Wednesday 6 November 2013

Restaurant Review - Kuala Lumpur

When I was planning my Cambodia trip, I decided to stop off in Singapore on the way home. I had to change planes there anyway and I had never been to Singapore so I thought it would be a great opportunity to visit, even though I only had two days before I had to get back for work. It was only after I'd booked the trip that I looked at Singapore on a map and realised it shared a border with Malaysia, another country I would love to visit. It was too late to change my flight home though, and I was scheduled to fly from Cambodia to Singapore, landing at 10pm local time on Saturday night, and leave Singapore to fly back to the UK on Tuesday morning. I asked if I could change my flight home to go from Kuala Lumpur but was told it wasn't possible at that stage. So then I had an idea.... you probably think this is crazy, but I flew from Cambodia to Singapore on Saturday night, got to my hotel around 11.30pm, and the next morning at 5am went back to the airport and flew to Kuala Lumpur, spent the day sightseeing and got the last flight back to Singapore that evening, getting back to my hotel at about midnight! The following day I had a day's sightseeing in Singapore and flew home the morning after that. So I squeezed as much as possible into my short trip - it was tiring but I'm very glad I did!
I visited the Petronas towers in Kuala Lumpur. You really need to book tickets in advance -there are a limited amount on sale on the day but you need to queue very early in the morning before they sell out. It's very easy to book online through the website and you are given a fixed time to be at the towers. You are taken up in a lift to the "skybridge" that links the two towers on the 42nd floor, then you go up to the observation deck on the 86th floor. The view is amazing - the Petronas towers were the tallest building in the world until 2004, but have now been surpassed by many other structures.
I only wanted a quick lunch as I had a limited time for sightseeing, but by lunchtime I was exhausted and needed to sit down. I plumped for a restaurant called Es Teler 77 which turned out to be a fast food chain, but as it was a brand I'd never heard of I was happy to try it. I did see McDonald's, Burger King and I think even Nando's in Kuala Lumpur but I didn't want to eat at any of those!
The menu luckily had both photos and descriptions of the dishes in English; I chose some sort of chicken and noodle dish, with crispy wontons in it, called mie ayam pangsit, that was brought to my table along with a bowl of clear soup. I was happily eating the soup with a spoon, alternating between eating that and the chicken dish, so was a little embarrassed when a member of staff helpfully told me I was supposed to pour the broth into the chicken and noodles and make a kind of soup! I also had a drink called a 'happy soda' that I would liken to a raspberry soda with a thick vanilla liquid at the bottom. It was very nice and the amazing thing was that everything you see in the picture below cost about £3! If this is the Malaysian version of fast food then I'm impressed.

 Also while I was there I took a trip out to the Batu Caves, just outside Kuala Lumpur. There are temples inside the limestone caves that are still used for worship today; to reach the caves you must climb up 276 steps. The most amazing thing is that this photo looks as if the gold statue is in the foreground and the steps are in the background - but that's not the case at all. The statue is the tallest of Lord Murugan (the Hindu god of war and victory) in the world, and it is actually at the bottom of the steps - so everything in this photo is to the same scale. The statue is quite literally massive - 140 feet high, and painted with 300 litres of gold paint. It's definitely worth a visit if you are ever in Malaysia!

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