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Beefing it up in the Klang Valley
Monday 2 October 2017
Kuala Lumpur
A collaboration between RapidKL, The Malay Mail and RebeccaSaw.com
Grilled chicken is one of the popular food items sold at Queen’s. — Pictures by Rebecca Saw
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 2 — Cochrane, previously an underdeveloped area in Kuala Lumpur made major news recently.
Two shopping giants, within 800 metres of each other, have begun operations almost concurrently and IKEA Cheras, IKEA’ second store in the country, is nestled within one.

The opening of the Cochrane MRT station was wonderfully timed too. MRT users now have easy and safe access to three popular shopping malls within the vicinity. IKEA / MyTOWN is about 200 metres (m) from the station while Sunway Velocity is about 800 metres away. Aeon Big Peel Road is approximately 650 metres.

An underground pedestrian walkway, connecting MyTOWN and the Cochrane Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) station, is expected to open soon. Meanwhile, those alighting from Cochrane MRT could just exit the station and cross the road into MyTOWN Shopping Centre which is linked to IKEA Cheras.

IKEA Cheras is 20 per cent larger than its Mutiara Damansara counterpart and here’s the gleeful part — the IKEA food hall is likewise bigger, not to mention better-looking too, mimicking the look and feel of an IKEA designed space rather than a plain cafeteria.

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    The menu is expansive with wraps, soups, salads, vegetarian, poultry and seafood options in addition to the popular Swedish meatballs. Best of all, most are priced below RM10!

    It is cool too that here, kids up to the age of 12 months are given free baby food with purchase of any adult meal. The free flow of coffee is a blessing in the mornings and IKEA’s popular hotdogs, curry puff and the vanilla ice cream are now closer to KL/Cheras folks.

    Breakfast and lunch options are pretty much confined to MyTOWN and IKEA but once the sun sets, the locals throng the Jalan Peel hawker street as well as the 50 year-old Restoran Queen’s for cheap, delicious hawker delicacies. The majority of the hawkers have been operating for decades and some are third generation family members.

    Jahabar Ali, the 3rd generation vendor for the sup kambing /mutton soup stall said he has been there for 10 years. I took a sip of his rich, savoury broth, heady with spices and was hooked. Each piece of meat was tender yet has a bit of bite. A thick toast to soak up the soup is a common practice.

    David, the affable chap manning the Lucky Pau stall, is perpetually busy. In addition to dine-ins for his dim sum, his regulars buy fresh, handmade pau in bulk. I’m personally a fan too, having tried about seven sweet and savoury varieties and finding them generously stuffed with tasty fillings.

    Both stalls deserve special mention as cheap, non-commercial, handmade pau and sup kambing as gratifying as Jahabar’s are increasingly difficult to come by.

    Steamed fish at Restoran Queen’s.
    Hill Street Coffee Shop has delicious noodles such as this.

    Other favourites in Queen’s are satay, chicken wings and the cooked-to-order “dai chow” dishes where steamed fish is the specialty.

    Over at the open-air hawker street, Michelle’s nasi lemak is legendary and so is Yang Kee’s beef noodles. The former is one of the few Chinese style nasi lemak stalls in the Klang Valley serving wild boar rendang while the latter is popular for its tasty dry beef noodles with springy beefballs. Personally I prefer the soup variant as I find the topping on the dry noodles greasy. Restoran Queen’s allows food from the hawker street to be brought in as long as you order drinks.

    Some of the hawkers here operate as early as 2.30pm but evenings are your best bet for variety.

    Hence, daylight sustenance in this area might be a better bet within IKEA and MyTOWN. Truth be told, the MyTOWN food and beverage offerings are satisfactory. You have the crowd favourites like Rakuzen, Sushi Zanmai and The Chicken Rice Shop.

    Then there are the familiar local kopitiam outlets like The Teh Tarik Place and Papparich. As expected of a mall, international cuisine such as Korean, Western, Thai, Hong Kong and Vietnamese are available too.

    Food Empire is the mall’s food court and the variety is fair with most dishes priced below RM10. The spacious space, with its hanging bicycles and green foliage décor, radiates a relaxed and playful vibe which makes for a nice dining experience.

    For budget Japanese and Western dining, head to the Village Grocer Food Hall. The prepacked meals as well as cooked-to-order ones comprising pastas, roast meats and sandwiches are going for less than RM20.

    From the numerous standalone eateries, Hill Street Coffee Shop stand out for being one of the few (perhaps the only one!) outlets within Klang Valley to offer Singaporean local favourites. In fact, this is their first branch out of Singapore.

    I’ve always been a fan of Singapore Hokkien mee and bak chor mee (minced pork noodles), so I was delighted to find both on the menu. Other items worth considering include the pork belly mantou and the traditional Singapore Laksa.

    As you dine, you will notice that the décor simulates the traditional eateries of olden day Singapore.

    * For more gastronomic adventures — keep up with Rebecca on www.RebeccaSaw.com and instagram.com/wackybecky.
Getting There
1. MyTown and IKEA
Ikea food court, Food Empire, Hill Street Coffee Shop, Village Grocer Food Hall 

LRT/MRT: Cochrane 

Distance: 260 metres 

Operating hours: 10am to 10pm. 

From the station: Exit at Pintu A. Go up the escalator to street level. Cross the road and enter myTown.
2. Restoran Queens/Jalan Peel Hawker street
Kuala Lumpur

LRT/MRT: Cochrane  

Distance: 200 metres

Operating hours: 10am–10pm 

From the station: Exit Pintu B. Go up the escalator to street level. Exit the station and walk straight to the road. You will be facing the back of the shops. Go to the front. The corner lot is Restaurant Queen’s.
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