Regulars at Champs will be fuming when they see this review. It can be hard enough to secure a table outside this quaint little bar/restaurant in the evenings and on weekend afternoons, without promoting it in the pages of Time Out. Yet, is there really that much to recommend this simple, uninspiring, slightly drab outlet, upstairs in the seen-better-days Centrepoint shopping mall in Bandar Utama, hardly the centre of the nightlife or gastronomic world?
Well, yes, actually. The food really does pack a punch. It’s tasty, it’s fresh, and – critically – it’s original. You see the big screen outside the front door, the small bar, ageing furniture and you make assumptions about the fare on offer. You only have to ask the regulars and they’ll tell you how wrong those assumptions are. They’ll enthuse about the steaks, they’ll rave about the calamari chilli (spiced beer batter is the trick here, and what a mighty trick it is) and don’t get them started on the ‘Stinging Bacon’.
Here is a savoury treat unserved – and possibly unservable – elsewhere in the Klang Valley. Great bacon, dressed in wasabi and fried to a crisp. If there’s a better bar snack in our jurisdiction I haven’t heard about it.
It’s a simple place, Champs. There are no heirs or pretensions here. They have a singer accompanied by a keyboard on Friday nights, they show live sport, they have a big neon sign outside. It was named after the owner’s dog, for crying out loud. Individually these are not the hallmarks of a great eating establishment but at Champs none of that matters, as the quality of the food on offer supercedes all that.Just ask the regulars. Matt Bellotti
Lot F10, Centrepoint, Lebuh Bandar Utama
|Opening hours:||Open daily, 10am-12midnight|