The globetrotting Head of Marketing and PR for The Melium Group, shares insider tips on Kuala Lumpur and London
1. What do you love most about this city?
I love the food, the people, the emerging cafe scene, the weekend markets from the rather quirky and vintage finds at Awe Gallery to the fab selection of clothes, home stuff and kids wear at Hello Deer. I love how Malaysians today enjoy spending their weekends outdoor. I think Lake Gardens is fab for a Sunday jog or stroll and farm-to-table concepts like A Little Farm on the Hill in Janda Baik are perfect for long Sunday brunches with loved ones, and you get to visit their organic vegetable farms too!
2. What is your favourite local dish and where can we find it?
I have a few! I love the food at Restoran Muar on Tengkat Tong Shin. The crispy fried egg, butter kailan and otak-otak are amazing! When it comes to satay (a firm favourite!) you can't go wrong with Satay Station in Mont Kiara. I promise you it's the best! Mamasan at Suria KLCC serves the best dendeng balado, a must when you're in KL! Dewakan is a gem of a place for progressive Malaysian cuisine. Their food is not only interesting, it's spectacular!
3. Where would you take a first-timer?
Definitely to Fuego! Not only do they serve amazing food but the view, the view is simply amazing! I take all my friends there when they come to visit and to Brickfields too, I love walking around this neighbourhood. It's so pretty with the colonial houses, temples, ashram, and churches. I'd love to see more things being done for this enclave though. I'd love to build a small boutique hotel here one day similar to the gorgeous Seven Terraces in Penang.
4. What is the one thing that the first-timer must do?
Visit the spectacular Petronas Twin Towers of course! There's nothing quite like it really! And a stroll around Lake Gardens and the surrounding Bird Parks and the Islamic Museum are highly recommended. It's amazing!
5. The best place to have dinner with:
a. family – Bijan when we're craving Malay cuisine and Bakar for yummy comfort food.
b. friends – Mamasan for its amazing food, fab cocktails and gorgeous crowd. Fuego for fab tapas and a view to die for.
c. colleagues – Somewhere fun because we work in fashion and we attend a lot of events in nice places. So when we do go out, we want something simple like Jalan Alor or La Risata for pizzas.
1. How would you describe the locals?
Cosmopolitan and friendly.
2. What do you find most refreshing?
The food scene! I'm a foodie and I love how the restaurant scene is always evolving. And the arts, I love the cool galleries you can find here in London.
3. Name the café/restaurant where you had the best:
a. coffee – I'm a huge fan of Ottolenghi in Notting Hill. Perhaps because I grew up coming here for their coffee and amazing selection of sweets and savouries.
b. lunch – The Palomar serves amazing modern Jerusalem cuisine. The taste is out of this world and yet the place is simple. A must when in London!
c. dinner – I love Gymkhana. Totally delicious Indian cuisine and they're pretty experimental too! And one can never go wrong with Zuma – my favourite restaurant in London. And Maroush on Edgware for delicious Lebanese after a night out at Soho House!
4. The best thing you can do here for free.
Visiting the parks. I love going park-hopping with my family and we love Hyde Park and Richmond Park further south. Don't forget to explore Hampstead Heath and Holland Park as well especially in the summer. You can find me on a sun deck tanning all day long in the summer!
5. What was the best experience for you?
It has got to be the museums. I'm a bit of a nerd. I love museums and galleries and especially the Victoria and Albert, the Natural History Museum and the Tate Gallery.