Kuala Lumpur’s Bangsar has transformed from what was once scattered rubber plantations to a charming residential suburb attracting the best of Malaysia’s cafĂ© culture, independent retailers, and concept dining
Bangsar, as was most of Kuala Lumpur, was once a tangled jungle with scattered rubber plantations before undergoing rapid industrialization to become the tranquil suburb it is today. The area lies just southwest of the city center but still maintains its quaint charm despite burgeoning urbanization. Bangsar began its transition to a residential neighborhood while Malaysia was still under British Administration in 1906. The areaâ€™s moniker borrows it name from Edouard Bunge and Alfred Grisar, who managed the Bunge-Grisar rubber estate or Bungsar Estate, which ultimately christened the area. While Bangsar remains a predominantly Malay area, large expatriate compounds and neighborhoods have sprung up due to the central location to the city and attractive surrounds. Shopping centers such as Bangsar Village I & II popped up to create air-conditioned shopping confines in the areaâ€™s otherwise pedestrian-friendly streets, which are filled with cafĂ©s and boutiques. For a peek at the latest offerings from Malaysian entrepreneurs, chefs, and tastemakers, look no further than the assorted offering of Bangsarâ€™s streets.
Nutmegâ€™s authentic western breakfast food has expatriates and locals alike lining up for the cafĂ©â€™s fresh fare that reminds them of cuisine from another time and place. Owner and chef William Chong has had customers praise his biscuits and gravy, saying they havenâ€™t had such authentic hardtack since theyâ€™ve been home to the South. Swedish customers also drop by for Nutmegâ€™s gravlax smoked salmon, made with sashimi-grade fish flown in fresh then cured in-house. Chong opened Nutmeg in July after a colorful employment history, which included a jobs as a banker and a teacher. Chong co-owns the space with his brother-in-law Gordon Yip, and gamely admits the restaurant is their first venture into the dining space. Despite his newbie status, his strong dining principles make the cafĂ© a standout. â€śThere is food and there is real food,â€ť says Chong. â€śHomecooked food to me is real food with no MSG and minimal salt.â€ť Whether the health-conscious cooking or authentic taste, the cafĂ© stays packed throughout the day and into the evening, spilling out onto the mall walkway. In the off-peak period, be sure to check out the special menu item 3D Lattesâ€”expert baristas will skillfully prepare fanciful shapes and creatures with the foam of your latte.
UGF-28A Bangsar Village II, 2 Jalan Telawi 1, Bangsa Barur; 603-22013663; Nutmeg