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Victor Ng

Victor Ng

Victor Ng is Time Out's former Kuala Lumpur Editorial Assistant.

Articles (17)

Guide to spin class

Guide to spin class

Spin class, or spinning as regulars call it, is essentially an indoor cycling workout that’s amped up with loud music and led by an intensely energetic instructor. But is it all spin and no substance? We spoke to Jason Choong, the co-founder of one of Klang Valley’s most popular spin class centres FlyCycle, to find out more about what makes spinning so different from plain old cycling on a stationary bike. Jason Choong It’s a more intense version of stationary bike ridingSpin classes are typically group-based workouts led by an instructor. According to Jason, sessions incorporate elements of cardio, dancing and cycling movements that serve to condition your body. Because of how intense the classes can get, fitness centres such as FlyCycle employ quality cycling machines and provide specially designed shoes like Shimano cycling shoes that clip firmly onto the pedals. Photo: Cycology Music is an integral part of the workoutInstructors choose different kinds of music – mostly EDM, R&B and electro funk – to help riders keep to a fast tempo and test their sense of rhythm. ‘Music lets us release our emotions and keeps us going [throughout the session],’ says Jason. Routines and movements are choreographed to sync with the beat of the music, so instructors curate playlists that match up to the riders’ level. Instructors are the commander-in-chiefAside from picking the tunes, instructors are responsible for motivating their students to push themselves harder, and keeping them hap

Best things to do at night in KL

Best things to do at night in KL

For nights when you just want to veer away from alcohol and thumping music, these night-time hangout spots and activities still pack all the fun; and they might save you some money.

Best Malaysian food in KL

Best Malaysian food in KL

If you're craving for a taste of some of Malaysia's most popular dishes but are too busy to travel, here's a list of places that offer a few of the country's signature food right in our own backyard.

Best action and adventure activities in KL

Best action and adventure activities in KL

When life gets a little mundane, take a short break from work or school and get your adrenaline pumping with these action and adventure activities. Our list has got something for everyone - drift cart racing for car enthusiasts, whitewater rafting for those who live dangerously and off-road riding on ATVs for those who like an adventure.

Best indoor venues for outdoor sports in KL

Best indoor venues for outdoor sports in KL

We all know the weather in KL can be a bit unpredictable, which makes planning for outdoor sporting activities difficult. These sports venues are fully equipped with contemporary facilities and offer an environment that simulates the experience of participating in these outdoor sports, indoors.

What you need to know about: Sound baths

What you need to know about: Sound baths

Sound bath therapy has been slowly picking up traction among urbanites across the globe and is becoming an increasingly go-to option for mental therapy. Typically an hour-long, sound baths involve a sound healer who operates multiple instruments like Tibetan singing bowls, crystal bowls, gongs and chimes while you (or a group) get some shut-eye and hope you wake up with a less cluttered mind. Of course, that’s just the essence of what a sound bath is, so we spoke to Lou Eu and Arjun Devi – founders of Alchemie Boutique (a sound bath therapy centre), sound healers, yoga practitioners and instructors – to find out more about the therapy and how it works. L-R: Lou Eu and Arjun Devi Photo: Victor Ng It has its roots in Tibetan culture, but sound healing is universal‘Yes, the practice of sound healing has its roots in Tibetan culture but it’s not exclusively Tibetan,’ says Lou. ‘Every culture has their own form of sound therapy – South American priests use drums, in Asia the conch, and here in Malaysia, gongs or gamelan.’ That being said, modern sound bath practices in general still include Tibetan singing bowls and gongs in a typical session. Sound baths don’t actually involve waterContrary to what its name suggests, you’ll be dry throughout your session. According to Devi, the reason the treatment is called a sound bath is because you’re ‘submerged’ in sound and vibrations. The treatment is also supposed to cleanse your mind of clutter – memories and thoughts that affect you n

Best bits of KL: Chow Kit

Best bits of KL: Chow Kit

‘Chow Kit Road, di tengah bandaraya orang merata-rata. Dari segala bangsa tua atau muda. Ada yang berkereta ada yang jalan saja. Ada yang cuci mata,’ – the opening verse to the hit song ‘Chow Kit Road’; despite being penned by Sudirman Arshad in the ’80s the lyrics still ring true till this day. Named after Loke Chow Kit, a miner municipal councillor and public official, the Chow Kit area encompasses a relatively large chunk of KL from Jalan Putra to Jalan Dang Wangi. Parts of the neighbourhood are currently going through a facelift – Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman and Jalan Putra are developing at rapid speeds with a Monorail station, multi-storey hotels and high-end residences like the Regalia Residence – while sections along Jalan Haji Hussein and Jalan Sri Amar are bits of Chow Kit that seem to be stuck in a time long past. With a town this busy, you’re bound to find a vibrant mix of characters which lend to Chow Kit’s chaotic charm. Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman is where pedestrians trudge along looking for bargain goods from the many stalls and shops thanks to the famous Chow Kit Market and nearby shops; The Row at Jalan Doraisamy draws in a more affluent crowd with its cool cafés, restaurants and shops; and along Jalan Putra you’ll find shoplots and office spaces which breed a nasty traffic during peak hours.

What you need to know about: Malaysian pro wrestling

What you need to know about: Malaysian pro wrestling

No, we’re not talking about the ancient combat sport of wrestling – the sport that’s featured in the Olympics – but rather pro wrestling, the globally popular ‘sport’ known for its high-flying acrobatics performed by pantomime heroes and villains.  Actor and stuntman Ayez Shaukat-Fonseka Farid was one such WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) fan who decided he wanted a slice of the pie; with a passion for the pro-wrestling, he started Malaysia Pro Wrestling (MyPW), and even portrays one of the main protagonists, Shaukat. We spoke to him to find out more about the pro wrestling scene in the country and MyPW’s contributions to its growth. Ayez Shaukat-Fonseka Farid Pro wrestling is an artIt’s not fake – and that’s because pro wrestling is a form of entertainment first and foremost, and not an actual combat sport. Like all types of entertainment, there’s an art form that drives the performance. ‘Pro wrestling is like theatre but with a lot of athleticism and real pain’, says Shaukat. ‘Part of what we do in the ring is to get the audience invested in the storyline, the action and the characters,’ he continues. Shaukat’s main story involves a heated feud with arch nemesis Dominic ‘The D’ Ng, and the both of them make up the first Malaysian pair in Southeast Asia’s pro wrestling scene. Their MyPW story and rivalry helped form the brands earliest fanbase, and until this day matches between the two are always highly anticipated. There’s no choreography involved‘Contrary to what mos

Best nitro coffee in KL

Best nitro coffee in KL

Nitro coffee, one of the many variations of cold coffee, is basically cold brew infused with nitrogen and served from a tap. It makes for a very pretty sight with the cascading effect and frothy head, much like a pint of Guinness but without the alcohol. Nitro coffee is refreshing, slightly effervescent, very chilled, and has a silky smooth texture – perfect for our hot weather. Plus, unlike regular cold brews, nitro coffee is slightly sweeter and typically has a chocolatey or malty aftertaste.

Best siew yuk in KL

Best siew yuk in KL

When you have a cheat day coming up, nothing is more satisfying than a serving of siew yuk – think crackly crispy skin crowning pieces of tender perfectly roasted pieces of pork belly. From traditional Cantonese-style salt and pepper seasonings to robust five-spice powder rub marinades, this list has got you covered with the best siew yuk in the city.

What you need to know about: Pongal

What you need to know about: Pongal

The first celebration in the Tamil calendar, Pongal – or Thai Pongal – is a harvest and thanksgiving festival celebrated by Tamils around the globe. We talked to the chief priest at Bangsar’s Sri Nageswari Amman Hindu temple Sivasri Thevaindran Sivachariar, or Mr Indran, to learn more about this festival. Sivasri Thevaindran Sivachariar Pongal isn’t the Tamil New Year Although Pongal is typically celebrated on January 14 each year, Mr Indran says that it isn’t the Tamil New Year (which is actually in April). Pongal is simply a celebration of the six-month harvest season – January 14 until July 16 – which is usually regarded as an auspicious period. ‘Traditionally, prayers are given to the Sun God in appreciation for the bountiful harvests of rice and sugar cane – two important staples in the Indian diet; in modern times, this six-month period is believed to bring good luck so occasions such as marriages, business ventures and such are held during this time,’ says Mr Indran. ‘Pongal’ is also the name of a dish Essentially meaning ‘overflowing’ in Tamil, pongal is a communally prepared sticky rice dish that everyone shares after cooking it. Firstly, milk is boiled in colourfully decorated clay pots until it froths and overflows to signify wealth and prosperity. Then, ingredients such as rice, jaggery (cane sugar), ghee and cashew nuts are added. ‘The dish is prepared on Pongal day itself at temples or at home. At temples, the rice is served on banana leaves with a piece of su

Guide to Ben's Independent Grocer at IPC Shopping Centre

Guide to Ben's Independent Grocer at IPC Shopping Centre

The Scandinavian-inspired mall that is IPC Shopping Centre has recently gone through a revamp, and one of the newest entries to its line of anchor tenants is Ben’s Independent Grocer (BIG). And as is typical of all BIG outlets, there’s a well-stocked inventory of groceries alongside an array of eateries. The grocer’s dining space at BIG’s newest branch includes offerings such as pho, pizza, sushi and more.

Listings and reviews (34)

Bonfire Restaurant & Bar

Bonfire Restaurant & Bar

Located in Damansara Uptown’s new The Starling mall is the new restaurant and bar Bonfire serving up modern Australian cuisine. The space boasts a rustic lodge theme accentuated by medieval-style chandeliers, a brown, black and white colour palette, and an eye-catching colourful mural painted by a host of local artists that commands your view as you walk into the dining area. There’s also an alfresco area where you’d dine on a patio overlooking a garden, high chairs for the little ones, and long tables and chairs suitable for group dining. The kitchen cooks with a custom-made wood and charcoal fire oven which gives the dishes a distinct charred aroma and taste. To get your appetite going, try the pana de casa, which is bread toasted in the fire oven and served with a side of dried fruit butter. For poultry lovers, the baby spring chicken – infused with Cajun and local spices – is a good pick. And if you prefer fish, Bonfire cooks up a mean red snapper, grilled over a wood fire and served with a side of sweet basil and coconut beurre blanc. Other dishes in the meat-heavy menu include wagyu, ribs and lamb, as well as a small selection of seafood like soft-shell crab and fish. You can also add side dishes to complement your meal. One standout side dish is the refreshing baked watermelon and pomelo salad dressed with house-made vinaigrette – think sour, sweet and charred flavours jam-packed into one bowl. At Bonfire’s front house is the familiar Lou Shang Bar (previously located

Locker Room

Locker Room

Pusat Bandar Damansara’s new DC Mall is adding to their growing portfolio of eateries with Locker Room, a Japanese-inspired sports bar. Located on the rooftop, this eatery has two dining spaces – a covered outside area that houses the bar and several high tables and chairs; while the space inside has long tables and cushioned seats, along with a private room that can be rented for small gatherings. Its rooftop location ensures an airiness that you don’t usually get in typical bars. Despite being a sports bar, Locker Room boasts a contemporary design with clean spaces thanks to bright colour palettes, rows of shelves decked with bottles of alcohol and two flat screen TVs.  Food here consists of typical bar grub, but with a Japanese twist and sports-related names – think Harimau Muda Fried Rice (fried rice with fried chicken, prawn crackers, tempura-battered anchovies and a sunny-side up egg), Hawks Mentai Pasta (linguine pasta in creamy cod roe sauce topped with tempura-fried prawns) and more. A must-try is the Kobe Bryant Wagyu Burger – a grilled wagyu beef patty between a brioche bun served with caramelised onions, cheese and garnished with a slice of pickle – which goes very well with an ice-cold glass of beer. Speaking of beer, there’s an extensive selection at Locker Room with tap and bottled beers such as Asahi, Carlsberg and Corona, but we recommend you splurge a little bit and go for the imported brews (they stock both commercial and craft beers; like Kizakura Kyoto al

A Café by Kenny Hills Bakers

A Café by Kenny Hills Bakers

Run by the team behind Bukit Tunku’s Kenny Hills Bakers, this eatery is a combination of a café and an artisanal bakery-patisserie. Having opened just a few months ago, A Café has become a popular hangout spot for the residents of Desa ParkCity, so it’s no surprise that the eatery is constantly packed with customers. The café is easily distinguishable by its rustic façade, and a mint green store sign and shelves of potted plants at the entrance help the café stand out. If in doubt, follow the scent of freshly baked pastries. While the Bukit Tunku outlet was designed for takeaways, A Café by Kenny Hills Bakers wants you to linger with a cup of coffee in hand. There are a few tables outside for those who smoke, while the dimly-lit interior is cosy and furnished with wooden furniture, chalkboards and a coffee bar. You’ll also be able to find a small selection of pastries and baked goods which are brought over from Kenny Hills Bakers. Although lacking in options compared to its sister outlet, the spread here consists of their more popular items – think croissants, rye sourdough, wholemeal loaves, scones and more. If you’re looking for a more than just pastries, their two-page menu is packed with items such as big breakfast plates, sandwiches, pizzas and more. For something hearty, their made-to-order pies are good – your options include fish (RM28), chicken and portobello mushroom (RM24), beef cheek (RM26) and Moroccan lamb shepherd’s pie (RM26). If you’re looking for something b

MTR Malaysia

MTR Malaysia

What started out as a humble vegetarian eatery in Bangalore almost a century ago in 1924, Mavalli Tiffin Rooms – or MTR – now has multiple outlets across Asia and the Middle East. Its latest outpost in KL promises hearty South Indian vegetarian fare that’s not only affordable, it’s also good for your waistline. Inside, posters on the brand’s long history are plastered on the bright red walls, while simple furniture and a spotless space allow the food to shine. The expansive menu is made up of familiar South Indian dishes like idli, vada, dosa, thali sets and more. A must-have is the masala dosa (RM9) – light and crisp, made with a mixture of grains and pulses laced with ghee, filled with spiced potatoes, and accompanied by green chutney, lentil sambar and even more ghee. The smooth, shiny surface of the crust is telling of a good dosa; here at MTR, it’s good. If that doesn’t fill you up, go for the Mini Meals (RM13). Don’t be fooled by its innocent-sounding name; this hefty meal consists of palya, vegetable sagu, plain rice, curd rice, sambar, rasam, papadum, pickles, payasum and a choice of either plain dosa, poori, chapathi or akki roti. If you’re really hungry, the Special Mini Meals (RM19) comes with even more items such as bisi bele bhath, kosambari salad and a dessert. If you’re working in the vicinity, you’ll be happy to know that MTR offers daily specials alongside the regular selection. We visited on a Thursday, so our options were pulliogre (RM8.50), thatte idly (RM

Prana Alchemy

Prana Alchemy

Run by the co-owner of Klang’s Seraph Awaken Chun Hoong, Prana Alchemy is a coffee shop offering a compact list of Turkish-style coffees. With Seraph Awaken’s success and growing fanbase, Hoong finds it difficult to add new creations onto the café’s menu as he worries they won’t be able to cope with the demands; hence the birth of Prana Alchemy. Located in a quiet commercial centre in a residential area in Bandar Sunway, the shop is easily distinguishable with its wooden façade and a smattering of potted plants – you won’t miss it considering every other lot along the row sports steel shutters. Inside, there’s not much to look at as Hoong focuses on the coffee rather than making this an Instagram hotspot: the rustic cabin-like theme is accented with wooden furniture and a long table that acts as a makeshift coffee bar, while dim lighting adds to the shop’s laidback atmosphere. Prana Alchemy is Hoong’s passion project, where he experiments with new coffee ideas. Both him (who’s based at Seraph Awaken but drops by occasionally) and barista Andy Chia man the bar here offering two variations of Turkish-style coffee – traditional and ‘modified’. They use beans sourced from Seraph Awaken, so you’re always getting the freshest tasting cup of coffee possible. If you want something with a kick, go for the traditional Turkish-style coffee (RM12). It’s made with a copper ibrik (Turkish coffee pot); but instead of brewing the coffee over hot sand (which is the traditional Turkish way), H

Hilton Garden Inn Kuala Lumpur

Hilton Garden Inn Kuala Lumpur

Chow Kit is going through a facelift – think places like the Chow Kit market and nearby areas surrounding Jalan Haji Hussein undergoing redevelopment; but despite the changes, much of Chow Kit’s chaotic charm still remains. Located between Chow Kit market and Bazaar Baru Chow Kit, Hilton Garden Inn Kuala Lumpur is great for travellers who want a high-end accommodation option while still being able to experience this old KL neighbourhood, whose character once inspired Sudirman Arshad to pen the ‘80s pop hit ‘Chow Kit Road’. Opened in December 2017, the 16-storey hotel houses 265 rooms and boasts a clean décor – think a brightly-lit lobby with wooden accents as well as a vertical garden in the waiting area. The hectic streets of Chow Kit, especially along Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, may be overbearing for the uninitiated but in the hotel, the friendly staff and cosy rooms should make you feel right at home. Also a plus point is the nearby Chow Kit Monorail station, only a four-minute walk away. We stayed at the cosy 250-sq ft Queen Guest Room (RM200++ per night), which comes with a view of the Petronas Twin Towers and is equipped with the standard set of amenities which all rooms in Hilton Garden Inn get – 40-inch HDTV, Slumberland bed, a walk-in bathroom, mini refrigerator, iron and ironing board, and complimentary WiFi. The Garden Grille is the hotel’s only restaurant – the breakfast spread is your usual Western-meets-Asian fare, while an à la carte menu is offered during lunc

8haus

8haus

Seemingly untouched by modern development, this small residential area tucked between Jalan Sin Chew Kee and Jalan Galloway is home to some of the city’s most popular haunts – VCR Café, Pahit and Sarang Cookery. Adding to this list is 8haus – a café offering Western-Asian fusion fare in cosy surrounds. 8haus is a product of the three owners’ different expertise – Jacky Law is a trained chef, he mans the kitchen and is responsible for the food menu; bartender Ken Farm oversees the bar and curates the drinks menu; and Nicson Chong’s background in marketing made him the mastermind behind 8haus’s décor and operations. Under Nicson’s direction, the second and third floors of the building are being turned into event spaces for workshops and talks, and are expected to open within a few weeks from the time of writing. Meanwhile, Jacky is planning to turn the rooftop into a herb garden, which will come in handy for the kitchen downstairs. Located just across from Pahit, 8haus can be spotted by its bright turquoise exterior and logo (‘number eight’ written in Chinese characters). Inside, the décor is minimalist industrial – think exposed brick walls, uncovered suspended light bulbs and marble-top tables. The dining space on the first floor sports similar interiors, but with wooden floors instead of concrete. Jacky’s experience as a French- and Italian-trained chef (as well as former owner of Craftsmen Café in Aman Suria) is what drives the food here, which are a fusion of Western and A

CryoFit Asia

CryoFit Asia

Helmed by former professional marathon runner Jean-Pierre Lautrédoux, or JP, CryoFit Asia is a therapy centre that offers cold treatments for both health and cosmetic purposes. Located on the second floor of Plaza Arkadia’s Eaton block, CryoFit began operations in June 2017 and has steadily built up a customer base who frequently return for services such as the full-body cryotherapy, localised cryotherapy, NormaTec recovery treatment and CryoFacial – all of which require a few days prior booking for your session. The big seller here is their full-body cryotherapy service (RM180 per session) – a treatment that puts you in a six-feet tall Russian-made Krion ‘cryosauna’ (you must be at least 141cm tall to use it) that’s cooled with nitrogen gas. This form of cryotherapy isn’t new – athletes all over the world have been incorporating this treatment into their post-workout cooldown routines to accelerate body recovery; and CryoFit have provided this treatment to the likes of professional footballers Mohammed Ghaddar and Thierry Bin, Formula 2 racer Nabil Jeffri and professional paraglider Nadiah Wafa – so you know this is the real deal. The giant cannister of nitrogen tethered to the cryosauna pumps out nitrogen gas at temperatures as low as -196 degrees Celcius; but you’re only subjected to around -185 degrees Celcius for up to three minutes – so don’t expect to be frozen and wake up in a dystopian future. According to JP, three minutes is the optimal amount of time for this trea

Poseidon Caviar & Seafood Bar

Poseidon Caviar & Seafood Bar

Helmed by the restaurant group Ironwoods – which also runs Ingrained at Cellar 18 and The Flowerpecker – Poseidon Caviar & Seafood Bar is where fresh seafood and affordable wines can be found in the affluent township of Desa ParkCity. Located above S’mores in Plaza Arkadia, the cosy interior exudes a cool Nordic vibe, furnished with items from the Red Dot Award-winning Normann Copenhagen. If you feel like you’re dining in a furniture showroom, that’s because you are – chairs, tables and selected tableware can be ordered or bought through the restaurant. The two-month old restaurant (at the time of writing) currently boasts a compact menu of seafood dishes. A must-have here are the freshly shucked oysters which are brought in on a weekly basis, and options include French oysters such as the Fine de Claire, Marennes-Oléron and Tsarskaya, and English ones from Morecambe Bay. For a more complete meal, start off with poached prawns sourced from Sabah, which are served with nothing more than slices of lemon to bring out its sweet freshness. The choices of mains are equally simple, highlighting their individual main ingredient without much fanfare; the tiger prawn aglio olio is a solid choice, or if you prefer fish, get the pan-seared red snapper that comes with seasonal sides. Lobster and Wagyu beef are also on the menu, but it’s best to check with the restaurant on their availability before coming over.  Since you don’t mind splurging (you’re at a caviar bar after all), Poseidon o

ME.REKA Makerspace

ME.REKA Makerspace

Run by the team behind local social enterprise Biji-biji Initiative, ME.REKA Makerspace is a co-working space for practitioners and advocates of maker culture; it provides a space where education on sustainability can be conducted via vocational classes and workshops in the fields of wood and metal fabrication, textile and fashion, technology and robotics, and engineering. Although not the first of its kind in the country, with other makerspace outlets such as Makerspace and MakerLAB already established, ME.REKA takes the cake for being arguably the biggest of the lot.   Occupying 12,000 square feet on the floor below Publika’s EAT Food Village, ME.REKA is divided into separate field-specific stations that are furnished with the necessary tools and equipment – think laser engraving machines, 3D printers and a virtual reality development area for the programming station; soldering booths for the electronics station; and sewing machines for the textile station. It’s a generally open space, with a few exceptions such as the enclosed wood and metal fabrication station to keep in the debris and provide a level of soundproofing. Education programmes, classes and workshops that revolve around sustainability are a big part of why ME.REKA exists. Classes like terrarium-making and trash repurposing are organised to support the UN Sustainable Development Goals framework such as minimising hazardous waste and making education accessible for anyone. Kids and teens especially are encourage

Kirin Bar

Kirin Bar

Taking up a cosy corner in Mr Chew’s Chino Latino Bar is Kirin Bar, boasting an impressive inventory of beers and Asian rice wines. A part of Mr Chew’s empire, the bar gives off zen vibe with white-painted brick walls, a white marble-top bar, light coloured wooden shelves and a scattering of mini potted plants around the space – a stark contrast to the main restaurant’s opulent Manhattan loft-meets-Shanghai jazz-era aesthetics. Coupled with a buy-one-free-one happy hour promo (available on weekdays from 5-8pm), the bar is an oasis of calm where you can wait out KL’s notorious rush hour traffic with a drink. As its name suggests, Kirin Bar serves up Kirin Ichiban beer on tap alongside other bottled beers such as Heineken, Hitachino, Rogue and more. But there’s more to this place than beer; ask for their selection of Asian rice wines and liquors like Japanese saké, soju and umeshu; Chinese baijiu and shaoxing; and Malaysian tuak. The bar also concocts their own range of ‘infused brews’ (RM18-RM20) by steeping portions of their rice wines with various Asian ingredients and spices for up to four days. We liked the cucumber and water chestnut-infused junmai saké – a full-bodied, clean-tasting shot that carries the sweetness of the cucumbers and water chestnut. The range of house-infused brews changes often, so be sure to head here every now and then to see what’s new. Those who come during their happy hour period can choose from a list that includes Kirin beer, Joo Lee Chan Mizhu

Isabel

Isabel

After 21 years in business, the folks behind Alexis have unveiled Isabel, a sister restaurant that’s no less ambitious in wowing its way into KL’s dining scene. But unlike its elder sibling which offers a mixed menu of Asian and Western dishes and desserts – its Sarawak laksa is equally popular as its pavlova – Isabel proudly forges its own path with a decisively Southeast Asian menu that doesn’t shy away from a touch of class or flair.  Located along Jalan Mesui among well-established neighbours such as No Black Tie, Pisco Bar and Table 23, Isabel manages to stand out with its Parisian café-meets-post-colonial era décor – think white marble-top bar and tables, mosaic floors, stylish awnings and an LED-lit tree at night. Its classy surrounds make Isabel a calming little getaway during the day, and a charmingly romantic spot at night. In keeping with Southeast Asian dining culture, all savoury items here come in sharing portions and you can add a bowl of brown or jasmine rice to go with your dishes. Isabel offers lunch (12noon-2pm) and dinner (from 6pm) menus that are mostly similar with a selection of dishes to share. On the lunch menu are an additional four single-serve choices like Vietnamese chicken rice, Thai rice with fish and wild ginger sauce and more; at night, the dinner menu comprises completely of sharing items and offers more dishes for its small and big plate selections. We suggest starting off your meal with mango kerabu – a refreshing salad made with green mang

News (8)

A&W PJ Drive-In is shutting its doors for good – for real, this time

A&W PJ Drive-In is shutting its doors for good – for real, this time

It’s happening – according to a report by The Star on January 29, the iconic A&W outlet in PJ is finally ceasing operations and will be demolished for redevelopment projects; and to think we’re almost over the heartbreak of seeing Ampang Park close. This isn’t the first time we’ve heard news of the place closing down. Initial reports of the outlet’s closure go back to as far as 2014, when it was reported by The Rakyat Post that franchise owner (and landowner) KUB Malaysia Bhd would shut down the restaurant from 2015 to 2018 for the construction of the multi-storey KUB Tower. Those plans were subsequently called off, but in 2016 news surfaced of a redevelopment proposal being lined up for that piece of land. Now, KUB has finally been given the green light for a project that’s touted to include a single block 20-storey office tower; demolition could take place at any time soon. Having been in operations since 1965 and being the country’s first drive-in fast food joint, this landmark holds special meaning to thousands of PJ folks who fondly remember it for the birthday parties, high school first dates and late-night makan sessions with waffles and root beers served in ice-cold mugs. At the time of writing, the outlet remains open with no clear indication of its permanent closure, so you can still pay one last visit for old times’ sake. A&W PJ Drive In, 9 Lorong Sultan, PJ (anwmalaysia.com.my/03 7932 4533). Mon-Thu & Sun, 7-2am; Fri-Sat, 24 hours.

Carlsberg celebrates Chinese New Year with the ‘Probably the Most Victorious Year’ campaign

Carlsberg celebrates Chinese New Year with the ‘Probably the Most Victorious Year’ campaign

Chinese New Year calls for many things – reunions, banquets, loaded ang pows, and of course, a lot of beer! This year, Carlsberg Malaysia is celebrating Chinese New Year with the ‘Probably the Most Victorious Year’ campaign (which runs until Feb 28) and a host of promos and giveaways. It’s not Chinese New Year (CNY) without the colour red, and Carlsberg Malaysia honours this tradition with festive edition bottles and cans for both the Carlsberg and Carlsberg Smooth Draught line of beers. These two beers will be sporting red bottle caps and pull-rings, with auspicious CNY sayings such as ‘Yum Seng’ or ‘Cheers’, ‘Abundance of Happiness’, ‘Be Jolly Together’ and more. To ring in prosperity, Carlsberg will also be giving away all sorts of prizes when you purchase a festive pack. If it’s cash you’re after, spot the image ‘88’ under the red bottle caps and you stand a chance to win ang pows of RM88 each; or win a 24-can carton of Carlsberg Smooth Draught beer or Somersby Apple Cider when you spot the brands’ logos under the caps. More beer is always good – when you purchase a 24-can festive promo carton of Carlsberg or Carlsberg Smooth Draught beer, you stand a chance to win a year’s supply of even more beer! Simply look for the promo code ‘CS’ under the pull-rings and you’ve got yourself 12 cartons of booze. If you spot the code ‘SA’ instead, that’ll give you a four-can pack of Somersby Apple Cider.   The CNY season can be tough on your wallets what with giving red packets and s

Go now: Free yoga classes at APW Bangsar

Go now: Free yoga classes at APW Bangsar

If you’re looking to get some zen on the cheap, APW in Bangsar organises weekly community yoga classes at absolutely no charge! These free classes are held every Saturday from 9am to 10am at APW’s Uppercase. You will be exposed to a ‘multi-level dynamic’ form of yoga with certified instructor Robyn Lau. Lau is a highly experienced teacher who strives on creating a supportive environment for her students – so don’t worry if you’re new to yoga. There's no registration required; just come early and bring along your own yoga mat, and you’re all set for an hour of calm-inducing, stress-relieving yoga. Follow Uppercase’s Instagram page for updates on the classes.    

Try now: Tiana Kitchen's nasi lemak cake

Try now: Tiana Kitchen's nasi lemak cake

Recently there have been many new interpretations of the humble nasi lemak. Our city has seen the dish take on various unusual forms, but this new version of the nasi lemak definitely takes the cake. Literally. Created by home-based caterers Tiana Kitchen, the nasi lemak cake is exactly what it sounds like – it’s our national dish in cake form. Filling in for the typical sponge cake is coconut rice layered with egg; cucumber slices replace frosting on the sides; and for the toppings you’ll get a heap of sambal, ikan bilis and roasted groundnuts. You can also choose different types of sambal to amp up the flavours – think sambal sotong, sambal petai and sambal udang.   Eat this like you will a regular cake. Or you can deconstruct your slice to look like a regular plate of nasi lemak again. There’s also a cupcake version if you’re looking for smaller portions. The cake is priced from RM58 and can serve up to seven people, while the cupcakes are RM4.90 each with a minimum order of six pieces.    Check out their Facebook page for more information on the flavours and ordering procedure.  

Watch now: 'Adiwiraku', a true Malaysian story

Watch now: 'Adiwiraku', a true Malaysian story

Remember how the movie ‘Ola Bola’ got everyone in the country buzzing? Well, ‘Adiwiraku’ has all the makings of a real gem in our local film industry too. The movie is a true story about a teacher who inspired a group of students to be better and highlights the obstacles rural students face. And like ‘Ola Bola’, it talks about overcoming challenges through dedication, determination and unity. SMK Pinang Tunggal is a small kampung school in Sungai Petani, Kedah where Cheryl Ann Fernando (Sangeeta Krishnasamy) gets posted to as a teacher under the Teach For Malaysia fellowship programme. Here, she finds students who can barely string together proper sentences in English, and others still who can’t even pronounce certain English words. However, through persistence and a little creativity, Cheryl teaches the language and encourages her students to take part in a district level choral speaking competition. But their problems don’t just lie in school, many have their own struggles outside school as well. And by committing her time and effort to these kids, Cheryl manages to make a difference in their lives. ‘Adiwiraku’ is now screening in selected cinemas for a limited run (GSC Mid Valley, GSC Alamanda, Premium-X One City Mall, TGV Suria KLCC, mmCineplexes Damansara), so grab your tickets quick.

GreenMan Tiny Home: Malaysia’s first sustainable, zero waste, carbon neutral home

GreenMan Tiny Home: Malaysia’s first sustainable, zero waste, carbon neutral home

Good news! Malaysia has created the country’s first eco-responsive home. Get this: It produces zero energy and zero waste, it’s off grid and carbon neutral. A brainchild of Matthias Gelber and Dr Paul D’Arcy, the GreenMan Tiny Home – or Tiny Home for short – is self-sustainable and fully functional on its own. It’s capable of generating its own electricity, harvest rainwater for use, and it’s equipped to recycle its own waste.   The design was inspired by the traditional kampung house, and built with materials that were recycled, up-cycled, locally manufactured and sustainable. Although it’s a bit small with a floor space of 120 sq ft (that’s just about slightly smaller than a parking lot), the home can comfortably fit two adults and a child; but if need be, it can be expanded to fit a larger family. The best part about its compact size is that it’s portable and can easily be relocated, making it a viable solution to house victims of flood or other natural disasters.     Despite its small size, the house is equipped with a fully functioning toilet, kitchen, bedroom and even a skylight. Eco-friendly facilities include rainwater harvesting system, plus air ventilation and solar panels. It’s still a prototype at the moment, but we believe it has great potential to address the need for sustainable, eco-friendly living. You can head over to the Construction Research Institute of Malaysia (CREAM) where the prototype will be open for public viewing. For more information, visit th

Out now: Politiko 2.1 card game expansion pack

Out now: Politiko 2.1 card game expansion pack

If you can’t get enough of the scheming and realpolitik card game that is Politiko, gather your buddies for more political fun with the card game’s latest expansion, Politiko 2.1. Here’s a quick recap of what the game is all about: Players choose a ‘political party’ to represent and lead throughout the game, and the first one to scheme their way to getting eight ‘voters’ wins. The Politiko 2.1 expansion pack not only adds two new parties to the deck, it also gives players more (somewhat realistic) ways to win the votes of the rakyat with new scheme cards to strategise their electoral campaign. You can now gain votes at the expense of your competitors with cards like the ‘Financial Scandal’ card, the ‘Declare Assets’ card and the ‘Malaysia Makes Headlines’ card. So why wait for the next general elections to play a hand in Malaysian politics when you can do it now with Politiko? Available at loyarbarang.com. RM38.  

Selangor bans polystyrene and plastic bags in January 2017

Selangor bans polystyrene and plastic bags in January 2017

Remember how you would have to bring your own recyclable shopping bags on Saturdays for grocery shopping? News came this August that Selangor is set to extend the current 'No Plastic Bag Day', which means you would have to pay 20sen for a plastic bag everyday starting January 1 2017. Selangor also wants to go all the way with its #BebasPlastik campaign by imposing a RM1,000 fine on business owners who use polystyrene packages. According to a report by The Star, the move was initiated by the Selangor State Tourism, Environment, Green Technology and Consumer Affairs Committee chairman Elizabeth Wong, who also said that there are several things that will be exempted from the no plastic bag charge. These items include raw meat, plants covered in sand or soil, poisonous substances, live fish or aquatics, and unwrapped flowers or loose seeds. It would still be a good idea to stock up on reusable bags though. Although the initiative received backlash from traders over the ban of polystyrene and the extension of 'No Plastic Bag Day', Selangor had also received positive support from its residents. Based on a survey conducted by the Selangor government, it showed that 71 percent of its residents want an extension to the 'No Plastic Bag Day'. It’s great to see the people coming together in support of a green movement such as this. So, with the total ban of polystyrene and the extension of ‘No Plastic Bag Day’ to seven days, you should consider digging up your grandmother’s old tiffin ca