I've never been a "shopping person", so I have never felt the urge to visit the heartbeat of shopping in Malaysia - Bukit Bintang. Especially Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, the mall to conquer all malls, because it carried brands that had prices that makes my wallet hurt. The minimalist me couldn't fathom the sheer excessive consumerism of the place.
When I visited it a few weeks ago, I realised that I've not been to the mall for almost a decade, and while it may be the palace of wonders to those who loved to shop, it contained more than enough attractions for people who are not shopaholics (me!).
Where I stayed: Dorchester Kuala Lumpur and The Westin Kuala Lumpur. Both was a stone's throw away from Pavilion, with Dorchester being the cheaper option. Good hotels, both of them, and The Westin has a mouth-watering morning buffet. Dearie me, they had a room for their pastries, had a juice bar, fruit and salad bar, hummus, Malaysian delicacies and more. Just look at the spread (click on the photos to view a larger version):
However, if hotel food doesn't appeal to you, don't worry - the Pavilion has such great choices when it comes to food that you don't need to rely on the hotel buffet at all.
In fact, the No. 1 reason for non-shopaholics to visit Pavilion KL is the food! Here are my recommended places to eat at Pavilion Kuala Lumpur:
1. Matcha Hero Kyoto
This diminutive little stall at Pavilion's Tokyo Street (6th floor) has the smoothest, yummiest Matcha (green tea) ice cream. Do try the Houjicha (roasted rice) flavour too - it's just as awesome! I wasn't surprised that each time I went back to get another scoop the store closed early because they ran out of ice cream! Seriously, I would travel an hour from my home just to have a scoop of that ice cream again. It's really that worth it.
2. Wild Honey
This Singaporean outlet (6th floor) is famed for its breakfast/brunch menu and no wonder. The stuffed French toast I had was beyond this world and the coffee had a very unique flavour. The cafe was packed on the Saturday that we visited, so it's actually a good idea to reserve a table because the place is very popular.
3. Cafe de Paris
My friends and I pretended that we were in France and tried the Bouillabaisse, the little sandwiches and a Mediterranean platter. The Bouillabaisse was extremely flavourful; you can taste the seafood with every sip. The platter was wonderful - it had this cheery stuffed with cream cheese that made me salivate just thinking about it. It's at the third floor (actually the street level floor - yeah, confusing) at the alfresco dining area.
But, truly, there are just so many restaurants at Pavilion KL - some of them world-famous brands like Paul and Laduree - that my recommendations is barely the tip of the ice berg.
Tips about hunting for food in Pavilion:
1. On the third floor, by the lifts, is a pictorial guide/directory to all the restaurants in the mall. My friend commented that you can probably eat at a new restaurant every day of the month based on the list!
2. The sixth floor has some of the best restaurants in the mall.
3. On the ground floor are all your usual fast food places like Nandos, Tarbush, so you don't just have "atas"/posh restaurants in Pavilion.
4. Pavilion is so huge, and the choices of restaurants so many that it's a really good idea to pick up a copy of the Pavilion KL mall directory.
5. There's an "al fresco" dining area within the mall. Yes, it does have the illusion that it's "outside" because of the clear roof, but because the area is actually covered, I find myself coughing from the cigarette fumes. So, yeah, I don't quite enjoy the experience.