Sunday, July 31, 2016

Old China Cafe in Kuala Lumpur

I guess Old China Cafe tops my list of memorable places / restos when we went to Kuala Lumpur last summer. Prior to the trip, I attended the World Streetfood Congress 2016 which was held in Manila and I really fell in-love with the dishes there that it made me want to visit its country of origin.

The place was a bit hard to find though since we just took the "free" bus from Bukit Bintang till Chinatown area. And we almost didn't see it because we took the wrong (longer route) way, and the street was so deserted and then the buildings are so old. Imagine Divisoria sans people, the area looks like that. And my friends were so ready to give up because that was in the mid-afternoon and it was so hot, and after the Chinatown area tour we all planned to go to Suria KLCC, which was more appealing- really.

Luckily, we did find it eventually but the place doesn't really look inviting. Are we in the right place?




So I bravely took a peak inside and was happy with my discovery. It's like finding a hidden gem, or rather entering into a different era. Think colored filter (outside) to sepia filter (inside). I was expecting the people inside to be in costumes, too. Well, except for the owner who was wearing an old black "samfoo," the pajama-like clothes worn by the Chinese.


The marble topped tables, decors at Old China Cafe also looks vintage-y and I think this is a nice place to have a photoshoot if you are into that sort of theme. I also like the calligraphy framed scrolls on the walls. The fresh flowers on the tables adds a nice touch though that makes the place looks "alive."


Nasi Lemak with Beef Rendang. This is Nyonya food, a fusion of Chinese and Malay/Indonesian cooking with distinct herbs and spices that gives it mind-boggling aroma and flavor that's very delicious. This costs around RM 22.00. The rice itself is unique not only because of its flavor but because its "blue-ish." I did some research upon coming back home and found out that when the rice is being soaked in water, blue pea flowers were added. Hence, the color. I don't eat rice so I didn't get to taste it but my friends said that its good. The beef rendang itself was so good. Its tender, flavorful, and spicy! Hahaha. I do have a low threshold for spiciness and it doesn't help that it was a super hot day. Then there are the side dishes- chili paste, sweet/spicy small fish similar to our dilis, cucumber slices, egg, and the rectangular chips that tastes like papadums. I have a happy tummy, thumbs up!


Yes, we only ordered one dish, and a dessert- Gula Melaka (didn't take photo, sorry) because we were still full from eating lunch. I did wanted to take more photos inside but find was a bit embarrassed to do so because we only ordered one dish and there's four of us. That's okay, though. Reason to go back. ;)






Old China Cafe
No. 11 Jalan Balai Polis
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia



the kitchen goddess

21 comments :

  1. The resto really looks nice. It really looks like as if you're transported to another era. Hope to visit Malaysia soon. :)

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  2. I love the interiors of this place! You're right, it would make a great photoshoot venue.

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  3. I always eat Beef Rendang or Fried Chicken if ever we're in Malaysia. We stayed in Bukit Bintang so I can relate with the crowd, parang Pinas din. hehehe!

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    1. Yeah, parang Pinas! No need to speak English since most of the staff in the restos and shops are Pinoys. :)

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  4. Oh wow, the interiors look lovely. Been meaning to vacation KL. Will take note of this restaurant! : )

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  5. The resto looks rustic. I love the combination of food. =)

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  6. The place looks peaceful. Perfect for a cup of coffee while you read a newspaper or a book.

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  7. Wow, it looks nice and vintage, I would love to try it out, never been to KL though. hehe.

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  8. The interior looks that of old Chinese movies! My friend is doing a cross country Asian tour now, will let her know of this place in KL.

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  9. You're right. That place doesn't look like much outside but is Instagram-worthy inside. Love it!

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  10. Nice interiors! One would not expect the inside of the resto to be that nice. As the old saying goes, "Don't judge a resto by its facade!" hahaha ;)

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  11. Gaaah, what a charming, charming place! I want to visit KL so I'll take note of this!

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  12. Grabe I miss Malaysian food. Thank you for this place, I had never heard of it while I was in Malaysia but will keep it in mind when I go back this November. :)

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    1. I miss Malaysian food also. Planning to return soon! :D

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  13. Wow! A different era indeed. I love how the flowers popped in the place.

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  14. Lovely interiors! Beef Rendang looks delicious! I will try it when we visit Malaysia! :)

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  15. What a very interesting place! Yes, from outside, I wouldn't consider trying it out had I not read your blog. My hubby just came from a trip in Malaysia and he says prices are really low, especially if compared to SG. Will ask him if he got the chance to eat at this place Thanks for sharing! Will read more about that blue rice.

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    1. I agree ... everything is cheap in Malaysia (of course, there are high-end restos and shops, too). I mean, you can really stretch your US $100 here for several days (food + shopping).

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  16. The color of Malaysia is almost the same as in here noh? The furniture and the surroundings are very familiar. But the taste of their food is far from ours, as far as my taste is concerned. I think most Filipinos prefer sweet and spicy, while Malaysians love to use curries and turmeric.

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  17. The place looks ancient and rustic. Bet it feels as if you've traveled back in time!

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  18. How I miss this place! My husband and I had lunch here as part of a private tour when we visited KL. The service was great - quick, but personal. We were presented a 3-course selection of different signature dishes, arguably the best meal on our visit!

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