1 Mont Kiara: Halloween & Deepavali Celebrations

October 17, 2019

The final weekend of October is poised to be a festive one at 1 Mont Kiara, with a full schedule of fun to celebrate both Halloween and Deepavali. The excitement on 26 and 27 October spans everything from Halloween best-dressed contests, trick-or-treat sessions, and cotton candy and popcorn giveaways, to Indian traditional dance performances, vadai eating contests, and much more.

To complement this merrymaking, here are some wide-ranging suggestions for what to eat in this mall, from Seoul-style soul food to New York-inspired burgers, lovely vegetarian fare to scrumptious fried chicken, Japanese ramen to Chinese lei cha.

DJ Kitchen Buldojang

When we visited, DJ Kitchen Buldojang was all geared up for a spooktacular Halloween, with ghouls galore to accompany a selection of Korean food that's to die for.

With a chef from Seoul, the signatures here include the pork cutlet, coated in Korean-imported breadcrumbs, deep fried to a delicate crisp.

The cutlet can be served in four different styles, including some imaginatively playful ones. For the ideal introduction, try the DJ Donkasse, a substantial steak-like portion paired with a sweet-savoury sauce that's freshly made in the kitchen every morning (RM28).

If you prefer to balance the cutlet with wholesome fibre, have it in the burger salad, served like patties in a heap of healthy mixed leaves (RM30).

The cutlet can also come as a base for the cheese spicy dongaseu, mildly spicy and monumentally cheesy, the perfect choice for younger customers (RM39), or as an edible bowl in the sachun donpas, housing a slick stuffing of jjajangmyeon noodles in black bean sauce, the ideal pick for hungry patrons (RM45).

Beyond the cutlet, the chef takes pride in traditional recipes that he has long mastered in his homeland, including the jjajangmyeon noodles, made meaty and hearty with diced pork (RM20), and the jjambong, spicy seafood soup that brims with squid, mussels and clams (RM25).

For contemporary Korean cafe concoctions, snack on fluffy spheres of fried mozzarella (RM18) as a starter or side dish, washed down with lemonades in vibrant hues, bursting with a reviving soda fizz (RM15).

NY Burger Co. 

It's been more than a year since we visited NY Burger Co., which opened in 1 Mont Kiara in August 2018. With its jazzed-up American diner setting, complete with chequered floors and complemented by fun, funky murals, this is the place to take a big bite of the Big Apple in KL, particularly since the venue's founder is a New Yorker himself.

Classic American burgers come to the fore. Like the best of burger joints, the patties are freshly ground every morning with a mix of beef and fat for a juicy chew that packs a punch.

Newcomers can munch on the NY cheeseburger, the quintessential choice topped with a tangy 'crack sauce,' rounded out with the essentials of lettuce, tomatoes, onions and pickles (RM12.99).

If you have the appetite of King Kong, you could attempt to scale the Empire, a double beef burger with three slices of grilled cheese and a dual dose of beef bacon that's been fried and grilled for extra-enjoyable crunch (RM22.99).

If chicken is more your speed, the buffalo fried chicken burger provides poultry pleasure, perfectly breaded and pungently partnered with blue cheese and an in-house buffalo sauce (RM12.99).

Add RM6 to upgrade any burger into a set with fries (freshly hand cut every day too), made with imported Washington potatoes (a further RM1 can be topped up for cheesy fries). The set comes with a beverage of your choice, such as lemonade and sweet tea. 

Beyond burgers, NY Burger Co. also tackles a modest selection of pizzas (since the show-runners here also helm Mikey's New York Pizza). Offerings include the Chicken Club, crowned with chicken, beef bacon and roasted tomatoes, mixed up with mozzarella and cheddar, with the final flourish of crack sauce for a flavour boost (RM15.99). Order it for your next pizza party, plus a princely platter of cheesy beef bacon fries to share (RM14.99).

Real Food

Real Food has proven its resilience - it first launched in Singapore 11 years ago, before landing in 1 Mont Kiara in 2015. The brand's repertoire was personally tailored by its fashion designer founder and his mother to help improve customers' nutritional habits, relying on fresh, recognisable ingredients from local sources, resulting in wholesome vegetarian-friendly cooking that's nonetheless rich in flavours and textures.

Real Food's menu leaps effortlessly from East to West. The signature steamed dumplings are meticulously handmade, individually cut with plump fillings of mushrooms, carrots, beancurd, turnips, celery, beans and coriander, all of which are ravishingly nourishing (RM20).

The preparation has been fine-tuned for Malaysians who prefer bolder flavours, evident in the tom yum fried vermicelli, cooked till golden brown, with Real Food's own fresh tom yum paste, complete with choy sum, cabbage, carrots, shiitake mushrooms, and egg from a carefully selected hen farm for a purer yolk (RM20; eggs can be omitted in any dish by request).

Other highlights include the steamy baked quinoa, layered with cheese and a creamy sauce of capsicum, tomatoes and carrots (RM33; also available as brown rice for RM29), and a newly launched vegan white pizza, thin-crusted and topped with a cashew-based alfredo white sauce, cherry tomatoes and broccoli (RM39). Drinks are equally guilt-free - sip on the kombucha, made with fermented tea and cane sugar, Real Food's recommendation to aid digestion (RM10).

Chon Dak

Chon Dak loosely translates to kampung chicken, which explains what makes this brand worth checking out. Its Korean founder honed his craft in Seoul, specialising in the globally beloved dish of fried chicken - here, he ensures the chicken is secured fresh every day, cooked with no MSG or preservatives.

A whole kampung chicken in Chon Dak's original flavour clocks in at RM43, blanketed in a beautifully brittle crackle and crunch that buoy the chicken's relatively leaner but tastier flesh. Korean fried chicken fans can bookmark this venue for a change from the commercialised chains.

Regular non-kampung chicken is also available for RM33 per fowl. For lighter, fuss-free meals, you can also order just the wings (RM15) or boneless fillets (RM15).

Other Korean staples here cater to rice enthusiasts, such as the bibimbap, made with Australian beef and imported Korean spinach, and the kimbap, popular for Korean picnics, comprising rice rolls with crab sticks and Korean pickles (RM10).

Daruma Syokudo

This authentically Japanese restaurant welcomes patrons with images of the traditional daruma Japanese doll, a symbol of perseverance and fortune that brings a captivating cultural touch to 1 Mont Kiara.

Tons of tonkotsu ramen beckon - the broth is constructed with pork bones cooked for at least ten hours, with further tweaks before it reaches the table. The fish tonkotsu ramen is intriguing, elevated with katsuobushi (dried bonito) and niboshi (dried baby sardines) for even more umami, a soul-satisfying concoction with pork belly as succulent protein to sink your teeth into (RM27).

Ginger pork (RM14) and karaage chicken (RM8) can be ordered as well-executed sides; alternatively, they're also available in rice sets for a main course.

Ying Ker Lou

Having founders, a management team and chefs with Hakka roots has cemented Ying Ker Lou's reputation as Klang Valley's most dependable destination for time-honoured Han Chinese cuisine.

Naturally, the distinctive vegetable-based rice tea dish of Hakka lei cha is a highlight here - rice with loads of choy sum, spinach, string beans, celery, dried tofu, preserved radish and leeks, partnered with an aromatically elegant soup of basil, peppermint, green tea, peanuts and sesame, a family-friendly recipe that focuses on well-being (RM21.90).

Other specialities include crispy vegetarian spring rolls stuffed with shredded carrots and turnip (RM11.90), as well as cha shao bao, steamed buns made full-bodied with barbecued pork (RM5; also available on Ying Ker Lou's weekend buffets from 1030am to 1pm).

Many thanks to 1 Mont Kiara and these restaurants for having us here.

1 Mont Kiara

1, Jalan Kiara, Mont Kiara, 50480 Kuala Lumpur.

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