Detour: Kuala Lumpur

We recently spent a hastily-planned weekend in Kuala Lumpur. We loved it. There was something so warm, so inviting about this capital city. Our hotel was near KLCC and we had a view of the Petronas Towers from our room. Stunning building, BTW. (We didn’t make our way to the top. We had no desire to fight for the day’s 1,000 free tickets.)

However, on this trip we:

– Visited the outstanding Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia. It houses one of the world’s largest collection of Islamic decorative arts. Our favorite galleries were “Architecture” and “Qur’an and Manuscript.” My only criticism? The museum isn’t as comprehensive as it claims to be; we saw very few artifacts from East, Central, and Sub-Saharan Africa.

– Had a drink and caught Jens Bunge, a chromatic harmonica player, at No Black Tie, the city’s premier jazz club. Bunge was joined on stage by Tay Cher Siang on piano, Norman Rahman on bass, Zahid Ahmad on drums, and Xiong on guitar and vocals. They played a number of jazz standards and several tracks from Bunge’s 2009 album, Shanghai Blue. (US$7.99 on iTunes. Yep, we bought it.) I know this was Bunge’s night, but Tay was simply breathtaking. I’d go back to Malaysia just to see him perform again.

– Ate a lot, as one is wont to do when in Malaysia.

So, two and a half days wasn’t nearly enough time to explore this delightful city. We’re going back soon. On our next trip, we plan to: 

– Discover more of the city’s glorious architecture. On my list: the Sultan Abdul Samad Building; the KL Train Station (natch); Masjid Jamek; Chettiar House; and Loke Mansion. 

– Have breakfast at Chelo’s Appam Stall. Apparently, one can get freshly-made appams, or coconut-milk pancakes, at this stall in Lucky Garden Hawker Centre. Appams are my favorite food… ever.*

I know that many of my readers have traveled to KL for business and pleasure. What do you recommend we do next time we are there?

(*If anyone knows where I can get quality ones in Singapore, especially at hawker centre prices, I will forever be indebted to you.)

5 responses

  1. Have chili pan mee at Kin Kin’s (I believe it’s near Jalan Ipoh), get someone to take you to Klang for bak kut teh, go to Raju’s in Taman Gasing for Indian food, possibly visit Silverfish bookstores in Bangsar (the only place, i think, which sells banned books in KL), have chee cheong fun in Petaling Street, among other things. may be useful. :)

    (Yes, I realise this is pretty much all food.)

  2. Wonderful post and will look out for Chelo’s if I get to KL again.

    Appam is my favorite breakfast too… although I could definitely have it for other meals as well. The last time I had appam in Singapore was at the Appam Specialist located in Tekka market.

    Only downer was that they didn’t make it fresh and so I was disappointed. But I guess I could have requested for it. Have had better ones before where the middle portion was super thick and fluffy.

    My family loves the version with coconut milk, but I prefer it plain.

    Will keep you posted if I come across more stalls that do appam. :)

  3. Glad that you enjoyed KL. There’s lots of food places and an interesting mix of old and new. Petaling Street is always interesting and, besides the old KL Train Station (, do pop over to the Railway Administration Building across Jalan Sultan Hishamuddin (