Coffee In Kuala Lumpur (Part 2 – Huckleberry Food & Fare)

Our need to visit K.L twice this year was not only to explore some new areas, and stay in an awesome Malay AirBnB, but to return to a couple of cafes that we had thoroughly enjoyed a month or so before.

VCR was one, the other, Huckleberry Food & Fare at Bukit Damansara.
Yin, a good friend here in Penang and the owner of Yin’s Sourdough Bakery, had recommended Huckleberry, and being a lover of good bread and Danish pastries I couldn’t get there quickly enough!

We took a train to Bangsar, and a taxi from there to Damansara Plaza. Taxis in KL are cheap compared with Penang so we didn’t mind using them.
I liked Huckleberry immediately. The white country style cafe looked fresh and inviting. Flower boxes lined the outside eating area and grey blinds with the cafe logo provided shade for customers.  A cool breeze drifted from the many ceiling fans placed overhead.Entrance to Huckleberry Food & Fare, black & white tiles at Huckleberry Kuala Lumpur

Smart entrance to Huckleberry Cafe

At the front of the cafe sections of black & white floor tiles give the place a somewhat European feel and a blackboard displays the lunch specials of the day. Looking through a  window on the right side of the cafe I could see the large ovens that bake their selection of impressive looking bread. A sentence on a sign above these reminds us of Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn. It was from this book that the cafe takes its name as the motto of the business is,  “there ain’t nothing in the world so good when it’s cooked right”
My first impression was of a cafe asking me to ” come inside” and considering the first thing we saw as we opened the door was a fridge full of decadent looking cakes, there was little chance that we wouldn’t!!

bread, french pastries, Huckleberry, Finn, Mark Twain, Cafes in Kuala LumpurMouth watering pastries and fresh bread at the Huckleberry counter

The Patient Partner was already eyeing the double chocolate brownie, whilst I was drooling at the baguettes and Danish pastries further along the counter.

We were shown to a seat within seconds so that put paid to the drooling and we began the more serious business of deciding what we would have for breakfast.
On our first visit we were very careful not to eat too much for fear of not having room for the cakes, always the first consideration when we are treating ourselves!!
So, we chose the poached eggs. These were cooked to perfection. Why is it that when I cook them they only look this good once in a while, despite all the swirling?!!

Poached Eggs at Huckleberry K.L, swirling poached eggs, organic eggs at Huckleberry food & FareFresh, Free Range Poached Eggs  with tasty Sourdough Bread

The sourdough bread was so tasty, we could have eaten the whole loaf.
And yes, we still had plenty of space for the Kouign Amman, a gorgeous crunchy, sticky buttery almond pastry that stuck to our fingers, but melted in the mouth.
And speaking of melt in the mouth, the Sable Chocolate cake was to die for. Made with real chocolate and butter this is a chocolate lovers dream.

Kouign Amman Pastry, sticky, melt in the mouth, French Pastry, Huckleberry K.L.Beautiful, sticky, crunchy, gooey, sweet Kouign Amman. A favourite pastry at Huckleberry and no wonder!

Naturally we had coffee to finish off this brunch treat. It was good. Not a coffee that knocks your socks off with the flavour, but neverthess, still up there with some of the better ones. Huckleberry uses a Sumatran Gayo from DeGayo Roasters.

Sable Chocolate Cake, melt in the mouth, buttery, rich choclate cake cum biscuit at Huckeleberry Kuala LumpurThis Divine rich chocolate Sable Cake is a chocolate lovers dream

On our second visit to Huckleberry we knew just how much we could eat, and knowing that we would choose the same cake & pastry as before because they were so damn good we decided on a slightly different savory dish.
Strangely, even though we wanted the poached eggs again, the P.P. was told on ordering that they weren’t poaching eggs. Now, being a man he didn’t question this. Why no poached eggs, I asked him? After all they cooked them last time. I was left wondering on that one!!

He’d ordered us the scrambled instead and I have to say they were the best scrambled eggs I’ve ever eaten, and I don’t think I’m too bad at whisking up a few eggs,  adding a few herbs, spices or tomato etc, but these eggs were light and creamy and very obviously free range and organic. Apologies for no photo but I was too busy making sure the P.P didnt eat my share!!

Shakshuka, eggs, chilli, capsicum, garlic, Sourdough bread for dipping, Huckleberry Cafe Kuala LumpurMiddle Eastern Shakshuka, one of our favourite brunch meals

To follow we had the ShakShuka, a middle Eastern dish of cooked tomatoes, onion, chilli and capsicum. Eggs are broken onto the top and it is then baked in the oven until the eggs are set. The idea is to mix it all up, break off chunks of crusty bread, dip them into the pan, and scoop up mouthfuls of the tasty broth.

I often cook this at home, it’s a quick meal, nutritious with all the Vit c from the capsicum, moorish with fresh sourdough bread, and with the addition of some paprika and saffron to liven it up you can’t go wrong.

I find it hard to go past a great bakery, and the Huckleberry bread was far too good looking to ignore. We bought a loaf of their wholemeal Miche  sourdough to eat at our AirBnB. This beautiful bread is the pride & joy of their range.

Miche Bread at Huckleberry Fine Food & fare Kuala Lumpur, long fermentation, large loaf of Miche breadDense and crusty with a deep, earthy flavour, Huckleberry’s Miche bread is a favourite at the Bakery.

 A Miche is dense & crusty, with an incredibly rich flavour. The flour used is often toasted before baking and the loaves have a long fermentation time. Traditionally they are made into very large loaves, often about 1.5-2kg. This goes back to the time when there might have only been one oven in the village and its people had to bake a loaf that would last for the entire week. At Huckleberry the Miche is made in a 500g size but larger ones are available on request.
I wanted to buy the baguettes as they looked soooo appetizing, but had to be reminded by the P.P that one loaf of bread was probably enough to be carrying around K.L. all day in the heat.  Disappointed, I agreed.

                                            Until Next time!!

Quote from Huckleberry Finn at Huckleberry Food & Fare, Mark Twain, Huckleberry Cafe Kuala Lumpur,This quote from Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn hangs  in the Bakery above the Bread ovens.

Coffee in Kuala Lumpur ( Part 1 – VCR)

We covered a lot of ground in our two short visits to K.L. this year. but sadly it wasn’t enough time to drink as much good coffee and eat as much great food as we would have liked. After all, there’s only so much a stomach can handle in one day!
Infact the reason we went there twice was so we could get to all the cafes we had missed the first time around, and we still failed miserably! K.L. has embraced the coffee culture big time and for two coffee snobs from Melbourne in need of a great brew, what could be better?

Only a 5 hr bus trip from Penang and we are dropped off just a short walk from KLCC. By this time we’re pretty desperate, not just for a coffee but something to eat. The bus, Aeroline, is very comfortable, infact it’s far more comfortable than taking the plane, it just takes 4 hrs longer. But it’s a good chance to enjoy a book, write a blog post, or delete hundreds of unwanted photos from your iPhone !!
There’s plenty of leg space, especially if you book the two front seats upstairs and you can even have headphones and watch a movie or two.

They do provide a meal along with your ticket price and water, tea or coffee, but if you enjoy eating good food, then I suggest you take your own.
On our first trip the meal was a plastic container filled with two spongy looking bao. One with sweet bean and the other with a filling of curry. They looked to me like something I use to wash my dishes with, though according to the Patient Partner they tasted slightly better than they looked.
The second trip it was some sort of noodle dish, so possibly slightly better, but I decided to pass.

Bao meal on Aeroline, Food on Bus Penang to Kuala LumpurSweet Red Bean & Curry Bao on route to K.L. from Penang

Arriving in K.L the bus parks at the Corus Hotel a stones throw from Avenue K, a shopping centre on the same side as the Corus, and just opposite the Twin Towers. Here we found our first coffee stop, Urbean, a small cafe with some  healthy dishes on their menu and some nice coffee. Nothing sensational, but nevertheless quite okay and very convenient as we used this station a lot during our visit. Espresso Lab is right next door to Urbean so you have the choice.

Urbean Avenue K, Coffee at Avenue K Kuala Lumpur, Coffee at KLCC StationGood food & coffee at Urbean, Avenue K at KLCC Station

I had listed a few cafes that we should check out and had planned VCR as our brunch venue for our first day. We found our way to Jalan Galloway at Bukit Bintang and the lovely old house that is home to this popular cafe, and Keith Koay the current Malaysia Barista Champion.

VCR House, Jalan Galloway Heritage House, VCR Kuala LumpurHome to VCR Cafe on Jalan Galloway, Kuala Lumpur

We had high hopes for a great coffee and were not disappointed. We agreed that it was the best we had drunk in all our years in Malaysia. We both had a long black. The grinder was perfectly calibrated and the espresso shots were smooth and full of flavour with no hint of bitterness.
Keith Koay took out 16th place at the World Barista Championships in Dublin, Ireland this year, and it was easy to see why!

VCR Bukit Bintang Kuala Lumpur, Jalan Galloway Cafe VCR, Great Coffee at VCR K.L.For a quieter moment at VCR choose a weekday. Getting a seat at the weekend can be difficult

For brunch the Patient Partner chose the Turkish Eggs, a chickpea dish with egg, chicken chipolata, spinach and yoghurt in a thick tomato sauce, with crusty sourdough bread for dipping & scooping, whilst I settled for something slightly more decadent.

VCR Turkish Eggs, Chickpea dish at VCR K.L.Tasty Turkish Eggs at VCR

If you happen to visit VCR then I would suggest that you do NOT leave without devouring the French Toast. I have eaten many french toast dishes in my life. I’ve made many myself, but this one is a winner. In fact I dreamed about it for a month until we re-visited K.L.

Decadent French Toast At VCR, Brioche French Toast at VCR Cafe Kuala Lumpur, French Toast in K.L.The Best French Toast Ever

A thick slice of Brioche Bread soaked in egg & toasted to perfection, was the base of this delicious meal.  A scoop of Raspberry sorbet  balanced precariously on the top. ( I chose the sorbet rather  than the espresso Icecream for fear of a fructose reaction.) A raspberry compote drizzled over the toast. Next to the brioche,  a layer of biscuity crumbles sitting on a mocha sauce and sprinked with pepitas. Delicious!!

There was plenty to choose from on their menu and I would  loved to have tried the more savoury dishes. However being blessed this last year with fructose malabsorbtion I was fairly limited with choice. So, luckily it meant that I had to choose the French Toast again on our second visit to VCR!!

The service was prompt and the staff were friendly. I have since read a couple of negative reviews on facebook about this cafe, mostly with regard to  having a long wait for a table & service at the weekends. Obviously none of these people have been to the top cafes in Melbourne where it is not unusual to have a wait of 30-45mins. Naturally they are busier at the weekends when people aren’t working so if you are in a hurry or too impatient to wait for a great coffee and meal then I’d suggest a visit during  weekdays.

Some customers also complain that the coffee is too expensive. Coffee beans cost the same worldwide so how can cafes make it any cheaper regardless of which country it is.  Sure, in K.L. you can get a local Kopi for less but the beans used are mostly inferior in quality compared to the best Arabica beans that are being used by cafes such as VCR.

VCR Menu, Brunch VCR, Coffee VCR, French Toast VCRVCR’s Mouthwatering Menu

Turkish Style Eggs VCR, VCR Kuala Lumpur, Raspberry Sorbet, Brioche French Toast,Enjoy, we did!!






Rags to Riches in Kolkata

We left the Indian Coffee House and wandered through some more of the city’s back streets and laneways. Many of the walls were lined with the daily washing. Even the run down, dirty grey buildings looked beautiful with the bright reds, orange, yellow and green of saris and the bleached white of Dhotis & Kurtas drying in the steamy heat of the day.

Kolkata Laneways, Washing in Kolkata Slums, Drying Washing in the Kolkata Laneways, Kurtas,Washing Day in the Laneways of Kolkata

We decided to take a rickshaw instead of the train. I felt uncomfortable then, and still do, that this form of transport still exists. No one should have to pull another person along by hand, but I realise also that these men need to make a living. Most have come from the  countryside in Bihar and  have  families to support.  Unfortunately it’s often the only work they can get.

Rickshaw Pullers from Bihar India, At this moment there are around 3000 Rickshaw Pullers in Kolkata

Our rickshaw puller or Wallah as they are called in India, was  immaculately dressed, small and  wiry with muscles as strong as an ox. As we weaved between traffic the tiny bell attached to his fingers rang out to call his presence.

Ickshaws Kolkata, Rickshaw Puller, Oberoi HotelOur Rickshaw Puller in Kolkata, the last City in the World to use hand-pulled Rickshaws. Note the string of his bell around his finger

At times we seemed to dodge buses & cars by inches, but I was amazed by the way our wallah handled his cart with such ease, considering his size and our combined weight. ( more than usual after eating curry, rice & Indian desserts for a month!!)

Rickshaw Wallah, KolkataWith his tiny bell tinkling our Wallah negotiates the crazy Kolkata Streets.

We left our rickshaw puller at San Yat Sen station and caught a train  to the  Esplanande Metro Station. We were close to the  expensive Oberoi Hotel. and as a friend had recently told us to have a look inside, we did.  As we walked through the internal garden & swimming pool area we would never have known that we were on one of the busiest streets in Kolkata. We saw  the billiards bar and thought we would order a coffee. Maybe we’d get a decent one here!!

Rags to Riches, Oberoi Hotel Kolkata,

It was considerably better than our previous one and was served with some very delicious homemade biscuits.  But we paid heavily for the priveledge, Aus$20  to be exact. We were served by very polite waiters who were happy to deliver our coffee quickly in case they should miss a wicket in the cricket match they were watching on TV.

Rags to Riches in Kolkata, Oberoi Lobby, Coffee & Biscuits at the Oberoi, KolkataLobby at the Kolkata Oberoi. A nice place to stay I guess, but if you prefer the real experience of Kolkata it’s probably not for you!!

What a difference here. Nothing could have been further from the experience we had enjoyed at the Indian Coffee House and our journey to find it. We had gone from rags to riches within the space of 30 mins.

That’s India!!


Searching for Coffee in Kolkata, India

It wasn’t easy to find a good coffee in Kolkata. There were  certainly plenty of cafes selling coffee but they were not so good. Until the last decade most of India’s coffee consumption was in the South and the North was still predominantly a tea drinking society. Then along came the  chains such as Starbucks, Barista and Coffee Day and western style coffee became the ‘in thing’ especially amongst the younger population.

The popular Flurys Cafe at 18, Park St Kolkata opened in 1927

Since I find coffee at these places mostly undrinkable I found a new appreciation for tea during our month in India, especially Chai, which generally was far more palatable than anything else. Hotel coffee just didn’t cut it for me and although we tried several cafes including the famous Flurys in Park St we couldn’t find a decent cuppa. But then, the Patient Partner and I are coffee snobs so I guess we’re just too fussy!!

Chai Tea in Kolkata, Brewing Chai on the Street, Indian ChaiSpicy Chai Tea being brewed on the street in Kolkata

This, of course did not stop my need to find the Indian Coffee House. I had read some time before our trip about this iconic institution and I needed to see it with my own eyes, and whats more I wanted to drink coffee in it, just once!

There are several related Indian Coffee Shops around India but the only one I wanted to visit was the one in Kolkata.  Here was the true meeting house of Kolkata’s literati. Great names from India’s rich past such as Rabindranath Tagore, Subhas Bose, Satyajit Ray and the revolutionary Malay Roy Choudery
I wanted to sit where they had sat. Where they had passionately discussed their poetry, plays, music and films. Where academics had held their adda and heated arguments on politics and the future.

Front View Indian Coffee House Kolkata, College St Coffee House Kolkata, Heritage Coffee House, Albert Hall, KolkataThe Iconic Indian Coffee House, College St, Kolkata

After going through the usual security search of bags & body we squeezed into a train carriage on Kolkata’s underground with what appeared to be at least half of the city’s inhabitants.
Just as well we are fairly slim or we may never have had this pleasure!
We got out at San Yat Sen Central Station and walked the rest of the way to the College St area where we would find the coffee house.

Rickshaws in Kokata. Kolkata StreetsOne of many  Hand Pulled Rickshaws on the Streets of Kolkata

And what a walk it was. I had fallen in love with Kolkata the moment I had stepped out into its crazy streets a few weeks earlier and this second visit did nothing to change that feeling.
Walking around this city is like going back in time. The rattling sound of its dilapidated trams and the jingling bells of it’s hand pulled rickshaws are enough to have you believing that time is standing still in this city with a big heart.

Kolkata Rickshaw,Kolkata Tram, We walked through streets, lanes and alleyways that cradled a million stories.
Streets where cows, dogs, cats, chickens and some of the city’s poorest live as  one. Women cooking on cast iron stoves under tarpaulins held up by 4 spindly sticks, while children, laughing, and just being children, played with flattened footballs and sticks for cricket bats. It was quieter here too, away from the craziness of the City’s busiest streets.

Cooking while living on the street. Street Food in KolkataLunch on the street in Kolkata’s slums

No one bothered us or asked for money. People were too busy trying to eke out a living in some way or other to worry about a couple of tourists walking their streets. We took it all in and whilst there could have been some priceless photos, I couldn’t find the heart to pull out my camera and so obviously capture their poverty.

We eventually came to the College St area. We couldn’t mistake this location. With the University close by, the streets were lined with stalls selling books. In fact the pavements oozed with books piled high, many neatly tied in bundles with coloured twine. Everywhere we looked there were books, old ones, new ones, secondhand, and anything in between. Students were milling around, chatting and checking out the various stalls which possibly all carried similar, if not the same books as each of  the other stalls.

College St, Kolkata, Bookshops in KolkataOne of the many Bookshops on College St, Kolkata

And then we saw the sign. It was on the front of a very old, narrow, and tall, run down building.  Actually there’s not much in Kolkata that isn’t old and run down!!  And this building dates back to  1876 when it was the Albert Hall.  It became the Coffee House in 1942 run by the Workers Co-operative Society. In 1958 the management closed it down but a petition was raised by the College & University to save the heritage building and it was re-opened the same year.

Old sign Indian Coffee House, New Sign Indian Coffee House Kolkata, Searching for Coffee in Kolkata, Tagore, BoseThe Old Sign now dwarfed by the brightly illuminated new one, including the mobile number!

I’m not sure whether it was good or bad timing but at that moment a  bright, new illuminated sign was being hoisted above the very dirty ageing one that looked as if  it had been there since the Albert Hall gave way to its successor. I felt sad. The original one had history & character etched onto its face. Like everything that’s happening in Asia now it seems that NEW is better!!

 We watched it being attached and then went inside. As we climbed up a dodgy  staircase to the first floor we passed a wall panel of even dodgier wiring and switches that looked old enough to have serviced the entire building since it was built.
The Coffee house was just as I’d seen it in photos except that now it looked more tired and somewhat  grubbier. Maybe the photos did it more justice than it deserved.

Old Power Board, Electricity in Kolkata, Indian Coffee house powerboardThe Indian Coffee House Powerboard, how old is this?!!

Several waiters were swanning around the tables in white Punjabi uniforms with  head gear that looked like fanned serviettes.    A brick and wooden bench was being manned by the cashier. Nothing fancy in this place, especially the service. We waited sometime for our serviette waiter to take our order. It didn’t matter, I was too busy photographing the entire room and the incredible balcony that overlooked the hall and housed the second floor.

Serviette style Turban, Waiter at Indian Coffee House, KolkataPlacing our coffee order, note the Waiters’ unusual Turban style head gear

Our coffee arrived. It was nothing to rave about, In fact it was pretty awful. A watery tasteless cup of nothingness. But at 16 cents Aus you can hardly complain. And anyway we were not there for a great coffee, however nice it might have been, but for the history of this amazing building.

Awful Coffee at College St Coffee House, Watery Coffee at Indian Coffee HouseePretty Ghastly Coffee, but who cares, look where we are!!

We sat for a while, soaking up the ambience. The whirring sound of ancient fans added to the atmosphere and  old photos of a bygone era brightened up the faded walls. A huge photo of Rabindranath Tagore on one of them.  There was a smoking area which seemed to be the whole room. No one other than us, the only foreigners there, cared about the haze, they were too busy in conversation with each other. It was a welcome sight. The majority there communicating without the need for a smart phone!

College St Coffee House, Balcony Indian Coffee HouseInside the Indian Coffee House, Kolkata, an awesome balcony around much of the second floor

We watched the waiters lazily taking orders, the customers hardly glancing up as they ordered another watery coffee between another important sentence.
We sat long enough to feel the ghosts of the past and imagine the conversations and debates that possibly changed the face of Kolkata’s politics and provided India with its famous poets and writers of the time.
Sadly we were unable to access the balcony & the second floor but we left knowing that the search for a coffee had given us an unforgettable experience.

Balcony College St Coffee House, Coffee Kolkata

Searching for Coffee in Hainan, China

Searching for a coffee in Haikou City on the Island of Hainan found us in a pedicab in the pouring rain being driven (pedaled) by an elderly lady, at top speed, and as if her life depended on it. Determined to get us to a cafe that had been recommended by a very extrovert owner of a dog grooming salon she faced the challenge with amazing Forest Gump-like perseverance.

Coffee Time Cafe & Restaurant in Haikou China.

Regardless of the raging storm and her two weird passengers who had no idea where they were going, and were clinging for dear life onto the bars of her pedicab,  she pedaled as fast as her tiny  legs could possibly pedal. After several stops at places that were definitely not coffee shops, and many a quick discussion with anyone she figured might shed light onto the whereabouts of such a place, she finally stopped in front of a very dismal looking restaurant which to our amazement boasted a dilapidated sign saying ” Coffee Time”

Haikou Coffee, Hainan Coffee, Pedicab in HaikouOur gorgeous bikey chicks’ face lit up with the best toothless smile of the year as she deposited us at our destination and gratefully accepted, most likely, the biggest tip she had had that year!!
Was it worth it? For the coffee, possibly not, but for the journey and that smile, most definitely!!

Our visit to Hainan was some years ago  and since then  chains such as Starbucks have arrived. However if you are looking for speciality coffee it might still be difficult. Even though Hainan Island has a large area devoted to coffee plantations, and a population who have been consuming it for many years, the  majority of that grown is Robusta, a lesser quality bean with considerably more caffeine content.  However In parts of Yunnan Province, and in particular, Xinzhai Village, good quality Arabica Beans are being produced which are now being shipped to other parts of China, so I’m sure that Hainan will be enjoying these, if not in Haikou, but in the tourist areas of Sanya in the South.

I took the following  extracts from a very long article I found online whilst reasearching more recent cafes in Hainan.

“Xinzhai produces Arabica, a small bean that is considered superior in taste than Robusta, the middle-sized bean that is produced in southern Yunnan and Hainan. The latter is mostly used as filler for instant coffee.

For years Xinzhai Village went out of its way to sell directly to consumers and marketed their product as small beans from Yunnan in China’s coffee market. Unlike its neighbouring villages, which one by one have ‘surrendered’ to supplying large names, such as Starbucks, Nestlé and the sort, Xinzhai wants to maintain its own brand because it aspires to grow the best coffee in China and maybe even the world.”

Coffee v Durian

A few days ago we listened to a talk give by a young American called Lindsay Gasik. She calls herself a Durian Nerd and she travels around the world exploring the many different varieties of what is known in Asia as ‘The King of the Fruits.

Her love & passion for this prickly, smelly fruit that repulses most Westerners with its pungent fragrance, but excites those that learn to love it, has given her the chance to explore areas of the world she might never have visited.
Now I’m not quite sure if we love coffee more than Durian, it’s a fine line. When we’re eating a good Durian, maybe a Red Prawn or Masang King variety we would probably agree that it wins hands over, and yet…….a great coffee, well, there’s nothing that compares with that either!  Of course, the after effects of both are very similar.

Red Prawn Durian

If you love Durian as much as we do then eating too much in one sitting, which we often have, will heat up the body, make you feel a little spaced out, dehydrated and sleepy. Too much coffee will do the same thing after the initial high.
As an antidote for the after effects of Durian some say that drinking water directly out of the  shell solves the thirst and that dipping your hands in the water will take away the smell. But a tasty little fruit known as The Queen Of the Fruit will help to cool you down.  With a coffee overdose, plenty of water will help while you are drinking it.

Mangosteen, Queen of the Fruits, Cooling after Durian Beautiful Mangosteen, Queen of the Fruits

( for more Durian info from Lindsay click here)

Like Lindsay, our love of coffee has added something extra to travel and the chance to explore areas otherwise unknown.
Running tours has given us the chance to travel more but it’s often the time alone that we explore and discover.

Kuala Lumpur Re-Visited

We have a new found liking for Kuala Lumpur! The city we used to think of as dirty, crowded, seedy and relatively uninteresting is having a face lift. Once a place to stop off at en route to or from our second home it has suddenly become an enjoyable change from the less sophisticated lifestyle of Penang.

KL is certainly no less the concrete jungle it always was, it’s still busy and noisy and the huge LRT and monorail systems loom above your head and rattle their way around the city on an ever increasing number of lines. These, regardless of efficiency and a need to transport a huge population, are not pretty.

Monorail in Kuala LumpurMonorail in K.L.  The beautiful architecture of  Masjid Albukhary in the background.

KL is not what you would call a beautiful city by any means, but it is attempting to do something to make up for its once very ugly face. There is green in KL. Parks and gardens allow some respite from the concrete as well as the heat. In front of the Petronas Twin Towers is a beautiful park with a lake, several fountains, a playground and swimming pool for children. Within walking distance of KL Central is the Lake Gardens which also houses an enormous Bird  Park. Titiwangsa Park is only a short trip out of town. Taxis are cheap and Uber even cheaper.

Now Perdana Gardens K.L. Lake Gardens Kuala LumpurLake Gardens, now called Taman Tasik Perdana in K.L.

We’ve noticed too that the city is becoming more pedestrian friendly. There are more street crossings and lights and most of the traffic actually stops for you, unlike Penang where getting across a street can still be risky even for the most nimble of pedestrians.
Covered walkways make it easier to get around out of the sun. A huge covered bridge takes you from KLCC to the Pavilion at Bukit Bintang. The LRT is fast. We rarely had to wait more than a minute or two for a train.

relaxing in K.L.City Centre Parks in Kuala LumpurA Place to relax & enjoy infront of KLCC & Twin Towers

But if I’m really honest one of the main reasons for a visit to KL is for its’ cafes. Coffee in Penang has without doubt gone ahead in the last few years but the big city is at another level. And, dare I say it, there are a few cafes that I would rate as good as those in Melbourne.

Kuala Lumpur Coffee Best Coffee in K.LTasting Plate at Yellow Brick Road Cafe K.L.

Follow coffee in K.L on my next post  & click here for a few ideas of what to do and an unusual place to stay in Central Kuala Lumpur