We decided to try out the Coliseum Cafe & Hotel in the heart of Kuala Lumpur for breakfast, supposedly a historical place, known for good steaks. It looked like a heavy start to the day.
We also wanted to get the most out of our last full day in Kuala Lumpur, meaning we needed to get up early. That kind of fell through when we didn’t and by the time both Julia and I were ready, it was already well past 10am. We made our way down the the Rapid-KL and in to town.
We ended up in what seemed to be in the central part of town, but tall buildings and narrow streets prevented me from seeing both the Twin Towers and the KL tower, and I was thus unable to orientate myself and figure out in which part of town we were. The absence of tourists made me think that we were a little off the beaten path, although we were in an interesting stretch of shopping centres and shop lots.
For exactly that reason, I was immediately dragged into the first shopping centre and started, yup, shopping. Soon, however, a spate of grumpy reminded us to tend to my stomach first. By now it was almost lunch, so we headed on over to the Coliseum Cafe & Hotel.
With quite an unassuming shop front, the Coliseum Cafe & Hotel looks nothing like either a cafe or a hotel and I wondered how many walk-ins they get per day. As we entered, the sparsely furnished dining area had only two other customers. The windows on the street were small, preventing any kind of people watching. I didn’t expect too much of this experience.
We were seated by an elderly gentleman who had surely worked there since it was established, by the looks of it in the early 1900’s. A comparatively young elderly gentleman came out to serve us and made some idle chit-chat. Apparently he was new on the job and thoughts about pension and retiring at 55, both things he probably hadn’t been able to enjoy, crossed my mind.
I flipped through the menu but knew I was going to have the steak. The beer prices jumped at me and were hard to ignore: a draft Tiger was only RM10, and I wasn’t sure if it was a typo, but the draft Guiness was also RM10. It was just past 12, so I felt it in order to have a beer, especially because it was so cheap – the Guiness (a third of the price it is elsewhere) tempted me, but I wasn’t up for carrying around the weight, especially as I was about to have a chunk of meat.
Our starters were served first (you laugh only because you take it for granted that it’s served like that everywhere). A very no-so-big bowl with a small selection of plain, fresh veggies. Moments later our waiter arrived with two hot plates, the ingredients for our meals and two tomatoes. He was about to put together a sizzling steak and lamb chops (for Julia) right in front of us. “Ah,” I thought, “a bit of showmanship”.
He placed the tomato in the plate first, then the meat and added the sauce and watched while the production sizzled. The ritual was followed with both meats. After it had died down, we were served. I didn’t quite get the tomato part of it.
The meal was enjoyable enough, and the steak was quite delicious. What looked to be small portions of everything ended up being quite filling and we left, fairly stuffed. By the time we left, the place had filled up with the lunch-time crowd.
We spent the next couple of hours walking through malls, Julia shopping and me observing. Eventually, we decided to go to Mid Valley Mega Mall to visit the new part of the mall, which we skipped on our previous visits there. We took the proper train (not the Rapid-KL) and exited the station, which was directly connected the mall – it was the first time ever I took this mode of transport in Malaysia, and it was effortless.
We found the path to the new section of Mid Valley. Mid Valley is not called a Mega Mall for nothing. It’s huge. This new part that they completed recently, makes it positively gigantic though. I cringed at the thought of having to comb through more shops. Luckily the shops are mostly up market and a little beyond our by-now-exerted budget.
Feeling faint, we opted for a sit down and ended up at Starbucks. I had the customary extra hot latte, while Julia nipped across and fetched herself something from Baskin Robins. We enjoyed the rest and it was a while before we got going again.
Closer to the end of our shopping day, we met up with Jon the Brother. Because it was our last night in Kuala Lumpur, we were treating him to dinner. He works in one of the office towers in Mid Valley Mega Mall, so we met him near the car park and he whisked us off back home for a fresh-up session before dinner.