Bangsar Dissected

I was reading EGM on Monday while having late lunch at Carl’s Junior when the thought that always crosses my mind whenever I read EGM, sure enough, crossed my mind and that would be ‘Wouldn’t it be cool to be able to write games review for a living?”. *sigh* Someday, someday. Soon, I hope.

Anyway, I want to talk about the places that I frequent in Bangsar. As many of you would know, I am the self-proclaimed queen of the kingdom of Bangsar.There are many reasons why I like the place, and the real reason is because I know exactly where the shops and cafes and malls are laid out in that tiny little square that I can zip in and zip out and find exactly what I am looking for in 20 minutes flat. Though many of the eateries and pubs have changed over the years, like the once infamous Jolly Green Giant where I had many plates of koay teow goreng, Rooftop where many launch parties took place and flam, this little exquisite restaurant with really good pizza, I still find Bangsar interesting.

Here is a rundown of stuff that I do in Bangsar, in no particular order:

Strudels, in Lucky Garden, just across the street to Bangsar Village 1. Between the years 2000-2004, I go to Strudels every Saturday afternoon or Sunday morning with alarming regularity to simply have a cup of coffee and strawberry tart, read some books or magazine or just sit there doing absolutely nothing but killing the time away. Many times, friends would just pop up on Saturdays round about 4pm and more often than not, that was where they’d find me. They used to have the most amazing cake displays which reminded me of Antique, and for the longest time, cakes or strudels from Strudels were my choice of dessert whenever I go visiting friends or the press. Post 2005 I changed jobs and had very little weekend to spare, if at all, and gradually I just stopped going. People tell me the standard has slipped, but for me Strudels will always be the place I go to when I want to be alone with my thoughts.

gerberaSunday morning market near TMC. It has the cheapest fresh cut flowers! This was where I bought my supply of gerberas and tiger lillies. The auntie would just automatically wrap either a bunch of gerberas, or if those were unavailable, half a dozen of lillies when she saw me walking towards her. The flowers never cost me more than RM20 and they lasted forever. I haven’t been there for a long time.

Village Greengrocers in BV1. The fruits and vegetables are very disciplined and well trained. They are uniform in size, clean, healthy and neatly in order, I feel healthier just walking through the fruits section. The cereal aisle is crazy good with stuff like Reese’s Peanut Butter Puffs that you can’t find elsewhere. The crisp section deserves a special mention for carrying Herr’s Cheese Curls and Cheetos, though both fly of the aisles as soon as they are stocked. I love love Village Greengrocers.

Mizu, the Japanese restaurant on the first floor of BV1. It’s fine dining so it’s not your traditional Japanese fare but the fusion of foreign things like pate into the cuisine is interesting and unusual.

La Bodega. I used to come here for the tapas (mini lamb cutlets and paella – yum!). Then one morning, I decided to go here for breakfast and you know what, the 2-egg omelet is to die for. I have no idea how many formal breakfast meetings and informal breakfast dates that I have held in La Bodega over the years but I am guessing many many.

aaaalexis-polaAlexis. I will always have a soft spot for this place. You know how long I have been going here? Since around 1998, I think, or right around when it took roots in Bangsar. I used to eat nothing else but Laksa Sarawak and the red rubies and the tiramisu (crunchy!). Then there was the pita bread and dips (chick peas, hummus and avocado) phase; the chicken rice phase; the pho phase; the pear salad and gorgonzola cheese phase, the seafood parcel phase… I could probably rattle off its menu from way back when. During my time working in Ampang, I started to head out to Alexis in Great Eastern Mall in greater frequency since it is much closer to my (then) office plus they have some really good live performances playing there regularly. Still, the one in Bangsar will have sentimental value purely out of the years of loyal patronage that I have invested in it.

Delicious – both d’lish the deli in BV1 and the restaurant in BV2. Go there! Enough said. My thanks to PC for introducing me to this place. I remember the first thing I ate here – it was lunch and PC and I were on a secret mission which I could not explain here coz well, it was a secret (official business, I can assure you). I had  spaghetti with tomato and basil, lemonade and a chocolate cake (which turned out to be a big mistake coz it was so huge we could not even eat a quarter of it). PC had spaghetti with pesto and roasted chicken and lots of cigarette. I just went to d’lish with Ina and the kids tonight for cupcakes and pasta.

Suchan in BV2, Level 3 near MPH. The clam pasta is fabulous though I would be running around and turning my handbag upside down to find my antihistamine afterwards.

Another BV2 gem, Marmalade on Level 2, for its key lime pie. Sedaaaaaap (deliciousssssss).

Blook. I don’t know if this little boutique is still alive. Ever since I pledge allegiance to Sunway Pyramid for all my clothing needs, I hardly go to Blook to look for quirky stuff to add into my wardrobe.  Blook has the cutest tops, A-line dresses and non-fashion-y clothes; meaning they don’t change their collection based on the seasons or what’s hot so you can always find something that fits your personal style any time of the year. Cheap too. I have tops that I bought from Blook 6-7 years ago that I still wear til today. I was particularly grateful during that peasant blouse period, which did me no favours, Blook faithfully carried strecthy tops and slutty button down, fitted blouses that are my wardrobe staple. Time for a visit.

And last but not least, I would like to give a special shoutout to this little music shop that could, called Rock Corner Music on Level 1, BV1 just round the corner of MPH and Mizu. I went in for the first time today, basically because I never knew it existed before and my nephew was fixated with the Resident Evil DVD that was in the window display. They carry amazing stuff: concert DVDs (Led Zep! The Doors! Pink Floyd! Sex Pistol!), original music from around the  region that they shamelessly promote – which is a good thing, we must always support local music and by local I mean Asian (I bought an acoustic album by a Philipine duo called MYMP; Ina bought another album called Songs of Burt Bacharach. On normal basis, Ina would never buy anything by Burt Bacharach); a respectable collection of rock CDs from past and present (two thumbs up!) and a decent showing of animes. Now, what else, you say? They also carry a sizable Blu-Ray disc collection! I just had to go up to the guy who runs the place and told him that he has a cool store. He smiles and says thank you and gives me a discount (hehe). I bought Led Zeppelin’s Remasters DVD, Def Leppard’s Songs from Sparkle Lounge box set, MYMP cd and Apocalyptica Live DVD (I already have the CD from a long time ago). Sweet! If you are in the area, give them a visit:

aaaarockcorner-pola1

p/s: I feel that I need to make this postscript. Buy original work. Downloading is cool so that you can sample what you are buying hence minimising the risk of buying crappy or faddish products and God knows there are many of those. But support original arts whenever you can. Buying pirated products, or purely relying on peer-to-peer network for your music/movie/anything arts-related needs are giving the artistes/artisans no incentive to keep producing original works, which will be a great loss to the world. Even with just one CD a month, you are making a big difference. That’s equivalent to just 3 tall lattes from Starbucks. Trust me, you can afford it. Thanks.

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