Changkat Bukit Bintang – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

I have been accused of only posting negative comments on this blog, and well – quite rightfully so.  As I have mentioned before, I mainly use this blog for three things:

  1. To vent my own frustrations
  2. To hit people who charge good money for bad service and/or products
  3. A (somewhat vain) hope that occasionally a place might improve their service as a result

A consequence of that is that I rarely bother to write about place that I really like, although an occasional one does sneak in here and there.

The Good

In this category I will put places that I genuinely like.  Doesn’t mean they have to have perfect quality or cheap.  It just means that the overall balance between price and quality is acceptable and the place make an effort to give their customers a nice experience in return for hard earned cash.

Ceylon Bar

Ceylon bar have been around for ages and I always kind of liked the place.  Before they redecorated (in May I think it was) the place was quite seedy looking, to a degree where I actually didn’t go there very much and probably for that reason (although I didn’t really think about it).  After the redecoration the place is nice (although what the fuck were they thinking when they designed the bar – it takes up most of the space there).  I like the owners of the place – always got time for a chat with their customers and never show an arrogant attitude towards them.  I like the staff who all seem to hang around for ages too (which is a good sign – it show that they are being treated nicely and that in turn means that they want to do their best! – take notice – THAT is the way to do it).  The kitchen is quite good too.  It’s not fine dining really, but they use good quality ingredients – and consistently so and the prices are quite reasonable.

The Magnificant Fish & Chip Restaurant

The Fish shop is not exactly cheap, but the portions are huge and the quality is quite good.  It is English food and the English are not exactly known to be the culinary center of the universe, but it is quite nice now and then.

Little HavanaHavana has been around for ages, so far with 3 different owners.  The first owners let it fall to pieces.  The second owner didn’t change much except he made the beer cheap, so it did become a popular watering hole.  The latest owners of the place have put it through a massive refurbishment and I must admit I got somewhat mixed feelings about the result.  It used to be cheap and very cozy.  Now it is expensive and feels a bit exclusive.  Somewhere in that process, part of the soul went missing.  However, I still like the place.  Just wish they would lower their prices just a little bit.

Healy Mac

Finnegan’s

This one is borderlining on moving down to the Bad.  The drinks are ridiculously overpriced except during happy hour (or if you buy a bottle of liquor).  What saves them and keep them here in the Good section is the fact that the food is actually quite reasonably priced and of quite good quality (oh – and they have pork!) and the staff is quite switched on.

Twenty-One

Twenty-One at night is really not my kind of place.  However, the fact that I am an old fart and don’t like noisy and crowded places any longer is not their fault!  I go to Twenty-One quite a lot for lunch and they got the best lunch deal in town.  It’s obvious that the staff are well trained and quite switched on and they don’t change their staff very much, which is always a good sign!!!  Let me just say that if I had been below 30 this would definitely be a place I would go to quite a lot.

The Bad

Gypsy

This one is a hard call.  The thing is, I used to go to Gypsy a lot.  I like the manager there, I like the staff, the prices are absolutely reasonable (not to say the cheapest beer in the street – I think it is actually),  The problem is that the place have turned completely Indian over the last year.  Now, let me stress (and this is important dammit) that I am not racist and I don’t mean this in a racist way.  Quite the opposite really.  I would dislike a place in Kuala Lumpur that was 100 % white, 100 % Chinese or 100 % Malay too.  I like places with a mixed crowd.  Go to any of the places in the Good section and you will indeed find whites, malays, indians and chinese happily mixing together.  Gypsy used to be like that and I know I can’t really blame the management for the change that’s happened and I really don’t know why it happened – but fact is – it did – and I don’t like that.

The Ugly


In this section you will find the real horror stories.  It’s not enough to be bad to get here!  A place that is bad (and by bad I mean one thing – the price they charge is not justified by the service or goods they deliver) will go in the Bad section.  In order to be here in the Ugly section they will need to combine bad with a serious attitude problem.  It should be obvious for readers of this blog that I seriously dislike places that piss on their customers and take them for granted.  An arrogant attitude towards customers is what is needed to put a place in this section and they all deserve to be here!


Pinchos

Quite expensive and extremely inconsistent food quality.  The owner actively try to hide bad reviews (for example delete them from their Facebook page) and it’s always quite suspicious with places that does not stand up to scrutiny.  What is even worse, the owner will argue his case rather than to listen to well justified complaints.  If you feel in a gambling mood, by all means give it a shot – you might get lucky or you might get unlucky.

The Social

This qualifies – in sharp competition with Pinchos – as the worst place in Changkat.  When I went there, the food was absolutely horrible (sad looking salad, the meat was off and chewy) and stingy.  When I pointed out the food was not fresh, the assistant chef (since there was no chef around) laughed and the manager had the nerve to give me a 10 % discount.  Give it a shot if you feel in the mood for overpriced horrible food and incredible rude staff.

El Cerdito

Only went in there once.  The tapas was quite poor and about 1/3 of my order never arrived.  When I asked for the bill, all the dishes I ordered were there (including the ones that never arrived to my table) and somehow an extra beer had founds it’s way in there.  When I pointed this out to the manager he did remove the stuff that I did not receive but he was quite rude about it and insisted on double checking everything – as if I had tried to cheat him.  Not worth the trouble!