POSH, BROKE, & BORED

A LUXURIOUS LIFESTYLE EDIT

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Kuala Lumpur: Botanica + Co, Bangsar South

September 25, 2016
 Botanica + Co, Bangsar South


CONSERVATORY CHIC AT BOTANICA + CO, BANGSAR SOUTH

Of all the erroneous assumptions my Western friends make about me, the one that most defies logic is that I should adore heat and humidity or at the very least be accustomed to it. Let me break it down for you - One: Mad Dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun, Two: By that reasoning, why do you gwai los complain about the cold in winter? Three: Malaysians drive their air-conditioned cars to air-conditioned offices then to air-conditioned watering holes and finally back to their air-conditioned homes. So no, my experience of the searing tropics is limited to the three and a half minutes the valet makes me wait for my car, and my love for all things tropical is best appreciate in the chilly confines of an air-conditioned space. It's the only way to admire palms and fronds without being eaten by Aedes mosquitos, really...

So when I got wind (like an air-con breeze, haha) of a fresh botanics-inspired restaurant arrival housed in an air-conditioned greenhouse, I made my way to the new-ish township of Bangsar South in search of Botanica + Co.

Kuala Lumpur: Breakfast Thieves, Bangsar

September 23, 2016
Breakfast Thieves, Kuala Lumpur's hot new brunch spot, makes its way to Malaysia from Melbourne
Breakfast Thieves, Kuala Lumpur's hot new brunch spot, makes its way to Malaysia from Melbourne
STEALING GLANCES AND TAKING BITES AT 
BREAKFAST THIEVES, BANGSAR

There's a name for the international design language of post-social media cool - reclaimed Industrial chic juxtaposed against Calacatta marble, mason jars, and fiddle leaf figs - the hipster aesthetic of which is designed (that is, according to Kyle Chayka's piece for The Guardian) as a soothing balm for the "wealthy, mobile elite" who want their 'authentic and off the beaten track' with a side of wifi. Chayka calls it AirSpace, and bemoans this globalised style as homogenous. Personally? Hey, if it keeps my Instagram feed neat... In all seriousness though, I'm all for the world being a smaller place especially when said globalisation manifests itself in the form of delicious, delicious brunch.

And apart from the New Yorkers nobody does brunch like the 'Strayans. Cafe culture has spread like bushfire in Malaysia thanks to the country's relative proximity to the Antipodes. My second favourite* entity to arrive from Melbourne to Kuala Lumpur is the second branch of the new Bangsar café that's got all the Instagrammers and brunch hunters excited - Breakfast Thieves.

*my most favourite is arriving today. Boomchickawahwaahhh

Min Jiang, South Kensington

September 20, 2016
Min Jiang: authentic Chinese food in South Kensington, London

"Welcome, esteemed guests from five lands and four seas, to gather as friends for various delicacies"

MIN JIANG
Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington, London

________

Mandarin is a language so fluid and multi-faceted that if you ask several different speakers with even the slightest variation of fluency among themselves to translate, each one will give you a different interpretation. Above is my understanding of the couplet that greets guests in Chong Qing - the striking, glossy-red private dining room of Min Jiang - but then again, native Mandarin speakers have diplomatically described my comprehension ability as 'adorably foreign'. Oh dear.

However, a concept that is not alien to this Overseas Chinese Malaysian-now British expat is the comfort of authentic Chinese cooking in a foreign land. A surefire indication of such a establishment is, as is the case with Min Jiang on Kensington High Street, is a chorus of various Chinese accents: I heard the baritones of husky Mainland accents, the clear altos of the Taiwanese; the curious, sometimes soprano-like drawls of the Malaysian Chinese, with Cantonese cadenzas peppering the symphony.

That overture raised the brocade curtain on a gorgeous meal for four at 'London's most authentic Chinese restaurant'.

Orlando, Florida: Universal Studios Florida

September 12, 2016

Orlando, Florida: Universal Studios Florida

LIFE IMITATES ART: CINEMATIC MAGIC AT UNIVERSAL STUDIOS FLORIDA

Orlando, Florida: Walt Disney World

September 09, 2016

Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.


A MAGIC KINGDOM OF DREAMS & WISHES: WALT DISNEY WORLD ORLANDO