A second home, The RuMa Hotel and Residences, as suggested by its name, is a hotel inspired by the “rumah”, the literal translation of “home” in Malay. Nestled between lush greens, RuMa is comparably hidden for a hotel even though it is a mere stone’s throw away from the heart of the bustling city. Every nook and corner of the hotel is well-thought-out, from the birdcage placed at the entrance that pays tribute to Malaya’s mining history, to the decors like tenunan handmade by local artisans as partitions and cupboards—salvage from old Baba Nyonya homes, placed at the end of the hallways.
Ascending the spiral staircase in the middle of the hall leads you to ATAS, a contemporary restaurant that offers a sensational culinary experience. Named after the Malay word for “upstairs”, the name also carries an undertone that signifies the “upper class”, a tongue-in-cheek colloquial term used among the locals. Indeed, there are so many things we put on our good list, from top-notch ingredients and award-winning Chef Mandy Goh at the helm to the interior and the open kitchen details, ATAS embodies everything you expect from a first-grade dining establishment.
To celebrate its fifth anniversary, ATAS introduced a new five-course menu, namely the Five for Five, featuring responsibly sourced ingredients and creative dishes that are refreshing for both the eyes and palate.
Name a better starter than a palm-sized fresh seasonal oyster—the dish is served with homemade ponzu, a Japanese tangy citrus-based condiment that is commonly the go-to dipping sauce for cold dishes. Nonetheless, the oyster tastes like the ocean and is not overly fishy to be eaten on its own even without any condiments to impart flavours.
The second and third courses are good news for seafood aficionados. The dishes are all about balancing flavours and textures. The second dish is a white asparagus, stacked beneath the smoked salmon. The greens, in most dishes, are served as a side but not in this case. The crunchy white asparagus was not overshadowed by the nicely prepped smoked salmon. Up next, the blue belly shrimps. While the shrimp are delicate, the slightly marinated cucumber that’s initially meant as a palate cleanser, was the crowd-pleaser, in fact, one of the best of the night, in our opinion. The following dish is a generous slab of dry-aged Angus striploin, served with truffle chopped salad and natural jus.
And finally the dessert. One that I was really excited about, was the truffle ice cream with honeycomb, sea salt and hazelnuts. We’ve all had a fair share of sweet ice cream or sour sorbet, but savoury ones? There’s no in-between; it’s either marvellous or traumatic. And this one by Chef Mandy is the former, a good one for first-timers, I reckon. It tricks your mind a little when you take your first bite—cold truffles do sound daunting—but the rest is history once it melts in your mouth together with the honeycomb and sea salt as they balance out the garlicky taste of truffles (they took out the hazelnuts for me as I’m allergic, so please feel free to tell the attendants about your allergies).
The “Five for Five” menu runs from 23 October to 13 December 2023. Make a reservation here.
Address: 7, Jalan Kia Peng, Kuala Lumpur, 50450 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur
Opening Hours: 12PM-2:30PM, 6 PM-10PM , Tuesdays to Sundays