Latest blog posts
Pop-up restaurant event Tiger STREATS to combine street food with fine dining
Tiger Beer is crossing the culinary gulf this month with Tiger STREATS – the world’s first street food-meets-fine dining pop up restaurant event. The mash-up...
December issue of Time Out KL: Food & Drink Awards winners + Best dishes + NYE guide + Gifts under RM50
After months of open nominations and voting, the public has chosen the best restaurants, cafés and bars in KL for 2016. You’ll notice there’s a name change...
In the latest issue of Time Out Malaysia Kids: Shopping for the family
The end of the year is upon us, which means school holidays, the festive season, and wondering how to keep little minds and hands busy! One of the...
Direct LRT travel between Ampang and Sentul Timur starts tomorrow
For those who have to switch trains at the congested Chan Sow Lin station to commute toward the city centre, good news – you don’t have to do that anymore....
Sungai Buloh-Kajang MRT line Phase 1 to start December 16
In public transport news, Rapid KL has confirmed on its Facebook page that the Klang Valley MRT Project – the Sungai Buloh-Kajang (SBK) line – will begin its...
Now open: Pokémon Café
It’s been a while since we last saw crowds of Pokémon trainers walking about the city looking for Pikachu or Dragonite after the Pokémon GO craze in July,...
The people of KL
The six species of KL netizens
1. The TLDR The TLDR is a rage-fuelled creature with sensitive little paws that’s unable to comprehend beyond the headline. Its activities include raging at Singapore and blaming everybody else (especially the government) for everything. Born with strong hind legs and quick reflexes, the TLDR is also skilled at jumping to conclusions. 2. The Memeoth When the Memeoth is around, things escalate quickly, tables are flipped, and challenges are accepted. Armed with an impressive arsenal of memes (which one does not simply use), the quick-witted Memeoth can be easily spotted by their arrow-pierced knees. They don’t actually add much to the conversation though. Much wow. 3. The Writer Taking delight in showcasing its extensive knowledge, the Writer enjoys pounding out novellas in the comments section, droning on about the history of the issue at hand. While we enjoy learning new things every now and then, we think they should be offered a column instead. 4. The Actifast One of the internet’s modern miracles, the Actifast is the secret to end world poverty. These self-proclaimed princes (apparently mostly from Nigeria) still quite can’t believe they managed to earn RM20,000 a week doing this from home. However, to keep your device safe (and spyware-free), we strongly advise you to refrain from going in search of this species. 5. The Lurker The Lurker paddles quietly in murky waters; it reads comments, doesn’t add anything to the conversation, and very occasionally gives a ‘li
The five types of escalator wildlife in KL
Illustration: Aster Teoh 1. The Clogger When it comes to an escalator, the Clogger suddenly loses all ability to move and prefers to stand still while the escalator transports it upwards. What makes it a Clogger is the fact that it’s genetically programmed to stand in the centre, impeding the passage of others. This large family includes a subspecies with giant headphones to ignore the queue forming up behind it, the group that travels in packs to clog up the entire escalator, the shopper laden with shopping bags that should have taken the service lift instead, the two friends who just have to continue their conversation side-by-side, and the one that sits on the escalator. Then there’s the pièce de résistance – the individual that just stops as soon as it gets off the escalator. Watch from a safe distance. 2. The Couple There’s something about ascending or descending platforms that makes the Couple want to show their partner some affection. Scientists are currently trying to understand the effects that the escalator has on the reproductive systems of these critters. Perhaps Couples of unequal heights are finally balanced, or standing on a moving platform for 25 seconds doing nothing is too much for them. Make your way to the nearest shopping mall to see this species in action. 3. The Clomper No matter the time of day, the Clomper will always be in a hurry. You will hear them coming from the constant passive aggressive mutterings of ‘excuse me’s, coupled with
The six species you see at the pasar malam in KL
Illustration: YYYs 1. The Lemming If you ever need to capture a Lemming, just follow these simple rules. Step one: set up a food stall. Any food will do. Step two: install a queue of ten or more before it. True to its instincts, the Lemming will instantly attach itself to a crowd without knowing what it’s queuing up for. Remember: The longer the queue, the higher your chances. 2. The Enthusiast The Enthusiast is all for celebrating the food culture in Malaysia. Easily bewildered by the array of dishes, the poor Enthusiast usually ends up gathering enough sustenance to feed the entire village. Defining characteristics: large paws and muscular forelegs (to carry their loot). Gets carried away at the kuih stall. 3. The Predator This single-minded Predator is here for one thing only. No amount of neon-hued agar-agar or roti john variation can distract it from its mission. Watch in awe as they sweep in the cacophony, prowl with ease, and emerge, moments later, unscathed, with a single packet of nasi lemak balanced in its jaws before heading home in time for dinner. 4. The Hound One of the most common sights at the pasar malam, the Hound travels in packs, temporarily dispersing to hunt and gather provisions for the team. Without prior notice, the Hounds then reconvene right in the middle of the walkway to nose through and feed on the fruits of their labour, causing temporary pasar malam congestion. Give them a good prod with a satay stick to get them out of the w
The five species of KL walkers
1. The Wanderer Ah, the carefree Wanderer ambles along in slow motion, both the young and the old, perpetually stuck in a state of relaxation. It enjoys dawdling wherever it goes, meandering from left to right (and right to left), randomly admiring anything that catches its attention – ‘Look at that wee bird making a nest’; ‘Look! A new nasi lemak stall.’ Good luck trying to overtake them. 2. The Speedwalker This cyborg is one efficient species that’s getting ahead in life. Stalking along at impressive speeds (thanks to its long, long legs), the Speedwalker is perpetually in a rush to get to a meeting (or it just really wants to get home and curl up with the cat). It makes up for lost time by ruthlessly overtaking everyone else, half-running and emitting huffy ‘excuse me’s. Just get out of their way and observe at a safe distance. 3. The Turtle The epitome of evolution is this curious species with a thin sheet of glass and aluminium attached to its front flippers. Heads bowed, the Turtle communicates with its contemporaries (or captures fictional pocket monsters) by swiping frantically away on its phone. Although Turtles spend large amounts of time on the phone, all of them have to come up for air occasionally to refill their lungs. According to scientists, this head-bowing behaviour has made them especially vulnerable to predators. When it reaches a certain level, the Turtle may evolve into the Ketchum, an incredibly fit specimen that travels great distances to captur
The six species of bookstore wildlife in KL
1. The Famous Five Along with the change of the seasons, The Famous Five shows up when the government issues free book vouchers. Like magic, this species will start appearing by the flocks when signs proclaiming the acceptance of BR1M vouchers mushroom at all major bookstores. The Famous Five then flaunts the stacks of vouchers to buy notebooks and miscellany. Meanwhile, the rest of us eye the vouchers hungrily. 2. Gaston On its first outing to the bookstore since its kindergarten days, Gaston only appears at the bookstore on the hunt for a gift for its bookworm friend, or when it suddenly gets the urge to reread a book it last encountered 20 years ago. It hangs out at the nearest customer service counter, displaying its ignorance and terrorising the staff with helpful descriptions like ‘the cover is green’ or ‘I think it’s about an orange clock’. 3. Mr Penumbra The longsuffering mainstay of every bookstore, the Mr Penumbra only took on the job due to its love of being surrounded by books all day long. It’s always rubbing its hands together in glee at the idea of introducing new reads to you. Identify it through muscular book-bearing forelimbs, elephantine book location memories, creative book-themed nests as well as remarkable patience for ignorant customers. Most Penumbras also harbour a secret desire to work for Flourish and Blotts. 4. Gandalf Also known as the You Shall Not Pass, the Gandalf is a sad by-product of an age where comfortable couches no longer belong i
The six species of Valentiners
1. The OverachieverRaising the bar during Valentine’s Day (and every other day of the year, really) is the Overachiever, a species noted for its unusual and complex displays of courtship behaviour. From gifts and gestures such as a thousand banknote origami hearts in a mason jar to filling the room with helium balloons and bushes of roses, the Overachiever has tried them all. If your partner used to date one of them, good luck. 2. The PeacockThe Peacock is a fine example of evolution in this age of technology. Making a fine show of this special day on social media, this species makes sure you know everything: pictures of supremely detailed #throwback posts, giant bouquets at the office, constant selfies (and lots of #ootd) at the restaurant, images of bank-breaking presents, and more #couplegoals than you need will fill your feed. Give them the likes they want and hope they’ll strut far away from your life. 3. The UnpreparedUsually found muttering to itself, groaning at random intervals and pacing nervously at the card aisles at Hallmark and MPH, the Unprepared has forgotten that it’s one of the most important celebrations of the year and is now trying to salvage the situation with cheesy cards, stuffed toys and a box of chocolates. 4. The Guy Who Asks All The Girls OutThe Guy Who Asks All The Girls Out fully trusts in the power of maximising his odds. Short of gyrating with a puffed up chest at every available potential mate that passes his way, this species tries everyth
Cultured milk drinks
Calci-Yum, RM4.34 for a pack of five, 110ml each Packaging Calci-Yum’s foray into cultured milk drinks comes in a tall, curvy, yellow 110ml bottle with ‘Art Attack’-like splashes of blue. Straws come in a separate pack. Appearance The calcium-boosting Calci-Yum is a pure shade of white with the slightest hint of separation of water and milk. Texture Watery and slightly diluted. Flavour Calci-Yum had a fruity and syrupy aftertaste that should not appear in a conversation about milky drinks. Verdict Calci-Yum might contain calcium for strong bones, but it’s definitely not yum. Vitagen, RM4.99 for a pack of five, 125ml each Packaging The iconic Vitagen is the usual fat bottle (suspiciously similar to Yakult bottles in Japan) with an easy grip design and sealed with gold foil. Appearance The original-flavoured Vitagen is an off-white hue. The drink also seems to have a slightly thicker consistency than the others. Texture Pekat. Flavour Vitagen delivered an overwhelming punch of sourness, while also being very sweet. This was almost an assault on our taste buds. Verdict We’ll have to stick to apple green Vitagen from now. Yakult Ace, RM4.30 for a pack of five, 80ml each Packaging We like the mini adjustable straw that comes attached to each individual bottle of 80ml Yakult Ace. There’s even an illustrated straw removal guide. Appearance Compared to its counterparts, Yakult sports a distinctly creamy yellow tint. Texture Smooth and light. Flavour Yaku
Yusuf Taiyoob, RM11.99 PackagingYusuf Taiyoob’s Safia range of Tunisian dates comes in a box printed with designs of the desert, complete with illustrations of date palms. Very educational. Plus, there’s a large ‘window’ in the centre of the box, allowing consumers to take a good peek at the dates before deciding on the purchase. AppearanceAfter the unboxing ceremony, we noticed that the smallish dark brown dates (all attached to their branches) had patches of sticky dried juice on it. TextureYusuf Taiyoob’s dates were comparatively juicier, with an easy bite. TasteThe raisin-looking Yusuf Taiyoob had a very strong sweet taste. It gave some of us a sugar high. VerdictIt’s a close battle, but sorry, Yusuf Taiyoob, we like the whispering (and we understand that dates are naturally very high in sugar), but a sugar high isn’t a good state to be in after a day of fasting. Eat this for sahur instead. Sunsweet, RM12.99 PackagingWhile Sunsweet’s box has a smaller ‘window’ which restricted the view of our dates, the overall design (travellers on camels, rays of sun, a silhouette of the desert) evokes ‘Arabian Nights’ and the upcoming Raya celebrations. Very festive. We approve. Also, a tagline proclaims that we’ll be purchasing a box of ‘Smart Dates, natural with branches’. Intriguing. AppearanceSunsweet’s dates were visibly larger and while the skin was more wrinkled, the dates did have a lighter colour. One blind taster commented on its ‘squidgy’ appearance. TextureSu
Instant Japanese beef curry
House, RM7.31 Packaging This packet of instant Japanese curry rice (also known as ‘kare raisu’) is a sunny yellow with whimsical illustrations of garlic and coriander. Appearance House’s curry comes in a rather yellowish shade of brown, with sizeable beef slices. Scent An assault on the senses; there was a distinct smell of cinnamon and assorted roasted spices in this curry. Flavours There was a very subtle spicy hint, but it was the sweetness that got a bit curried away and seemed slightly artificial after a few bites. Verdict We like the packaging and sizeable additions of protein, but we think curries should retain a certain degree of spiciness. Hachi, RM7.31 Packaging We don’t care much for Hachi’s modern packaging with lots of swirly green and black designs, but we like the helpful illustrated cooking instructions. Apparently this is a boil-in-the-bag Japanese curry. Appearance Hachi’s curry is a rich caramel-brown, with small cubes of soft carrots and even smaller (peppercorn-sized) bits that turned out to be ground beef. Scent In comparison to House, Hachi had a richer, meatier scent that was pleasantly appetising. Flavours The spices in this curry are well-balanced, with a pleasant sweet note that went well with the spicy, beefy flavours of the curry. We wished we had more rice to mop it up. Verdict Hachi is a deserving winner in this battle of the kare raisu due to its robust flavours and fragrant beefiness. Find these instant Japanese beef cu