Southeast Asia's best eco-retreat destinations
Southeast Asian capitals like Bangkok and Jakarta are known for their hustle and bustle – which is fine if you're into it. But when you're looking for the kind of peace and quiet only Mother Nature can provide, head out to these eco-retreats that are scattered across Southeast Asia.
What’s on this week in KL
Publika Chinese New Year
Publika has got your Chinese New Year celebration sorted, with a whole month of activities and performances for everyone. There will be a bazaar, workshops making ornaments, Chinese calligraphy, lanterns and more, as well as performances like face-changing operas, traditional Chinese instrument presentations and lion dances. This year's themed decor is Chinese opera masks, so expect to see the space decked out in various interesting and colourful masks. Check their Facebook page for updates.
Experiencing Pudu Jail's Graffiti
The graffiti that lined the walls of Pudu Jail are a prominent symbol of the historical building. This exhibition – part of the Gallery Weekend Kuala Lumpur 2018 programme by Badan Warisan – showcases these graffiti by the prisoners and encourages discussion on what brought on this process of artistic narratives.
New restaurants and bars in KL
Mrs Jones' Parlour
Who is Mrs Jones, and why does she have a gin bar named after her? To get the answer, just ask the friendly staff at Mrs Jones’ Parlour, the city’s newest gin specialist bar by the same people behind wine bar Private Room, cocktail bar The Pawn Room and restaurant 2nd Floor. It's a charming bar located above the popular PJ café Tujoh, and is a cosy space that exudes plenty of nostalgia with vintage louvre windows, old fashioned rattan chairs and a retro TV box. This being a gin specialist bar, drinks come by way of gin cocktails, house-infused gins (infused for at least four days with various fruits and herbs), as well as classic G&Ts with different pairings of gins and tonics. You can also speak with the bartenders and let them customise a cocktail specifically to your preferred tastes. Head bartender McKay brings with him years of experience manning the bar at The Pawn Room, and is very knowledgeable about his craft. The bar stocks plenty of labels from around the world, and the bottles are neatly categories behind the bar, with a little flag denoting the gin’s country of origin. Mrs Jones also offers sloe gin, a slightly heavier gin that’s great on its own over ice. Wine is also available, and the selection is curated by James, the sommelier of Private Room. Thanks to its location above Tujoh, you can order food from their menu and bring it upstairs to have your meal with drinks. Alternatively, go for the pairing menu – a selection of bar bites that have been created (i
CÉ LA VI KL
A contemporary space that serves great Asian fusion dishes, CÉ LA VI KL is a prime spot if you're looking for a swanky spot lounge about. This multi-venue space - restaurant, lounge, club - located on Level 37 of the ILHAM Tower in the middle of the city, and offers a great view to accompany your night out.
The Lido marries leisure, luxury and fun in a classy atmosphere with unobstructed panoramic views. This three-level bar located on levels 42-44 of Alila Bangsar offers something different at every level, and the rooftop section treats guests to unobstructed panoramic views of the surrounding city. Behind the bar is Ruben Anandha, whose previous stints include bartending at Singapore's ADRIFT and MOZZA. Now at The Lido, Ruben is taking guests back to basics, with classic cocktails done right, with premium spirits complemented by fresh herbs and fruits, and house-made cordials and infusions.
Bangsar has gone through many phases – unobtrusive residential area, clubbing haven, arts and culture quarter, and now, café district. From the busy streets of Telawi to the more laidback Jalan Bangkung and Jalan Kemuja, we round up the best restaurants, bars, cafés and things to do in Bangsar.
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.
Damansara Utama is home to Damansara Uptown, the land of hard-to-find parking spots and more cafés than you can shake a stick at. We say park in the new Starling Mall and walk about the area before you eventually step in to an eatery. 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.
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.
The best of Kuala Lumpur
100 best local dishes and drinks in KL
We are a food city. One that caters to the food-obsessed; one that alternates between street and traditional dining, at any budget and time of the day. Here are the 100 best dishes and drinks that truly defines us, from the contentious nasi leamk to the humble roti canai. Loosen your belt – you've got much eating to do.
Best nasi lemak in KL
We pick the best places in town for a satisfying plate of the country's pride and joy – the mighty nasi lemak. Hunt down these nasi lemak joints for breakfast, lunch, dinner or even supper, because our national dish doesn't restrict itself to a certain meal time – which is why we love it so much.