A melting pot of Chinese kopitiams, creative Malay fare, and evergreen mamaks, Lucky Garden puts the bangsa in Bangsar

1 / 9

Adu Sugar

Pots, pans and paintbrushes are Chef Adu Amran Hassan's creative instruments at Adu Sugar, a boudoir-like restaurant bearing glorious murals by the multifaceted artist; birds of paradise flit from wall to wall and wild cats prance close to the Persian carpets as you tuck into Johorian specialities such as Laksa Johor and Mee Bandung Muar. But the chef-proprietor also gives Adu Sugar a dose of inspiration that only an outlier (he's opened restaurants in Langkawi and London) can deliver: we duly enjoyed the Roti Canai Tortilla with curried mango-mayo as well as the Chicken Mousse Tortellini in green curry.

10a, Lorong Ara Kiri 2, Lucky Garden, Kuala Lumpur | 03-2201 1441 | adusugar@hotmail.com | Tue-Sun, 12noon-3pm & 6-10.30pm | View menu.

2 / 9

The Daily Potion

Gimmick or genius? The Daily Potion, which opened in August 2019, is the country's first café to serve hand-cranked (and not machine pressurised) espresso.

"There is a difference as I can actively control the pressure I want, whereas with a machine it's uncertain," quoted a barista during our visit. Our double-shot espresso had a bit more water than what we're used to, but for the price of RM4, who's complaining? In fact, all hot beverages cost between RM4-7 whereas cold drinks range from RM4.50-8.50. The Daily Potion has partnered with GrabFood to boot, making door to door deliveries possible.

17, Persiaran Ara Kiri, Lucky Garden, Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur | 03-2201 5458 | Daily, 8.30am-7pm | View menu.

3 / 9

Ombak Kitchen

Remember the crab feast concept that gathered steam some three years ago? While the fire may have fizzled out, several seafood specialists—Ombak Kitchen included—still see a regular stream of patrons. If you've never experienced a crab feast, here's what goes down: mahjong paper is unfurled across a table and an assortment of seafood (shrimp, mussels, scallops and crabs) is tipped onto the prepared surface. There is no sugar-coating the mess that ensues, but it's all in the name of good fun, especially when experienced with friends. Dessert sees a Grant Achatz-inspired dish of fruits, sweets and sauces laid out like a painting.

12, Lorong Ara Kiri 2, Lucky Garden, Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur | 010-216 5946 | Mon-Fri, 5-11.45pm, Sat-Sun, 12noon-11.45pm | View menu.

Famous Street Food Stalls

4 / 9

Eddy Apam Balik

Apam balik, a thicker kind of pancake found in Malaysia and Indonesia, is favoured by sweet tooths; finely chopped peanuts and sweet corn are the standard filling—ask for more of one and less of the other to suit your cravings. Rain or shine, this one-man cart has stood catty-corner from TMC Supermarket for the past 14 years. These RM3 teatime treats will fill you up for next to nothing.

Lorong Ara Kiri 3, Lucky Garden, Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur | Mon-Sat, 11am-7pm.

5 / 9

Lucky Gardens Pisang Goreng

Even older than Eddy's is this two-decade-old stall specialising in deep-fried snacks. We'd love to know how many pieces of battered bananas and sweet potato slices have met the owner's time-worn wok.

Lorong Ara Kiri 3, Lucky Garden, Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur | Mon-Sat, 11am-7pm.

Popular Mamaks

6 / 9

Bala’s Banana Leaf

Surly service is usually part of the mamak experience, but Bala's owners are always ready to ask you about your day and will never shortchange you, even if it's by 5 cents. The squeaky clean mamak (a rarity!) updates its specials board every day: the bright pink beetroot tosai enjoys celebrity status on Instagram, but we're partial towards the green mint idli.

21, Lorong Ara Kiri 1, Lucky Garden, Kuala Lumpur | 03-2201 7107 | Daily, 11am-11pm.

7 / 9

Restoran Mahbub

Millennials (this writer included) have been supping at Restoran Mahbub ever since their pinafore days! Laying claim to the best Nasi Briyani Ayam Madu in town (since 1974), Restoran Mahbub also serves some of the fluffiest naan in town; make sure to pair the latter with tangy tandoori chicken. The mamak's star clientele include Tan Sri Tony Fernandes of AirAsia and Datuk Wira Ameer Ali Mydin of Mydin hypermarkets.

15-17, Lorong Ara Kiri Satu, Lucky Garden, Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur | 03-2095 5382 (delivery, take away & reservation) | 012-6231 786 (catering) | Daily, 7am-2am.

Kopitiam Culture

8 / 9

Chun Heong Coffee Shop

What a coincidence: Chun Heong's most popular eats just so happen to begin with the letter P; think pan mee, porridge, and pork noodles. The last of these can be served soupy or dry (we prefer ours dry with soup on the side). Each portion also comes with two types of minced pork products: oblong-shaped balls with lots of bounce and meaty sausages sliced on the bias.

16, Lorong Ara Kiri 2, Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur | Thu-Tue, 7am-10pm.

9 / 9

Nam Chuan Coffee Shop

While Steven Char Kuey Teow at Nam Chuan Coffee Shop is legendary, even by Penang standards, it's the wantan mee that we've kept under the radar for selfish reasons (until now). Instead of the usual thin egg noodles, ask for flat noodles, which allow for more sauce-to-noodle contact—trust us, you'll want to sop up every last drop of that sweet sauce with smoky undertones. Homesick Sarawakians are also known to frequent the kolo mee stall.

2-4, Lorong Ara Kiri 2, Lucky Garden, Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur | Daily, 6am-10pm.

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