The co-founder of the swanky Troika Sky Dining complex, shares his travel hits for home city Kuala Lumpur and Melbourne
KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA
What do you love most about this city?
The food is what I love most about Kuala Lumpur. The diversity is mind- blowing: Malay, Indian, Chinese in all their permutations, and my beloved Nyonya cuisine is best in the world!
The best thing about the locals.
Their warmth and generosity.
Where would you take a first-timer to in this city?
I would take the person for a stroll through Jalan Tun H.S. Lee and its surrounds. One of KL’s most historical streets, it still offers some nostalgic glimpses into the past. Here you will find traders still trading in pre-war shophouses, Masjid Jamek and the oldest Chinese and Indian temples in the city. Happily, quite a few architectural gems from the past are still standing and some of the best food in KL can be had in the coffee shops and stalls tucked between the atmospheric streets and five-foot ways.
Name one souvenir to take home.
We have a great number of award- winning tattoo artists in Malaysia,. Many of them influenced by the skills and the tribal tattoos of the indigenous people of Borneo. I highly recommend you take home a tattoo as a souvenir.
Where might we find you at 1 am in this city?
No Black Tie is a very special place. This jazz and classical live music venue could be your most memorable evening in this city. It’s a late-night haunt of some of KL’s most creative minds. 1 am will very quickly become 6 am.
What is the one thing that the first-timer must do in this city?
They must at least catch a glimpse of our iconic Petronas Twin Towers. Designed by Cesar Pelli, I think it is one of the most beautiful buildings in the world. KL being a foodie city, the best way to appreciate the towers is to dine in a good restaurant with a view of the magnificent jewel-like towers.
What do you find most refreshing about this city?
How walkable the city is!
The one experience or place that everyone must try/visit.
If you are here in January, you must experience the Australian Open at Melbourne Park. The world’s top tennis players will be there for the first Grand Slam of the year and it’s right in the middle of the city. If you have never been to a tennis Grand Slam, this is a good place to start.
The one local dish everyone must try.
Melbourne is populated by people from many different cultures. You can have the best of the world: Italian, Greek, Vietnamese, Thai, Korean, Japanese, French, Indian and more. It’s impossible to suggest only one local dish. A bowl of (Vietnamese noodle) pho is as local as Vegemite on toast. I would recommend you go out and try everything.
The best thing you can do here for free.
The City Circle Tram is a free service and is a wonderful way to see Melbourne. The tram will take you on a loop past shopping malls and arcades, and major attractions such as the Old Treasury Building, Parliament House and the Princess Theatre. The City Circle line is serviced by the very charming heritage ‘W class’ trams exactly like the originals from 1923.
Name something they have here that you wished you had at home:
I wish we had the same wonderful produce that they have. All the wonderful vegetables, meat and seafood make for some of the best dining in the world.