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#MerdekaDay: A Journey To Iconic and Historical Places This Merdeka Day 2018

1/ Step back in time to admire the glory days in the past at Old Malaya

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Old Malaya

If you want to be drifted back to the colonial time while enjoying lip-smacking delights, you cannot simply ignore Old Malaya. Located at Jalan Raja Chulan, the 99-year-old colonial building has been transformed from a prominent residential area to a dilapidated sanctuary and finally the home of numerous heritage-modelled restaurants that are much loved by Malaysians and tourists. Amongst towers of offices and gigantic malls, this old landmark stands out as a unique, worth-visiting aesthetic legacy to step back in time and value our past. Come to Old Malaya if you love to appreciate the glory days of Kuala Lumpur in the past through the remaining ornate walls that harken back to the old days.

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The journey to Old Malaya wouldn’t be complete without sitting at a restaurant here to revel in the magnificent view of the iconic KL Tower or the serene ambiance of this culinary enclave. If you have a knack for steak, there is no reason why you should not opt for one of the best steakhouse in town – PAMPAS Steakhouse at Old Malaya. If you are into Malaysian-accented culinary with a modern twist, walk in Manja and it won’t let you down. Pier 12 Seafood Tavern will bring you to the sea with its freshest seafood while Luce Osteria Comtemporanea is where you can find yourself an authentic Italian wood-fired pizza and Junior Chellapa will gratify your Indian food craving by showering you with authentic Indian dishes.

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KL Tower

A few minutes further from Old Malaya and you will set your foot on the highest telecommunications tower in Southest Asia – KL Tower. As the highest and most spectacular tower of Kuala Lumpur currently, the gleaming KL Tower has a spindle-like apex that allows visitors to admire the city centre. Boasting a theatre, an amphitheatre and beautiful cascading pools, this tower is a definite must-see sightseeing attraction. A visit to KL Tower would not be fulfilled without treating yourself to modern authentic Malaysian and international cuisine while rejoicing in the most spectacular view of the city centre at Atmosphere 360 Revolving Restaurant KL Tower.

 

2/ Visit Historical Trio at Once – Kuala Lumpur Railway Station, Merdeka Square, National Museum of Malaysia

The more the better, you ask? Buckle up and visit these famous landmarks – Kuala Lumpur Railway Station, Merdeka Square and National Museum of Malaysia.

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Kuala Lumpur Railway Station

Designed by one of the most prolific British colonial architects – Arthur Benison Hubback, the old Kuala Lumpur Railway Station has marked its 118 years old this year and one who came here would not stop admiring the gorgeous facade of the gazetted heritage building, the dome-capped pavilions along the roof line and the Renaissance-like verandas with arched colonnade.

Merdeka Square

It would be a miss if you don’t visit Merdeka Square where the Malayan flag was raised for the very first time and take joy in the annual Merdeka Parade here. Keep in mind that when you are admiring the lofty flagpole that holds the flag of Malaysia, you are actually seeing one of the top highest flagpoles in the world! Merdeka Square is not only a historical place itself but is also ringed by the majestic charm of heritage buildings such as the prominent Sultan Abdul Samad Building and St. Mary’s Anglican Cathedral. Take a few steps further and you can pay the renowned Chinatown a visit.

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National Museum of Malaysia

Finally, don’t forget to spend your time in the National Museum (Muzium Negara) which is the most principal museum of Malaysia. Set up in 1963, the museum is a repository of Malaysia’s rich cultural heritage. With its magnificent exhibitions and galleries, the museum imparts knowledge through the country’s historical past. Remember to admire the 3 note-worthy galleries here which are the History Gallery that traces back to the original days, the Cultural Gallery with a collection of various aspects of Malaysian culture and the Metalwork and Musical Instruments Gallery that showcases ceremonial ornaments and instruments.

Feeling peckish after wandering for so long? Don’t worry as there are a plethora of delectable food around for you to pamper yourself.

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Just take a few steps away from the National Museum of Malaysia and you will reach Hilton Kuala Lumpur which is well-known for its notable restaurants. Rest at the newly refurbished The Lounge to adore the picturesque scenery or find yourself a comfortable seat at the polished marble counter at Oro Cafe with a freshly baked croissant.  Yearn for a big meal? Walk in the all-day-dining Vasco’s for an impressive buffet of Asian and international favourites or savour classic dishes at the authentic modern European restaurant – Graze. You can also delight your taste buds with Japanese dishes at Iketeru or dwell in prime aged meat cuts or robatayaki-style skewers at Chambers Grill. Don’t hesitate to go for Chynna where the marinated-to-perfection Peking Duck will satiate your taste buds.

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A few minutes further to Bangsar area and you are in the heaven of food! Head to La Bodega BSC if you are searching for Spanish food or Madam Kwan’s BSC if you love Malaysian-accented dishes. Visit Vineria.IT for authentic Italian delights or dance your way to Dancing Fish for lip-smacking Malay and Indonesian flavors. You can also opt for a Western meal at Ben’s Bangsar Shopping Centre or The Daily Grind Bangsar.
If you are tired of the hustle and bustle, Jalan Bangkung is a great choice where a long line of eminent restaurants are set to whet your appetite. Savour Italian dishes at Opus Bistro or Leonardo ‘s Dining Room & Wine Loft, indulge yourself in Western food at Bobo KL, Lucky Bo or relish Spanish delights at Cava.

Click to view Free Truffle Duck at Way Modern Chinois

Truffle Roast Duck at Way Modern Chinois

Still want more choices? We have got your back! Take a short drive to Damansara Heights to treat yourself to Japanese Tapas (aka Japas) at Babe which is conceptualized by Michelin-starred chef Jeff Ramsey or relish Asian fusion dishes at PLOY. If you love contemporary Chinese cuisine, walk in Way Modern Chinois and try their iconic truffle roast duck or go to The Point or Mezze Bar & Bistro in case you are craving for Western-fusion delights.

 

 

 

ELITE Review: Free Signature Dishes at Top Italian Restaurants in Klang Valley

 

1/ Luce Osteria Contemporanea

Located in Old Malaya – the renowned century-old building in the heart of KL, Luce Osteria Contemporanea is full of reminiscences of a true Italian spirit with warm lights and imported Pizza wood-fire oven from Italy. The restaurant offers a collection of 55 home-made authentic Italian pizzas along with a plethora of rustic Italian dishes in a cozy and intimate dining room. A perfect location to sit back and chill in the most Italian way.

The Il Gran Tagliere is well-presented to tempt your palate with a rendition of mouth-watering cold cuts of cheese, sun dried tomatoes, artichokes and caper berries nicely interspersed. Curated for at least 6 to 18 months in Italy, the cold cuts of different flavours and textures – including Mortadella, Coppa, Salame Napoli, Smoke Speck, Italian Honey Ham and Parma Ham, are air-flown to the restaurant and carefully hand-picked to match with the 12-month-old cheese that comes along. Take a bite and mingle it with the traditional fried focaccia and you are all set! 

The Sole Pizza (also known as Sun-Shaped Pizza) is a delight that would capture your attention within a few seconds with its eye-catching and unique presentation. Using Burrata Pugliese cheese and fresh dough with flour imported from Italy, the pizza has a crispy skin outside yet uniquely soft texture inside that can easily entice your taste buds. The pizza is infused with a distinct smoky flavor thanks to the wood-fired oven which makes it a comfort specialty. 

The La Porchetta at the restaurant is a triumph in flavor which can silently trigger your salivation. The skilfully de-boned suckling pork is stuffed with high-quality pork sausage, Mortadella, capsicum, artichokes and Mozzarella cheese. Savour the porchetta with the beef stew cooked with Parma Ham that served along for an experience of pristine tastefulness.

TABLEAPP ELITE Members can redeem these 3 signature dishes for free.

Opening Hours: Tue – Sun: 12:00pm – 1:15am, Mon: 4:00pm – 1:15am.
Location: No.10, Old Malaya, Lorong Raja Chulan 50250, Kuala Lumpur.

>> Click here to book a table at Luce Osteria Contemporanea

 

2/ Neroteca

Being the first non-halal Italian restaurant and deli in Malaysia, Neroteca is much frequented by foodies who love authentic Italian dishes with pork. Bright lights, wall-to-wall wine, hanging salami and ham, the restaurant hosts a unique friendly ambience with a quaint atmosphere. 

The Homemade Tortellini Pasticciati has an unpretentious look yet its taste is a stark contrast. The tortellini has mouth-watering fillings of many-month-old grounded salami, prosciutto, pepperoni, grated parmesan, grated nutmeg and egg which will entice your taste buds with full of flavors. The beef ragu sauce, with a milder taste, is a well-thought-out addition that balances the strong flavour of the tortellini. A simple yet flavorful indulgence!

The Classic Tiramisu is a sumptuous dessert made of Italian Savoiardi biscuits and nicely presented in a glass of jar, topped with fresh strawberry, lingonberry and a slice of dried orange. The melt-in-the-mouth tiramisu is a heavenly amalgamation of moderate sweetness and bitterness. The toppings are not only splendid but also refreshing. An ideal way to end your meal!

Neroteca’s La Porchetta is a signature dish that Italian food lovers simply cannot ignore. Plated on a wooden board, the mesmerizing slices of porchetta are drizzled with rich demi-glacé sauce and served with perfectly sautéed baby potatoes and aromatic house-made Roman Focaccia. The La Porchetta is a sublime indulgence with its fascinating crispy skin, well-moisturized meat as well as irresistible flavours. Savour the fork-tender La Porchetta with the made-fresh-daily bread and you will crave for more.

TABLEAPP ELITE Members can redeem these 3 signature dishes for free.

Opening Hours: Daily: 11:00am – 3:00pm, 6:00pm – 11:00pm
Location: Unit G-1, Seri Bukit Ceylon. No. 8, Lorong Ceylon, 50250 Kuala Lumpur.

>> Click here to reserve a table at Neroteca

 

3/ Opus Bistro

Tucked away in the quieter side of Jalan Bangkung in Bangsar, Opus Bistro sits amongst a row of well-known establishments. Scrumptious classic Italian delights and amiable service, the restaurant has earned a number of loyal customers who are true Italian food enthusiasts.


The Grilled New Zealand Rack of Lamb is a succulent dish which is so charming that one just cannot wait to devour. The three beautiful cutlets of New Zealand lambs are seared perfectly on the outside with spectacular striated texture and impeccable char. Cut into the lamb and you might have an eye-opening experience as the pinkish and tender flesh exudes a tempting juice. A value-for-money dish. 

 

The Spaghetti ala Opus is a note-worthy signature dish that will win your heart with its mild piquant flavor. The fresh seafood are cooked on point to preserve its sweetness and juiciness while the spaghetti absorbs all the flavors and satiates the taste buds with its buttery taste. A true delight for seafood lovers. 

The Roasted Cod offers a generous piece of fresh cod emanating a tantalising aroma with an eye-catching presentation. Topped with sweet cherry tomatoes, black olives and sprinkled with a good dose of fresh dills, the cod is a soft-to-the-bite morsel of lip-smacking taste.  Don’t forget to give the potatoes and carrots a try as their freshness won’t let you down at any bite.

TABLEAPP ELITE Members can redeem these 3 signature dishes for free.

Opening Hours: Mon – Sat: 12:00pm – 3:00pm, 6:00pm – 12:00am, Sun: 6:00pm – 12:00am
Location: 67, Jalan Bangkung, Bukit Bandaraya, Bangsar, 59100 Kuala Lumpur.

>> Click here to make a table reservation at Opus Bistro

 

4/ Leonardo’s Dining Room & Wine Loft

Leonardo’s Dining Room & Wine Loft is a quaint restaurant that might drift you back to the Renaissance the first second you step inside it. Taking its name after Leonardo Da Vinci, the restaurant is inspired to deliver not only good food but also a culture of thought and reason which reflects the modern world that we live in. 

The Grilled New Zealand Rack of Lamb, with its mesmerizing pinkish flesh, is a dish that you should keep an eye on. The lamb is skilfully made using blackened marinade technique which gives it a nice crust outside yet tender meat inside. Lying under the charming pieces of lamb is a bed of smooth and creamy sweet potato mash that well-balances the rich lamb racks. The fresh mint-chili sauce that comes along is also a sublime addition to the meat thanks to its aromatic flavor and fresh taste. 

The Leo’s Famous Pork Knuckle Platter might make you gasp in awe. A sight of the big portion of the pork knuckle with golden brown pork skin lying atop is enough to whet your palate. The pork skin is puffed up into startling little bits of crisp which results in a crunchy texture that pairs perfectly with the flavorful pork knuckle. Served along with 4 types of tangy sauce – apple cinnamon, mustard, au jus and red plum sauce, the meal is just simply impressive.  

The Leo’s Famous Spanish Iberico Pork Tenderloin is a must-try specialty for any pork aficionados. The well-cut pork tenderloin lies seductively on a bed of mashed potato and all-natural garden vegetable. Dip the pork into the mixture of Hollandaise and Chimichurri sauce and you might close your eyes in satisfaction as the creamy rich taste of the Hollandaise sauce and the fresh taste of Chimichurri totally enhance the juicy and flavorful pork tenderloin and play off the heavy nature of the food itself.

TABLEAPP ELITE Members can redeem these 3 signature dishes for free.

Opening Hours: Daily: 5:00pm – 12:00am.
Location: 61-1 & 61-2, Jalan Bankung, Bukit Bandaraya, Bangsar, 59100Kuala Lumpur.

>> Click here to reserve a table at Leonardo’s Dining Room & Wine Loft

 

5/ Sapore

Sapore – the Italian, Spanish-Mediterranean restaurant, is a hidden gem in Ampang that has long been a favorite destination of those who love Italian and Spanish-Mediterranean dishes with a modern twist. Sapore means “flavours” in Italian, hence the restaurant focuses on highlighting the authentic taste of Italian and Spanish food like Jamon Iberico, tapas and a number of dishes that pair perfectly with the restaurant’s carefully curated wine.

The 350g Roasted Octopus, Potato, Arugula Modena Balsamic will tantalise patrons’ taste buds with its irresistible flavor. Only high-quality Mediterranean octopus is used to cook for 3 – 4 hours with a variety of fresh herbs to bring out the best of its taste. The octopus is then marinated nicely with garlic black pepper, thyme and Spanish paprika. The use of smoky roasted potato and tangy balsamic dressing is brilliant as it balances the flavorful octopus.

The Hot Tapas – Iberico Pork Ribs with Barbecue Sauce is a worth-trying dish when you come to Sapore. The deep and complex flavour of the Iberico Pork Ribs is enhanced by a beautiful glaze of mouth-watering barbecue sauce smoldered outside. Take a bite and the nutty, tender texture of this succulent dish will make you yearn forever more.

The Spaghetti Carbonara with Egg Yolk, Guaniale Ham & Pecorino is a luscious signature dish for savory lovers. Using a good dose of Guaniale ham & Pecorino cheese and natural salt made from sheep’s milk, the spaghetti has a unique buttery taste filled with a right amount of flavor. The adequate fatness and non-powering flavor of the dish is set to entice diners’ palate. A mere satisfaction that you might never want to end.  

TABLEAPP ELITE Members can redeem these 3 signature dishes for free.

Opening Hours: Mon – Fri: 11:30am – 3:00pm, 6:00pm – 11:30pm; Sat, Sun & PH: 11:00am – 11:30pm.
Location: 18, Persiaran Ampang, Desa Pahlawan, Ampang, 55000 Kuala Lumpur.

>> Click here to book a table at Sapore

 

 

Signature Dishes Review: Opus Bistro, Jalan Bangkung, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

“Opus” by definition mean a work of art and so goes to this hearty Italian restaurant. Opus Bistro is tucked away in the quieter part of Bangsar in Jalan Bangkung. To date, Opus Bistro has been serving up satisfied customers for almost 16 years and along the way has won many prestigious awards, including being voted as the top 20 restaurants in KL. Who would have thought a restaurant which started out as a hobby among a few friends who shared the similar interest of good food and wine has evolved to the success of 4 other sister restaurants located along the same stretch.

We swung by their subtle yet simplistic restaurant anticipating for a journey of hearty Italian flavours. The ambience of soft music, warm lighting coupled with minimalistic feel of the décor sets the mood for a cosy meal. Seated at an open-air table on their restaurant front somewhat enhance the dining experience as the neighborhood was quiet and we could feel some light breeze.

 

1) Spaghetti ala Opus (RM 40++)

Signature Spaghetti ala Opus with generous portion of fresh and succulent seafood.

The signature dish here are the Spaghetti ala Opus, Roasted Cod and Grilled New Zealand Rack of Lamb. Hearty and warming, just by mentioning these signature dishes is enough to trigger involuntary salivation. First up was the famous Spaghetti ala Opus which is a generous plate of spaghetti coated in a light clean tomato sauce, sweet cherry tomatoes and packed with fresh succulent seafood.

Highlight of this Signature Dish, the fresh and succulent seafood.

For this dish, the seafood is the highlight, as the chef might want customers to taste the freshness in the seafood rather than risk overpowering the flavor. As mentioned, the generous portion of seafood was fresh and almost seemed like a seafood parade on itself, titillating us to eat it. Definitely a dish that should not be missed when dining here at Opus Bistro. 

 

2) Roasted Cod (RM 88++)

Perfectly Roasted Cod laid atop of fresh potatoes, carrots and topped with sweet cherry tomatoes and black olives.

Next up was the Roasted Cod. A generous piece of fresh cod roasted to perfection, laid on top of fresh potatoes, carrots and topped with sweet cherry tomatoes and black olives. What impressed us the most was the aroma that radiated from the dish. Not to exaggerate but, we could pick up a pleasing aroma even before the roasted cod was served to us. Such an irresistible attraction for fish lovers! We believed the tantalizing smell was not only from the fish itself but also from the blend of buttery smell and some dill sprinkled on the plate.

The mouth-watering aroma of the Roasted Cod still lingers in my memory.

This dish had the perfect balance of taste as it was savoury in a non-overpowering manner. The texture of the flaky roasted cod melts in the mouth with a buttery after taste leaving you wanting more. In my opinion, this signature dish is highly recommended for anyone who love a well prepared and fresh fish dish.

 

3) Grilled New Zealand Rack of Lamb (RM 83++)

The Grilled New Zealand Rack of Lamb skillfully seared on the outside whilst maintaining a juicy, pink interior, coupled with a delightful mint sauce.

After the Roasted Cod took us away, we were expecting the next best dish and my, did they deliver with their signature Grilled New Zealand Rack of Lamb. This dish is the icing on the cake as it is the perfect ending to an amazing journey of taste. The Grilled New Zealand Rack of Lamb has three substantial cutlets skillfully seared on the outside whilst maintaining a juicy, pink interior, coupled with a mint sauce which perfectly balances the seasoned meat. In a nutshell, every dish served has exceeded my expectation, delivering a mouth-watering, eyes-closed-in-appreciation kind of feeling.

The Signature Dish that got me mouth-watering, eyes-closed-in-appreciation kind of feeling.

Ultimately, I would personally recommend patrons to tried out the Grilled New Zealand Rack of Lamb which I personally love the most. The Grilled Rack of Lamb truly left its mark and deserve a place in my heart. Coming in the second place would be the Roasted Cod which is suitable for those who prefer fresh and lighter tasting dishes. Lastly, the Spaghetti ala Opus did not disappoint either with its generous portion of fresh succulent seafood.

If you would like to give Opus Bistro a try, you can make a booking for the restaurant here.

You probably wonder how I can savour such dishes for free. Of course I don’t mind to share to you my secret. You can sign up for ELITE Membership and enjoy free dishes at more than 100 participating restaurant. You can read more about the ELITE Membership here.

 

 

Opus Bistro

67, Jalan Bangkung 

Bukit Bandaraya,Bangsar,

59100 Kuala Lumpur.

 

Operating Hours:

Mon – Sat : 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM ; 6:00 PM – 12:00 AM
Sun : 6:00 PM
 – 12:00 AM

 

Top 5 Best Wines Places in Kuala Lumpur

Top 5 Best Wines Places in Kuala Lumpur

“I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food.” – W.C Fields, circa 1930’s.
Are you ready to venture into these restaurants voted as the ‘Best Wines Places in Kuala Lumpur’?

WOW! Over 1000 wines selection at Vintry

Top 5 Best Wines Places_Vintry

An exclusive place with the widest selections of wines of over thousands to choose from their collections! Choose your own bottle or even discover a brand new label to pair it with your hearty meal. If you can’t decide what you want, the sommelier would be grateful to assist you in selecting a bottle or more.

Click here for online reservations >

 

Extensive Wine List at Savini Ristorante Italiano

Top 5 Best Wines Places_Savini

Featuring the latest Italian fine dining restaurant in the heart of Kuala Lumpur with an extensive wine list from all around the world. When food is concern, you will be experiencing a very classic cuisine with the freshest ingredients the chef can find.

Click here for online reservations >

 

Flow of Wine with the Sound of Music at Opus Bistro

Top 5 Best Wines Places_Opus

Wines are the best companion to great food! Enjoy a succulent Italian meal with good and fine wines here. Good music not to be missed in this place!

TIP : A scrumptious plate of tomato-based pasta would be complete with a glass (or more) of medium-bodied red wines.

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Finessed Spanish-American Wines at La Bodega

Top 5 Best Wines Places_Labodega

Elaborate with Spanish and South American wine list, La Bodega surely amazed you with their finessed wines selections. All you could ask for is their wine list! Where Spain is concern, Tapas are almost always accompanied by wine.In Spanish, the word ‘Tapa’ means ‘to cover’ and it’s accustomed to serve the wine by placing a piece of bread over the glass.

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Homey Wine-Out at The Barn

Top 5 Best Wines Places_Thebarn

A home for great wines and a smorgasbord of exquisite cuisine crafted to perfectly match your aperitifs, ambience and inner sense of gastronomic paradise.
NEVER leave the place without savouring some of the world’s finest, handpicked selection of old and new world wines.

Click here for online reservations >