Sunday, September 30, 2012

KL Gastronomy - Salivating Food From the Capital

Food never takes priority during my travels. I always choose the safe and sure bets. But In the last two years or so, I've started experimenting. I'm far from being a connoisseur. I'm still a "safe" eater as far as traveling is concerned. But I've started to spread my wings. And here's just a few of my gastronomic encounters during my last KL visit a few weeks ago. The first one above is dessert: a tower of crushed ice (the finest) with a sprinkling of red beans, "taho pearls" and cashew nuts. Why did I even get this? Because it looked pretty.

The rest are delectable dishes from a Chinese restaurant just across Low Yat Plaza (a Filipina waitress works there): Fried noodle with mixed pork and vegetables; a combination of Chinese-style roast pork and pork barbecue; and, lastly, some fish fillet dish - one of the most delectable I've ever tasted during this trip. Gawd, this makes me hungry. :)

This is the Eye in the Sky!

Fried noodle with mixed pork and vegetables at 20 ringgit - or thereabout.

Roast pork and pork barbecue at a measly 5.50 ringgit. This includes rice and a cup of soup. 

This fish meal is a small order worth 15 ringgit.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Aimless in KL

A bar along Jalan Sultan Ismail not far from Bintang Walk

I've had so much transit in KL that, at the immigration, the officer would answer his own questions upon presenting my passport. "Transit again in KL?" No word exchange really. I just nod and smile. The immigration takes your photo and fingerprints as part of their measures to curtail human trafficking. While this takes time, resulting in long queues, once you've had them done from previous travels, it won't take you a minute to go through immigration (although you still have to endure the long queues). But I'm sidetracking, right?

In this post, I'm sharing what I usually do during these transits. Where do I go? I'm like an inspector updating myself with my KL surroundings. It's nice to discover new things - like when I ended up rounding corners, trying to find Le Apple Boutique Hotel. I searched at the fringes of Jalan Sultan Ismail when I should have looked more centrally. Meanwhile, Jalan Alor is always a great place to see. It's festive and bright; food's not exactly cheap though it's thought as a backpacker's playground. The misconception about backpackers is that they have oodles of cash stashed in their unwashed linens. Hah!

I find pleasure in discovering new corners, regardless of how mundane they seem to others. They're what makes these transits special. When my brother asked for a perfume - a specific Paul Smith scent that apparently had gotten shelved and taken off the market due to their "defective nozzle", I was able to roam the swanky Pavilion's perfumery. Otherwise, I don't really frequent these places - except their DVD shops, of course.

I kinda prefer the ragtag atmosphere of a hawker street (not "hooker" okay?). The meat and essence of a population are more pronounced in these places. Otherwise, I have enough of that in my Manila existence. To think that most foreigners think differently of Metro Manila: exactly the way the city is depicted in the new film, the Matt Damon-less "Bourne Legacy" which had its concluding second-half all shot in the bowels of congested Manila. I liked seeing this rankling sense of apathy because it makes Manila simmer with excitement. Unfortunately for me, my life isn't really in these locations. The Bourne Legacy people apparently picked the most unglamorous part of the metropolis to paint a vivid local color. But I hope not a lot of tourists would feel the need to see Manila after seeing the film. I am protective of my country and I do hope we keep maintaining our low radar status among the backpack community. Quite selfish, am I not? But that's just me thinking out loud.

Meanwhile, here's another snippet of KL... once upon another transit.

This is the Eye in the Sky!

Pretty girl and her beau having a photo shoot all over the Pavilion.

The odd-shaped Sephora Building. 

Pavilion's Liuli Fountain in daylight. One of modern KL's must-see sights.

Pavilion towards their Golden Screen Cinemas

Bukit Bintang intersecting with Jalan Sultan Ismail. Lot 10, one of KL's high end malls, is seen in this photo.

Le Apple Boutique Hotel

Festive Jalan Alor

Fruits along Jalan Alor: jackfruit (langka), mangoes, giant guavas, dragon fruit, apples, papaya, banana, grapes, pomelo and durian.

Jalan Alor

A deserted bar along Jalan Sultan Ismail, just a few blocks from the Bintang Walk.

A corner in KL's Little India

Festive bannerets adorn an area in KL's Little India.

My new 24-hour Internet Shop-cum-convenience store near BB Plaza.  You can print your boarding pass here (0.50 ringgit a page).  This is the 7th Internet Shop among my discoveries.

I just love my Big Breakfast. :)

I have to insinuate these photos before i totally forget about them. I discovered that there's a different variety of Dragon Fruit. They are yellow, smaller, and very sweet! Unfortunately, 15 minutes after partaking, they will send you to the toilet. These are potent gastrocolic fruits, i.e. they are like papayas, pomelos and durians. Very good for constipated patients.

Juicy, sticky and very sweet, these smaller variety of Dragon Fruit is a must-try. Ironically, I found them in Davao City (which doesn't exactly grow Dragon Fruits).

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Pavilion Mall - Views From Where I Stand

Bintang Walk outside from Pavilion.

I didn't really plan on documenting KL's posh "Pavilion" which is my second favorite entertainment arcade in the Malaysian capital. However, I noticed that I've acquired quite a few photos from my several visits here - so why not?

I like its Golden Screen complex because, unlike Berjaya Times Square's, Pavilion's GCC has a more "international mindset" where their audience is concerned. The Malaysian films they release usually have English subtitles. Moreover, they release titles otherwise only seen in art houses. They have alternative flicks: I caught an Iranian film here late last year. Though their cinema admission is a little more expensive than others, it is understandable. Pavilion is right in the heart of Bintang Walk.

Pavilion is built on the former site of Bukit Bintang Girls' School (KL's oldest) which has moved to Cheras. It officially opened in September of 2007, and is punctuated by the colorful Liuli Fountain, a tourist attraction in itself, at its facade. The mall consists of four major components: a retain mall, an office tower, two residential towers, and a proposed hotel. It has 450 shops spread across seven levels.

Here are images from my Pavilion visits.

This is the Eye in the Sky!

I want one.

Cinema foyer

Cinema snack bar

Stand-alone "ads" for the movie "Bait".

Liuli Fountain

Takeshi Kaneshiro looming large on a billboard.