GENTING HIGHLANDS, 11 July 2018:
Until recently, there has really been very little family-friendly entertainment available up in Genting Highlands after the mall closes and its indoor shows end.
But that has changed in recent weeks with a new row of nightspots opening at the SkyAvenue mall at the Asian Bar Street – and the hottest among them is possibly Rockafellers Kitchen + Bar and WOW (Whiskey or Whites).
You can’t miss this eatery cum all-round entertainment spot – open from 11am till late – as hits from yesteryears till now, together with a live band every evening beckon you outside to bask in the cool environment 6,000 feet above sea level.
So al fresco dining in the cooler highlands makes perfect sense, does it not? Throw in some superb food – already well-known from sister eateries Rockbottom dotted around capital city Kuala Lumpur – and you have a destination that’s worth the hour’s drive up to Genting Highlands for a night out with a difference.
The two newly-opened restaurant bars offer both outdoor and covered dining areas, run by renowned restaurateurs, the Olive Tree Group.
The two outlets are distinctly different from one another, but share the same sophistication and immaculate service the group is famous for. Led by Olive Tree Group founder and managing director Leslie Gomez, they open everyday and share a central kitchen.
“As veterans of the fine dining industry, we have taken our passion for food to create a new gastronomic destination. We have also taken into account the cool weather and the scenic beauty of the mists covering the trees and buildings around Genting Highlands and designed our spaces to provide and unrivalled experience for our guests.”
Gomez said WOW is a new concept that offers patrons classy Asian-Fusion tapas paired with an indulgent selection of 70 different types of whiskey and 11 varieties of imported Cuban cigars in a stylishly elegant and chic industrial setting.
At its sister outlet next door, Rockefellers bears the hallmark of any typical sports bar, with cinema screen-sized LED TV’S, perpetually throbbing with sporting action; while random sports and music-centric paraphernalia pose triumphantly on the walls.
The outlet stages nightly live performances of original material by up-and-coming local rock bands (a real positive here is that they give priority to local Malaysian bands), DJ-helmed raves (a mirrored disco ball hangs sardonically near the stage), hard-core pool competitions, trivia and board game meets and a kaleidoscope of theme nights with a bounty of special drink promotions.
The only giveaway of Rockafeller’s double identity as a fine dining establishment is its dining menu, which is as fine as they come.
Featuring a gourmet gamut of north Indian to European to fusion appetisers, soups, starters, main courses and desserts, the ‘gastropub’s gastronomic choices will make foodies weep. And they have their own in- house French wine too.
Some must-try signature dishes include mouth-watering starters like the melt-in-your-mouth mushroom vole ue vont, seared pepper rare tuna, tandoori chicken crostini and daru puree guaranteed to tantalise the tastebuds.
For mains, try their crispy skin seabass served with seafood risotto and mango salsa, the fall-off-the-bone mint crusted grilled lamb rack served with cous-cous, sautéed spinach and harissa and deliciously spicy slipper lobster spaghetti in pomodoro sauce.
As the group is also an authority when it comes to Indian food, you must also give their minced mutton stuffed with aloo bojpuri, paneer tikka lababdar and chicken tandoori (with a choice of either rice or naan), a try. All that must be topped off with a classic chocolate brownie for dessert.
The Olive Tree Group has been around for 15 years and currently operates 16 outlets throughout Malaysia and Southeast Asia. What started with two restaurant outlets in 2003 soon diversified into the bar and kitchen concept in 2007.
Their passion for good food and even better service has brought international acclaim for the group that has become a home brand for both locals and expatriates in Malaysia.
Things can only get better for Gomez as he has realised his dream of getting himself a spot at the highlands among other big, well-known brands. The go-getter restauranteur is looking to franchise the concept in the first quarter of next year – eyeing Singapore as potentially the first stop.
Other restaurants under the group umbrella include Temptations Kitchen +Bar and Why Not Kitchen + Bar (both in Changkat Bukit Bintang), Olive Kitchen + Bar, The Beach Bar (both in Penang) and the Bar Shack in Bangsar.