The KL Eat List 2011

2011Apr24-Yut Kee-12

It seems to be de riguer to show how well traveled one is (or at least how well-off the parents are) by reminiscing about the time one spent in the west as a student and repeat ad nauseam about that one visit to a famous restaurant.

Unfortunately, this blog is unable to follow the norm especially on this recent trip to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia because he was traveling with a seriously bad-ass sore throat and a fever that no amount of drugs soothe or comfort. However as the car cautiously ate up the 230 klicks of asphalt and road kill, with Pink Floyd on the stereo, there’s a feeling of serenity, secure in the knowledge that we’re in for a magnificent makan.


In the interest of not boring people who just want the addresses, here’s a bare-bones summary of each of the places we went in KL. The fuller and more purple prose to come later.


Sithique Nasi Kandar Pulau Pinang


This is a very famous Nasi Kandar stall that was my first meal in KL after a long drive up. There were many dishes to choose from and most of them were my favorite nasi kandar dishes that my brain momentarily hung-up from trying to solve the problem of so many dishes, too little plate space and only one stomach. I will do a fuller write-up later but it was a stupendous lunch where the secret of deliciousness was to get a little gravy from each of the gravy dishes and pile on the home-made sambal and chili vinaigrette.

Sithique Nasi Kandar Pulau Pinang is at 190 Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, Kuala Lumpur 50100, Malaysia (Opposite Sogo).


Nonbei Dining & Bar


This is Simon’s favorite watering-hole and what a fount of drinks it is! Almost every sake type you can think of is available and Japanese Whiskey is available if you want something mellow but strong. Food is available here, including the rare and highly experimental but awesomely delicious Onsen Tamago Katsu. Yes, you heard right: runny egg that’s deep-fried and served with Japanese BBQ sauce (you need to pre-order this way in advance). Magnificent.

Nonbei Dining & Bar is at No. 32 Jalan 25/70A, Desa Sri Hartamas, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Tel. 03-620 6771.




Just across from Nonbei, Sugimoto that is famous amongst the local Malaysians for its cheap Bento boxes and set meals. However, if you delve deeper in the local Japanese forums, you will find that Sugimoto offers so much more. While there aren’t daily flights to KL from Japan, the sushi, sashimi is amongst the best and Chef Haruhiko Sugimoto’s simmered dishes are not to be missed and prices can be a pleasant surprise.

Sugimoto is at 36-1 Jalan 27/70 A, Desa Sri Hartamas, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Tel: 03 2300 1102


Kanna Curry House


There are times when what I crave is a very good curry. Fortunately, I am not alone and Simon kindly drove us out of KL proper into PJ for some proper banana leaf curry rice. While Kanna Curry House has other branches, this is the original and the benchmark which all other branches must meet. Service was so efficient and prompt that everything was laid out and put on our table before I could even sit down. Simple but robust flavors that make a good Sunday morning after-church eating.

Kanna Curry House (Original Outlet) is at 29 Jalan 17/45, Petaling Jaya Selangor, 46400, Tel. 03-7958-4814.


Kedai Makanan Yut Kee

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More than 80 years in the same place, Yut Kee is a cultural institution. Unfortunately, the building they are in is up for re-development (more on this in another write-up). But until they move out, check your health worries at the door and experience the very finest in Hainanese British Colonial Cuisine with killer pork chops and a magnificent roast crackling pork on Fridays and Sundays served with old-school apple sauce. But don’t miss their addictive Belachan Fried Rice and Black Fried Mee with crackling pork lard with every bite and their legendary Roti Babi. Finish up the meal with a slice of their supremely butter cake and deep black coffee.

Kedai Makanan Yut Kee is at, for now, 35, Jalan Dang Wangi, Wilayah Persekutuan, 50100, Malaysia, Tel. 03-2698-8108.


Gu Yue Tien


Located in the unpopular Chulan Square, Gu Yue Tien is one of the few bright spots. Helmed by Chef Frankie Woo, the food is Cantonese with western influences. The basic menu has not changed in two years which says a lot about its popularity but it’s the a la carte dishes that bears closer examination like the Salt-Baked Iberico Pork Ribs. The food is very good but I find it a little rough around the edges that prevents it from achieving the exquisite.

Gu Yue Tien is at B5-A Chulan Square, Jalan Raja Chulan, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Tel. 03-2148-0808




Our favorite fine-dining restaurant in KL. It serves French nouvelle cuisine with a Japanese influence, so expect classics like slow-cooked lamb to be flavored with Houba Miso. Delicately exquisite that leaves you craving for more. Service is as expected from any fine-dining establishment: anticipative yet discreet. Definitely worthy of repeat visits.

Cilantro Restaurant and Wine Bar is at the Micasa All Suite Hotel, 368B, Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, 50400, Malaysia, Tel. 03-2179-8000.


The Last Polka at The Bee


Feel-good ice cream that has 100% natural ingredients doesn’t quite describe this little ice cream venture inspired by the Ben Folds Five song of the same name. The ice cream flavors are innovative and original; my favorite is the French Toast which has bright sunny flavors of cinnamon and caramel. Not to be missed are the burgers at The Bee which I am told are pretty good.

The Last Polka Ice Cream at the Bee is at 2A-G, Block K, Jaya One No.72 Jalan Universiti, Section 13, 46200 Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.


Coliseum Cafe & Hotel


Truth be told, we walked into this place to chill after a nice lunch at Sithique. The Coliseum Cafe, similar to Singapore’s very own Magnolia Milk Bar (go ask your mom), basically it’s the place your dad will bring your mom if he’s feeling flush. It actually started around the 1920s (go ask your grandpa) near the Coliseum Theatre and was a hangout for W. Somerset Maugham when he wasn’t at the Raffles Hotel in Singapore.

If you’re tired of waiting for a seat at Yut Kee, you can come here and experience similar old-school Hainanese British Colonial cuisine (try the Ox-tail soup). At the adjacent bar, you can relive what’s it like to be a British Plantation owner having his pre- and postprandial tipple.

Now it’s seems to be a hangout for the occasional tourist and world-weary old men in oily ponytails and leather jackets smoking a cigarette whilst nursing a Guinness but with the air-conditioning rattling in the background, this dark, dank and smoky bar should not be missed. It’s the stuff of noir stories.

Coliseum Cafe & Hotel is at 98 – 100, Jalan Tuanku Abd Rahman 50100, Kuala Lumpur.



Posted on 12th May 2011 in Makankaki, Malaysia


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