By Shahida Sakeri on October 4, 2019
Great food and amazing adventures make an unforgettable journey for most of us. Thus, in conjunction with the EAT.TRAVEL.WRITE 9 (ETW9) Selangor International Culinary Adventure programme organised by Selangor State Economic Planning Unit (UPEN) together with Gaya Travel Magazine, we invite you to visit these excellent places to dine, play and stay in the state – ideal for not only visiting travellers from afar, but also locals looking for more ideas to rediscover home.
Let’s start the list with a great place to dine that we will swear by: Summit Bamboo Garden Chinese Thai Restaurant, which serves fantastic flavours, unique menus of Chinese-Thai fusion and excellent service. Food is cooked fresh every time and most importantly, with the absence of MSG. Crowd favourites include the satisfying tom yam nam khon, the addictive prawns fried in Thai curry powder, and the steamed fish laced with lime juice and garlic. Be sure to also make space for the succulent barbecue-styled harimau menangis, a buttery grilled sirloin meat dish that tastes as memorable as it sounds! The shop opens every day from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
T: +6 03 8025 9088
Ultimately one of our top picks for specialty coffee and gourmet brunches, a visit to Garage 51 often transports us to the Land Down Under with its creative take on flavours and the overall mood of the place. It is cosy, perfect for sipping a cup of freshly-brewed coffee and indulge in comfort food with good company. But on top of these, we are greatly impressed by the way its founders, brothers Choong Kar Wai and Choong Kar Heng, cleverly transformed the used-to-be garage to a rustic-industrial aesthetic in the form of a seemingly unfinished room outfitted with a rustic communal table made from age-old sampan, high ceiling, full glass window that lets in ample natural light, dangling light bulb and a custom-made container that serves as the kitchen. Garage51 opens every day from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
T: +6 03 5612 5618
What started as a cafe now has expanded into warung-style dining spot with busker performances on weekend nights. Patrons will be spoiled for choice, but for definite pleasers, be sure to try the melt-in-your-mouth brisket burger or the creamy macaroni and cheese. The place opens every day from 6:00 p.m. until midnight.
T: +6 016 688 5157
The walls of Chong Kok Kopitiam probably have witnessed some of the most amazing moments since its establishment in 1940. Back then, it was also a hotel and a bar before being transformed into a solely food and beverage venture. Expect to feel a high sense of community here with patrons of all races and backgrounds come together over their love for food and camaraderie. The nasi lemak sold here is incredibly delicious, while the charcoal toast accompanied by homemade kaya and butter brings back childhood memories. Coffee lovers shouldn’t skip the smooth and aromatic local brew, undeniably a cup filled with love and pride. The shop opens every day from 6:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
T: +6 03 3371 0996
Good luck finding a spot at this hugely popular dining joint, especially during the peak of lunch hour. The menu focuses on simple, straightforward dishes but oh, its satisfyingly rich gravy of fish head curry, which is a perfect balance of spiciness and creaminess, make all the waiting time worthwhile. To keep it up a notch, do pair it with a plate of fragrant fluffy biryani while enjoying the afternoon breeze by the river. The shop opens from 11:45 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. every day.
T: +6 018 316 3638
Nestled in Klang’s Little India, Mohana Bistro is a haven of delightful Indian snacks, filled with endless choices of colourful desserts fit for festivities. Ladoo (ball-shaped sweets often made of either chickpea flour, semolina or ground coconut) is perhaps the most popular choice, but do also try the addictive jaleebi (deep-fried chickpea flour batter soaked in sugar syrup) or gulab jamun (deep-fried dumplings soaked in sugar syrup laced with rose water). Our favourite is barfi, a fudge-like sweet made of condensed milk, sugar, coconut and a variety of nuts.
T: +6 03 3372 7659
Built on wooden platform overlooking the Straits of Melaka, the ambience of the restaurant becomes more magical when the sun goes down. Patrons get to choose from an extensive selection of fresh seafood on site, and request them to be cooked according to their liking.
T: +6 03 3176 6929
Located right in the commercial area of Damansara Uptown (Damansara Utama), among countless shoplots, is the greengrocer that promises to bring only pesticide-free produce either from their own farm, trusted suppliers, or even the wild jungle into its shop. The racks are stacked with only the freshest and tastiest fruits, and its indoor setting makes it a comfortable shopping experience on any day, no matter the weather. Besides fresh fruits, the shop also sells refreshing juices and detox drinks, including unique durian pizza, made from durian paste base and topped with tropical fruits, definitely fitting for all adventurous palates. Those who are less brave may instead settle for the sought-after durian-flavoured soft serve ice cream made from real durian flesh, and it’s incredibly cheap too! The shop opens every day from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
T: +6 03 7732 8463
Hailed from Seremban, this restaurant has been operating for more than a decade before high demand led the owners to open a joint in Damansara Utama. It is cosy and small, but with enough seats for comfortable dining experience, and feels homely with the framed family photos and newspaper clippings on the wall; this is the kind of place where you’ll spend a night catching up with friends and families over conversations and divine food. For instance, the fish curry is packed with fiery punch that you would probably lick the plate long after the meal has finished, and we swear that one of our dining companions even scraped the bottom of the spicy mutton varuval bowl served here because it is THAT good. The restaurant opens daily from 7:00 a.m. until 10:30 p.m.
T: +6 03 7726 5880
This is a casual cafe serving a good selection of Kelantanese delights, including the lip-smacking Nasi Kerabu Bedo’oh, which is steaming blue rice tinted naturally by butterfly pea flower garnished with generous amount of fresh herbs, toasted grated coconut, salted egg and grilled lamb or chicken. The singgang (a soupy dish typically made with fish) served here is equally appealing. The restaurant opens from 11: 30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Saturdays until Thursdays, it is closed on Fridays.
T: +6 012 310 0400
Avid gamers would have likely watched the movie called “Ready, Player, One”, a science fiction adventure that centres on an all-consuming virtual reality game that utilises multisensory gadgets, an experience that fans often dream about. But what if we tell you that you could relive similar experience as shown in the movie in real life? That’d be exciting, wouldn’t it? Enter The Pantheon, a gaming temple equipped with state-of-the-art technologies that will ultimately satisfy your gaming fantasy. In fact, it is the first eSports arena in Malaysia that received the Platinum NVIDIA GeForce GTX iCafe certification, dubbed as the Michelin star rating for the eSports industry.
The Pantheon features a variety of experiential zones incorporating VR equipment (Virtuix Omni), racing simulator, PS4 as well as top of the line computers from renowned gaming brands such as Alienware, Legion, MSI, Omen by HP, Predator and Republic of Gamers. Our personal favourite is of course, the said VR experience whereby player gets to wear head-to-toe multisensory gadgets while being immersed in a chosen world, for example a land full of zombies. It will make you run, both in virtual and real world, while strapped on an incredible Omni VR motion platform. But for those who prefer to train in private, the VIP rooms are also available, offering computers with higher specs for seamless experience. There is also an in-built 123-seater auditorium where gamers gather up to watch eSports tournaments.
In order to enjoy the facilities at the centre, one is required to register for membership at MYR10 per person. Members will then get to top up their account with money that will be deducted automatically as they play; each session costs between MYR5 to MYR50 per hour, depending on the chosen experiential zones.
Aiming to be the one-stop centre for unique dining, entertainment, recreational and shopping experiences, the world’s seventh largest mall (as at May 2018), 1 Utama Shopping Centre is indeed a destination in its own right. Expect to see hundreds of major brands gracing the hallways, while its Sportszone features exciting activities for all to enjoy such as Camp 5 (Asia’s largest indoor rock climbing gym), Sealantis (PADI 5-star scuba diving centre), Padang (rooftop futsal), Ubowl (36-lane bowling centre) and It’s a Hit! Rooftop Baseball (South East Asia’s first and only automated baseball and softball centre).
On top of these, the mall’s latest additions – AirRider (indoor skydiving) and FlowRider (outdoor surf centre) – are also fast becoming the go-to places for adrenaline junkies to satisfy their craving for thrill. Those who long for a quiet place to find solace, on the other hand, could opt for the mall’s Secret Garden, the largest rooftop garden in South East Asia, featuring over 600 species of carefully nurtured rare tropical and temperate plants.
Apart from being the former state capital of Selangor, Klang is also known as the royal town where generations of Selangor Sultans have called home. One such Sultan was HRH Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz, the eighth Sultan of Selangor, who reigned from 1960 until 2001. When he passed away, his successor – HRH Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah – built a royal gallery dedicated to him. A trip to this museum opens up an opportunity to admire an impressive collection of the late Sultan’s personal memorabilia up close. For those who are more interested in the rich history of the Selangor royal family, detailed explanations on the family’s lineage since 1766 are also presented here.
When visiting the museum, take time to appreciate the gallery’s stunning colonial architecture. The building was designed by well-known architect, AB Hubback, who was also the brain behind many other Malaysian architectural masterpieces like the Ipoh and Kuala Lumpur railway stations. The gallery is open on Tuesdays through Sundays; from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Admission is free.
For chocoholics, this museum is the ultimate sweet spot. It spans over two hectares of land divided into two major sections, each offering interactive education on chocolate-making and the industry respectively. Of course, tasty samples are provided as a part of this delicious experience. Creative folks can test their skill on chocolate sculpting, while those who prefer to only eat chocolates, prepare to be spoilt by over 100 brands available for purchase at the museum’s shop at affordable prices. The first section of the gallery offers free admission, while entry to the second section costs MYR5 per adult and MYR3 per child above seven years old. The museum opens every day from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Who would have guessed that in the middle of modern high-rises and commercial developments in the upscale Damansara Perdana, there is a thriving orang asal (aboriginal) settlement? This orang asal community hails from the Temuan tribe, relocated from the Orang Asli Reserve Land at Bukit Lanjan in 2002 when a local developer decided to give the area a major facelift. Each family received a bungalow while bachelors were given an apartment unit each, including MYR45,000 worth of shares in Amanah Saham Berhad, as a compensation for their relocation. The developer also built a school and multipurpose hall for the people.
Today, Desa Temuan’s community has slowly assimilated into modern society, but the community’s traditional customs and celebrations such as Gogo (Bogeng) – a village ceremonial dancing typically performed during weddings – is still practiced. Visitors can learn more about this tribe and the neighbourhood at a local museum in the area.
This hotel wins guests’ heart as a modern business hotel, strategically located in the modern township of Bandar Bukit Tinggi with many places of interest being only a short drive away. It has 250 spacious rooms equipped with amenities that meet the needs of guests. It also boasts an outdoor swimming pool, a relaxing spa, a gym and Klang’s largest ballroom that is ideal for corporate functions and weddings. Breakfast options at its all-day dining outlet, Buzz, are abundant, but guests should not miss the opportunity to try the hotel’s version of Ikan Bakar Tepian Tebrau, a successful attempt to recreate the popular grilled fish dish originated from Johor.
One will be impressed when stepping into the opulent world of Dorsett Grand Subang with its unmistakably Malaysian-inspired lobby embellished with marble, wood and intricate artworks. The hotel’s 478 rooms and suites are spacious and tastefully designed, including four food and beverage outlets, one of them being the award-winning Chinese restaurant The Emperor, which dishes out sinfully delicious moon cakes for Mid-Autumn Festival. There is also swimming pool and a spa on site. Should guests feel like venturing out, the hotel offers free shuttle service to nearby shopping malls.
EAT.TRAVEL.WRITE 9 (ETW9) Selangor International Culinary Adventure is a Media, Bloggers & Social Media Influencers familiarisation trip organised by Selangor State Economic Planning Unit (UPEN) together with Gaya Travel Magazine, and supported by Wardah Cosmetics and Berjaya Food Berhad.
This article is featured in Gaya Travel Magazine Issue 14.3. Read other contents HERE.