Potager: The Restaurant Rewriting the Rules of Fine Dining

How the simple philosophy of using good ingredients to make good food is bringing new enthusiasm to the local fine dining scene.


When Chef Masashi Horiuchi went for a stroll in Cameron Highlands one day, he came across a sight seemingly plucked from his childhood growing up in Fukuoka. 

The vast green cornfields of a local farm in the area would inspire one of the dishes that perfectly sums up the concept behind the Potager dining experience, where good food begins with good ingredients. 

The corn dish, a simple yet meticulously crafted dish made with every single fragment of the corn – from the kernel to the bract – represents the executive chef of Potager’s culinary passion and an ode to his humble beginnings. 


First opened in September 2023 in Kuala Lumpur’s dining enclave Bamboo Hills, Potager has already made waves for its clever use of merging seasonal local ingredients with classic French cooking techniques.

The kitchen is helmed by Horiuchi and head chef De Wet Visser with a menu that, as they put it, celebrates the hands that laboured. “Malaysia is so rich and diverse, and this vibrancy is really blooming right now,” says Horiuchi. 

“The myriad of restaurants which highlight the different cuisines and produce of the region now has become quite competitive, which also reflects the readiness of the market.” 

Horiuchi is no stranger to the local dining scene, having helmed the kitchen at the much-raved Entier French Dining, another spot renowned for bringing the best out of its ingredients with its nose-to-tail approach. 


But unlike Entier, the menu at Potager brings an almost meditative aspect to the meal, an experience that makes you think about the work that goes into the dishes.

During our visit, we were treated to a lineup of contemporary French dishes in the multi-course tasting menu, highlighting some of Malaysia’s best and sometimes overlooked ingredients. 

There’s a quatro of amuse bouche to start, a quick introduction to the flavours we’ll get to experience throughout the tasting menu. Then a line up of seasonal highlights, starting with an abalone dish, demonstrating a French-Japanese twist with its medley of sea urchin and samphire and jelly de mer. 


Next is the foie gras in duck consommé with yuzu and turnip, so delicate it melts in your mouth. The guinea fowl dish, with enpiko mushroom and parsnips, will come as a surprise to most diners who might not be familiar with this variety of fowl hailing from Semenyih in Selangor. 

The restaurant goes to great lengths to highlight this fact by displaying a taxidermy version of the bird before proceeding to serve the course, (much to the surprise of some of the guests). 


The perfect follow-up to the earthy flavours of the fowl is the escargot course served with heirloom rice from Sarawak, from which diners will be given the option to select from different varieties of grains. 

To cleanse, there’s a medley of sorbets and granitas made of local fruits and herbs. Some flavours might taste familiar, while some, such as the beetroot, strawberry and basil, is a tastebud enigma the staff will happily help you to solve. 

The dessert menu, overseen by head pastry chef Nico Ooi, highlights locally grown figs, served in a too-pretty-to-eat petal design topped with a sprinkling of stingless bee pollen. Then there’s the decadent chocolate souffle made of 80 per cent cacao sourced from Pahang and petit fours to finish. 


“Diners are more receptive and adventurous, not only in trying new concepts but also in re-learning and exploring the cuisines and produce of the region,” says Horiuchi on the dining experience here. 

The same goes for the producers and growers he adds, as more are willing to go beyond the expected in doing their bit to highlight the diverse ingredients growing on our doorstep. “It’s a wonderful, supportive cycle that continues to grow positively and professionally,” he says. 

With its produce-driven philosophy, you get a sense that Potager’s entry into the local fine dining scene is just the beginning of an exciting new chapter for producers and diners alike. 

Potager KL

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