A travel journal
to Kuala Lumpur by jabela
Quote: All the local attractions and places we've visited.
Member Rating 2 out of 5 on November 8, 2005
Palace of the Golden Horses
Jalan Kuda Emas
Mines Resort City
+603 8946 4888
So we went and were really surprised that for RM60 we not only were able to eat all that we wanted but that there were all you could eat oysters and there was a competition to win a free night's stay, which I won! (And felt really bad about saying a couple of minutes before that they rig these things and you never win...)
The Mediterranean restaurant is wonderful. They even made proper paella, which nobody else but me appreciated. The Chinese thinking was,"We have rice every day, so why bother with this when there's great seafood." I think the chef was a bit disheartened about this, because he seemed so very happy when I had some.
The rooms are very good and the view is great. In any other city, this would probably be the best hotel in town. However, the new Hilton and Mandarin Oriental do beat it for quality of rooms. One exception to this is the baby cots; whoever bought them clearly knew what they were doing, and our son had his one and only good night's sleep in a cot.
Location is where Istana really scores: it's a 5-minute walk from Bukit Bintang, which means that you are very close to the best shopping and nightlife in KL. (Around the corner from the hotel, there's a great Indian hawker stall that serves curries for about RM5.) We just wandered around the shopping centre and picked up some software and DVDs in the afternoon.
In the evening there is a bar with live music and some really good singers singing gentle love songs, and it's really a place you can sit down and relax for a while.
After a good night's sleep, we settled into a very full breakfast. They have absolutely everything here, including an Asian breakfast (hot and spicy), Western-style cooked breakfast, fruit, bread of every description, and cereal. (The meals are hallah, so it's turkey bacon.)
The pool and garden looked fabulous, but we were pretty lazy and didn't go for a dip. They also have a first-class gym; the only catch is that to use it, you have to want to do exercise.
If you were staying at the hotel for any length of time, they can arrange trips and have a business centre and Internet. You can also book conference and meeting rooms.
In fact, the hotel was so good, we booked a room for my sister-in-law's wedding night and had a wedding lunch. Sadly for me, they decided to have dim sum in the Chinese restaurant/ They thought it was great, but I was busy scheming a way to sneak upstairs for a plate of pasta.
The website is http://www.hotelistana.com.my/.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 24, 2005
73 Jalan Raja Chulan
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 50200
603 2141 9988
I say that because I ought to warn you that they deep fry everything, and this is the one place in KL where you get a nice big piece of meat with every meal.
The meals are all hallah, and they include lamb, steak, ostrich, chicken, and seafood.
The menu varies a little bit from time to time. When I went last week, they had some extra-tender steak, which they were doing as a one-off special. All of the meat is imported from Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.
The assistant manager at the Puchong branch (recently they moved to the IOI mall) is a very pleasant chap and is always happy to tell you what the latest arrivals are and what changes have happened to the menu recently.
We immediately ordered the special steak, and it was indeed much softer than the sirloin that I usually get in restaurants. My wife had lamb, which she enjoyed. Malaysians serve nearly all their meat on the bone. Nearly all meals are served with either fries, mashed potato, or rice. Officially you're supposed to stick to what's on the menu, but unofficially they're happy to change it for you.
After the main course, we had my favourite--fried ice cream! Unless you've tried it, you won't believe how they do it. The trick is that they have a casing they put around the ice cream and fry for a couple of minutes, and then they run it out to the customer.
This is by far the nicest F1 restaurant, because they recently moved it indoors and it has A/C. There are a few others in Kuala Lumpur, but they are hawker stalls. (And watch the one in Sedang, because while we were there, a purse was snatched by someone on a moped.)
There's the usual array of drinks, and for the kids they have those super-sweet slush puppy-style icicles. For two people eating a large meal, it's about RM50 (just under $10 a head).
Is it worth a special trip to Puchong from central KL? Probably not, but if you are on your way to Putrajaya, then it's a very enjoyable pit stop.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 23, 2005
IOI Mall, Batu 9, Jalan Puchong
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Chili's is normally very busy at peak times because it has bottomless drinks, one meal is enough for two Malaysians, and kids eat free, so you may have to wait a while. The American menu has been modified slightly to make it Hallah, but that's not to say they don't serve beer, because they do, and it's pretty cheap by Malaysian standards.
My wife and I particularly like the fajitas, chicken wings, and deep-fried fish. Also, the fries are the big and chunky sort, which you don't get too often in KL.
One word of warning, Chili's isn't too particular about cutlery, and they give you a steak knife and fork for everything. When my friend asked for a spoon, he got a soup spoon, which was less than ideal for eating rice. I can't imagine what would happen if you asked for chopsticks.
Chili's is really a place to hang out with your friends for a while, as the chairs are pretty comfortable and you can gossip with the knowledge your drinks will always be refilled. (You do have to pester the waiter for a refill, mind you.)
P.S. The Chili's in Mid-Valley is nearly identical, but its around the outside of the shopping centre.
P.P.S. If you just want refillable drinks in KLCC, Burger King is cheaper, but the seats are less comfy.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 29, 2005
KL City Center, 3rd Floor
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 50088
Now, if you've read any of my other reviews, I am particularly picky when it comes to Italian restaurants, and even my 1-and-a-half-year-old son knows a good Italian dish.
This is a hallah restaurant, so there's no ham/bacon options, but they don't pretend and do some poor substitution; there are creamy turkey and beef pasta dishes, but they don't spoil it by pretending it's ham.
The pasta selections are great, and we nearly always go for the beef creamy pasta, and they let you choose your pasta shape. Of the rest of the pasta, there are old favourites such as lasagne and spaghetti Bolognaise and some fusion dishes with added chilli and spice. The pizzas are of the thin Italian variety, which makes them more crunchy, and they are a little smaller than some of the other restaurants in the city. They're much closer to real Italian pizza than the more American pizzas you get in most restaurants. They're not the biggest pizzas, but they're about half the price of Pizza Hut out here.There are also a few Western dishes, including fish and chips, which I was pleasantly surprised by. They actually use decent-quality fish and batter it properly. The chips are of the crinkly variety. All the food is cooked in a kitchen, which you can see through the glass, so you can be sure it's clean. In Malaysia, that is something you really need to check. Being a "Caff", they have a wide range of drinks, cocktails, beers, and a full coffee selection and some imported drinks I haven't seen elsewhere in KL.
The restaurant itself has about 10 tables, but we've never had a problem getting in because we like an early dinner; however, when we've left, it's been pretty busy. So I'd recommend booking if you're planning it as part of a journey. They're open every day from midday through 11pm, and on Friday and Saturday, they open until midnight.It is very family-friendly, with children's chairs that Maximus likes to sit in, and there are some children's portions available. My son loves the creamy pasta and doesn't care whose food it's supposed to be.In terms of location, it's in Puchong, near giant off the LDP highway. So its a great place to come by if you're coming back from Putrajaya. The Caff also serves as a WIFI Hotspot for Internet provision.This is definitely the best Italian restaurant I've been to in KL, especially if I take into account the price; being out of the tourist limelight, you can expect to pay about half the price of restaurants in the centre. P.S. The other Italian restaurant I'd recommend is Fasta Pasta in Ikano, in the northwest of the city.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 2, 2006
No. 44, Jalan Puteri 2/2, Bandar Puteri, 47100
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
+60 03 8061 5606
On a normal day in Mid-Valley there would be no difficulty eating at this restaurant, but today was Christmas Day on a Sunday, and Mid-Valley was so packed that my friend jumped out of the passenger seat of the car, walked to the restaurant, fetched the turkey and condiments, and got back to the car before it reached Mid-Valley. He'll admit that he felt very funny carrying it and he's never seen so many people staring at him, but mission accomplished!
It arrived at our house and the nine of us were ready with our knives, and I was praying that the turkey wasn't going to give us food poisoning. I have to admit that I checked it very thoroughly before eating it, but with that first mouthful and I was convinced it was the best turkey I've ever had!
And this from an Englishman who lives in the town where 50% of the poultry for the country is processed. It wasn't the turkey itself that made it wonderful. Don't get me wrong, it was a good turkey, but it was the preparation--they'd done everything perfectly to make a succulent turkey, with wonderful stuffing and vegetables to complement it wonderfully. (They were an added bonus.)
So if you're in KL over Christmas, this is the place to go for Christmas dinner. You can either go to the restaurant or take the turkey away. It was fabulous, and I can't wait to get my turkey next year. My compliments to Chef Lee, who made it for us!
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 4, 2006
Lot E11, Ground Floor, Mid Valley
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
+60 03 293 83 885
I should have smelled a rat when I saw that the restaurant was practically empty on a Saturday night. Still we thought, that perhaps it was the location, because it was a little walk around in the KLCC park.
Then they confused us by telling us it was two restaurants in one; downstairs, it was Italian, and upstairs was the steakhouse. Despite appearances, they share practically the same menus and the same kitchen. Still, never mind; the view looked lovely, and I was tired enough to sit and enjoy it.Then they placed a bottle of wine on our table, and I told the waiter that we would NOT be drinking alcohol that night. Instead of taking it away, he just left it there. Highly offensive in any culture, but DOUBLY so in a Muslim country! Then there was a lot of confusion about the sauces, which could so simply have been avoided if they answered the questions correctly in the first place. (English isn't a strong point of the waiters.)
Things were going from bad to worse; they delivered the bread, and my wife's was as solid as a rock. A dead giveaway that it had just been put in the microwave. When asked to replace it, they delivered it halfway through the main course.
Just to finish off our night, they decided to completely ignore us, and I really can't say they were busy--they had one waiter for every table with guests.
Food-wise, it was okay, but I could have gone to McDonalds, and I'd have been happier, because I'd have had change in my pocket. The really sad part is that not just the food is better at McDonalds, but the service is 100 times better, and that really doesn't say much for a restaurant charging 5 times the price.
P.S. We filled out a complaint form, but to date, nobody has contacted us.
Member Rating 1 out of 5 on January 11, 2006
San Francisco Steak House
G45B Ground Floor Suria KLCC
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
+60 3 7118 2988
However, I wouldn't trouble myself to write a review, because all the 5 star hotels in Kuala Lumpur do a decent buffet, Kuala Lumpur isn't called a gastronomic paradise for nothing. This restaurant has something VERY special, something I'd never seen before... It has a CHOCOLATE FOUNTAIN! Imagine what you can do with such a thing, you can coat ANYTHING in chocolate... boring fruit gets turned into chocolate covered fruit, pastries, donuts, ice-cream, absolutely anything you want can be covered in wonderful chocolate! This did not escape my attention, nor the rest of us who just couldn't help ourselves... Every healthy dessert was promptly chocolate covered.
If you don't like chocolate, then this isn't worth a trip, but if you like chocolate, then this is a must VISIT, while you're in Kuala Lumpur!
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 2, 2006
Corner of Jalan Sultan Ismail and Jalan Ampang
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
+60 3 2162 2233
Attraction | "KLCC"
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 7, 2005
Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC)
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Attraction | "Mid-Valley"
Member Rating 2 out of 5 on November 7, 2005
Mid Valley Megamall
Lingkaran Syed Putra
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 59200
+60 3 9368 3333
Attraction | "Chinatown and Petaling Street"
Petaling Street Chinatown
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 50000
+60 3 2693 6661 (Kua
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 8, 2005
Thean Hou Buddhist Temple
65 Pesiaran Indah
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 50460
+60 3 2274 7088
Warning: Nobody has been hurt on the train to and from Thailand YET, but there is unrest in the south of Thailand, and most people prefer to fly directly to Bangkok/Phuket rather than chance it.Regional FlightsThere are two airlines offering regional flights:
So I decided to whizz round the U-turn and see if I could find them in the car park. It was pretty easy, because they don't hide very hard. There was a gang of children and a few adults all listening to the cruisers.
I arrived and parked my car and jumped out to see what was going on. They gave everybody a drink, and then they showed their little giveaways. Then you answer questions, and if you're the first and in some cases the only person to answer, they give you the prize...
I was pretty slow off the mark for first giveaway, they asked us to get out an RM1 note to show them. Some people were pretty quick! However, my luck was pretty quick to change, as they asked a question about French bread (baguette) and then about coffee beans, which I was pretty sharp on, and finally the name of a girl's perfume in Cleo. (I'll admit I read the back cover while he was holding it.)
For my sharp answering skills, I was given a food voucher for Delhi France, a free drink at Coffee Bean, and the latest issue of Cleo.
So if you happen to hear a location on the radio, get on down there as quickly as possible. Fun for everybody!
(They were also giving away a backpack, tickets to a local show, and a CD)
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia