VIEW FROM THE TOP
The latest twin 3-storey towers to preside over the KL cityscape, G Tower houses a boutique hotel, restaurant and two chic bars. There’s View on the rooftop, which offers views of the Petronas Towers and the Titiwangsa mountain range. For more stunning views, head to the Bridge Bar, which is part of a member’s only business club that’s also open to thoetl guests. (non-members and guests pay a cover charge of US$16, inclusive of one drink). Suspended between the two towers, 26 storeys high, with glass flooring and floor-to-ceiling windows, this is not a bar for the faint-hearted (gtowerhotel.com).
ALL SOULED OUT
FOR a tasty mish-mash of local and Western eat and delish cocktails, head over to the new Ampang outpost of Souled Out, a popular KL stalwart. Slurp up Malaysian specialities such as sang har mein (freshwater prawn noodles), alongside spicy shepherd’s pie and sake san pizza, and sip lychee mojitos, as you celebrate the diversity of modern KL (souledout.com.my).
POSSIBLY the best roasted pork, or siew yoke in Cantonese – in town can be found in Pudu, at Wong Kee. Roasted in two oil drums, the siew yoke is a stunning collision of flavours and textures – tender, flavourful meat layered with snug, melt-in-your-mouth fat and topped with a salty, crispy skin. Located in a kopitiam, Wong Kee is only open for lunch. They sell out fast, and no, they don’t take reservations (Wong Kee, 30 Jalan Nyonya, off Jalan Pudu).
THE BEST RESTAURANT IN KL
AMONG KLites, it’s an open secret that Cilantro, helmed by Chef Takashi Kimura, is the top fin dining restaurant in town. The cuisine is modern French with sprinkling of Japanese ingredients and influences, the wine list is impressive, and the service is pitch-perfect. Bring a fat wallet and fete on dishes such as lamb rack with houba miso and sous-vide fresh lobster (cilantrokl.com).
VILLA IN THE CITY
OPENED IN April , Villa Samadhi offers resort worthy comfort and serenity in the heart of the KL city center. The intimate 21-villa urban retreat features the ‘villa-in-a-room’ concept, which means guests can expect plush beds, over-sized plunge tubs and all the details that make up resort life (from US$145; Samadhi.retreats.com).
TAKE A HIKE
DITCH theconcrete jungle and make for the real thing – well, almost. The Bukit Kiara walk takes you on a most civilized and scenic trail for some fresh air, lots of green, the occasional snakes and monkeys, and top-rate views of the city. The bonus? It’s just 20 minutes from the city, and there’s no trampling over fallen trees required.
DISCOVER ART IN HOBART
MOST TRAVELED MAN, Tony Wheeler, The ongoing adventures of Lonley Planet’s co-founder – the man who can’t stop exploring. Tony on Tasmania’s MONA centre.
The Louvre in Paris, the British Museum in London: they’re both pretty good incentives to plan a visit to those cities. Yet some museums are a big enough attraction to justify the trip all on their won. The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in Spain is the most obvious example, an you can add the new Museum of Old and New Art, or MONA, to that select list.
Carved into a rocky headland a few miles up the Derwent river from Hobart’s city centre in Tasmania, Australlia, MONA is the dream of one man, art collector Davish Walsh.
The art, all of which he owns, may be a mix of old and new, but like the state-of-the-art museum itself it’s the new you’re going to remember. Entry is free, and as soon as you step inside you’re handed an iPod and headphones. There are no labels or signs; stand in front of a piece, the iPod Touch identifies it via GPS and goes on to offer an interview, description, commentary or other information.
The opening exhibits rocked me back on my heels. You walk along a corridor past 150 porcelain reproduction of female genitalia. Then you find yourself admiring Belgian artist Wim Delvoye’s Cloaca, which is like a professor’s laboratory of linked glass, wires and tubes – twice daily this fizzing, flashing digestive system is ‘fed’ and, at the other end, does exactly what you’d expect of a digestive system. Please visit mona.net.au
the modern MONA building sitting pretty on the Derwent.