Tuesday, December 13, 2016
Once in a while, KH and I like to take leave leave to just spend the day together, roaming around KL. For our October session, we stopped at Pudu LRT to have breakfast a cute little joint called A Toast. From the station, just walk down towards Sek Yuen (believe it or not, I have not dined her yet!) and keep going. A Toast is located where a bus stop meets a pedestrian bridge. Much needed human traffic here for a healthy business. The place really reminds me of those breakfast joints in Bangkok, where little shops hug the busy streets, making use of limited urban space. Although the shop's built-up area is small, it's extensive use of glass makes it seem airy and more spacious. To maximize space, they use Hobbit-sized furniture, so it can a bit of a squeeze. I got their wholemeal toast that's a combination of hash brown and sunny-side up. The best way to enjoy their sandwiches is to eat with your hands. No worries about making a mess because they provide you with plastic gloves. The hash brown gives each bite a satisfying crunch, but I wish they weren't so heavy-handed with the mayo.
Definitely not a suitable place to linger, so we continued our journey to the city center. Our highlight of the day was Isetan the Japan Store that had just opened its doors in Lot 10. Well, Isetan only opens at 11:00 AM, so we still had more time to kill. Spent an hour at Hedge and Snail by Newens of London. As we were sipping our flat whites, we could see that most of the crowd gathered on the ground floor were just waiting for Isetan to open!
KH and I were already forewarned about the atas-ness of the place, but what we saw still managed to make our jaws drop. As customers filter into Isetan on the ground floor, they are presented with a showcase of product highlights. There was no shortage of staff at every corner, offering a greeting and a bow. There were many Japanese, but also an equal number of locals to help help them bridge the language barrier. Must have bulk hired Japanese language students.
The ground floor has a mix of fashion and art and probably houses the most expensive items. During our visit, Honda was demonstrating their UNI-CUB, a so-called personal mobility device which I think was designed for the elderly in mind. There was also an exhibition by Kazumi Morose, a Japanese National Living Treasure skilled in the art of Urushi, specializing in gold lacquer art (makie). I saw an item for sale with a price tag of MYR350,000!!! The theme here is intricate metal stencils in black and gold. Very classy.
To catch our breath, we quickly headed downstairs to the food section. The whole floor is a haven of food islands (decorated with rings of colorful glass cups), each serving different type of Japanese cuisine. On the fringes are snacks and bakeries from Japan, so you can get your favourite munchies there. At the back are imported fruits and vegetables, and also a section dedicate to food technology. Currently, they are showcasing special juicers, super foods and flash-frozen sushi (I would not pay MYR70 for a plate of frozen inari!). In my opinion, the food floor would be the most popular and profitable.
We ventured back up, straight to the first floor where it was mostly fashion. Expensive collections from Yohji Yamamoto and other Japanese designers. There was also an exhibition of Sailormoon accessories, and other Japanese pop culture paraphernalia. The fashion floor is decorated with numerous metal huts. Upstairs is the lifestyle floor with giant woven 'eggs'. The floor features designer furniture, terrariums, custom bedding, and other knick-knacks. A lady offered me a drink barley shoots with green tea that was selling for MYR270 per pack. I drank it up and quickly made my retreat.
The third floor has a book cafe, and classrooms for Japanese arts and etiquette (fancy some ikebana or Japanese tea ceremony?). Unique wooden structures reminiscent of temple roofing dominate the floor. There's also more space for art installations and photography collections. As though the rest of the floors weren't premium enough, there's a premium dining floor that still work-in-progress. Should be interesting.
Plan A was to have lunch at Isetan, but the overwhelming crowd made us change our plans. Ate at Quivo, The Pavilion instead. A simple meal of mussels and risotto. As usual, we watched a movie-- "Dr Strange". Interesting visuals and plot. Walked around after that, and in the late afternoon stopped at Starbucks for an affogatto. As we were about to leave, bumped into EJ's boyfriend, Buttias (yes, his asset is his butt). We rushed back to Sri Petaling where Sharky was supposed to pick us up for dinner. When we told him that we had arrived, he had not even showered! Budak tu!
Anyway, we had dinner at Eatomo, Taman Desa to celebrate his graduation. Eatomo is a very casual place for Japanese food, bordering on hawker style (but with restaurant prices lol). They are located on the second floor with windows open wide and a canteen-like setting. We ordered some sashimi (not very good), mussels (love the gravy), ceviche (not bad), grilled sanma, and sake. That obviously wasn't enough for our Sharky (ini appetite macam Great White Shark).
Supplemented dinner at Little People, Avantas. The cafe is very spacious and minimalist. When we arrived, there was only one other table occupied. Guess we intruded on the lesbians' pak tor session. Sharky was very interested with the selection of single origins coffee. He chatted up the friendly barista and walked away with two cups of coffee and two slices of cake. In addition to coffee, they also have a selection of fine teas. Once we were done, Sharky dropped KH off at his condo and he agreed to send me back to Bandar Kinrara. Unfortunately, we got stuck in a massive jam at Bukit Jalil due to the Deepavali fair there, so I just took the LRT to Bandar Kinrara instead. Yikes.