Daro Crispy Chicken, Bangsar

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All things chicken

Fried chicken is one of my diet nemeses – I find it difficult to resist the lure of crispy skin and piping hot meat, seasoned with special spices. Buttermilk fried chicken is currently at the top of my list and this is especially delicious served with poached eggs, brunch style.

Daro Crispy Chicken is a new player in town, a fast food franchise from Canada that occupies a corner lot in Bangsar Baru. The boneless chicken chop (RM10.60) comprised crispy boneless chicken leg with a side of coleslaw, fries and drink.

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Crispy chicken chop with peanut butter sauce

You get a choice of honey lemon, BBQ or peanut butter sauce for your chicken – I opted for the peanut butter. Weird combination, but the sweet and nutty nature of the peanut butter worked with the chicken. If you’re not as adventurous, stick to the honey lemon or BBQ sauce.

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Daro chicken burger

I liked rif’s Chicken Burger (RM10.60), a generous portion of crispy chicken fillet in a bun with BBQ sauce and lettuce. Also available are chicken wings (RM7.80 for 6 pieces) – original or spicy – with a choice of peanut butter or honey lemon. You can dip the wings into the sauce or just have them as they are. I prefer them sans sauce.

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Chicken wings with honey lemon sauce

Service was quick and pleasant, and while I didn’t care much for the chicken chop or wings, the burger is worth going back for. :)

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Ambiance: 6/10
Price: 6/10
Food: 6/10 (halal)
Verdict: If you want to know how peanut butter with chicken would taste like, this is one place to start.

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Daro Crispy Chicken
38, Jalan Telawi,
59100 Bangsar Baru,
Kuala Lumpur.
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Barlai, Kuala Lumpur

In this age when nearly nothing is hidden or forbidden, a secret hideaway (or the idea of it) has an undeniable allure. Like Barlai, a new venue from The Big Group, nested in a heritage building at Jalan Sin Chew Kee in Pudu.

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Al fresco

Try and find it.

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Picnic tables

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Perfect for an evening tipple

There is barely a sign out front – it is cleverly hidden inside the porch – and the décor is laid back, with comfy sofas, old school window panes, wooden picnic tables and decaying walls to give the place a look of yesteryear. The garden is beautiful with just enough green to keep the temperature cool; perfect for a quiet evening tipple, if only the mosquitoes weren’t so vicious.

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Lemongrass Gin & Tonic

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Old Fashioned

Barlai’s scruffy look makes for a peaceful after-work drink and an ideal way to enjoy a quiet weekend. Cocktails are reasonably priced, like rif’s Lemongrass Gin & Tonic (RM16) – a refreshing twist of the old classic.

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Milo Kaw

Less impressive was my Old Fashioned (RM22), one of my favourite cocktails to order, but at Barlai, it lacked the smoky-sweet character of a good old fashioned. I had better luck with the Milo Kaw (RM24), a tasty concoction of Milo with Irish whiskey and hazelnut liquor. Each sip was thick with a smooth yet potent finish.

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Barlai Pina Colada

My friend Ben ordered the Barlai Pina Colada (RM24), prepared the usual way but with a dash of pandan syrup. Tropical with a touch of Asia, I say.

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A mix of old and new

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Pick your poison

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Love the signage!

I like Barlai. It is casual and quiet – perfect for those who want a good tipple minus the frills of dressing up. :)

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Ambiance: 6.5/10
Price: 6/10
Cocktails: 6.5/10
Verdict: One of few places you can dress down and enjoy good cocktails. Try the Milo Kaw and Pina Colada.

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Barlai
3 Jalan Sin Chew Kee
Bukit Bintang 50150
Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2141 7850
Business hours: Tuesday to Thursday (4pm to midnight) | Friday (4pm to 2am) | Weekend (11am to midnight)
Closed on Mondays

Hotel Review: Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral

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re:mix

When I travel on business, the hotels I stay at are mostly good in terms of location, convenience and comfort. They are often conventional which I don’t mind since it’s a work trip, but every now and then, it’s good to check out a hotel that is young, vibrant and full of life. Like Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral, which rif and I stayed at for the weekend.

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Aloha desk

Aloft is a brand of hotels under the Starwood Group, said to be “a vision of W Hotels” and Kuala Lumpur’s Aloft is said the largest Aloft Hotel in the world. It is home to 482 rooms and suites, and just a few steps away from the bustling Kuala Lumpur Sentral Station.

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A space to be in touch and get connected

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re:fuel

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Treats

The lobby is a vibrant mix of colours and shapes – the aloha desk at the reception is designed to resemble a DJ console bar and the lobby (re:mix) is bright and bold to give the hotel a burst of energy. Then there’s W XYZ Bar which I had the pleasure of throwing my blog giveaway launch, a work station and re:fuel, a grab n’go café with treats to curb your hunger pangs at night.

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W XYZ

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A touch of humour by ‘Antares’, formerly known as Kit Lee.

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Work space and a 42″ TV

Our room was bright, spacious and full of natural light, with a plush king bed and work space with high speed internet access and enough plug points to support your electronics. I like how the hotel is fun, yet tailors to a business traveller’s needs at the same time.

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Colourful welcome treats

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Spacious bathroom

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Separate toilet and shower stalls

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In-room safe and coffee and tea making facilities

Room amenities are basic but sufficient – there’s the usual coffee and tea making facilities, in-room safe and toiletries for a comfortable stay. One thing I’ve learnt from business travels – it doesn’t matter if a (business hotel) room has all the frills, because most work travellers won’t have time to enjoy them. #truestory

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re:charge

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Nook, an all-day dining concept at Aloft

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My kind of breakfast

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Fruitloops

One of the things I enjoyed most about Aloft is the breakfast. The spread has almost all my favourite breakfast items – rich and cheesy eggs casserole, baked mac & cheese, chocolate pastries and all the makings of a good breakfast by my books. And they have fruitloops! Not many hotels have that — they usually offer the wholegrain stuff which are often tasteless and dry.

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splash pool

The pool (with salted water) offers one of the nicest views of the city skyline at the moment and I love that the hotel focuses on little details. Like staff going around the poolside offering guests cold bottles of water and ais krim potong (popsicles) to cool down from the heat.

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Cocktails at Mai Bar

Come night time, Mai Bar gets pretty packed with the happy hour crowd. It’s hard to blame them as the view from the bar/pool is really quite something. I wouldn’t mind popping by to watch the sunset.

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Nasi Lemak with Wagyu Beef Rendang

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Sarawak Laksa

Nook also serves daily lunch and dinner buffet as well as a la carte options, and their local food offerings are quite good. The nasi lemak with wagyu beef rendang features tender chunks of beef in a rich and spicy gravy, coconut milk infused rice and a sweet yet fiery sambal. Also worth checking out is the Sarawak Laksa, served with prawns, egg strips and shredded chicken for hearty meal. Because of the hotel’s location, it gets pretty packed during dinner. So do call ahead to book a seat if you’re planning to head over for a meal at Nook.

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Great location

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Adjacent to Nu Sentral

Our stay at Aloft was pleasant. It allowed us to recharge from a stressful week and take full advantage of the hotel’s facilities and strategic location. Nu Sentral is adjacent to the property so there’s plenty to see and shop while you’re there.

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Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral

I reckon this hotel is great for business travellers and savvy tourists, as the amenities are catered to offer guests a comfortable and customised stay. It’s a hotel that keeps up with time. :) For more information on Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral, check out their official site here.

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