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The Library, Kuala Lumpur – Malaysia

I had been in KL for about 36 hours.  I was slowly coming to terms with the fact that I could find many places for dinner that served excellent food, but no beer, or I could find several establishments that served beer along with mediocre food.  It seemed it was very difficult to find somewhere that had both.

A client had insisted on taking me out for the [Friday] evening and despite my very best efforts at refusal; I had failed miserably.  I had been taken to a great Banana Leaf Curry restaurant that was actually a great experience that you should try.  Having been fed, I was ready for a beer.

I try to be aware of different cultures when I travel and I was aware that Malaysia is a Muslim country, and as such many of the people that live and work there may not drink alcohol.  It took about an hour after dinner before I eventually asked if we could find a beer.

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Restoran Rokaro, Kuala Lumpur – Malaysia

I had been staying at the Hilton PJ for a few days already.  There was an Exec Lounge at the hotel, which provided me with my much-needed beer supplies – but only until 8pm at which time the beer was cruelly taken away.  I was wandering the streets looking for a new supplier when I came across Restoran Rokaro.  This is a Japanese karaoke bar that offers lots of seafood (yes, you can pick your own live lobster and then eat it…) lots of drinks and some karaoke too.  There was a very large sign that read “Members Only” but I think this was to deter some of the less well off locals – I was warmly welcomed and offered service immediately.

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NeroVivo Restaurant – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

I stumbled upon NeroVivo (‘Live Black’) whilst browsing the Internet.  I was looking for somewhere great to take a colleague out for dinner for a birthday celebration in Kuala Lumpur.  It seemed that NeroVivo had everything I was looking for: great food, fine wine and a fantastic reputation.  It was also Italian, which was the only condition I had been given from my colleague.

I made a reservation online as instructed by their website.  Being a Monday night in late November this later turned out to be unnecessary (although I am reliably informed that weekend tables must be booked).

As the taxi turned in to a dark street with a large construction site on one side, I was beginning to feel a little nervous.  We pulled up maybe 400 yards after the site; there were two eateries almost joined together.  There were no other restaurants or bars etc. in this street that made me think it was odd that there would be two together.

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Sky Bar @ Traders Hotel – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

I was looking for somewhere to go for a pre dinner cocktail (or perhaps even a glass of champagne) which had a view of the Petronas Towers.  Some local colleagues informed me that Sky Bar at Traders Hotel was the place to go – if my budget allowed.  Traders Hotel in KL is pretty posh with rates around the £100 mark.  £100 a night for a hotel in KL is a lot of money; we had a room at the sort-of-nearby  Hilton PJ for less than £60.

Traders Hotel is situated in the ‘golden triangle’ of expensive shops, eateries and hotels near the towers.  We caught the LRT to the station by the towers and then argued with a number of taxi drivers who were trying their best to rip us off.  We eventually found a driver who was willing to take us to the hotel using the meter and some 5 MYR (about £1…) we were there.  Naturally we gave the driver MYR 10; the moral of course is that honestly is always the best policy.

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Chutneys Restaurant – Petaling Jaya, Malaysia

Exit the Hilton PJ, cross the road, turn left and then turn right; you will find Chutneys on the right.

Chutneys is an Indian restaurant which didn’t seem to be very busy.  I have no idea why as the food is exceptionally tasty.

I visited Chutneys a couple of times during my trip to Malaysia, primarily as it was really easy to reach from the hotel.  The first of my visits were with a colleague.

We ordered two beers and were given 2 glasses of Tiger (MYR 12.90); these came from a can but hey – I am not that fussy.  The beer was cold.  The menu here is fairly succinct, but sometimes I think that its better to cook a few dished really well, than to cool many dishes not so well.
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