Tuesday, February 23, 2010

BB Park,Jalan Bukit Bintang,Kuala Lumpur

BB Park is the little cut-through that links the IT heaven of Low Yat Plaza to Jalan Bukit Bintang.
Whoever called it a "park" has probably never seen a real one,unless a couple of pot-plants and taped bird-song constitute a "park".
There's concrete,more concrete,the constant whir of aircon units and a dozen or so little stalls selling cheap tourist-tat and a shop selling more upmarket tourist "arty-stuff".
But there's also a few restaurants/bars here -and a few more getting ready to open.
You can choose from:

"Outback Steakhouse",a sushi bar, "Chateau" a French Restaurant that has an interesting island bar in the middle of the walkway,the ever-popular "Bangkok Jam" offering Thai Food and beer for 35+ per jug.

Two new places have recently opened,one of which has such a badly written sign that I've no idea what it's called and next to it is "D'Spice"-a local "nostalgia" restaurant selling a mix of local cheapish dishes of Indian,Chinese or Malay origin....I can get a nan-bread at SK Corner(written about previously) for RM 2 so I don't think I'll pay RM 4 here,cheapskate that I am.

Incidentally,there are quite a few of these "nostalgia" restaurants opening up-all selling sanitized versions of old favourites in aircon-settings-a branch of"Papa Rich" on Jalan Bukit Bintang opposite BB Park and branches of "Old Town White Coffee" at Pavillion Shopping Centre and along the side of Low Yat Plaza to name but three....must be the new "in" thing.

Anyway,back to BB Park-It has promise and a good selection of restaurants and at least now there are a few places along Jalan Bukit Bintang where you can get a beer-but somehow,the place does nothing for me.....

Turn it into a Beer Garden-and now you're talking!

Delaney's Bar,Federal Hotel,Jalan Bukit Bintang,Kuala Lumpur

The Federal Hotel on Jalan Bukit Bintang is quite an historic building,when it was built in-time for Independence celebrations in 1957 it was the tallest building in Kuala Lumpur!
The second block with the revolving restaurant was built later as was the (now closed) bowling alley.
There is an Irish Pub,Delaney's on the side of the building that has one of the shortest Happy-Hour's in town until 8pm...I mean come-on,why bother?
It's fairly austere and barren inside and the times I've been there,it's a bit devoid of atmosphere save for a couple of drunks singing along to the band....
It's a sort of community pub,you could imagine it in a small Irish village where everyone knows each other.
If you get bored talking there are mags and newspapers to read and the ubiquitous large screen tv for the essential EPL games.
The food is good but pricey and is failry typical (stews,pies,fish and chips) and nothing special. All-in-all not really worth visiting unless you happen to be staying at the Federal Hotel and are too lazy to walk to Changkat Bukit Bintang,or you've just bought the latest IT gadget from Low Yat Plaza (behind) and need a couple of lunchtime beers.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Bayernhaus, Cap Square, Kuala Lumpur

I've blogged before about Cap Square and how it's best to be avoided as it seems to be devoid of any atmosphere whatsoever....
If you do find yourself here and feel like a good feed than you could do no better than to check-out Bayernhaus Bar and Restaurant.
As the name suggests,the restaurant serves mainly German Food and German Beer (Paulaner) both of which are surprisingly good.
Although the place has been open for about a year it is under new (German) management which translates to improved quality in both food and service.
First thing to mention would be their bucket promotion whereby RM125 for a bucket of 5 big Paulaner's gets you free food which varies each night but includes Ribs,Pork Knuckle or a plate of sausages. This 'free food" comes in normal size portions so it does seem good value for money.
The menu itself although not extensive,covers most items you would expect from a German restaurant; Pork Knuckle,Schnitzel,Steak and various sausage combinations.
The thing about the Germans (apart from being a little too good at soccer) is their apparent dislike of all things made of vegetable or salad....This is a restaurant for meat-loving carnivores not for people who want veggies with their meal.
Yeah,OK-you can order a salad to go with your main but the chef here nods towards the existence of vegetables rather than embraces them.
Having said that-the food is very good.
Portions are big. Quality is very good. Service is very good.
Pricing seems quite reasonable with dishes in the RM 25-35 range.Or you can share the mixed grill for RM 60.
You can choose to sit inside (which I always find a bit chilly) ,at the outside bar and at high or low tables outside.There's even a sofa for lounging....
I know we're going through a bit of a hot spell at the moment but sitting outside seemed really hot! There are no fans,the air is still and clammy and the mosquito's were just as hungry as I was. Next time we'll choose a high table or sit at the bar.
And next time,I'll order a side-salad!
Overall though, I was quite impressed with this place.
Maybe Cap Square isn't so bad after all.......

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Pau Kee Restoren, Jalan Imbi ,Kuala Lumpur

I've written before about the Jalan Imbi area and how pleasant it can be for a Sunday morning stroll, with it's atmospheric shophouses and big shady,trees and (relatively) quite roads.
All of which can give a feeling of being back in time,in a KL from the 60's or 70's.
A good excuse to get you there and away from the materialistic hell of Jalan Bukit Bintang is to have a late breakfast at Restoren Pau Kee on Jalan Barat,just off Jalan Imbi behind the big Honda showroom.
It's quite well-known for serving a few specialities such as Ipoh Kuay Teow,Fresh Prawn Won ton,Prawn Dumplings and Won ton Mee Chicken.
As with a lot of coffeeshops and small restaurants in the city it can be a bit intimidating when entering as sometimes it's a bit difficult knowing not just what to order-but actually how to order it as well as language issues can crop-up.
But that can also add to the fun...
If you don't speak the local dialect which I believe is Hokien,you may struggle a bit to order but you can generally get-by and the staff will either point you towards a menu or find someone who can tell you what's on the menu.
The food at Pau Kee is very good and sitting at one of the tables outside is quite a chilled-out way to enjoy your late breakfast/early lunch.
Pricing seems quite reasonable with dishes in the RM 4-6 price range.
As with lots of popular food places,it can get very busy around 1pm and the service can be annoyingly slow-the cook prepares one bowl/dish at a time so you may have to be a little patient.
Relax-it's Sunday.
I always seem to get very thirsty when I eat here so they may use copious amounts of MSG in their food but it makes a great change from eating bland franchised food in sterile shopping malls.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Thursday, February 4, 2010

What's Annoying about Changkat Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur?


Well, a couple of things are really beginning to annoy me.
I've mentioned before about the dick-heads who park their cars on the pavement thus causing pedestrians to walk in the road. Honestly,these people*have* to park as close as possible to the establishment of their choice as they are incapable of walking more than 10 paces or they'll have a heart-attack and die.
These people are either blissfully unaware of the inconvenience their actions cause to other people-or they are,and they just don't bloody care!
Then there are the jockey-parkers who block-off one side of the road and are the main cause of the constant traffic snarl-up.
There are 3 really large car-parks at the top of the street and a smaller one at the bottom so there is really no excuse for the anti-social behaviour of these idiots.
The other thing that really annoys me at the moment is all the "pavement furniture"
Some bars put up barriers to stop cars parking right outside their establishment-all well and good as far as I'm concerned, then a few started putting up trees and shrubs to "mark-their territory" and now they put up banners and posters and blackboards and god-knows what else to either advertise their wares or to piss-off the people in the bar next door!
I don't know about you-but who the hell ever reads all this junk?
Have a look between Gypsy Bar and Reggae Bar-it's stupid-and I have to walk in the road to get past these ugly obstacles.
And it blocks the view of the street when sitting at the bar.
And Reggae Bar has now introduced a Rm40 weekend cover charge!!
That's OK for a special live band
But-if it's just for the hell of it....
Even more reason not to go there!
People tell me that the reasons that the crowds stopped going to Bangsar was because of parking issues/aggressive car jockeys and there were also noise and parking complaints from residents...perhaps Changkat Bukit Bintang will be a victim of it's own success?
Update 13 Feb.
I don't know if any Royal Malaysian Police personnel read this blog but 2 police officers made a good attempt to rid the street of illegally parked cars last night-they managed to clear just about all the cars for a period of about 30 minutes then had to retreat due to a downpour....
The cars returned soon after but the police didn't.
At least they made an effort.
I also hear that a few complaints have been lodged by nearby residents re late night noise....