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Monthly Archives: March 2012

Bangsar = Islington?

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Why do we feel so comfortable here? For starters, the racial mix in Malaysia is virtually on a par with London.

Secondly we happen to have found a spot in KL that is, pound for pound, a carbon copy of our existence in London. It’s not as though we ever conciously went looking for it, it’s just that the expat enclaves of Mont Kiara, TTDI and Sri Hartamas whilst I’m sure great if you are loaded and send your kids to international school, don’t do much for those of us transitioning to the idea of parent-hood.

We’ve traded in leafy N5; home to the BBC’s Nick Robinson (who I caught copping a cheeky glance at my wife’s bum at the Highbury Fields tennis courts once), Nigel Slater (who always looks a bit dishevelled, sorry Nig) and “Lyn Slater from Eastenders”, for Bangsar. Read the rest of this entry


Panic over.

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Finally, the cherry has been popped. Tonight, we dined at a bistro that has a very decent wine list. Crossing continents, years and styles, this had something for everyone; Bordeaux-files, Shiraz-nuts and Californ-I.As. Parker points are listed against the more extravagant bottles – tantalising, but out of reach.

Alexis Bistro does a mixture of western and asian. Staples for the Brits, French and Yanks and then a host of pizzas. But also a great selection of modern-Malay dishes too. Oh, and for those with a sweet tooth, cakes ahoy. Read the rest of this entry

When even bad wine is good

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One of the things about moving to a completely new country is that it totally shifts your perceptions, expectations, tolerance levels and subjectivity. It’s a strange feeling, especially when you have high standards. For a wine lover living in KL this presents a conundrum.

Having moved into our amazing new apartment, a sort of Xanadu-come-Avatar condo development in trendy Bangsar (sorry, Bukit Bandaraya to give it its posh name) we are slowly settling into a sort of alternate universe.

Ok, so some things don’t change….. cue head banging on the table at internet speeds and the feeling of stress as you hit traffic on the way to a meeting….but other things, things that you actually care about, do. Read the rest of this entry


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My wife and I were reflecting on KL and Malaysians tonight over a drink. The bar next to where we are staying, Taps, has what is quite possibly the best beer menu I have ever seen. Craft ales and beers from across the world run from page to page to page. Brit beer is well represented – most impressively, what seems to be virtually the entire Brewdog portfolio…. Read the rest of this entry

Selamat datang Sozzl’d

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As the better half sleeps off the jet lag, and with the twin towers of Petronas gleaming outside the bedroom window like two enormous silver bullets, getting thoughts down for my first post (no wait, second, thanks to Charles Saunders’s Quaffable blog) seems to make sense. Kuala Lumpur, where we’re now laying our hats thanks to landing a new job, is as I remember it from a visit a few years back.

Roasting peanuts, sweet Char Kuay Teow and the warming stench of durians waft across you every now and then, reminding you that KL is a truly mashed-up city, each of the Indians, Malays and Chinese taking the best of their cuisine and creating their own concoctions. For a foodie, you can’t really get better than Willy Wonka-style living every single day.

A culinary farewell tour in the UK took us from Marlow to Padstow and back to London, our stomachs straining by the time we boarded the plane. I was hoping for some gluttonous respite although in my mind I knew half the decision to move here was about the food…. as a KL emigre said to me on a recent Asian cooking course: “I’m so jealous you’re going, but you’ll come back 3 stone heavier – just look at me!” Read the rest of this entry

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