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Tourist in My Own City Part 1

Published by on September 24, 2017

This long weekend my kids were away for a school-related camp, so that left me and my wife to take a short holiday in KL. We’ve friends that do these ‘self-pampering’ short vacations regularly, somehow we’ve never done it ourselves. In the past we’ve always done road trips (whether a day trip or over a weekend) out of the city.

So for this 3-day weekend, it started off with lunch on Friday. My wife has been watching lots of Korean dramas lately, and have developed a craving to try jajangmyeon – a Korean Chinese noodle dish topped with a thick sauce made of chunjang, diced pork and vegetables. During our last trip to Seoul / Jeju we didn’t have the opportunity to try it. Recently, we tried it at Out of Seoul in Ativo Damansara, it tasted quite good. But online reviews tell me that the best jajangmyeon in the city is in Ampang.

So our weekend holiday started with a long drive to KL’s Koreatown – now located in a new area centered around One Ampang Avenue. This small commercial district houses MANY Koreans restaurants and supermarkets. I’m not kidding, just drive here if you need to get your supply of kimchi or anything Korean-related.

The name of the restaurant is Chung Gung. They specialize in different varieties of jajangmyeon. They also serve Chinese-Korean dishes but people come here mainly for their jajangmyeon and fried mantou / gyoja. This is the original jajangmyeon (RM15).

The jajangmyeon is super-tasty. The black bean sauce is really authentic and at RM15 per bowl, you get a large serving that is really worth the price. And the mantou, I’ve got to say is the best I’ve tasted locally, whether Japanese or Korean style.

The restaurant is located just beside Hanwoori, another famous Korean restaurant serving BBQ. Maybe next time we’ll try it. But then again there are dozens of restaurants serving BBQ, even in Puchong there are at least 3 good ones. On the same row as Chung Gung there are 3 Korean supermarkets, we tried the nearest one. Later, after visiting the other two, the one we tried has the best selection and is the cheapest. This was the one we tried.

We bought some mung bean powder for making haemul pajeon, and samgyetang (ginseng soup with chicken stuffed with glutinous rice), all our favourite Korean food. We also bought some ramen for our breakfast tomorrow. They were reduced to clear.

This was the other supermarket. We bought some ice latte here.

After lunch it was time to check into the hotel. I had thought long and hard about which hotel to choose. Well, obviously I wanted a good hotel, and not some RM90 backpacker shindig in Bukit Bintang where the you can touch all four walls without moving. Firstly, I did a lot of research – the 5-star hotels were out of my price range. After asking my friend Radzi who does ID work for a lot of upmarket hotels in KL, I narrowed it down to a few and finally chose Doubletree Hilton along Jalan Tun Razak. It was not too expensive, relatively new, and in a good location (near to KLCC and everywhere else I wanted to go).

Doubletree Hilton is located inside another building complex called Intermark, which also housed a shopping mall (and I thought I knew ALL the malls in KL!) Intermark mall is actually a great albeit small, mall. There is a great food court downstairs, lots of good restaurants, Village Grocer and even a FamilyMart. But more on the mall later.

After a short wait, we were checked into our room. While waiting, they offered each guest a cookie. Very nice (and expensive) cookie.

My room was nice, and we got a view towards the U Thant area. That’s the Somerset building you can see. Too bad we didn’t get the KLCC view.

The coolest thing about my room (besides the see through toilet from the bed) was this hidden reading light. Very cool.

Later in the evening we went down to the gym. The gym is facing the swimming pool.

After a quick shower, we took an Uber out for dinner. For the entire 3 days here, we didn’t drive out, all our transportation was courtesy Uber (and their RM4 off promo) and Grab when Uber was more expensive. Dinner tonight was Ipoh Market Street in Avenue K, opposite KLCC.

This place serves authentic Ipoh staples, unfortunately their dinner menu is rather limited. But fortunately, they still had the 2 dishes we wanted to try, kaisee horfun and curry mee.

Our dinner, plus Ipoh white coffee.

Since there wasn’t much to see in Avenue K (well, to be fair, it is now much better than 10 years ago, but it still pales in comparison to its neighbour), so we took the underpass to Suria KLCC. Suria as usual was overflowing with people. After a lot of window-shopping, we settled for some cendol at Nyonya Colors.

We managed to catch the fountain show twice.

So ended our first day of holiday. On the way back to our room, we can see KLCC along the corridor. Here are two shots taken from the same place, at different times.

Next – City Heritage Walking Tour.

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