The best local snacks in KL
Looking for snacks? Pack them at these places in KL for the city's best local snacks: thick and thin keropok lekor, crispy popiah, kaya toast and more.
First Starbucks outlet in the world to hire deaf baristas is in Bangsar
Many of us rest on the assumption that the disabled community in KL are consigned to monotonous, isolated lives. But that’s far from the truth. Most of them – some with intellectual potential far beyond their education years – are living quality lives as blind masseurs (the Malaysian Association for the Blind provides woodwork and telephony courses for the visually impaired), kitchen helpers and restaurant managers. Starbucks Malaysia recently launched a new outlet at Bangsar Village II, dedicated to employing hearing-impaired baristas. Working closely with NGO Society of Interpreters for the Deaf (SID) to facilitate the hiring, training and coaching of deaf employees, this first-of-a-kind outlet for Starbucks globally has employed ten deaf ‘partners’, who work alongside three hearing staff. More info about their initiativePhoto: Kong Wai Yeng A cool wall that spells out ‘Starbucks’ in manual hand signs graces the entrance, while the hectic counter atmosphere has been replaced with just the sound of whirring coffee machines. The ordering process is pretty straightforward: 1) Mark what you want on the menu card 2) Pass it to the cashier, and he/she’ll give you an order number 3) Wait for your number to pop up on the designated screen 4) Get your order Menu cardPhoto: Kong Wai Yeng If you’re one of those obnoxious people who place complicated orders (‘Decaf soy latte with an extra shot, half inch foam, and cream, at 120
10 things to do in KL this week
Our guide to the week's best events and recommended things to do
The best cheap eats in KL
Noodles, rice and everything nice for less than RM15
The DPAC Arts Festival 2016
Calling all theatre fans! The DPAC Arts Festival is back once again for seven full days, featuring 23 performances in eight different programmes. This festival will run from July 25 to 31 throughout DPAC’s entire premises and there will be various shows including an art exhibition, dance programmes, music performances and workshops.
What’s on this week in KL
Maple Market returns to conquer Great Eastern Mall’s concourse area, turning it into a sprawling showcase of the city’s independent entrepreneurs. Labels like Gula Cakery, Amazin' Graze and 6th Street Desserts are only a few that will feature at the market. Besides food, there will also be lifestyle pieces from Boys On Teeth such as tea towels and aprons.
Mahsuri (And Other Peculiar Tales)
See the tale of Mahsuri, Pontianak, Bawang Putih Bawang Merah and Puteri Lindungan Bulan unravel in a café through the eyes of an autistic boy. The play features Badrika Bahadur, Badrish Bahadur, Iz Sulaini, Phraveen Arikiah and Nabilah Hamid. Add on RM10 for a free flow of churros.
As part of the DPAC Arts Festival and the #Shakespeare400 celebrations, theatrethreesixty and the KL Shakespeare Players are presenting ‘Titus Andronicus’, based on The Bard’s revenge tragedy. The titular character, Titus Andronicus, is a Roman general who brings home his dead sons and spoils in the aftermath of a ten-year war, spoils which include Tamora, Queen of the Goths and her son. As the general seeks revenge and retribution, the price of loyalty and the nature of complicity come into question. Directed by Christopher Ling, the cast includes Anrie Too, David Perico Lim, Felix Augustus, Lim Soon Heng and more.
Malaysia Hobby Expo
Meet fellow hobby enthusiasts at this expo focusing on hobby societies, fan clubs, hobby manufacturers, retailers and more. Exhibitions include models of aircrafts and railroads as well as architectural models and so on. Join one of the masterclasses or check out the flea market for collectibles.
New restaurants and bars in KL
Troika Sky Dining’s latest cocktail bar is on point. The space, as per the rest of the venue, is contemporary and elegant, stretching from the walkway after Claret wine bar right up to the entrance of Fuego. The cocktails are a reflection of the current trends in the world of mixology: They’re artisanal and inventive; they’re made with craft spirits; and they feature house-made syrups, dehydrated fruits and edible garnishes (think edible paper planes). The bar was created in collaboration with the internationally renowned bar consultant Cocktail Professor – even with just 12 cocktails, the menu comes across as thoughtful and well-edited. The Welcome to Coppersmith section features six quirky cocktails – we love the vodka-based From the Smith’s Garden, which is an inspired take on a kopitiam regular, the apple and celery juice. The second section of the menu, named Home Sweet Home, showcases the bar’s playfulness through new interpretations of classic favourites. You have daiquiris and martinis, but taken to the next level with ingredients such as homemade banana beer, black pepper syrup and elaborate salted caramel sugar work. Of course, with a name like Coppersmith, you can expect elements of copper not just in the decor, but also the glassware and even the bar equipment. In short, a very cool space.
Koike Shoten grill & bar
A kushiyaki grill and bar in Bangsar’s quieter Jalan Telawi stretch, Koike Shoten is helmed by Chef Norio Koike who has worked in some of KL’s most popular Japanese restaurants, namely Fukuda and Ri-Yakitori. The restaurant specialises in skewered meat and chicken (yakitori) is their meat of choice, with an extensive selection ranging from the classic chicken thigh and leek as well as chicken tenderloin with plum, to the wings, gizzards, bishop’s nose, skin and heart. There are wagyu beef, shrimp and unagi skewers too, and if you’re the adventurous kind, try the free-range chicken sashimi, a Kyoto specialty that’s seldom found in KL. It’s obvious that Koike Shoten aims to attract a diverse crowd, with its wide ranging menu that also features rice and noodle dishes, sushi rolls, snacks, salads and fried items such as chicken karaage. If you’re a fan of the sweet-savoury Japanese pancake okonomiyaki, there are eight options to choose from. Notable dishes to order include the Nagoya-style fried chicken wings that are seasoned with Japanese pepper, the spicy pickled celery (which works well as a palate cleanser), the stingray fin that’s been smoked and then lightly grilled (chewy and tastes very similar to sotong bakar), and the mentaiko-seasoned cod roe okonomiyaki. As this is also very much a Japanese bar, there are whiskies, sōchū, saké, wine and beer. Koike Shoten is made for all-night-long drinking and snacking.
With its easy-on-the-eyes mint green façade and scoops of ice cream in Malaysian flavours (kaya toast!), Chaplang Kafé is a welcome addition to the OUG café scene. Previously known as Butter + Beans, the rebranding introduces a new menu and look (goodbye communal tables, hello wall mural about our chapalang language). For the best seats, we say go for the outdoor area with matching mint green furniture. Come early in the afternoon and make yourself at home for a session of people watching – elderly OUG residents passing by on the kaki lima, families heading to a nearby bakery, motorists honking at each other occasionally for crowding up the narrow roads. Inside the café, small round tables are dotted about, with a long slim table by the wall for those looking to get some work done. If you’re here to work, look up from your laptop every once in a while and take in the motivational quotes on the wall for a mental boost. The gleaming black-tiled wall behind the cashier from the café’s Butter + Beans days is still here, and that’s where the menu is. Food-wise, Chaplang Kafé serves pizzas, sandwiches, pastas, breakfast platters and coffee. While those are decent (popular dishes are the rendang chicken pizza and white spaghetti with sausage and turkey ham), it’s their selection of ice cream and waffles that shine. Scooped from G-Lat (local ice cream producer Forty Licks’ new range of Malaysian flavours), tastes run the gamut from durian to coconut gula Melaka. On our visit, we
The Ice Cream Bar
The Ice Cream Bar is the latest venture by the same people behind your favourite ice cream parlour, Inside Scoop. Things are done differently here as this bar – yes, we can call it a bar – specialises in alcoholic ice creams; think spiked Inside Scoop favourites such as Smoked Cognac, XO Cranberry, beer and more. Located in Desa Sri Hartamas near Naughty Nuri's, The Ice Cream Bar's minimalist interior (think bare white walls, strategically placed pots of green plants and jet black chairs) ticks off all the stark-but-cool boxes. Try to cop these spots when you're here: the small outdoor seating area good for a party of two or three, the cosy (and prettiest) corner with two grey upholstered chairs, and if you're with your ice cream-loving troop, the communal table. Menu-wise, there’s a good selection of boozy and regular flavours. The Ice Cream Bar collaborated with The Singleton for a limited-time line of whisky-infused ice creams last May, so keep your eyes peeled for future partnerships with other brands. Meanwhile, take a few indulgent licks of brandy-infused dark chocolate Smoked Cognac, XO-infused cranberry and beer – your afterwork drink in a cone. If you’d rather have non-alcoholic ice cream, try premium and signature flavours such as white truffle chocolate with sea salt, mint stracciatella, raspberry yoghurt, blood orange sorbet or durian. After you've picked your scoops, opt to have it in a glass cup, handmade cone or on Inside Scoop's famed buttermilk waffles, an
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Populated by expatriates and upper middle class families, Hartamas is fancy – even its name says so (‘harta’, treasure; ‘mas’, gold). This isn’t saying that the area is inaccessible for us 'mere mortals' – in fact, it’s quite the opposite now. With many cafés and eateries opening up around the 'hood, plenty of non-Hartamas residents flock here, and not just for the lineup of Japanese restaurants. By the way, we're also including the best places to eat and visit in neighbouring areas Mont Kiara and Solaris Dutamas. Fun fact: The area was the premise of a local TV show titled (surprise, surprise) ‘Hartamas’ starring Ida Nerina and Rashidi Ishak.
The wide land that is Damansara has the privilege of being both KL and Selangor. It can be confusing – Bukit Damansara for example, is not exactly near the main Damansaras while Ara Damansara is somewhat Subang (and sometimes even Shah Alam). To make things easier for you, we've picked some of the best restaurants, cafés, bars and things to do in each Damansara area.
Let’s not mask the fact that Sunway is an area dominated by students, which isn’t saying that it’s a bad thing. If you need help getting around the area, the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is making things better. It’s fast – not a concept Malaysians are accustomed to hearing and practising. Let’s not also forget about Sunway Pyramid and Sunway Lagoon, where there are plenty of things to do. If you don’t have plans in Sunway, you do now.
Your cheat sheet to all the best restaurants, shops and things to do in the main areas of the city centre including Bukit Bintang, Petaling Street and Pudu.
Sri Petaling is a mixed bag of old eating establishments, massage parlours and cafés. You can get around most of the Jalan Radins by foot, although ideally a bicycle would be nice. The 'hood is quiet but by no means dead. Here are our picks of restaurants, cafés, shops and things to do in the area. PS: If your favourite spot isn't featured here, let us know in the comments.
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