurant is often touted as Malaysia’s best fine dining restaurant to-date.

With BREF, Darren Chin branches out with a more casual, relaxed spin-off of DC, although it did look and feel more sophisticated than the “vision of a contemporary Parisian bistro” we’d pictured in our minds from reading its pre-opening description. 

The menu

The main theme on the menu for this seasonal menu focuses on comfort food for the soul with a French twist to it. With a range of antipasti, entrées, mains, and pasta to look forward to, BREF delights itself on keeping things minimal while letting its food do the talking. One dish in particular that demands attention is the fresh egg Tagliatelle carbonara with Hokkaido scallops. Light and balanced in flavour, it is one dish worth sampling if you’re ever planning on heading over to BREF.

The current king of the Hind’s Head kitchen is Chef De Cuisine Lim Wei Han, who has been Darren’s right-hand man, rising to Sous Chef and being credited on DC’s menu for its unique, seasonal Asian-inflected desserts.

What we had:

Spaghettini with fresh red prawns from Kuala Selangor, tomato passata and fresh basil  (RM 58)

The intense, almost lobster-like flavour from the red prawn stock, thickened with passata really made the dish. Simply delicious!

Galician Octopus (350 gms) and Chips  (RM 148)

This is the house speciality and is worth ordering. We simply love this jumbo-sized octopus tentacle (sourced from Spain) with Sumatran Balado spice, giving a wonderful smoky char and bring the spices to life. 

 The Chef’s Recommendation

  • Since autumn truffles are back in season, look out for the hand-made tagliatelle pasta with black autumn truffle.
  • For pudding, Chef Darren has married Chocolate Concierge’s 61% coconut-milk chocolate with 70% dark chocolate in a royale finish: “a decadent, light mousse cake with genoise sponge and boozy macerated cherries in Grand Marnier (to create that classic chocolate, orange and red fruit flavour combo), topped with a crunchy chocolate crisp spiked with red Kampot pepper.”

The verdict

This is easily one of the best French cuisine fine-dining restaurants in KL. It is warm, welcoming and strikes the perfect balance between simplicity and privilege of the total dining experience.  The food is first class, the staff is attentive and affable, and it even has a private room to enjoy your romantic dinner. We will definitely be back…

Head over to the website for reservations and inquiries.

Address: 26, Ground Floor, Lorong Datuk Sulaiman 1, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Kuala Lumpur

Opening hours: 6 pm till late (closed on Sundays)

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