Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Brussels Beer Cafe, Menara Hap Seng, Jalan P.Ramlee, Kuala Lumpur

Brussels Beer Cafe, referred to as "Brussels Sprout" by some of my drinking buddies opened in Menara Hap Seng about 9 months ago. For those of you not familiar with the building, it's at the top end of Jalan P.Ramlee close to the KL Tower turn-off and the Weld Shopping Centre on Jalan Raja Chulan.
As the name suggests, it's definitely a cafe and not a bar.
Which, to me is a bit of a shame. The inside bar just looks a bit uninviting and sitting outside is great for eating but less so for drinking.
The water feature gurgles away trying to drown-out the sound of passing traffic but doesn't quite succeed.
It's a tried and tested formula as the owners have a branch in PJ and have just opened in Ampang-they seem a bit too "corporate" as they want to sell you hats and T Shirts bearing their logo...a bit like Air Asia...
However,whatever time I go past, it's invariably packed.
They get a good lunchtime crowd with an attractive(ish) lunch promotion and it seems that it's a good place for after-work beers as there are no real alternatives within this location except the ghastly Over Time bar at the Life Centre on Jalan Sultan Ismail.
But it's even busy on Saturday and Sunday evenings so they must be doing something right.
The menu includes the now-compulsory Pork Knuckle that you can get just about everywhere as well as Lamb Shank, Mussels, Hot Dogs, Sandwiches and Burgers, Meat Balls, Squid and stuff.
Beers include the pointless-unless-you're-driving Hoegaarden,the lethally strong Stella as well as Leffe and locally brewed Carlsberg.
I went there for lunch recently and there were two promotions going;
RM 15 for a Pannini sandwich and soft drink or RM 20 for something a bit more substantial with a soft drink and as much salad as you wanted.
This was a good thing as any sort of green veg is anathema to most Belgian/German food.
And the salad has bacon-bits and Chinese-style pork as selections so it's damn good in itself.
The Bratwurst was a little bland but was served with small serving of "stoemp"-I had no idea but apparently it's mashed potato with carrot in it. The onion gravy was a bit thin so I definitely needed another portion of salad to go with it.
The Beef Skewers with Rice were disappointing so it's probably best to stick to the Western Food here.
The Lamb looks like it's worth a try.
RM 20 isn't really cheap for lunch considering you can get a bowl of noodles for RM 5 but it's a nice change once-in-a-while.
They have a set dinner menu for RM 40,which seems a bit expensive as do most of their a la carte dishes.
Imported beer is always expensive-but they do some interesting Happy Hour deals so check-out the blackboard first.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Great Indian Food in Kuala Lumpur

I've been going to this place for years....forgot to write about it...until now.
It doesn't really have an address but if you want to go there (and you should) then head to Somerset Condo at the top of Changkat Bukit Bintang...opposite the car park next to the motor-mechanic on Lorong Ceylon is a stall that serves probably the best home-cooked style Indian food in Kuala Lumpur.
I've met locals eating there who describe the food as "just like my mum makes"
If you don't want to eat in a Car Park,you can order it "to go" and it will taste just as good when you get it back to your home/office.
You will be served a mountain of rice and then you walk around the stall and help yourself to the delights,there's a good choice of fish,squid,chicken and mutton and loads of vegetable dishes to choose from....the more variety you choose,the more you pay.
It usually includes a poppadom as well.
RM 5 will cover rice and maybe 2 dishes whilst RM 7.50 will cover rice and maybe 4 dishes.
It's a real "blow-out" if you're hungry and in need of a good lunch.
It's only open from around noon-2pm lunchtimes Monday-Friday and if you want to be certain of a good selection get there around 12.25pm.
On Friday there are more vegetable dishes than on other days as a lot of the customers are vegetarian on that day.
It's popular with office workers, delivery drivers and chauffeurs and it's perfectly OK to share a (covered)table if it's crowded.

Makes me hungry just thinking about it....

Monday, July 19, 2010

Old Town White Coffee, Jalan Alor, Kuala Lumpur

The corporate tentacles of big-business start to strangle Jalan Alor.

Well,that's what I first thought when Old Town White Coffee opened-up a few months back.

I imagined a Jalan Alor full of franchised outfits such as Starbucks,Coffee Bean,The Chicken Rice Shop and Papa Rich-and thought how horrible it would be....

But Old Town has opened in an Hotel lobby so the street is probably safe for now.

Old Town White Coffee is a local franchise chain that seems to be cashing-in on the nostalgia boom that is beginning to sweep the nation and most shopping malls now have some sort of nostalgia themed F & B outlet.

If you *must* have an overpriced coffee whilst sitting in an uncomfortable chair then this place is better than Starbucks or Coffee Bean-and the Hazel Nut flavoured Iced Coffee at RM6.00 is pretty damn fine.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

How Many Islands in Malaysia?

An interesting article in "The Star" about increasing the number of tourist arrivals in Malaysia.
I've always been a bit dubious about the figures and how the government here counts a "tourist"
I think that if you remove all the next-door neighbours like Singaporeans,Indonesians and Thais from the figures you are left with a much,much,much smaller figure.
She's spot-on about the problems with litter though....
And,since when did Malaysia have 1,700 Islands?

Click on the title above to read the link....