These light features were handmade while coconut trunks were sourced from a kampung in Batu Pahat, Johor.




The relaxing outdoor patio for drinks and light refreshments with friends and colleagues.



The expansive interior for groups and courting couples


Monday 7th December, 2009

Urban tropical getaway

Whipped into Place offers KL's affluent middle class just what they need in a contemporary setting

The Edge | Haven text : Wong King Wai | Photos :  Patrick Goh

As you drive past the newly renovated and refurbished Bangsar Shopping Center on Jalan Maarof in Kuala Lumpur's up-market Bangsar, you are bound to catch sight of a welcoming green and lush area at one end of the building.

This is WiP [Whipped into Place], which is where the Haven team stopped by one weekday to have a chat with founders Fred Choo and Michele Kwok.

The affable couple, dressed casual chic, shared with us their F+B journey, which began with popular alfresco dining outlet Souled Out in Desa Sri Hartamas and continued with 7atenine - the happening watering hole in Jalan Pinang in the heart of the city.

The couple has started and managed Souled Out - their first restaurant - some 13 years ago. "Fred served while I made iced lemon tea," laughs Michele. "At the time, I didn't even know how to operate the till!"


It all began because the couple could not find a suitable place to hang out with their friends. The concept of alfresco dining was unheard -of back then and did not sit well with the locals, but expatriates were delighted. Business grew and Souled Out was relocated to where it is today - in the same area but occupying a much bigger space.

Before you think it was beginner's luck, this dynamic duo has been involved in various businesses before venturing into F+B. Moreover, the two make a very good team. "We love working together," says Fred.

Their hard work has certainly paid dividends, judging from the bustling crowd that was filling the tables at WiP, which seeks to attract the affluent middle class who, after a long day at the office, need a few drinks, something to eat and some downtime before heading home.

"The objective is to make the customers feel they are not in the city," explains Michele. "To take them away from the hustle, bustle and stress, so, we did a Mediterranean theme with an urban tropic garden feel."

The dynamic duo of Michele Kwok and Fred Choo strike a fine balance between business and marriage.




Part of the outdoor patio. The chairs were specially imported from Europe via Janus et Cie California : called 'Forest'

This concept is very different from that of their other restaurants. Souled Out has a chill-out atmosphere while 7atenine is up-market and hip.

The man who helped Michele and Fred with the design was Ed Poole of Poole Associates, Singapore.

There are several dining areas in the restaurant, including an elevated section that can be enclosed by curtains for privacy. The sombre color scheme gives the place a romantic feel.

A favorite spot is the Clam Bar space that features in-built buckets for champagne or wine bottles. Here, small groups can mingle and people-watch with ease.

The main dining area is for those who want air-conditioned comfort while an L-shaped deck beckons those who like eating alfresco. The atmosphere is cheerful yet not cluttered or crowded.

One cannot miss the coconut trunks given pride of place inside the restaurant and on the deck - the designer had travelled into a kampung in Batu Pahat, Johor, to get them. The design bill almost came up to a cool RM2 million.

Merry Christmas !

For the festive season, the restaurant resembles a scene from Shakespeare's A Mid Summer Night's Dream. Complimenting the decor is a French buffet-style Christmas spread. "We wanted to do something different," says head chef Aziz Mohd Hanafiah.


Sous chef Antoine Maillet of France, who recently joined WiP, helped concoct the dishes.

Some of the choices are Fish Bouillabaisse, a seafood soup that features scallops, mussels, squid and much more; Beef Bourguignon, where the beef is stewed in a sumptuous gravy until tender; and Salmon in Puff Pastry, where the salmon is flown in from Norway. The WiP Christmas Buffet is RM150 nett per person.


House specials like the Espetada - a selection of beef, chicken or seafood [from RM42 to RM85], Mutton Varuval [RM43] and Banana Mango Pizza [RM25] - are always on the menu.

The Clam Bar area, with its in-built buckets for champagne or wine bottles, allows small groups to enjoy themselves and watch people at the same time.




Lot G111, Ground Floor

Bangsar Shopping Centre

285, Jalan Maarof, Bukit Bandar Raya

59000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


Daily from noon till closing

T : 03 2094 1789 | 2789

F : 03 2094 3789

e:mail :



reservations suggested


back to WiP page home