THIRTY8 is the eminent restaurant located on yes, you guessed it the 38th Floor of the Grand Hyatt in KL. It’s located right behind the KLCC Twin Towers, so a great place to ogle this engineering accomplishment, which I think is a big part of this hotels’ appeal. It has an extensive set dinner and afternoon tea menu, and is also where hotel patrons enjoy their breakfast buffet. The weekday Afternoon Tea is between the 3-5pm time slot and is an assortment of sweet and savoury light bites, and a decent choice of tea and coffee options. Initially, we ordered for one set to share between the two of us but because we were unexcited by the volume on offer for the savoury selection, we ordered for another set. Of course, halfway through wolfing down the scones, we realised we were probably full and had made a rather impulsive decision of over-ordering but oh well, the deed was done and we didn’t regret it, though we needed to pack half of it home.
On the whole I found the Afternoon Tea acceptable. There was nothing particularly exceptional about the taste or presentation that would compel rave reviews (though the clotted cream with the raising scones still lingers in my palate), but I think it’s a really lovely place to share good conversation with a close girlfriend, and being surrounded with floor to ceiling 20 feet windows overlooking the Twin Towers. The price for the Afternoon Tea too, is not outrageously dear nor is it a bargain by any means. For a birthday and a fun natter after some retail therapy at KLCC/ Pavilion Mall, it can be a delightful way to spend an afternoon. Note that I haven’t explored enough of KL’s Afternoon Tea scene to really gauge where this stands, but if we compare it to say other high-rise high-society high-tea options in the region, then I think Bangkok’s Okura Prestige Afternoon Tea option (link here) or Hong Kong’s Upper House Cafe Grey (link here) has the edge in terms of taste, presentation, ambiance and service.
And now for dinner (Side note – I didn’t have both meals in the same day by the way, as gluttonous as I am often tempted to be). It’s interesting to see how the energy shifts from day to night. While it was all casual attire, small families and the Instagram generation taking selfies in the afternoon, it transited to more of the business suit, dress up for dinner and CEO crowd once the sun set. Very rarely did I see anyone taking photos over dinner, hence I too restrained myself. Lights were low and sophistication ensued. Food was… hmm, still not in my eyes, the strongest point although it was in no way awful. But for the prices, I thought the team could have elevated the finesse in presentation, fusion of ingredients and dining repertoire. I managed to sneak a photo of my main meal, but didn’t even really try with my husband’s THIRTY8 signature wok friend rice because quite frankly there was nothing original or remarkable about its aesthetics. Still, it was tasty enough that we cleaned our plates well.
So in a nutshell – I think that THIRTY8 is a great place to dine at for its atmospheric, nucleus-of-the-city patina and if that’s your gig, then by all means go for it. Would we return for yet another festive celebration? The jury is still out for that – I think we will keep trying different offerings in town before placing this in our ‘good enough to keep going back for more’ list.