Hilton Kuala Lumpur


Hotel Kuala Lumpur is located in the KL Sentral district. This is my first time staying at a Hilton hotel. The location is strategically convenient with the airport express train just a stone’s throw away. I love the layout of the room. The rooms are well equipped. I especially like the tub and the rainforest shower. The pool area is connected with Le Meridien, so it’s quite spacious.

On my first night at the hotel, I ordered room service. I got myself a fish soup noodles for dinner. The soup and the noodles came separately. The soup was in a steel jug. I thought that was a creative touch. The noodles came garnished with sea bass, asparagus, shiitake, Choi sum, fried onions, and a sprinkle of white pepper. The umami broth was rich and savory. The ingredients were fresh.

For breakfast the next day, I ordered pancakes and a Cappuccino. The pancakes were decent. The Cappuccino tasted like it came from a coffee vending machine. The flavor of the milk was more prominent than the coffee, and too much milk froth. That was a real disappointment.

The buffet breakfast is located at Vasco’s restaurant. The staff was friendly and helpful. The view from the restaurant was not as fantastic as it is facing the main road.

The breakfast had a good spread of western and Malaysian cuisine. I was impressed with the flavor authenticity of the Malaysian dishes. I had Nasi Lemak (coconut rice), Roti Canai (Indian flatbread), teh Tarik (pull tea), and Nyonya kuih (Malaysian dessert), and it tasted authentic.

There is a juice bar serving freshly squeezed juice, and guests can also request a custom juice.

Overall, I thought the food was excellent, especially the Malaysian cuisine.

Hilton Kuala Lumpur

Website: http://life.hiltonkl.com/#

Telephone: +603 2264 2264

Address: 3, Jalan Stesen Sentral, Kuala Lumpur Sentral, 50470 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Koon Kee Wantan Mee, childhood nostalgia

After renewing my IC at UTC, Pudu, I took a stroll down Petaling Street (Chinatown) to find a place for lunch. I passed by Koon Kee and saw that they serve Wantan Mee. Since I haven’t had Wantan Mee for quite some time, I thought I give this place a try. Many would find the restaurant’s exterior appalling at first sight -it looks like a decrepit dirty shed. Koon Kee has been around since 1947 which explains the state that it is in now, but it would be nice if they could do some touch up to make the place more pleasant. There are only ceiling fans inside the restaurant, if you are seated inside, it’s pretty cool but the outside (under the shed) can be somewhat warm.

I ordered the classic Wantan Mee which consists of char siew (bbq pork), choy sum, a bowl of soup with wontons accompanied by pickled green chili. The noodles were perfectly cooked and springy. The sauce (a mixture of dark soy sauce, soy sauce, and oyster sauce) was aromatic and the char siew was tender. The wontons had a delicate and smooth skin. My first bite instantly evoked nostalgia from my childhood. The flavors were the same as what I had when I was a child. The Wantan Mees that I have had from my past visits were disappointing as they did not have that childhood flavor.

After doing some research online to write a review about this restaurant, it is touted that Koon Kee serves one of the best Wantan Mee in town. I haven’t had enough Wantan Mees to concur with that statement, but I don’t disagree either.

Despite the dirty surrounding, this Wantan Mee is the best I have had in a long while. If I’m in the area, I will definitely go back for more.

 

Koon Kee

Telephone: +60 3-2078 6554

Opening hours: Sunday – Monday (10:00 a.m. – 22:00 p.m.)

Address: 95, Jalan Hang Lekir, City Centre, 50000 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Lavo

The day I went to Lavo was a big night for Manchester United football fans. It was the English premier league and Manchester United was up against Manchester City. My friend, who was a Manchester United fan tried persuading me to go watch the game with him. I was quite tired and seeing that the match was at midnight, I insisted that I would rather go back to the hotel and rest.  My friend said that he has already made reservations at the lounge so I said I will go for one drink.

I can see why my friend brought me to this lounge. With a 200-inch full-HD display, it was the ideal place to watch the game. The lounge has a big outdoor and indoor dining area.

Lavo is a modern avant-garde resto-lounge located in the hip and upscale Tropicana. The place is very well ventilated. There were people smoking inside but there was no cigarette smoke smell. It was quite packed when I was there, but the noise level was not too loud.

There was one thing that sort of put me off. I was seated at the bar and I noticed two bartenders drinking from the glass used for customers, then just rinsing it with water and putting it back.

Other than that, this is a good place to hang out with friends.

 

Lavo

Website: https://www.lavomy.com/

Telephone: +60 3-7803 7333

Opening hours: Sunday to Monday (12:00 p.m. – 4:00 a.m.)

Address: Lien Hoe Tower Sdn. Bhd., Menara Lien Hoe, Lien Hoe Tower Sdn. Bhd., G.,, Jalan Tropicana 1/1, Tropicana, 47410 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia

Famous Amos cookies!

Famous Amos chocolate chip cookies are my all time favorite. Their stores can be found in most major malls in Kuala Lumpur such as Suria KLCC, Pavilion, and Sunway Pyramid. The pictures shown here were taken in Midvalley. The store is located on the lower ground floor.

Whenever I am back in Kuala Lumpur, I always try to buy a few bags of cookies. These melt-in-your-mouth chocolate chip cookies are packed with sweet, buttery, chocolaty, and nutty flavor. There is an assortment of cookies. My favorite flavors are double chocolate chip pecan, chocolate chip pecan, and chocolate chip macadamia. Other than cookies, they also sell chocolates and sweets.

The cookies are packed into a plastic cookie bag and can be sealed upon request, for later consumption. If I remember correctly, it keeps for about 3 weeks. The cookies can also be purchased online on the Malaysia Famous Amos website.

Famous Amos

Website: https://www.famousamos.com.my/

 

 

Cheap breakfast the Malaysian way

Staying at the Hilton Sentral, I had a variety of Indian restaurants to choose from in Brickfields (also known as Little Indian), which is just walking distance. But out of convenience, I chose to go to Devi’s corner in Bangsar as I wanted to go shopping at the Bangsar village mall which is just across from the establishment.

One cannot come to Malaysia and not try the Malaysian style Indian breakfast. It is cheap and good!

The food at Devi’s corner is good but not the best. As I was traveling alone, as long as I got my favorite roti boom (roti with loads of margarine and sugar) and Teh Tarik ice, I am satisfied!

What I liked about Devi’s corner was that it was clean and not overly crowded.

 

 

For me, a cup of cold Teh Tarik (ice pulled tea) with roti boom is the perfect combination. There are many varieties of roti. If it’s your first time trying it, go for the basic roti Canai first as all other variations are based on this quintessential flatbread. All rotis are served with dhal curry and either fish or chicken curry.

Teh Tarik is considered as Malaysia’s national drink. It is made from black tea and condensed milk.  Teh Tarik got its name from the “pulling” process as the tea is poured from mug to another. This process gives the tea its smooth texture and thick frothy top.

The dishes that I have mentioned above can be found in almost all similar Indian establishments (or known as mamak stalls locally).

Devi’s corner

Opening hours: open 24 hours

Telephone number: +60 12-267 6714

Italiannies @ The Gardens

On our last day in the city (Kuala Lumpur), after shopping at The Gardens mall, my siblings and I wanted to have a good western lunch. So we looked at the directory and decided on the Italian restaurant – Italiannies. The restaurant is located on the 2nd floor, on the same side of Robinsons. At first glance, the restaurant has a modern rustic yet inviting atmosphere.

There were only two waiters and we had to wait quite some time for someone to take our orders. One was more professional and friendlier than the other.  As we were hungry, it seemed like an eternity for our food to be served.

                                                                                   Sicilian Chicken RM 34.85

We ordered the Sicilian Chicken salad which was marinated diced chicken breast, mango, red grapes, and walnuts, tossed in a Sicilian dressing on crisp romaine lettuce. The croutons could be more buttery and crispy, however, I liked that it had a light dressing as it allowed me to savor the sweetness of the fruits and lettuce. A refreshing salad dish.

                                                                                  Baked Orecchiette with Chicken Sausage

The baked orecchiette with chicken sausage was amazing. The first mouthful I took instantly made me wanting more. The taste reminded me of Carbonara except less thick and more savory. And the baked cheese on top, mmm, love it!

                                                                                               Herb Rice with Fish RM 24.90

What I liked about this dish was the fish. It was crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. I did not fancy the cioppino sauce, it tasted like store-bought pasta sauce. The rice had a nice Italian seasoning flavor to it.

                                                                                      Salmon with Zucchini Cream RM 58.20

The salmon took a really long time to be served. The mashed potatoes were palatable, it had a thicker and chewier consistency with a lovely coating of some kind of chicken gravy.  I was disappointed to find that the salmon was overcooked, so I requested for another. When I went over to the counter to pay, the “friendlier” waiter apologized again for the overcooked salmon.

 

All in all, this was not a great dining experience. The food was mediocre except for the baked orecchiette. The service was poor and there was even a 10 percent service charge. The food did not justify the price.

I don’t think I will dine at this restaurant again neither would I recommend it.

Bala’s Banana Leaf

 

The restaurant is very clean compared to many banana leaf places I have been to.

The basic banana leaf meal is RM 7.5 ( about 1.8 USD) which consists of white rice, 4 different types of vegetables, fried chili, papadom, and a choice of dhal, chicken curry, fish curry, and mutton curry.  If one prefers a different type of rice, there is a choice of Indian rice or biryani (extra charge). There are also other types of curries, varuval, kurma, and masala that one can order (extra charge).

The waiters were friendly. We were spoiled for choices so one of the waiters recommended some of their popular dishes and they were all flavorful. Overall, the dishes were good. My family and I enjoyed our meal.

Banana leaf meals are usually eaten by hand. If you don’t mind digging your hands into gravies, do give it a try, it’ll definitely be an interesting eating experience.

There are certain etiquettes that would be good to observe and be aware of. Banana leaf is folded inwards after the meal as a sign of gratitude, folding outwards is considered rude.

 

 

Bala’s banana leaf

Opening hours: 8a.m to midnight

Telephone number: +60 3-2201 7107

Lucky Garden Bangsar, 21, Lorong Ara Kiri 1, Lucky Garden, 59100 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Night Markets in KL

 

The Malaysian night market, or as the locals call it Pasar Malam, can be considered a quintessential local cultural practice which has been around for a long time. It is basically a street market that is opened at night in certain residential neighborhoods. Here you can find a wide range of local food, electronics, clothing, household item and etc. The night market is a great place to taste various local delicacies all in one place.
As the night markets in KL are not commercialized, one is still able to get the authentic experience.

Below are addresses of two of the more popular night markets in KL.

 

SS2 Pasar Malam

Opening hours: Monday, 4pm-12midnight

Taman Connaught Pasar Malam (one of the longest night market in Malaysia, spanning over 2 kilometers long)

Opening hours: Wednesdays,  5:00 pm to 1:00 am

El Mesón

I came to this restaurant two days in a row. I was meeting a friend for lunch. The restaurant she wanted to take me to was under renovation.  So we randomly picked this place which was across the road. This modern rustic open space bar/restaurant serves Spanish food and tapas. I enjoyed my dining experience that I brought my siblings the next day for lunch.

 

During the weekdays, the restaurant offers a 2-course lunch special for RM29. You get a starter, main dish, and a choice of either coke, sprite or ice lemon tea.  There is also a tapas special for Rm49 for 3 tapas and 1 side.

Since my siblings and I were there on a Tuesday, we decided to go for the 2-course lunch and tapas special.

 

As we were waiting for our food, we were served a plate of warm slices of bread with garlic aioli spread. The aioli was delicious!

For the tapas, we ordered the croquetas caseras de jamon (deep-fried croquettes with jamon iberico), champiñones a la trufa ( sautéed mixed mushrooms in garlic wine, cream & truffle paste), piggy in a blanket (pork sausage wrapped with bacon served with honey mustard & carmelised onions), and bacon mashed potato (side dish).
The piggy in the blanket and mashed patatoes were decent. The croquestas were simply fabulous! These little creamy potato morsels were light yet rich and flavorful. The sautéed mixed mushrooms were delightful! It was cooked in such a way that the mushrooms absorbed the flavors from the sauce.

For starters, we had the ensalada española with tuna, tomato & olives, and 2 pumpkin soup. The salad was refreshing. The dressing was light and sweetish. The soup for me was the highlight. It was different from the usual pumpkin soup. It was more savory and creamier with a hint of the pumpkin flavor. The bacon bits accentuated the soup.  It was really flavorful.

As for the main course, we had pollo asado which is grilled spatchcock spring chicken served with homemade fries and mixed mesclun salad, fish of the day, and tagliatelle marinera with smoked garlic, scallop, prawns & chili.
The tagliatelle marinera was good; it had a slight spicy kick to it. The seafood was cooked just right.  The fish was tender and moist.  The tomato-based sauce complimented the fish well. Unfortunately, I was disappointed with the grilled spring chicken. It was bland and uninteresting.

There were two waiters that served us. One, in particular, an intern, was very friendly, he had a constant smile and attended to our table on different occasions to ensure that everything went smoothly.  We enjoyed our food so much so we asked the waiter to give our compliments to the chef.

We were overall very satisfied with the service and our meal.

I highly recommend this restaurant for an enjoyable Spanish experience.

 

El Mesón 

Website: http://www.elmeson.com.my/ 

Telephone: +60 3-2282 8290

Opening hours: Weekdays –

 

Patty & Pie

My friend took me to a cozy pizza place for dinner in Aman Suria, Petaling Jaya that serves wood-fired pizzas. He claimed that this place serves one of the best pizzas in town and he was right! They serve one of the best wood-fired pizza I’ve had.

We ordered the half and half pizza.  I chose the Margherita and my friend chose the truffle (white sauce, mozzarella, truffle cream, provolone, egg, parmesan).  I have never been a fan of truffle. It is one of those acquired flavors, either you like it or you don’t. So I was feeling skeptical yet full of anticipation.

**I do not own the pictures above. I accidentally deleted my pizza pictures. These are pictures taken by others who have dined there and I wanted to show you guys what the pizza looked like. 

The pizza resembles a Neapolitan style pizza crust with a poofy thin crispy crust yet elastic, soft and moist on the inside. Each dough is formed by hand and tossed.  The brick oven is located next to the restaurant bar so customers can watch the pizzaiolo perform the pizza tossing.

The Margherita was decent but the truffle was divine! It had a wonderful smokey flavor with a delicate hint of sweetness and fragrance from the oil and cheese. Furthermore, personally, I feel the egg accentuated and balanced all the flavors together. Each bite was memorable.

I am looking forward to my next visit!

Patty & Pie

Website: https://www.facebook.com/PattyandPie/

Opening hours: 12:00PM – 3:00PM, 6:00PM – 10:00PM

Telephone: +60 12-223 1009