Islamic Arts Museum + Acme Bar & Coffee at Troika

October 28, 2014

Another morning in Malaysia, another day playing tour guide. Yesterday I showed Henry one of Malaysia's gems---the Islamic Arts Museum

Nestled in the lush greenery of the city's lung, Taman Tasik Perdana (Lake Gardens), the stunning museum hosts one of the best collections of Islamic decorative arts in the world. Even Henry, ever the patriot ("The British museum has the best collection of foreign artefacts because guns beats spears!"), admitted that the Islamic Arts Museum collection was better than the V&A. And oh what a collection! Spread out over four floors in a white building of an impressive 30,000 square meters, the museum has the most beautiful ceiling domes including an inverted dome which I insisted to Henry had secret coded messages in the inscriptions (it doesn't. At least not that I know of). Their is a Quran and Manuscripts Gallery, the Islamic Architecture Gallery (complete with small scale versions of the world's most important mosques such as the Prophet's mosque in Medina and the Al Haram Mosque in Mecca), the India Gallery, the Chinese Gallery, the Ancient Malay World Gallery, a reconstructed Ottoman Syrian Room dating back to the 19th Century. Artefacts from all around the Muslim world, from China, regional Southeast Asia, and even faraway Middle East and Iran are proudly displayed: mother of pearl inlaid furniture, dazzling tiaras, jewellery, glorious gowns, intricate armour and weapons, ceramics as well as ancient Islamic glass ware. There's just so much to take in that trying to describe or photograph it all is futile, not that I haven't tried nor that it stopped the visiting schoolchildren from snapping away on their iPads (children these days have iPads?!) nor did it deter Henry from lying on his back on the floor to get the perfect shot of the ceiling domes. The icing on the cake for Henry's museum trip was one of the museum attendants saying to Henry: "You look just like a treasure hunter! Like Indiana Jones, yes Indiana Jones!" Henry: "Don't worry, I'm not going to steal anything!" Anyway, here are some of my favourites from the Islamic Arts Museum.

We left the Islamic Arts Museum hoping to see the exotic birds in the nearby Kuala Lumpur bird park, but of course it had to start raining, as it has ever since we arrived in Malaysia. I am convinced Henry brought the London weather with him. What else is there to do in the Malaysian way, when the elements and circumstance is working against you? Makan. Eat. I've been craving Acme Bar & Coffee's cempedak cake ever since I tried it two years ago so off to the Troika we went.

What was intended to be just a slice of cake and tea at Acme Bar & Coffee turned into an early dinner. And thank goodness for that, because the cempedak cake I came here for was not how I remembered it. The cempedak cake I knew was dense, rich, and fragrant to the point of obscenity. ABC's current offering was...light and bland with the airy texture of chiffon cake. No! No! No! Michiekins would be so disappointed. I guess it's now on me to come up with the perfect cempedak cake recipe and recreate my lost love. Happily, our food more than made up for the disappointing dessert. 

A detox jar of watermelon and mint for her, coffee for him.

I had the duck carbonara with truffles, and Henry has the ABC version of fish n' chips because Rule Britannia, Britannia rule the waves.

Garlic and parmesan potato wedges to die for. Or at least die alone and unloved for because nobody would kiss me after eating these.

Oh cempedak cake, now you're just somebody that I used to know.

Henry making friends with a Malaysian cat and drying the rain off its fur with his scarf. 

Do you know why he carries an empty satchel with him? It's just in case I let him take a cat home. He's already made friends with about ten or so stray cats and wanted to bring them all back to mine. No! But he's got the satchel on standby, just in case.

Signing off hastily because I have a meeting to dash to and a day full of sightseeing, facilitated by yours truly, 'YipAdvisor'. x

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