The décor at Naked Bar & Restaurant justifies its appellation with a stripped-down concept: bare ceilings and exposed lighting and the use of raw items such as bricks and cement. Also, thanks to the multiple creative minds that helm Naked, the two-level restaurant’s décor is cheerfully eclectic in concept. Downstairs, the atmosphere is more masculine in presentation, with Hollywood-inspired décor and bar-like atmosphere that is punctuated by good music to set the mood. The dining area downstairs also extends outdoors, where you can linger over your cocktail and people-watch.
As you take the red industrial staircase up to the second floor, the décor takes on a different look with crisp and precise cutlery settings on the tables and the use of white and natural sunlight to illuminate the space and the open-kitchen. A mirrored wall gives the upstairs space an illusion of wide space without compromising on the feel of intimacy.
Thanks to the talents of its managing director Joshua Ivanovic from Cocktail Solutions, the selections of beverages at Naked is certainly polished, conceptualised and executed with a creative twist. Not to mention, the bartender is quite generous with the garnishings! Must-try cocktails here are the Damas Life and popular Tea for Mojitwo, as well as the Cool Bananas.
Special mention has to be given to the School of Awesomeness, a blend of Beefeater London Dry gin, Aperol, fresh lemon juice and egg white. Sweet and frothy, the cocktail comes with a ruler and a slice of lemon on top. Even the mocktails here are unique; the Naked signature grapefruit mojito (without the rum) strikes the balance between sour and minty.
The Naked concept was applied to its executive chef’s interpretation of the food as well. A humble and passionate chef who enjoys speaking to his guests on ways to improve his craft, Chef Nuriman Jusuf – fondly referred to by diners as Chef Iman – believes that constant engagement is the key in creating good food and enjoys pushing boundaries in culinary art.
One consistent element in his food presentation is deconstruction. Instead of tossing every ingredient together, Chef Iman arrange his ingredients separately to encourage diners to experiment on ingredient combinations while they dine. He demonstrated this affinity in his lobster bisque. Milder in taste than what is usually served in other restaurants, it is purposely done so for a good reason. He explains that this is to ensure the soup would go well with a side serving of crispy soft shell crab and crustini. Indeed, the saltiness and crispiness of the crab adds dimensions to the soup in a way that would satisfy anyone with a lust for crustacean flavours.
The pasta dishes at Naked are portioned to be sizable enough for you to soak in the flavours without overloading your stomach space with carbs. In a stroke of genius, Chef Iman uses wanton skin as the dough for his ravioli so it is easier to eat. Stuffed with scallops, prawns and crab claw and enhanced with a few drops of seafood essence and a side of tomato coulis, the ravioli would definitely be perfect with a glass of white wine on the side.
If you need to have your pasta heavy, then Chef Iman’s tagliatelle with basil cream, almond flakes, baked Portobello mushroom, duck giblet and Wagyu cheek duxelle is the dish for you. Aligned with this jolly chef’s concept of deconstruction, the pasta is served in the middle of the plate surrounded by the Wagyu duxelle, instead of being tossed together.
A favourite of ours is the almond crusted rack of lamb with ratatouille, pickled onion, polenta muffin and volute of five spices, chocolate and port wine. The crusted meat is tender without being dry, and the aftertaste of the port wine in the spiced volute bridged the contrast of chocolate and meat perfectly. We also noticed how his liberal use of microsalad as a texture enhancer in all his dishes works well in every course he serves – most especially in his tapernade crusted cod with Portobello risotto and sautéed broadbean.
Finish off a meal here with Naked’s highly acclaimed Naked House semifreddo -- luscious white chocolate is semifrozen and topped with vanilla crème dusted with chocolate crumble. Seasonal berries and raspberry coulis give this rich dessert a refreshing zest for a well-rounded flavour.
Naked Restaurant & Bar is located at E.0.1 and E.1.2 Plaza Damas, Jalan Sri Hartamas 1, Taman Sri Hartamas, 50480 Kuala Lumpur; Tel: +603-6206 1623