As Time Goes By

Writing about Relish has forced my brain to regurgitate forgotten memories. The constant change in this city blurs my memory. And every time I tell myself to try to remember, I almost always forget as I get caught up with catching up, with myself, my friends, my family, work... It has certainly helped to have written journals for the most part of my life. I have endless pages of cringe-worthy, side-splitting and sometimes scandalous material to keep me company on rainy days. There were so many restaurants and bars that I have forgotten about. And all the silly things I used to get up to with my friends. What happened? Responsibilites and bills kicked in I suppose.

I remember when Bangsar happened and Alexis opened. We were there almost every night as we were back for summer hols. We didn't know it at the time but café culture was about to take off. I remember Ruiz, Coast and Wagamama's. That was the year after I came back to KL for good. That was when Edwinomoto had his friend visit from Germany and everybody was drooling over him while we slurped our udons at Wagamama's. There was Moussandra which was located on Jalan P. Ramlee at the time. Moussaka and paté. Yummy! There was also Citron at Filmnet and 255 (both on Jalan Ampang, next to British High Comm). 255 was a lovely fusion restaurant. The best 5-bean soup I ever had. It was perhaps not the best location at the time.

The next big haunt was probably Soho Grappa back in 2000. There were many, many dinners and on one occassion, a friend announced she was getting married! Just like that, over dinner. Friends broke up, several got married and we gave up on food so it seems, according to my writings. Sometime in middle of 2000, we were drinking instead of eating. Seems like we were shuttling from Echo to Bali to Barbarran to Rush to Movement every weekend. Consistently throughout the year, Citron on Persiaran Stonor was a regular hang out. That same year in October was when I saw a 4-figure food bill for the first time in my life. I was so confused I asked Edwinomoto if the amount, “1343” was actually the time. It was Kingfisher for Grumpy’s birthday and a friend had ordered snowcrab thinking it was 29.00. What he didn’t notice was the “per 100gm” next to the price. The crab was huge! His crab alone almost took up half the bill. That was the mother of all dinners. We still tease him about it today.

If I remember correctly, the first restaurant to open on Changkat Bukit Bintang was La Maschere - an Italian restaurant with a small theatre space upstairs. It was doing well until one of the partners ran off with all the money. It was quite the scandal. Little Havana opened shortly after across the road. After La Maschere closed, it became Liquid Kitty for awhile. Yes, the name says it all! Lame… Le Bouchon has obviously got the winning formula as the French restaurant has been in existence since 2002. I remember Long Island Tea Café(?). I remember walking down to get an iced tea during the nationwide blackout. They moved across the road to save rent. The place just wasn’t the same after that and became more like a dingy backpacker hangout. Not long after, they closed. There was also a Chinese restaurant called Six Yums that served up fantastic home-cooked dishes. It was cheap and cheerful, and they had the best sweet and sour pork and butter lai liu ha. Sadly it shut sometime in mid 2002. It became a greek-looking café for awhile. Now it is Ole Café. Next to it Deutsche Haus came to stay. As did Green Man. There was Le Bernardin which lasted longer than expected. It is now Al Bait. There was Euro that lasted for quite a while too and it is now Rouge. Noitatpmet which was Tempation spelt backwards (hardy har har) was a disaster. It became Aquavit and now it is Pampas. My favourite Indian for the most of 2003 Moghul House, is no longer. The partners parted, Copper Chimney came to be and Moghul was kicked over to Tengkat Tong Shin. Sadly, it didn’t survive for very long over there.

On the opposite side of the road, things didn’t change very much. In December 2001, Frangipani opened. Followed closely by Ciccio Pasticcio. Or were they first? Bom Brazil has lasted far longer than anyone expected it too. Kudos to them. I’m quite sure I’ve forgotten quite a few things. Feel free to jog my memory! Meanwhile, I look forward to reading my old journals tonight.

Update - Rouge and Copper Chimney are both closed now. Guess there will be new food reviews soon!


  1. Anonymous1:24 pm

    My gawd!!!! Where are all these new places!?!?! It's been toooooo longgggggg gurl!!!!!

  2. thanks for the history lesson - im amazed you can keep track! Ruiz is sending huge bells off in my head -where was that place?!

  3. Crown Regency leh. One floor below Coast, on ground floor where dreaded Coffee Bean is currently. You have my journals to thank. And I have to thank you for making me write again because I need material to look back on in a few years time.

  4. paprika - U're definitely the resident expert of this street. A real duh question for you, where does one park around here esp during lunchtime? On the pavements, at the teeny carpark next to Havana, at the backstreets or at Radius Hotel's carpark?

  5. You've pretty much listed all available spots! Best to try your luck in the back streets if you are not staying for long. Or you could always try to leave your car at Kiosk (after you buy something of course).

  6. Anonymous3:17 pm

    Good news for you..Moghul House at Bukit Ceylon has reopened under the new name New Moghul House, 2 doors away from Pampa..the food is just superb!!!


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