Friday, September 24, 2010

Beer Promotion at Inner Circle Bar,Lot 10

Although it feels like you're drinking in front of a shop window (well, you are)
Inner Circle has a good value-for-money promotion on buckets of Tiger Crystal Beer.
Unfortunately,it's only on Monday's.
It's along the side of Lot 10 shopping mall,just underneath the footbridge to Sungai Wang.
So,if you don't mind sitting in front of Isetan's shop windows you can enjoy watching people eat at the newly opened Nasi Lemak stall opposite while you slowly sip your ice cold beer.

UPDATE 10/3/11
I walked past the other's closed.
Always sorry to see bars close..but it was a crap location!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

This Should Help....

Some people never learn.
One of the big problems facing Kuala Lumpur and the whole of Malaysia is the problem of litter.
People just drop rubbish everywhere.
If you take a walk along Bukit Bintang you will notice that there are litter-bins every few yards and yet ignorant idiots still just throw their rubbish anywhere.
Sure,the bins look horrible as people stub their cigarettes out on the tops and burn into the plastic but at least you can deposit your trash in them and walk away.
At least Bukit Bintank is swept and cleaned every day-take a walk along the side streets and it's even worse as pink plastic bags and foam food containers are strewn everywhere and block-up the drains.
So,to try and combat this menace the local council have spent a few hundred thousand Ringgit erecting signs telling people to keep the city clean.
The signs assume that only people who can read  Bahasa Malay cause the problem.
So,all the old and ignorant Chinese and Indian guys who walk along the pavement spitting and throwing their cigarette butts on the ground can carry-on.
Tourists never drop any litter,do they?
All the young shop workers and foot-massage touts who "carefully" place their used lunch containers in the gutter can carry-on, for the sign doesn't mean them does it?
After all,they're in a rush and well,someone will come and clear-up the mess won't they?
Why deprive them of a job?
People here drop litter because either they know no better-or they do but they just don't bloody care!
Now,call me a cynic but putting-up signs telling people not to drop litter won't work as the idiots who drop the rubbish are too stupid,thick and ignorant to read the signs and act upon them.
There are a few litter-free places in Malaysia,places like Kuala Terengganu and Kota Baru on the East Coast come to mind so it is possible to achieve and maintain a clean,litter free city but most people in KL just don't seem to care....

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Best Hokkien Mee Hoon Mee in Town at Heritage Food Court Lot 10

It's quite sad that a lot of the Chinese-style coffee shops in my part of Kuala Lumpur are fast disappearing, to be turned into 7-Elevens, Showrooms or foot-massage places.Or stand empty as the greedy landlord awaits new and perhaps gullible tenants.
This is happening all over town as rents rise and the new generation of potential cooks don't want to run a food-stall (a lot of food stall operators are at least middle age/entering old aged and have made enough money to send their children overseas to study)
This creates a problem as it becomes more and more difficult to find favourite foods.....
I can't be the only person to think like this as those crafty capitalists who own Lot 10 Shopping Mall on Bukit Bintang have opened the "Heritage Food Court" in the basement.
What they seem to have done is rack their brains and try to remember where you can find the best types of Chinese food in KL.
They have then "persuaded" the stall owners to open/licence a branch in their basement.
Although where a German Restaurant fits into this is anyone's guess (I have written about this before under the title The Only Bacon Sandwich in KL?)
So, in The Heritage Food Court you can find all sorts of food stalls  such as Imbi Road Pork Noodles, Teow Cheow Porridge,Mai Chai deserts-and my favourite Kim Lian Kee-who specialise in Hokkien Mee.
I prefer the Mee Hoon Mee which  is a great dish consisting of fat,yellow noodles and thin vermicelli-style noodles fried in lard with a few prawns,bits of squid,pork and cabbage thrown in and all mixed in a rich,heavy black sauce.
It's probably quite unhealthy as it's fried in pig fat but boy does it taste good!
This particular food stall is located right in front of the escalator going down inside Lot 10.
You can't miss it and you can also hear the loud, rhythmic clash and banging of the woks as the chefs do their stuff and queue of people waiting for their order.
It's a bit pricey at RM 9.35 but well worth it.
And,yeah I know, you're eating in a bloody noisy and cold  food court but there aren't many places in town that serve this great dish.
And,if you're lucky you may even get a few "crispy-bits" of fried lard!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Sungai Tua,Selangor State Park (Ulu Yam)

All this hiking must be doing me good.
And,it is great to get out of the city every now and then.
Sungai Tua Park is about a half-hour drive out of KL heading towards and then behind Batu Caves.
It consists of a stretch of river,close to the road with various car-parks and access points along the road.
It's really nothing special but as I said, it makes a break from the concrete jungle of KL to see some proper greenery.
It's also a lot cooler,which goes to show that cities like KL are hotter because there are no trees.
Like most places worthy of a visit there is no public transport to get here so you will need to drive or charter a taxi.
The journey there is "interesting" as you get to learn how confusing and poorly sign-posted directions are in Malaysia.
Head towards Batu Caves and then follow the signs to Ulu Yam.
Go past Batu Dam and the multiple park enterances are on the right about 8km before you arrive in Ulu Yam.
The road is a pleasure to drive and the long,sweeping bends and ever-changing gradients make this a favourite for sports car drivers and superbikes.
Park at the top-most car park,No.3 and follow the very steep descent down the valley sides via  concrete steps to reach a suspension bridge and once you cross there are a few picnic areas that allow easy access to the very cold water.
There are no impressive waterfalls but a series of cascades over boulders with waist-deep water.More for splashing about rather than actual swimming.
If you get bored here,jump in the car and drive down to the main park entrance where it's easier to access the river as there are no steep stairs to climb but still lots of small cascades.
The main park enterance is being "developed" which here can mean "ruined" by building a food-court and retail opportunities so it's probably best to head for Car Park 3 which remains relatively unspoiled.
The park is popular weekends and unfortunately many locations are strewn with litter which spoils the whole experience.
How wet you get is up to you.
Oh,and watch-out for leeches.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Best Fried Kway Teow in Kuala Lumpur

OK-quite a strong statement but I'm prepared to stand by it-The Best Fried Kway Teow in Kuala Lumpur and possibly the world can be found at Restoran Hing Ang on Jalan Thambipillay in Brickfields.
Now,you may know Brickfields as being very "Indian" and true,you can get some good curries,saris and blackmarket booze but there is also a small but thriving (and mainly aged) Chinese community.
Fried Kway Teow is a dish of fried rice cake strips with ingredients that include soy sauce,chili,belachan,prawns,cockles,beansprouts and Chinese sausage all fried in pork fat with crispy croutons of lard.
Heart Attack on a plate!
But it's gorgeous.
Originally a dish for Chinese labourers it can be found all over South East Asia but the "Penang Style" served at Hing Ang is the best.
You can feel your arteries clogging-up as you eat it so it's best to only eat once every couple of months or so to give your body time to remove all the fat and cholesteral.
Restoren Hing Ang is opposite the Chinese Temple on Jalan Thambipillay.
It's a typical local cheap restaurant with lots of stalls catering to different tastes that all share a common seating area.
Soft drinks are about RM 2 and a small bottle of beer about RM 8.
It looks crap from the outside-and the inside is not much better either.
If you sit near to the front it can get very hot from all the cooking but they have a back area that is a little cooler but a bit more stuffy.
To get there from central KL either drive towards KL Sentral on Jalan Tun Sambanthan,turn left when forced to by the ridiculous one-way traffic system begins at the Mobil station and park at the YMCA.Then walk across the road to the usually empty and big Old Town White Coffee, past the imaginatively named Hotel Mexico and keep going. The restaurant is on the left opposite the Chinese Temple.
If the new and baffling one-way system seems a bit too much of a challenge,take the monorail and alight at the KL Sentral stop,come down the escalator and Jalan Thampibillay is the street right behind you.
Penang style Fried Kway Teow is served as small,medium or large servings-and costs RM 4,5,or 6, although I don't think the cook can be bothered with small anymore.
Remember to ask for extra lard crispy-bits!

Update 13/5/2011
He's moved! again! you can now find him on the corner of  Jalan Thambipillay,opposite Old Town White Coffee,underneath the Lido Hotel.
As it's a corner shop,it gets a bit more of a breeze so it's not as stuffy as before...but it's smaller and a lunchtime gets packed.
Nice atmosphere though.....

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Lobby Restaurant & Lounge,One Residency,Jalan Negasari,Kuala Lumpur

If you begin to tire of the mayhem that can be Changkat Bukit Bintang there are a few more relaxed places opening-up on the streets that run parallel.
Walk past Werners at the bottom of Changkat Bukit Bintang, go past Barkita on Jalan Berangan and just around the corner are Albion and Bar Italia,two restaurants/bars that have both been up and running for a while now and offer a more laid back environment.
I find them a bit too pricey.Others rave about the good food and nice ambiance.
On Jalan Negasari, the next street down you can find Palette-Palate restaurant and the jazz club No Black Tie, whilst opposite in the ridiculously named new office block cum condo "One Residency" there are a few places recently opened-with probably more to follow.
Delucca is yet another Italian Restaurant with a jazzy feel to it and has live music weekends whilst next to it is Lobby,a Thai (ish) restaurant cum bar.
All of the places I've mentioned above seem to appeal to exactly the same type of customer, one who is looking for a place that doesn't get too crowded,has good food and is more of a chill-out lounge type place.
Lobby has cheaper beer prices than Delucca (which is why I went there)
Draught Tiger is RM 9++
Sitting inside at the bar was tolerable and the staff were friendly, it wasn't busy at all and I think that the management want it that way,although perhaps they need a few more bums on seats to pay the rent.
I haven't sat "inside" for ages as I usually go for the outdoor areas wherever I go but it was a hot night and outside there were no fans...a big drawback.
So,sitting inside was chilly as the aircon was at full blast,the place was empty and  reeked of stale cigarette smoke-not nice.
The flashing disco lights were rather annoying and distracting.
The menu is limited to 5 main dishes and from what I saw the food seemed to be very good, the Barrumandi with tempura vegetables and rice cakes was certainly tasty and cost around rm 35++ and a jug of Tiger was  RM 36++, although I picked-up a leaflet saying it was on promotion at at RM 29++ so I'm a bit confused as to the pricing/promotional activity....
They have various lunch time and afternoon tea promotions-although at RM 19++ for an executive lunch,it's a bit expensive.
I believe it's run by the same people who have the excellent Baan 26 Thai restaurant on Changkat Bukit Bintang-so the food should be very good indeed.
I'm just not sure I'd bother to go back.
Delucca looked to be a bit more happening and has an inviting open front-concept but I've just got a bit tired of all the Italian restaurants in town.