Pastryville: Reasonable mall cafes
Pastryville is a small chain of cafes in 5 malls across KL. They sell the expected range of coffees and teas, though they'd sold out of the ingredients for the more interesting ones when we visited the Ecurve branch. In addition, they have a large range of pastries - be aware that like most Malaysian cafes/bakeries, their breads are normally very sweet; even things like cheese or meat rolls will have sugar on top. Ok place to get a drink and a snack on the go.
Favorite Dish: We had a cheese and almond ring and a garlic and parsley bread. Both sweet but without added sugar.
Uncle 'K': OK local food
Uncle 'K' is a small chain of Malaysian restaurants which has now spread to Indonesia. It serves Malaysian and Arabic dishes. I visited the branch at KLIA2, which was a little dirty, though the seats were comfortable. The food is ok, not great, but the staff were friendly and quick. I've been told the Arabic food is better than the local food as they mainly have Arabic chefs now ( in Malaysia at least).
Favorite Dish: I had cheese naan with dhal. The bread was good and offered a few small bursts of cheese - if this had been consistent, I'd rate it more highly. Dhal was ok. My drink of Apple with sour plums was good.
Warung: Cold and expensive
Still hungry after the Marrybrown effort ( http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/p/m/24a7eb/ ), I looked for a late breakfast at a place I hadn't tried before, and found this place airside at KLIA2, between gates Pand Q. With the name Warung, I expected it to serve Indonesian food, but it's a mix of Malay and Western. I was pleased to see a cooked breakfast on the menu which I could veggie-fy. It's a shiny place with lots of stainless steel, and the seats are comfortable. Staff are friendly but inept. I ordered a breakfast with scrambled eggs and without sausage and a calamansi sour plum drink (RM34 total).
It took about 10 minutes for the food to arrive, and when it came it had fried eggs and sausage. I explained that wasn't what I'd asked for, and the waiter ambled off to ask several other tables if they wanted it. At this point, my drink was placed on the bar. 15 minutes later it was delivered! I know I could have asked, but I'm always curious to see how long these things can take. The food arrived shortly afterwards, and everything but the scrambled eggs was pretty cold. Tomato bland, hash brown thin and overcooked (I was told they'd swap the sausage for extra hash browns, but was glad they didn't give me any more), toast limp. However the eggs were good and the drink was quite special.
I wouldn't bother with this place again when there are so many food outlets.
Favorite Dish: The calamansi sour plum is really nice. Calamansi, syrup, fizzy water and sour plums. Great mix of sweet, salty and sour, with fizz. Shame about the food.
Jarrod and Rawlins: Bad day?
Jarrod and Rawlins is a small chain of British restaurants (they used to have 4 across Malaysia but now I think it's down to 2 in KL). They get rave reviews in "10 best brunches in KL" type lists, so we hoped we'd get a good experience in their Damansara outlet. It's a nice enough looking place featuring many Guinness barrels, with outside seating, and the menu has lots of British dishes such as fish and chips, roast and of course cooked breakfast.
Service was terrible. We were one of only 5 occupied tables and our food took 70 minutes to arrive. I felt even more sorry for the two families who ordered before us and their kids' meals turned up in 5 minutes but the parents' meals took more than an hour - one little girl fell asleep with her head on the table. One dad wasn't served until after I'd paid and was walking out, which must have been quite a bit more than 90 minutes. Even getting a glass of ice took 15 minutes. Let me stress, there were only 5 tables occupied.
When the food came, we got an awful coffee and half a glass of orange juice each, plus a 'full works' breakfast and an eggs florentine. The food was just ok, with my gf not rating the meat highly though the pork is meant to be a speciality. Nice to see fried bread on the plate though.
So was it just a bad day or are the reviews way off? I'm not sure I'll bother to return to find out.
Favorite Dish: Eggs florentine came with hash browns instead of muffins, which is a plus. The eggs were poached very well too, but the hollandaise was bland.
Marrybrown: Awful Malaysian chain
I'd been warned off Marrybrown by Malaysian friends, so hadn't bothered with this medium sized fast food chain which sells fried chicken and a few local dishes. However, when trapped at KLIA2 by a cancelled flight and given a Marrybrown meal voucher by AirAsia, I was able to test it free of charge. Sadly, I think even free is too expensive. The staff were pretty rude and dismissive; the vegetarian option was two small buns with a slice of processed cheese melted on top, with a coffee; and the seating area is uncomfortable and features loud music from Marrybrown FM. One peculiarity is that you can buy fries with octopus powder sprinkled on them, which I obviously didn't.
There were two positives - I found a plug socket so I could recharge my iPad and watch the World Series, and the coffee was nice in the rich 3-in-1 way. The cockroach which joined me to share seemed to agree too.
Favorite Dish: Coffee. The only thing which wasn't really substandard.
Built: Custom burgers
Built is a gourmet burger place from the U.S., where it has 4 outlets in California and one in Florida. Where better, then, for number 6 than a shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur?
I visited with VT's paddington28 and we both had the combo meal - burger, side and unlimited refills of soft drinks for RM25. You choose how you want to have your burger: which meat (or vegan), cheese, bread and toppings from a subway-esque range; a side of various types of potato dish or sweet potato; and your drink. The food was good for fast food, and the staff were friendly, happy to take a picture (and after one for their own wall!) and interested to talk briefly with us in a professional way. You are basically sitting in a mall corridor to eat, but it's clean and bright.
Favorite Dish: I had a veggie burger with chilli cheese, chillies, pickles and sriracha sauce, and it was good, especially with tater tots which are mini hash brown tubes. paddington28 had a beef burger which he enjoyed.
The Origin: Almost great
The Origin is a vegetarian Malay/Chinese place about 3km away from KLCC. It's a nice restaurant, which feels very modern - slightly unusual for Chinese vegetarian places here. It was very comfortable. The staff were OK, though they did make a couple of mistakes with our order (and weirdly claimed a dish had potato in even when we could all see it didn't). The food was not quite there, sadly. The black pepper soy steak had a great texture but the sauce was thin and lacking pepper; the Nyonya fish was warmingly spicy but wasn't sour. It's also a bit more expensive than these places are normally, perhaps because it does feel more professional. I will definitely go back and try a few more dishes though, as overall I enjoyed my visit.
Favorite Dish: I don't think I've had it yet - will update later, but for now I'll say the soy steak.
Cafe Coffee Day: Reasonable Cafe
Cafe Coffee Day is an Indian chain of cafes. In Malaysia, they sell coffee, tea and iced drinks along with a small choice of sandwiches and pastries. I visited the Nu Sentral branch, though there are plenty of others. The cafe is quite bright and looks like any other, really - lots of wood, pictures of coffee sacks etc. The staff were nice enough, though I was surprised they weren't really friendly, given that they handed feedback forms to everyone. Prices are about normal for a KL cafe. If you like a chain coffee, it's worth a visit for a change from Starbucks or Coffee Bean.
Favorite Dish: I had the chilli cheese toastizza, which looked terrible but actually tasted surprisingly good - garlicky and spicy. Pineapple mango blend was good too.
William's Corner: Huge portions
William's Corner is in Petaling Jaya. I think it might serve the biggest portions of food in KL, and I'm almost certain it does the biggest drinks! The food is typical 'mamak', with rotis, fried rice and noodle dishes, seafood and tandoori chicken. The staff don't speak English, but they're very helpful and happy to clarify the food. That itself is OK - a triumph of quantity over quality, as you won't walk away hungry, but you won't be blown away by the taste either. Most rotis are served with condensed milk, dhal, and either chicken curry or potato curry. You sit outside on the street on the standard plastic tables and chairs. The place is pretty busy, especially when compared with other restaurants nearby.
I've tried to capture the scale in a couple of the photos, but I'm not sure it comes across. Anyway, the food is plentiful, and costs about RM10 per dish.
Favorite Dish: I had the cheese naan - very cheesy with quite dense bread. It was OK. The litre and a half of hot, iced Ribena with longans (a local fruit) was pretty good. I didn't have it, but the Roti Hawaii is a roti stuffed with egg, chicken and chicken frankfurters and is a speciality of this place and the small chain owned by William's brother (Murni, which I aim to review soon). Here it's served with Marie Rose sauce.
Jalan Alore: You have to go here to eat - incredible
This food street is incredible. The food is fantastic, the service wonderful.
There is so much choice here you could come back every night and not sample the full range.
A BRILLIANT place to eat in the evening.
Favorite Dish: The oyster omlette :)Related to:
- Food and Dining
Din Tai Fung: Michelin dumplings in KL
I reviewed a branch of this restaurant in Singapore: DTF Singapore%L
Din Tai Fung is a chain of dumpling restaurants from Taiwan, which has received Michelin stars for the last 5 years. There is one in the Pavilion Mall here in KL. It's similar to Singapore, but has slightly more choice for vegetarians, and the staff seemed friendlier and more attentive, though it was less busy. I enjoyed my visit here more than in Singapore.
Favorite Dish: Vegetarian delight with honey sauce. Savoury and sweet, with a nice texture.
La Mexicana: Not enough flavour
La Mexicana is a lovely looking Mexican restaurant with nice inside and outside areas. The staff were very friendly and happy to bring us more sauces and chillies. The menu is designed by a famous chef in these parts apparently, but there isn't a lot of choice for vegetarians. That food which was there wasn't very interesting to me - every dish was pretty bland, with watery tomatoes and boring chillies. I was hoping for bold coriander and cumin flavours but they weren't there. Shame, because it really looks the part. Maybe the meat dishes are better. It's also pretty expensive for KL, with small portions.
Favorite Dish: Nachos were OK. Frozen Margarita was very good.
La Boca: Dozy waiters, ok food
La Boca is quite a fun looking Mexican restaurant in the Pavilion mall upper food concourse. The menu is meant to look like a newspaper, the walls and bar look great, and they play good music. The waiting staff were affable, but managed to get a lot of items wrong. When it was pointed out, they fixed them quickly. The food itself is variable; I enjoyed the veggie empanadas, but the pasta salad was disgusting. The cheese balls and stuffed chillies were OK. I'd like to try some cocktails here some time.
Favorite Dish: The veggie empanadas are good, and I'm told the fish and beef options are too.
Jal Dae Ji: Korean BBQ
Jal Dae Ji is in the Korean area of KL - I hadn't been before and I was amazed by how many Korean restaurants and shops there were, and also by the fact that some restaurateurs didn't speak any Malay, just Korean! However JDJ has staff who speak English and Malay, and they were pretty helpful. It might not look great from the outside, but inside is nice, with two types of seating: at tables, or on the floor. In the table area, there was a Korean drama playing; Malaysians love these!
I've had Korean food before but never been with anyone doing the barbecue so it was interesting to see the seven or eight refillable side dishes brought out, including various pickles and kim chis, semi cooked (deliberately) potatoes, and a pumpkin pancake for the vegetarian. The BBQ itself is quite an experience, with coals burning in a recess in the table, complete with grill (delightfully called the 'Charming Roaster'). A staff member cooked my GF's pork for her, but if you prefer you can do that yourself.
I had the allegedly vegetarian black noodles - I say allegedly because the first set came with pork mince, but that was quickly rectified. We shared a kim chi pancake. The meal, including one shared bottle of beer, was quite expensive for KL, but quite good.
Favorite Dish: I didn't eat it as I'm vegetarian, but if you're not, I would recommend the BBQ. Select your meat or fish and enjoy it cooked at your table then tuck into it with the side dishes. My noodles were fine (once a meat-free set was brought) but very expensive for what they were.
Fuego: Outstanding for special occasions
Fuego is an upmarket restaurant in one of the Troika buildings. It does a nice range of tapas and main meals, and has a good cocktail list. The prices are expensive, and the dishes quite small, but everything else about Fuego is great. The first high point is the view over the KL skyline, which is fantastic. The food is beautifully and quirkily presented - for example smoked quail's eggs served on a nest of beetroot and carrot strings under a smoke filled jar. The cocktails are similarly fun, with my Manhattan served in a hip flask hidden in a book! It all tastes great, the staff are very friendly and helpful and it was a great experience (to coin a phrase). So if you have a special occasion coming up, book ahead - it gets very busy, even on Wednesdays - and splash out.
Favorite Dish: Grilled watermelon with halloumi. Interesting combination, served with lovely onions and tomatoes.Related to:
- Food and Dining
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