I have taken a couple of trips to Kuala Lumpur within the span of a year which I think is rather a lot for a broke college kid. I have always loved KL because it is basically food heaven for Singaporean Muslims. You basically don’t have to worry where to eat and you can eat till you puke (not recommended). I think I might have to stop visiting KL for a while because I got jaded with going there ever so often and for the sake of my health and waistline.
However, I do want to share a couple reasons why I love KL and you should too (if you are a 20-something food enthusiast with a need for home decor).
Like I mentioned above, food is absolutely delicious when everything is halal and you can’t get it when you’re home. I personally have tried a variety of eateries but I barely scratched the surface. The food culture in Malaysia is amazing (sorry Singapore). Besides the Halal factor, there’s always a cross-culture of food, especially in cafés. As a person who prefers Western cuisine but also loves my fair share of Malay food, most of the menus provide the sort of a cross-culture between the two and boy, my stomach agrees.
One of my favorite places to eat is Ben’s. I usually go to the one at KLCC because it’s my preferred area to stay. I think everyone knows Ben’s because they have multiple branches like at Pavilion mall and Publika. I am never disappointed when I visit Ben’s. My go-to food is the Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese (but unfortunately has been removed from the menu WHY BEN’S WHY) and the Golden Soft Shell Crab Spaghettini, which was the very first thing I ate there. My choice of dessert is always the Sticky Date Pudding that basically melts in my mouth.
To me, Ben’s is a good place to go if you have parents with Asian food preferences. They have a solid Western and Asian menu that caters to everyone. I also enjoy their conversation cards placed on each table because what is dinner without some talking.
2. Fuel Shack
Another favorite place to eat is Fuel Shack. They have one shop at KLCC’s food court or a bigger one near the Aquaria. I am sure they have more but these are the ones I know. It is one of those gems I chanced upon by accident. Their burgers are one of the best I have had especially for its value for money. I usually get the Original Shack or just the cheeseburger which suffices to make you want to get seconds. I am a huge burger fan and honestly, it is really one of the better burgers I have had. I also love their chili fries which is a generous serving of fries with real cheese (and not cheese sauce) topped with chili sauce (cause we Asian) and some brown sauce that I have yet to figure out.
I always get juice with my food because I eat a lot and sometimes it’s nice to have some extra help in the digestion department. Unlike Singapore, their range of juices is cheaper and wider. I like La Juiceria because it’s cold-pressed instead of Boost’s blended everything. Boost is still good.
3. H&M Home
As a big lover of home decor and doing up my room, I find it difficult to find reasonably priced and pretty items for my home. H&M Home is a must-stop visit for me where I allow them to take my money. The range is not as big as shops in Europe but it is enough to make me spend hours and hours browsing. From what I know, the only H&M Home available is at Avenue K, opposite of KLCC. They have a decent range of cushion covers to organizational trays. Basically, my type of heaven. I am a fan of their trays and wire baskets because it’s much cheaper and nicer than those on ezbuy. Their selection of duvet covers and fitted sheets are simple and yet stylish. Honestly, if you are looking for a place to get home decor at a reasonable price, go here. Trust me, no regrets.
I am still waiting for H&M Home to open in Singapore. Pretty please?
I don’t do much clothes shopping when I am there. Though, KL is heaven for any Hijab girl because of the abundance of scarves and long-sleeved tops. For my most recent trip, I enjoyed shopping at Masjid India area like Semua House for scarves and tops. The range of clothes differs depending on your taste but if you are willing to walk around a bit, you can find tops at very reasonable prices. Another go-to place of mine is Fashionvalet (even though I shop mostly on their online store). I love how fast Muslimah industry is booming because it’s great to have beautiful clothes with actual style and not those mak cik-like tops.
Also, certain body or facial care products found at The Body Shop or Guardian are also cheaper in KL than in Singapore.
My 2 go-to places to stay are Le Apple Boutique Hotel or PNB Perdana Hotel & Suite on the Park. The former is a relatively new place that is right next to Avenue K with convenient access to KLCC train station and opposite KLCC shopping centre. It is relatively cheap compared to other hotels and much nicer/newer than Corus for those who take the Aeroline bus. The latter is more suited if you are traveling with a group and want to stay together. You can get a big apartment room with individual rooms inside. It is good for family/friends who want to be together but also have their privacy. It is walking distance to KLCC area, probably only takes me 5 minutes to walk. It is a bit pricey but has a nice interior and a decent breakfast spread.
I usually prefer to stay in KLCC area because my favorite places to visit or shop are nearby. Also, it’s a landmark area where cab drivers are familiar with. If you choose to use the train system, it is also conveniently located.
Among my trips to KL, I took the various routes one can use to get to the city. I prefer flight as my choice of travel because I dislike sitting in a traffic jam for hours. I have to say the cost of the flight is not cheap but if you go during the off-peak season, prices are good. On my previous trip, I booked flight and hotel via Expedia at a very reasonable price. The problem with the flight is that you still have to travel to the city. You can travel to the city by cab or GrabCar which costs about RM 65 to 80 depending on the location.
As compared to a coach like Aeroline, the bus takes you straight to the city. If you want to take a coach, I recommend Aeroline because it’s both comfortable and the facilities are good. You can watch movies and have a good sleep with decent meals.
A car gives you the luxury to move around easily if you want to go out of the main city area. However, you can also do so with Grab if you don’t feel comfortable with cabs. Grab and Uber can be found anywhere and the prices are not steep if you are worried about the budget. Honestly, I don’t like long car rides just because I hate being a sitting duck. But with the right company and music, car trips can be worthwhile.
Hope this is helpful to someone if you are planning a visit. Or maybe I wrote all these down to remind myself for future trips.
Malaysia truly Asia.