Apr 10 2011
How many roads have their own Facebook appreciation page? Well, Changkat Bukit Bintang does and at last count it had more than 3,000 fans. It’s a sign of how this once sleepy road of Chinese shophouses has, in the space of just a few years, become the focal point of Kuala Lumpur’s best entertainment area.
Unlike manufactured places like The Curve or Heritage Row, Changkat has grown organically and not a little haphazardly. It’s open, friendly and fun, and like some beneficial bacteria, its life-giving properties are spreading through what is still in parts a rundown neighbourhood. So while the name Changkat Bukit Bintang refers to just one street, saying “Changkat” has come to mean a whole cluster of roads.
Changkat’s greatest virtue is the amazing variety it has to offer — everything from hawker stalls to fine dining — but this can also be a problem. For first time visitors, particularly jet-lagged tourists, the sheer choice on offer can be a bit daunting. For those suffering from rabbit-caught-in-headlights syndrome, a couple of facts should provide some comfort.
Firstly, the overall quality is fairly high in Changkat, as the competition is too intense for mediocrity to survive for long. This means it’s difficult to make an outright bad choice. Secondly, Changkat is not about long term commitment. Hopping from one venue to another is if perfectly acceptable, so even if a wrong turn is taken, it’s easy to rectify.
Two great places to have a chilled out drink are the friendly, pub-like Ceylon Bar, and the arty cafe bar, Palate Palette. Food wise, Neroteca offers the most authentic Italian food, while Ciccio serves up reliably tasty pizzas.
In tandem with Changkat establishing itself as KL’s premier entertainment area, it has also become the place for independent travellers to stay. This fact not only helps make for a refreshing mix of races, ages and nationalities, it also acts as a counterweight to the fickleness of the locals. Without the continuing custom of both tourists and resident expats, many entertainment venues would simply not survive. As it is, Changkat goes from strength to strength, for which both locals and visitors to KL should be grateful. So, if you fancy a chilled out drink, a great meal, or a place to shake your funky groove thang, make Changkat your first port of call.
The Ceylon Bar
20-2 Changkat Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur.
T: (03) 2145 7689
21 Jalan Mesui, off Jalan Nagsari, Kuala Lumpur.
T: (03) 2142 2148
The Somerset, 8 Lorong Ceylon, Kuala Lumpur.
T: (03) 2070 0530
15 Changkat Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur.
T: (03) 2141 8605
Restoran Nagasari Curry House
Jalan Nagsari, Kuala Lumpur
25 Tengkat Tong Shin, Changkat Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur.
T: (03) 2144 1225
Twenty One Kitchen and Bar
20-1 Changkat Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur
T: (03) 2142 0021
Werner’s on Changkat
50 Changkat Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur.
T: (03) 2142 5670
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