March 7, 2016 by Soo Ee
When I landed in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday morning, the first thing I wanted to do was to hop into cafes that were around the KL Sentral area. That was how I unintentionally ended up at two very different cafes, Dr Inc and Pulp.
A test of mind over matter
First stop, Dr inc. Speciality of the cafe was a drink called the Presso bomb: 1 shot of expresso + 1 tall glass of ice cream soda. I didn’t order that because I was not a huge fan of sweet canned drinks. On the menu was another interesting item- the Milo dino bomb, which was one part milo +1 shot of expresso.
According to the lady proprietor, the cafe’s water supply was not working that morning, that was why my drink came in a paper cup. The cafe’s Wifi was unfortunately down too. The long black I ordered seemed to be watered down despite the water supply not working. Drink was 8 myr (2 sgd). There’s like a little yard out front where there were two sitting areas – on one side we have a bench with chairs and the other a little table with beach chairs. That was only a lady reading and smoking out front.
Next up, Pulp. Shophouse in an industrial area. It wasn’t too far from Dr. inc (about one km) so I walked. The place gave me the ‘Wheeler’s Yard feel.’ The cafe has this corner where the sugar and stirrers were at, for coffee tasting.
The menu looked good.
I ordered the trio of rye bread with avo +egg mayonaise. I didn’t get to eat that first round because I accidentally spilled my trio while taking pictures of it. Food photography disaster. I learnt it was best not to perform circus acts with food on a wooden serving tray. The management was very nice. They replaced my brunch FOC! I am a customer for life.
The machiatto was not overpoweringly acidic and aromatic and really nice. The crowd was healthy for a Saturday.
Big contrast between the two.
Two cafes and too much caffeine later, I went back to the Sentral to get tickets to Shah Alam (Batu Tiga) I should have bought the tickets before leaving to explore the cafes. There was a long q at the ticket counter because it was noon time but thankfully, the q was quick. Direction given by the helpful counter- take a train to Batu Tiga and then cab to hotel. Train ride was about 40-45 minutes.
Hokkiens have a term for people who look gullible and are easy preys for con artists – Radish head. They too, have a term for people who are asses in all sense of the word (those words must not be mentioned here) I must look like a big radish head. The taxi station guy wanted to charge me 50myr to drive me to my hotel. I told him that was expensive because I checked Google and it wasn’t that far away. He then told me there was no one out there to ferry back and hence the charge. I was tired and just wanted to get to the hotel soon so I said okay. The Hokkien word guy then said he doesn’t want to do my business anymore and ask me to go get my own ride. He smirked when he said “good luck with that out here.”
Thankful to the lesson I learnt in Hong Kong, I got data so I was able to uber myself a ride.
The hotel, Nexus Business Suite, did not allow me to check in at 1400 despite my downtroddeness.
What was left was to head out to the race pack collection expo, after depositing my luggage in a store room with no security lock. There was only a porter outside the room. At this point in time, I was too tired to think anything. I just went with it. My only hope at that point in time was to get everything done quickly, catch some dinner and sleep.
The cabbie and I got stopped halfway by polis who set up a checkpoint in the middle of nowhere. I’ve heard too many stories to not get anxious. The polis asked the driver to stop at the side of the road and asked me where I was going. The driver was another Hokkien word guy. He could have replied the polis my destination but he asked me to reply instead while he went to check his phone (maybe he wanted to Facebook) Using my limited melayu, I replied and whispered a silent prayer after that. Polis man took a look at me and waved us off. Phew. The cab ride was 38myr ~ 12 sgd.
The event was kept to a small area. A few sponsors of the run were promoting their ware and giving out free food samples and products. After I collected the goodie bag, race tee and bib, my mind went back to food. Dunch was here or never. Hotel vicinity was a ghost town.
The pre race body was carnivorous. I saw food trucks Crazy Monkey (sold coffee) and Bubu (all kinds of chicken) No more coffee though I was tempted to try. The brain needed a break from the previous two doses. To Bubu I went. Disappointment followed. What I wanted- chicken tortilla, was sold out. Looming above me was the thought of going to bed hungry after paying for a crappy and expensive meal at the deserted and gloomy hotel cafeteria.
“No mashed potato please,” I said as I ordered whatever chicken they had left.
Got the food.
Room is huge! Mirror too!
I ran my best and ‘earned’ back my race entry and got to bring home a nifty little trophy. It was already 10 am when I reached my hotel. I asked if I could bring the breakfast food upstairs to my room becaus I really wanted to shower before eating but I was told that if I did so it would be charged as room service. It was a good thing they gave us the finisher ‘head band’ in a bag big enough to hold steady two small bowls of food.
Back in Kuala Lumpur, I decide to forgo my initial plan to roam and explore the city a little before I headed to the airport. Teh Tarik (just at the shopping mall opposite KL Sentral) has fab food! I must entice people to come run races with me in Malaysia so that we can share the calories! In my opinion, the teh c kosong and murtabak were tasty. Nasi lemak looked good too but there was only so much space after two teh c and one more egg tosai.
Through all the ‘adventure’ I have learnt to appreciate the things I take for granted here in Singapore, like the ease of getting from one place to another. That would be story for another day. For now, it’s Singapore boleh.