October 15th 2006

Condé Nast Traveler Hot List Table 2006

text :




FIABCI World Prix d'Excellence Award winner : Hotel - Leisure Category

Eest | Westin Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

In a country like Malaysia, which has multiple and sometimes mutually exclusive cuisines, pulling off a pan-Asian restaurant is tricky. At Eest, newly appointed director of kitchens David King boldly merges Japanese, Vietnamese, Chinese, Thai, and Malay flavors with surprising results: Black truffles lend a luxurious decadence to black cod; kalamansi lime and soy offer a distinctly Asian piquancy; and mustard and miso complement crispy nests of foie gras. But where Eest really scores is in its decor. Designed by Ed Poole, the restaurant feels Asian without any of the usual Buddha and bamboo accoutrements. Instead, the stunning design, done in leather and shades of red, relies on unusual materials and objects: cast volcanic-ash tiles from Indonesia, giant aluminum urns, and chairs made from woven banana leaves. The service is quiet and unobtrusive, in keeping with the refinement of the place itself (entrées, $3–$27).

Address: 199 Jalan Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 60 3 2731 8333



Trends Magazine, December 2004

AT THE WESTIN                          Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia     




L  O  O  K  I  N  G     E  A  S  T


A modernist interpretation of the traditional Asian courtyard provides the theme for this restaurant


There's far more to establishing a central theme for a restaurant than deciding on the type of food to serve. A successful identity also involves creating a convincing decor and a welcoming ambience.


Interior designer Ed Poole was asked to fit out EEST, a new restaurant in a five-star hotel. The design had to reflect a variety of Asian cuisine styles as well as have an open kitchen, a large public dining area and  a selection of private dining rooms and function spaces.

Metal panels on the ceiling add a textural element to the public dining space. The pattern, from Chinese mythology represent

"The owners wanted EEST to stand out from the typical Chinese restaurant, but they still wanted it to have a traditional flavor," says Poole.


The restaurant, on the first level of the hotel, is visually connected to the main entrance lobby on the floor below, by an open void. Access to the restaurant is across a bridge that spans this void.


"Planning the restaurant evolved from here. We had to ensure smells from the open kitchen did not waft down the void to the hotel lobby and entry," says Poole.


"To ensure this, we located the entrance to the restaurant in the middle of the space, and the kitchen as far away from this point as possible."


This, and the presence of columns from the tower block, which pass through the restaurant meant the layout was largely dictated by the building parameters. However, once the space planning was completed, the design team began developing the interior design scheme.


"Our point of difference was creating an Asian theme without incorporating any religious imagery or artifacts, such as statues of Buddha. Instead, we took the idea of an Asian courtyard building with its private, central area and developed a modernist interpretation of this," the designer says.


The private rooms are grouped to the right of the main entrance, and all open onto a central courtyard with a stone pond. This serves a dual role as a pre-function area or cocktail party space.


"For the decor, we looked for inspiration from everyday life in various parts of Asia," says Poole.


"First of all, we sourced some beautiful cast cement tiles, which have been manufactured in central Java since 1937. These are made from volcanic ash and rubbed with coconut meat, each one is slightly different. These tiles are found in the shop houses of southeast Asia, so this became our starting point."


The tiles floor represented an element common to Singaporean, Malaysian and Indonesian architecture. To introduce a Thai connection, Poole incorporated Thai silk for wall coverings and upholstery. Abaca, a natural material made in Indonesia from woven banana leaves, was used for chairs.


Oversized leather day beds flank the entrance, creating a waiting area for guests. Their design is an abstract representation of the bale or sleeping huts found around rice paddies through Indonesia.


The ceiling is another abstract interpretation. The rivet effect on the metal panels represents thunderclouds and is based on Chinese mythology.


Exploration of this theme led the design team to 3000 year old Zhou vessels, which became the basis for the design of large, decorative water pots. These pots and other bronzeware details add an element of the cultural heritage of Japan, Laos, China and Cambodia.


Large leather day beds furnish the waiting area. Sushi and the dim sum is on the right

A water pot in EEST'S sushi bar was inspired by 3000-year old Zhou bronze vessels.


Project teams:    
Interior designers

Poole Associates Private Limited

Block 81 #02-65a Tiong Poh Road, Singapore 160081

website >

Associate designers


Merkurstr. 50 d-40223 Dϋsseldorf Germany

website >


Corlette Design 

19a Boundary Street, Rushcutters Bay, NSW 2011 Australia

e:mail >

[EEST logo animation by Poole Associates]

Kitchen Facilities

Creative Kitchen Planners Asia Pacific Sdn Bhd

B-13-7 13th Floor, Block B

Megan Phileo Avenue, 12 Jalan Yap Kwan Seng

50450 Kuala Lumpur

website >


Jurutera Perunding Valdun Sdn Bhd

611, Block E, Phileo Damansara 1

No 9, Jalan 16/11 46350 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, D.E.

e:mail >


Integrated Lighting Design

4222 Glencoe Ave. Suite 200, Marina Del Rey, California


e:mail >

Architectural Graphics

Architectural Graphics

233 Bulwara Rd, Ultimo, NSW, 2007

P.O. Box 122 Pyrmont 2009, Australia

website >

Art Consultants

Raymond Lee

M17-4 Pantai Hillpark Phase 3

JalanPantai Dalam, 59200 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

e:mail >

Fashion Consultants

Design International Ltd

18A Winning Centre

46-48 Wyndham Street, Central Hong Kong

e:mail >

Quantity Surveyors

JUBM Sdn Bhd 

Wisma JUBM, 2 Jalan PJU 5/15 Dataran Sunway, Kota Damansara

47810, Petaling Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan

e:mail >


Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. 

Sheraton Imperial, Jalan Sultan Ismail,  

50250 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

website >

Owners | Architects

Ireka Corporation Berhad

No 32 & 34, Medan Setia Dua

Plaza Damansara, Bukit Damansara

50490 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

website >

Specialty Fabricators

Fieldworks Design + Trading 
Jalan Raya Uluwatu 63 Kedonganan,

Bali 80364, Indonesia

Specialty Fabrics

Bobby Fabrics
57 Arab Street, Singapore 199754


Peter Mealin Photography, Singapore

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EEST is the first of its kind in Kuala Lumpur. A Pan Asian restaurant featuring five distinct and authentic Asian cuisines in one restaurant, EEST offers Japanese, Vietnamese, Chinese, Thai and Malay cuisines, prepared with authentic recipes and presented with a modern and innovative twist.

From the interior and architecture of the restaurant to the remarkable culinary and beverage menu, right through to the five individual ‘open kitchens’ for each distinct cuisine, the dining experience at EEST is a reflection of a modern day culinary adventure.


A visit to EEST is a voyage of discovery. You can watch the ‘live food show’ while seated unusually low to the ground in earthy leather booths, that heighten the terracing effect of the architecture. Sitting there, one can smell the tantalizing aromas of the different cuisines, hear the sounds of water trickling in the background in the neo-modernist environment, notice the vibrant colors of the food being prepared and eventually taste the exquisite cuisines prepared just for you.

For the most discerning gourmet diner, EEST is a feast. While traditional Asian fare will still be on the menu, one must try items from the menu that are considered modern and innovative in their culinary presentations; each of the five distinct cuisines are served on five different sets of cutlery and table ware that have been specially designed to represent their country of origin.
For the Japanese selection, EEST serves a good selection of Nigiri Sushi and Sashimi on top of the essential Teishoku and Teppanyaki sets. The Teppan Kuruma Ebi - King tiger prawn with asparagus and fish roe is vital for your palate if you are a seafood lover! The freshness of this wonderful crustacean is retained with a special touch : delicately seared by one of our specialist chefs!
You would not expect a restaurant that serves five different types of cuisines to also have an authentic Chinese Dim Sum menu. This is what EEST specializes in; they are the most sought after entrées patrons request to start off their meal. Without a doubt, EEST is becoming known for having one of the finest Chinese Chefs that specializes only in Cantonese Dim Sum making. Take note of his own hot steam kitchen in the midst of the Zen restaurant!
What can be said about authentic Malaysian cuisine other than Tahu Sumbat, Sup Ekor and Ikan Bakar? They are amongst the many signature Malaysian dishes that are found in EEST. All are made from traditional Malaysian recipes, presented in a fascinating & innovative style- something diners can equate with having very local ‘street food’ in the heart of the modern restaurant environment.
EEST is also the perfect place to dine if a bowl of stimulating Vietnamese hot soup noodles is what you have been craving for. Offering a selection of homemade rice noodles with your choice of meats and flavors, the Vietnamese noodle kitchen features a selection of starters, Gui Cuan Nuoc Leo- stuffed rice paper rolls, Chao Tom Nuong Mia- barbecued shrimp on sugar cane, and Nom Ngo Sen- delicate lotus root salad; that can be part of your gastronomic escapade.
Last but not least, the Thai selection of EEST’s cuisines includes items on your must-try list. Taking on a more innovative twist, the Keang Kiew Wan Kai - stuffed chicken leg with green curry sauce is highly recommended. The grilled scallop on lemongrass skewer will impress you with its pretty presentation and will only astound you further after tasting. The fragrance of the lemongrass enhances the natural flavor of the scallop, leaving you craving for more.
Finally select from the menu your choice of desserts from the Asian Sugar section. Featuring the best of all countries, take your pick from stewed Bird’s Nest, Fresh Mango with Sticky Rice, Tapai Pulut with Durian ice cream to the all time favorite Tham Thim Krop- water chestnut with jack fruit, they are all homemade items EEST features.


Besides wines, champagnes, cocktails, mocktails and a good selection of beers, EEST also specializes in herbal infused blends that include Elixirs, Tea Spas and traditional Chinese Teas, including the rare white tea Pai Mu Tan.

EEST boast more than 300 wine labels; ranging from California, France, Australia and New Zealand. For the more adventurous, EEST recommends their very own list of cocktails- created specifically for EEST. The rich concoctions of Western liquors, infused with fresh Asian fruit juices are probably one of the most fascinating drinks in and around KL.

In addition, EEST also features Asian brewery favorites; Asahi, Kirin, Tsing Tao, Chang, Tiger and Singa. From the Rice Paddy Section, there is the Chinese Nu Er Hong, unique assortment of EEST infused Sakes served by the carafe and Schochu by the glass.

Architecture & Interior

Cross the entry bridge overlooking the hotels' grand Lobby, pass the soothing sounds of a water landscape and enter the unique ambience of EEST that can be described as the manifestation of Asian craft articulated in Western neo-minimalism. This spectacular 8,900 sq ft restaurant features a ceiling made of antiqued metal tiles. Amazing cast aluminum zhou vessels are the centerpiece of attraction.

Entering the space via a ‘floating bridge’ that is flanked by a timber clad lifts; the space opens onto a modernist Japanese style diner area with volcanic stone walls.

A large overflowing “I Ching” pond takes center stage at the pre-function area. Granite and timber slabs offer tranquil areas to sit and enjoy pre dinner cocktails. Hand carved adz finished tables, the incised ceiling tiles, chiseled concrete columns, sculptural carpets and abaca seating add deep textures to contrast with the silk walls and smooth volcanic ash floors. Sensual textures to compliment the sexy cuisine.

The restaurant is definitely a masterpiece in design and originality. The sushi and dim sum counter is structured with volcanic stone, with a waterfall cascading in a manner reminiscent of rice terraces. The floating water feature and the monumental vessels cast in aluminum, all emulate a modernist Chinese Courtyard setting, perfect for that special lunch or elegant evening out.

Have your own EEST experience from one of our five private rooms; intuitively named Coriander, Thyme, Tamarind, Cinnamon and Lemongrass after the primary Asian spices used in EESTs' exquisite cuisines. Each room reflects a different mood with varying color schemes and layout. The Tamarind and Cinnamon rooms behind a gold wall seat 12, or can be joined to seat 24. Privacy is maintained with frosted glass walls and acoustical treatments. 

EEST is situated above the lobby level of the hotel, and can take 180 diners at any one time.


The latest Euro-lounge vibes with ikebana sensibilities.


We now know why EEST was created. There is nothing like it in KL. Your senses will be taken on a journey to a Pan Asian cuisine oasis- an oriental affair not to be missed by the adventurous. One that depicts originality while exuding the experience of tranquility in the midst of the bustling city… five countries, four senses, one oasis… The Westin Kuala Lumpur proudly presents EEST.

Operating Hours

EEST opens daily from 12:00 to 14:30 for lunch and 18:00 to 22:30 for dinner. EEST is closed on Monday.

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