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Thursday, 31 December 2015

(NST) Property prices won't go down in 2016, say real estate specialists


KUALA LUMPUR: Have you been holding out on a property purchase because your friends tell you that property prices will go tumbling down next year? 

According to real estate specialists at least, you shouldn’t wait anymore. 

They claim you should start buying properties as soon as you can afford to because property prices will keep on spiralling upwards. 

For young people, the earlier the better as the costs of construction, labour and material would consistently go up over time. 

FAR Capital founder and chief executive officer Faizul Azwan Ridzuan said it was unlikely for housing prices to go down and since housing was a basic need, it was important to know how to buy and invest in properties. 

“I bought my first property at 24, a few years ago, at RM140,00 but the property is valued at about RM450,000. 

The cost of developing properties will always go up according to inflation,” Faizul said at a press conference on the MyRumah Property Showcase here yesterday. 

Faizul, who went from a fulltime employee to being a real estate success story with his bestselling book on property investment within two years, is one of the speakers of the showcase. 

Apart from sharing his experience in property investment, Faizul wanted to help clear misconceptions among the youth who tend to shy away from property investment due to low purchasing power. 

For one, he said the government was not to blame for the rising cost of properties. 

“The reality is that political uncertainty is not the only factor.” 

New Straits Times group editor Mustapha Kamil Mohd Janor said the showcase’s focus was not on selling properties, but more towards educating the public on nitty-gritty issues that could help them make property investment decisions. 

“Property is turning into a viable investment option, hence, the public should know the rules, regulations and strategies in property investments. 

“NST is glad that we are collaborating with Andaman Group, who has arranged a wide range of topics that would be presented by the selected speakers to help the public arrive at their investment decisions,” Mustapha said. 

Andaman Group managing director Datuk Seri Vincent Tiew lauded the New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd group for making the public aware of choices in property buying and investment. 

“If this showcase only had money-making purposes, it would be a commercial and conventional property exhibition that features hundreds of booths. 

“There are not many seminars or exhibitions that offer talks from these many speakers. “Apart from all the channels that allow for affordable property buying and investment, such as 1Malaysia People’s Housing Programme and other affordable home schemes, the public could learn more about other options in property purchase and investment,” he said. 

Tiew suggests visitors to pick the topics they are interested in as they are myriad of topics to be presented, such as feng shui, land matters as well as how to reduce existing loans. 

A non-commercially driven programme, the inaugural MyRumah Property Showcase is organised by NSTP in collaboration with Andaman Group and targeted at firsttime home buyers. 

The three-day event, which will be held from Jan 8 to 10, is open to the public from 10am to 6pm at Balai Berita, Bangsar, in Kuala Lumpur. Admission is free and there will be ample parking spots. 

Aimed at making NSTP a leading print media for property consultation, the showcase involves 12 exhibitors along with talks from 19 speakers and real estate experts beside other activities. 

Visitors stand to win 50 ICE Watches worth RM450 each at a lucky draw during talk sessions, as well as 10 IKEA gift cards worth RM1,000 each.

(The Star) Move to attract Indian textile companies to set up business in Malacca

MALACCA: India’s prosperous textile industry will be lured to set up business here, said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron.
Idris said the Indian textile industry is a giant and could help Malacca in producing the superior quality materials for the local and foreign markets.
“The state is also eager to revive textile investments in the state and turn it into a main revenue earner for Malacca,” he said.
Idris noted that in 2014, Malacca attracted investments worth RM4.4 billion, including RM1.8 billion in foreign direct investments.
On an unrelated matter, Idris said the government plans to upgrade the buildings on Jalan Hang Tuah here to international standards.
“I have also asked the Public Works Department to conduct safety tests on Hang Tuah Mall where some of the walls are moist due to leakage,” he said, adding that the street will also include the 30-storey Yayasan Melaka complex.

(The Star) Nusajaya is now Iskandar Puteri

JOHOR BARU: Iskandar Puteri is the new name for Nusajaya from January 2016.
It was chosen as it was the name of the administrative centre for Johor in 1855, said Yayasan Warisan Johor historical research officer Kamdi Kamil.
During that time, Temenggong Tun Daeng Ibrahim Temenggong Daeng Abdul Rahman named the area Bukit Tanjung Puteri and later changed it to Iskandar Puteri as he wanted the administrative centre to look modern, it being the seat of power.
“Iskandar was part of the name of the state ruler Sultan Ali Iskandar Ibni Sultan Hussein Shah,” he told The Star in an interview at his office in Yayasan Warisan Johor here recently.
In 1855, Sultan Ali ceded the sovereignty rights of Johor (except Kesang, Muar) to Temenggong Daeng Ibrahim in exchange for a formal recognition as the Sultan of Johor by the British and a monthly allowance.
“Meanwhile, Puteri was the name of a pretty girl named Puteri Mayang Selida who lived in Bukit Tanjung Puteri (Iskandar Puteri) with an old lady in the area,” he said.
Kamdi added that the first administrative centre for the state was Kota Kara in Kota Tinggi (1528), followed by Kota Sayong Kota Tinggi, Kota Batu Johor Lama, Kota Seluyut then back to Kota Batu Johor Lama.
It was then shifted to Kota Batu Sawar, Kota Tauhid, Kota Panchor, Bentan, Daik Lingga, Teluk Belanga in Singapore, Iskandar Puteri and Johor Baru. he said.
He added that they shifted from one area to another after they were attacked by the Portuguese and Achehnese.
“The name Iskandar Puteri was used for the state between 1855 and 1866.
“Then it was changed to Johor Baru by the state ruler Temenggong Wan Abu Bakar,” he said.
Kamdi, who was also among those in charge of looking for the best name to replace Nusajaya, said he had previously suggested three names – Iskandar Puteri, Penggawa Barat and Seri Amar, which are all related to the state’s history.
He said Penggawa Barat was taken from the position of the Sultan’s representative who covers Johor Barat, Datuk Abdul Samad Ibrahim.
He said Seri Amar, meanwhile, was the position of Datuk Seri Amar Diraja Abdul Rahman Andak who was the first state secretary for Johor.
He said Iskandar Puteri was the appropriate name to replace Nusajaya as it complements the existing waterfront development Puteri Harbour and the state administrative centre Kota Iskandar.
Sultan Ibrahim had in August this year decreed that Nusajaya be replaced with a new name that has historical background and related to the area.

(The Star) Condo tower draws buyers to the city

The Ipoh city skyline is undergoing a remarkable change.
Trendy hotels and condominiums are changing the face of this once quiet town and the latest addition to that stable is The Majestic.
The two 21-storey condominium towers will give residents a panoramic view of the city.
Construction of both the Majestic Tower and Imperial Tower are complete and the condo recently received its Certificate of Completion and Compliance, with residents expected to begin moving in with the New Year.
Situated at Jalan Datuk Tahwil Azar, the RM120mil project consists of 333 freehold condominium units.
The towers also have 12 units of two-storey commercial lots on the ground floor for the convenience of its residents with limited condos on the seventh floor having private gardens.
Recreational features include a sky bridge connecting both towers, rooftop gardens as well as a cabana and barbecue corner for parties.
The infinity pool is perfect for cooling off in the humid weather, in addition to a wading pool and Jacuzzi while Italian sculptures add to the luxurious feel on the sky deck.
Security has also been given importance, with access to each block controlled by individual key cards, with 24-hour security and close circuit camera surveillance.
More than 90% of The Majestic has been snapped up, with prices steadily increasing from the first day of sales.
“The Majestic is just one of many reasonably priced condos coming up in Ipoh and its surrounding areas,” said Kinta Real Estate Sdn Bhd managing director Datuk Poo Tak Kiau.
“The location is excellent, with restaurants, shops and amenities within walking distance,” he said.
“These units are prefect for retirees looking for comfort and convenience, or young couples looking at a first home,” he added.
The Majestic is one of numerous new living facilities – SOVOs, condominiums and apartments – that have sprung up in the rapidly growing property sector of the city.
“It is also less than a three hour drive from Kuala Lumpur and Penang, which makes it an ideal second home,” said the Perak-born Poo.
Despite the rapid development, Poo said Ipoh hasn’t lost its small town feel.
He said the city’s up-to-date healthcare system, prewar architecture, arts and literary scene, clean air, mountains and excellent food has made it a draw in recent years for tourists and expats looking to retire.
Yahoo! FinanceTime Money and US News have all voted Ipoh one of the top 10 places to retire in the world.
“There are so many reasons to invest in property in Ipoh, especially now while new affordable properties are being built,” he said.
“But it hasn’t been easy for property developers. There are now more requirements and it is hard to keep prices competitive while still maintaining quality,” added Poo.
Still, Poo said buildings are his passion and seeing something created and built from start to finish fills him with pride.
The developer has also been working with the Ipoh City Council to put up additional street lights in surrounding lanes.
In a tribute to the historic Majestic Theatre, which once stood on the site, Poo said he has plans for a long mural on the ground floor of the towers.
“The well-known Art Deco style theatre was built in the late 1940s and had its heyday screening Chinese movies in the 1960s and 1970s.
“I want people to remember the roots of this place. Culture and history are important to us, and we will be working with local artists to have a mural that depicts the history of the Majestic Theatre,” he said.
For more details on The Majestic, contact 05-​​2​​42 7888 or access its website at www.majesticipoh.com

(The Star) Tamil school to get new building

Pupils and teachers of a dilapidated Tamil primary school in Nibong Tebal, Penang, can look forward to a new building after receiving RM3.5mil from the Federal Government.
SJK (T) Sungai Bakap headmaster V. Gunasegaran said this was delightful news for the school’s teachers, pupils and parents.
“We have proposed to build an L-shaped two-storey building with 12 classrooms on a 1.42ha-plot of land located about 400m away from the present school building.
“Other than classrooms, the new building will also house a canteen, library and teacher’s room,” he said after receiving the allocation from Deputy Education Minister P. Kamalanathan at a hotel in Seberang Jaya on Tuesday.
The school received the allocation under the 2013 special stimuluspackage for Tamil schools.
Gunasegaran added that presently, the school was in bad shape as termites had infested furniture in the school.
“We only have six classrooms to accommodate 157 pupils and a teacher’s room for 14 teachers and four other staff members.
“Besides that, we also don’t have canteen and a school field for outdoor activities,” he said, adding that the new school building was expected to be completed in two years.
Gunasegaran said the 68-year-old school was currently located on a 0.2ha private land and it had received a notice to vacate the land as the owner wanted to develop the land.
Kamalanathan, who handed over the mock cheque to Gunasegaran, hoped that the school would use the allocation wisely while constructing the new building.
He said 23 Tamil vernacular schools in the state, which were government-aided, had received a total of RM5.34mil under a special allocation from the Federal Government to upgrade the schools’ infrastructure.
Also present at the event was state Education Department director Shaari Osman.

(The Star) Klang Valley’s clubbing scene took a hit this year but is still raring to go

2015 proved to be a challenging year across the board and the clubbing and nightlife industry in the Klang Valley was not spared.
Early on, the big question was what was going to happen this year after last year’s outdoor festival blackout.
Would they make a return?
Unfortunately, that has not been the case as this year still did not see any major outdoor events featuring international guests.
For awhile during the first half of the year, even a few indoor equivalent events were similarly affected.
Things were slightly rosier in the second half of the year, when a few indoor events featuring some pretty handy international headliners did manage to go ahead.
And in recent months, a couple of outdoor events featuring all local line-ups were also approved and went ahead.
Within the clubbing industry itself, it’s been a massive year of change.
The Union are no strangers to the pub scene and have had a very active year.
The Union are no strangers to the pub scene and have had a very active year.
With the move to the new TREC facilities complete, Zouk KL continues its international rise even further by entering the DJ Mag Top 100 Club Poll’s Top 40, rising to #38 from #52 the previous year.
Zouk KL was previously ranked #65 in 2011 and #66 in 2012.
It is, in this poll, now the third ranked of the eight Asian clubs that made the Top 100, with only Octagon, Seoul (#6) and sister club Zouk Singapore (#7) ahead.
Once again, we see a major shift, led by the opening of the TREC facilities on Jalan Tun Razak, beginning with the move of Zouk KL to its new monster super club facilities featuring 11 rooms.
The new TREC entertainment Electric Boulevard Phase 1 precinct and the subseqeuent entry of up to half-a-dozen new clubs in the space of just one month also helped spice up the scene with Artebar, COMO, Red Room, Avalon Club Lounge, Mango Tropical Café 2 and soon-to-come Supper Club among the major entries.
TREC wasn’t the only area to enter a new phase in the Klang Valley.
Over in downtown central Kuala Lumpur, first Elysium, and then Prime Touch Luxury, both located in Wisma Goldhill on Jalan Raja Chulan, have opened.
Next door on the Changkat Bukit Bintang stretch, we said goodbye to the long-standing Changkat institution Frangipani.
In its place enters the new club complex Zion.
Arumugam Goes To Alabama continues to twist perspectives with their own take on classic hits.
Arumugam Goes To Alabama continues to twist perspectives with their own take on classic hits.
We also just said farewell to Sultan Lounge and Casbah Lounge in Kuala Lumpur’s Mandarin Oriental Hotel and word has it that the venue will transform with a new entry from the Singapore scene arriving in the second quarter of 2016.
The underground institution of Kuala Lumpur’s scene in the “tennys” (2010s), Quinte, also made a welcome return after a 15-month hiatus, which saw the original venue razed by fire.
On the DJ front, international DJ appearances did drop marginally in number without the presence of multi-artiste outdoor events on a large scale.
Nevertheless, the few indoor one-night parties added to the slew of underground, off-the-mainstream, yet top quality, international DJ appearances helped keep the international focus alive.
As ever, it is the local scene that keeps the beat alive as it was again left to the indoor clubs, new club owners and local DJs to continue to thrive.
Clubbing days have expanded beyond just the major Friday and Saturday activities.
Mid-week sessions on Wednesdays have been rising as an option for a night out in recent years and now even Sunday has begun to pick up as a party option day in addition, led by the entry of the Play 4 Passion Sunday afternoons, La Bodega’s Sunday Funk session, also Pisco’s monthly Lazy Day and more recently, Elysium’s Sundaze sessions and Prime on Sunday at Prime Touch Luxury.
Local DJs keep the flags flying as usual and to the army of local DJs, both the Choons Awards, Malaysian DJ Battle and the Pioneer Digital Battle came and went.
As we head into the new year, it looks like we are also moving into a new concept — post 3am clubbing.
One by one, more and more venues are receiving post 3am operating licences and this should further spur the growth of the club scene into 2016 and beyond.
Of course, the question still remains as to when the outdoor festivals can return to their former glory.
On the live music front, things have pretty much been business as usual in the Klang Valley nightspots.
On the plus side, more and more outlets are offering a taste of live music and fans have been spoilt for choice when it comes to picking a venue.
However, by and large, the same faces keep showing up at these venues.
An artists impression of the entrance to the Zion complex.
An artist’s impression of the entrance to the Zion complex.
There seems to be a core group of great bands in the Klang Valley who do the rounds.
There is still plenty of diversity on offer, what with guest appearances and line-up changes so music fans have not been left wanting.
It is also good to see many of the bands switching up their musical styles and not just performing straight covers any more.
Acts such as Hydra, Touch Mahal, Muzza’s Mayhem, the Union and Arumugam Goes To Alabama and soloists including Gerard Anthony, Mizan and Mark Renesh all continued to thrill the crowds with some nifty rearrangements of classics.
Rock still dominates the scene but there is more to music than just that and outlets such as Alexis and Mezze have continued to be at the forefront of the jazz evolution in the Klang Valley.
The increasing number of outlets offering live music also means that it has become much more spread out and practically any night of the week, fans can enjoy some great vibes all across the valley, from Ampang to Subang and everything in between.
Several one-off music festivals were also organised in 2015, most notably for good causes where musicians came together to raise funds for their fellows in need of aid. Mandolin in Petaling Jaya was one venue that played host to a few such events, including the F.A.M.E charity fundraiser that saw more than 10 acts taking the stage including the Union, Gillaz, Purple Haze and Raggy Singh.
Ol’Skool Bistro was also host to several music fests and fundraisers such as the one in aid of bassist “Fats” Paran.
As we move ahead, 2016 looks set to be a challenging one, but you can bet the bands and the nightspots are not going to take it lying down.
Already, several outlets look to be shifting their line-ups and fine-tuning the music selection and we can only hope for the best.

(The Star) RM2.5mil revamp for Shah Alam hypermart

Customers, they hear you.
Giant Shah Alam Hypermarket in Section 13 has been given a makeover, thanks to the valuable feedback provided by shoppers.
The outlet now offers a new shopping experience with an overall refreshed layout and design that caters to customers’ wishes.
“We conducted customer focus groups on the range, offers and layout they wished to have and we have built a customer-centric model from there,” said GCH Retail (M) Sdn Bhd GMS and Grocery Non Food merchandising director Lee Siew Mei.
“It is really about meeting their needs. You will see a lot of changes here, like in the general merchandising store,” she said.
“For instance, we have grouped toys, stationery and sports together, so children can shop better amid other children-related products,” she said.
In the electrical area, there are now stand-alone cashier counters. They were installed according to customer demand.
“When they buy bulky items, it’s not convenient to carry them to the regular checkout counters,” Lee noted, adding that the department had also increased the number of staff to provide better service.
The food area, she said, had also undergone changes, including having specified zones for the noodles and confectionery.
In terms of the range of products, Lee said the company had done category reviews in line with market trends and competitors.
“It is not only through the layout that we will get more customers to come and shop; we also reviewed the range we had and what customers wanted in our store.
“These are the things we continuously work on,” said Lee, adding that 40% of the product range had been refreshed.
“We will definitely roll this out in other stores as soon as possible,” she said, adding that the revamp was necessary as the store had not been refurbished in five years.
The overhaul was completed in November and had since received positive feedback.
“We have recorded 30% higher sales compared to the same period last year,” said Lee.
GCH Retail (M) Sdn Bhd operations director Ernest Potgieter said the company also receive input from the staff.
“We have a ‘Your Voice Counts’ campaign specially for employees with about 10,000 staff in the company, it is important that they give us their comments on the business as well.
“At the end of the day, the staff are our customers too,” he said.
Revealing that the store had spent RM2.5mil on the makeover, Potgieter added that refurbishment of 28 stores would follow next year, including the opening of six new stores nationwide.
He said Giant Superstore Star Avenue in Shah Alam and Giant Hypermarket Petra Jaya in Kuching had introduced the same concept as Giant Shah Alam Hypermarket.
“Two existing stores in Bukit Antarabangsa and Penang Plaza have already been refurbished, while work on Plentong is under way,” said Potgieter.
The makeover at the Plentong outlet in Johor is slated to be completed by the end of March next year.
Nationwide, Giant stores serve 2.3 million customers a week, and the Section 13 outlet alone served about 70,000.
“Serving this huge customer base means we have to give them what they need.
“We try to live up to customers’ expectations by offering them an all-round shopping experience with good services, products and environment,” said Potgieter.

(The Star) Chill out on the rooftop

Fancy a spot overlooking the scenic city landscape of Kuala Lumpur?
Then the latest lounge in town – Elysium Bar + Terrace is the ideal place for you.
The labour of love between Petra Group chairman Datuk Vinod Sekhar, its vice-chairman Datuk Eric Chong and Oscar-winning producer Bruce Davey, Elysium is located 32 floors above the streets of Kuala Lumpur in Wisma Goldhill along Jalan Raja Chulan.
Plush and cosy, the lounge serves a delectable range of pub-grub presented in a gourmet fashion from the kitchen of its partner restaurant twenty.one Kitchen+Bar.
Diners can opt for a variety of delectable fare including Duck Spring Rolls as well as Spicy Chicken Sausages while taking in the picturesque scene.
The spring rolls consists of rich, smoked duck wrapped in tortilla bread with carrots, cucumber and spring onion.
Smoked in-house, they are served with chilli Hoisin sauce.
Sauteed Mushrooms, a rich antipasti of button mushrooms cooked with garlic in a butter cream sauce.
Sauteed Mushrooms, a rich antipasti of button mushrooms cooked with garlic in a butter cream sauce.
The sausages are served with toasted caramel bread and the concoction of tomato sauce seasoned with a generous amount of black pepper is delicious.
Other must-tries are the Sauteed Mushrooms – comprising antipasti of button mushrooms and garlic in a butter cream sauce and the Chicken Tikka Marsala – a unique medley of shell pasta immersed in a yogurt mint sauce topped with well-marinated chicken tikka and pickled kyuri (Japanese cucumber).
No dinner is complete without signature cocktails, each created by bar manager Emcee, exclusively for Elysium.
Every three months, a new drink infused with Malaysian flavours is introduced.
“The first was the Elysium Punch, a twist from the classic punch with five different flavours.
Spicy Chicken Sausages served with toasted caramel bread and tomato sauce.
Spicy Chicken Sausages served with toasted caramel bread and tomato sauce.
“The ingredients include Ketel One vodka, fresh lime juice, pineapple juice, syrup, passion fruit syrup and bitters,” he added.
The other is the Ro-sey Lychee Martini – a pink delight made from Ketel One vodka, lychee liqueur, lychee juice, fresh lime, and homemade rose-pandan syrup.
Next is the Batida de coco e Maracuja, made from Sagatiba Pura Cachaca (Brazilian rum), coconut milk and passion fruit puree.
Passion fruit is the writer’s personal favourite.
Asam boi lovers can opt for the Asam Boi Margharita which has a hint of sourness without being overwhelming, or go for the Passion Fruit Whiskey Sour, made from Maker’s Mark bourbon, passion fruit puree and syrup as well as egg white and vanilla syrup.
The restaurant also has promotions on Sundays called the Sundaze session with live barbecue serving hot dogs and burgers while the Happy Hour promotions are from 5pm to 9pm.
ELYSIUM BAR + TERRACE, Wisma Goldhill, Jalan Raja Chulan, Kuala Lumpur. (Tel: 03-2022 3818) Business hours: 5pm to 1am (Tuesday to Thursday) and 5pm to 3am (Friday and Saturday).
This is the writer’s personal observation and is not an endorsement by StarMetro.

(The Star) Giving the dining scene in KL and PJ an overall view

The cities that never sleep aptly describe Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya, food wise that is.
There is always a new offering in the food and beverage scene, right from the start to the end of the year, with restaurants, cafes and even clubs popping up to cater to the insatiable need for good grub.
In 2015, it was a case of out with the old and in with the new as the small but popular commercial strip on Jalan Batai unveiled a refreshing facade.
The Batai stretch’s independent supermarket Hock Lee, one of the most distinctive names in the row moved out, and for their grocery needs, denizens of Bukit Damansara and Damansara Heights could be seen shopping at the swanky and upmarket Ben’s Independent Grocer (BIG).
But what of the dining places? Drive along the back and a couple of restaurants come into view.
Yakitori place Torii is posh and inviting for its use of premium ingredients in the menu and bar for whisky connoisseurs.
Ruyi’s signature sushi consists of a platter of nasi lemak, Hainanese chicken rice and mango sticky rice sushi.
Ruyi’s signature sushi consists of a platter of nasi lemak, Hainanese chicken rice and mango sticky rice sushi.
Next door is the Yellow Brick Road cafe which is often busy with young folk catching up over coffee or tea, while savouring hearty comfort food.
Then there’s Sitka, a European-styled interior that opened in 2014 and serves up very appetising meals and Sam’s @ Batai, a chill-out place that took over from Cheers, and is a sister property to Sam’s in Plaza Damansara.
Occupying a prime location in Suria KLCC is award-winning chef Will Meyrick’s Mama San that took root in mid 2015.
With restaurants in Bali and Hong Kong, Mama San’s extensive menu of Southeast Asian dishes focuses on the use of traditional recipes, spice and herbs to feature the best of street food done with a touch of elegance.
The much-awaited opening of Nobu Kuala Lumpur was the talk of the town in May as the VIP list included globally acclaimed chef Nobuyuki “Nobu” Matsuhisa, his associates Robert De Niro and Meir Teper, who were joined by Tengku Zatashah Idris Shah, daughter of Sultan of Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, and Tan Sri Syed Yusof Tun Syed Nasir.
Then in October, celebrity chefs Johnny Fua and Sherson Lian joined forces to unveil Hello by Kitchen Mafia in the Happy Mansion area much to the joy of foodies in Petaling Jaya.
Pince & Pints, a name imported from Duxton Hill in Singapore, known for its serving of lobsters took root on Jalan Telawi 5 in Bangsar Baru in October and more recently, the city welcomed Babe by Michelin-starred chef Jeff Ramsey.
Located at Work@Clearwater, Babe projects a “fun dining” concept with Ramsey’s “japas” or modern Japanese tapas and is making waves with gourmets far and near.
In early December, the Kuala Lumpur Journal, a new boutique hotel in the Bukit Bintang area, added two more destinations for food seekers.
The restaurants, Bounty and The Shack, are operated by the Hooked Hospitality Group. Hip restaurant Ruyi & Lyn is a hybrid place in Bangsar Shopping Centre that combines a restaurant, lounge and party area under one roof.
The much raved about Ruyi’s Sushi features bite-sized versions of Hainanese chicken rice, nasi lemak and mango sticky rice.
While it maintains certain elements of a traditional banquet restaurant, Ruyi & Lyn stands out on its own with its contemporary take on Malaysian and Chinese dishes, stylish setting and elevated dining experience.
Stoked Restaurant and Bar, which opened its doors in August, belongs to the Vintry Group of Wine Bars & Restaurants.
It specialises in food cooked using a charcoal oven, which the owners believe will elevate the flavours of the produce by infusing it with a kiss of char and smokiness, while sealing in moisture and essential flavours.
Meanwhile, Paradise Group Malaysia, a subsidiary of Singapore’s Paradise Group Holdings, started its first Thai restaurant in Malaysia called ParaThai.
Located at Mitsui Outlet Park, Sepang, the restaurant would appeal to travellers and shoppers looking for authentic and quality Thai dishes.
Celebrity chefs Johnny Fua and Sherson Lian joined forces to unveil Hello by Kitchen Mafia in the Happy Mansion area much to the joy of foodies in Petaling Jaya. The restaurant opened in October 2015.
Celebrity chefs Johnny Fua and Sherson Lian joined forces to unveil Hello by Kitchen Mafia in the Happy Mansion area, much to the joy of foodies in Petaling Jaya. The restaurant opened in October 2015.
On the local front, the team behind Capriciossa and Morganfield’s opened Ong Lai – a fast casual restaurant specialising in porky local cuisine.
Ong Lai, a name that directly translates to “luck comes”, is an all-day dining restaurant in Sunway Pyramid that serves meals from breakfast to supper.
Several American brands also unveiled their Malaysian stores this year.
Slappy Cakes is a popular pancake restaurant from Portland, Oregon, that allows diners to make their own pancakes at their tables, while South California-based Caliburger offers milkshakes, fries and burgers that are cooked to order.
Nathan’s Famous is a New York brand known for its frankfurters. It is also renowned for its annual hot dog-eating contest which takes place every fourth of July at the original Nathan’s Famous outlet in Coney Island.
Next year, Malaysian foodies can look forward to the opening of Michelin-starred eatery Mak’s Chee Authentic Wonton at 1 Utama Shopping Centre.
The quick casual restaurant serves authentic Hong-Kong-style wonton noodles prepared by master chef Johnny Yu, using a nearly 100-year old recipe from the Mak family.
With gentrification stepping in, it is obvious that Klang Valley’s dining scene will continue to evolve as contemporary restaurants and cafes keep cropping up, regardless of how hard hit the ringgit may be because food is a way of life.

(The Star) Notices by MPAJ to inform the public areas in Ampang affected by new parking scheme

The Ampang Jaya Municipal Council has started putting up notification boards in areas where its new coupon parking system would be implemented.
Its press relations officer Norhayati Ahmad said this was to ensure ratepayers knew when to use the parking coupons when the new system takes effect tomorrow.
Areas not affected by the new parking system are those with private parking such as the shophouses along Jalan Perdana 2/7, she added.
“There are some places in Ampang that are not being subjected to the new parking system.
“Only cars that are parked at the council parking lots have to display the parking coupon,” she said.
Norhayati said this in response to complaints by Pandan Perdana shophouse owners that they were unsure if the parking lots outside their premises were subjected to parking charges as they are now free of charge.
During a press conference, Pandan Perdana Residents Association chairman Lim Ah Chai said the owners were worried that they would be fined for not displaying the parking coupon.
He said the shophouses were private property and should not be subjected to the new parking system.
Association vice-chairman Terence Ee said the process of implementation was not detailed enough and coupon selling agents were nowhere to be found.
“MPAJ is not ready for the system. I hope that the council can organise more dialogues with the stakeholders to inform them in detail about the new system,” he said.
The new parking system will replace the “pay and display” method.
There are three types of coupons available – hourly tickets which cost 50sen per card, monthly passes which are priced at RM70 as well as Residents Pass for those living in shoplots costing RM30 per month.
The new system will take effect in 10 areas including Taman Melawati, Pandan Jaya, Pandan Indah A and B, Keramat Permai, Taman Kosas, Taman Muda, Bandar Baru Ampang, Taman Permata, Taman Pandan Perdana A and B as well as Taman Putra Sulaiman.
A total of 10,462 parking spots would be affected and 115 ticketing agents have been appointed.