163 Retail Park, Mont Kiara: Riang Ria Raya
May 15, 2019
The balik kampung spirit comes alive at 163 Retail Park: Inside Mont Kiara's modern mall, the courtyard has been transformed into a charming, colourful village scene, complete with a water buffalo and egrets beneath a sky filled with wau-style kites, in line with the mall's focus on natural elements like soothing greenery and reviving waterways.
Riang Ria Raya at 163 Retail Park promises plenty of festive fun throughout Ramadan and Aidilfitri, with Raya Redemptions shopping bonuses as well as activities like free ketupat workshops, gasing and batik painting workshops, ondeh-ondeh and pulut panggang giveaways, and even a Raya jazz musical!
The restaurants at 163 Retail Park are also offering a vibrant spread throughout this season. Here are some recommendations for meals that will brighten your celebration with your family and friends, from classic local cuisine to contemporary international treats.
Firmly established as one of KL's leading destinations for Malaysian cuisine, Madam Kwan's boasts a beautiful branch in 163 Retail Park, aglow with natural light and blessed with leafy views of the mall's surroundings in Mont Kiara, plus a children's play area that should keep the little ones well-occupied.
Madam Kwan's Ramadan specials will remain available until 30 June, including a Tiffin Meal that two can share, complete with a feast served in a traditional tiffin of fried chicken drumstick, lamb rendang, assam prawns, Nyonya grilled fish and keropok, rounded out with a hearty platter of Madam Kwan's exclusive lemang, made with the restaurant's distinctive nasi bojari (RM85).
If you prefer a single-plate portion, the Nasi Ambang should also satisfy, comprising chicken satay, lamb rendang, assam prawns, Nyonya grilled fish, keropok, and steamed rice in a cheerful serving that's perfect for all generations (RM34.90).
If you're new to Madam Kwan's, the ideal introductions would be the signatures: Nasi Bojari, tri-coloured rice laced with minced chicken and prawn sauce, accompanied by assam prawns, beef rendang and fried chicken drumstick (RM29.90), and Nasi Lemak, Malaysia's national rice dish with chicken curry, sambal ikan bilis, dried shrimp floss, hard-boiled egg, acar and fresh cucumber (RM21.90) - flagship offerings that have endured the test of time at this restaurant.
Bring a sweet conclusion to your experience here with Madam Kwan's crispy-juicy Banana Fritters, served with ice cream and golden-hued syrup (RM15.90), and a limited-time-only special of Durian Cendol, luscious with Musang King and Gula Melaka sauce.
With neon-lit lettering that proudly proclaims 'Truly Malaysian,' Penang Nyonya is the ideal venue if you're craving cuisine inspired by the Pearl of the Orient, with kuah and sauces that are all house-made. If you're returning to your hometown in Penang for Raya, head here first to whet your appetite with a sampling of what the island offers.
Delectable diversity rules at Penang Nyonya: The Nasi Bojari at Penang Nyonya emerges with tasty basmathi rice served with lemongrass-spiced fried chicken, squid sambal, fried anchovies, groundnuts, sliced cucumbers and egg (RM18.90), while the Ayam Penyet features a crisp whole chicken marinated in Penang Nyonya's own blend of spices, complete with sambal belacan and acar (RM20.50). Of course, there's Penang Fried Kuey Teow too, cooked over high heat for a satisfying smokiness, topped with a bounty of prawns and chicken - recommended extra-spicy, but customers can order according to their preference of fieriness (RM13.50).
If you favour creamy comfort, try the Assam Fish Curry, tangy with tomatoes and okra (RM28.50; ours comprised tenggiri fillet, but the fish is subject to change, depending on availability), Penang Assam Laksa, rice noodles in sweet-sour tamarind broth thickened with mackerel, topped with cucumber, onions, red chillies, pineapple, mint, and of course, shrimp paste (RM12.50), and Curry Laksa that's rich and robust with chicken, fish cakes and bean curd (RM12.50; choose from mee, kuey teow or mee hoon).
Seeking an authentic Thai restaurant to ignite your taste buds this Raya? Busaba Thai is your best bet, with a Thai chef who commands the kitchen at this intricately furnished venue, a sumptuous visual feast for the eyes to complement the cooking.
For a glimpse of Busaba Thai's capabilities, order the top-selling recipes of Chor Moung (RM25.15; strikingly shaped Thai royal dumplings, naturally dyed with butterfly pea flowers, stuffed with minced chicken), Yam Som O Goong (RM30.50; juicy pomelo salad with succulent deep-fried prawns) and Tom Yum Goong (RM31.60; the irresistible red tom yum soup with prawns lime, lemongrass and chillies) for a stellar array of starters.
Other intriguing highlights include Poo Phad Pong Ka Ree (RM141.15; stir-fried crab claw meat with yellow curry, an absolute should-try for crustacean enthusiasts, with the flesh conveniently removed from the shells for easy eating), stir-fried tofu with hot basil leaves (RM23.15; the tofu and hot basil leaves are imported from Thailand for this temptation from Busaba Thai's new vegetarian menu) and Fak Thong Sang Ka Ya (RM17.40; steamed Thai-cultivated pumpkin with coconut cream custard, topped with sweet egg floss) - all clearly elevating Busaba Thai above most other Thai restaurants in KL, with its meticulous sourcing of produce and creatively skilled use of ingredients.
Freshly launched this year in 163 Retail Park, Chili's gleaming new outpost offers a spacious set-up for indulging in the Tex-Mex staples that have won over Malaysians for nearly three decades.
The Triple Dipper is the first thing to try, a sampler that lets you choose three of six possible starters - we savoured the Southwestern egg roll (flour tortillas stuffed plumply with chicken, black beans, corn, Jalapeno Jack cheese, green bell peppers and spinach), chicken crispers, and signature wings (flavours include BBQ, buffalo wing or honey-chipotle sauce), with other options comprising Texas cheese poppers, onion rings and craft beef burger bites, complete with celery sticks and dipping sauces, mighty enough for a meal even on its own (RM36.95).
Patrons who relish their food sizzling can marvel at the Mushroom Jack Fajitas (RM42.95; marinated grilled chicken smothered with Jack cheese, beef bacon and sauteed mushrooms, served with onions, green bell peppers and fresh house-made salsa); folks who like it crunchy can munch on the Crispy Honey-Chipotle Chicken Crisper (RM32.95; hand-battered from scratch, a deserved crowd favourite that's completed with corn on the cob, home-style fries and honey-chipotle dip).
If beef is your one true culinary love, rekindle your romance with the Classic Ribeye (RM59.95; about 280 grams of Chili's prized steak, prepared with the brand's own special seasoning, served with melting butter, loaded mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables) and the Oldtimer (RM24.95; a bulky burger built with a hand-seasoned beef patty for a full punch of muscular flavour, topped with pickles, lettuce, tomatoes, red onions and mustard; add RM2 for aged cheddar cheese).
The Molten Chocolate Cake is Chili's sure-fire palate-pleaser to cap this meal (RM22.95; moist chocolate cake with a melted chocolate centre, crowned with a scoop of vanilla ice cream).
KL's first Belgische Chocolatier relies on Belgian chocolates to thrill cacao lovers; newly opened for only two months now, the venue also conducts workshops to teach children how to make chocolate. It's a playful place for parties too; plus, if you follow Belgische Chocolatier online, you can enjoy a 10 percent discount on your order.
For the young at heart, spring for the Sizzling Brownie (RM29; a freshly baked brownie served on a hot pan with ice cream, poured over with a coating of milk chocolate sauce for sheer theatrics at your table).
Sweet-tooth satisfaction is also assured with the Volcanic Lava Cake (RM22; a luxuriously moist chocolate cake with that scrumptiously creamy chocolate filling) and The Hot Tub (RM12.90; a selection of fruits paired with Belgian chocolate fondue; the fruits might include possibilities like kiwi, strawberries, bananas and pineapples). And even if you're not into chocolate, there's stuff to sample, like the cream-topped Strawberry Tart on a crunchy base (RM22.90), beautifully and intricately crafted like fine artwork.
The passion for chocolate extends to the beverages too, such as the signature Three Musketeers (RM18.90; a medley of three shots of dark chocolate, white chocolate and milk chocolate, ultra-rich so that you can linger and slowly sip this over a leisurely afternoon), Hot Chocolate (RM15) and Mocha (RM13).
The venue is also hoping to introduce a Ramadan buffet that comprises Middle Eastern fare (lamb mandy, shish tawook and more) plus chocolate concoctions at RM75 per person. Check its social media pages to learn more.
Vanilla Cafe Express
Vanilla Cafe Express is the smaller sibling of Vanilla Mille Crepe, tackling mainly cakes and beverages, ideal for grab-and-go convenience. The mille-crepe cakes reputedly rely on an authentic Parisian recipe; even the cream in each layer is French-made.
Fun fact: The mille-crepe cakes here have a total of 22 to 30 layers, much more compared to the typical mille-crepe cakes in Malaysia that have about 16 or so. The restaurant uses pure vanilla beans and no preservatives; each slice is RM13.90, while a full 800-gram cake is RM79 and a 1.4-kilogram cake is RM137.80 - the ideal dessert for large groups this Raya.
The Ramadan flavour is the Pandan Mille Crepe with Gula Melaka - it's so popular, it had sold out when we visited. No worries though: Other seasonal offerings include the vibrant Rainbow, with natural fruit colourings to evoke a joyous feeling of fun.
The selection is diverse, so you'll find everything from Lemon Cheese (for folks who like a slight savoury kick to their sweet treats) to the Bamboo Charcoal (with charcoal powder from Japan, considered a healthier choice that can aid digestion).
You also can't go wrong with the perennially trendy Salted Caramel, the Midnight Chocolate that uses dense Belgium dark chocolate, and the Original Vanilla, the first-ever mille crepe offered by this brand, with the essential recipe created five years ago. Wash down with a Cafe Latte (RM10.90) and
Mocha Latte (RM11.90), prepared with a blend of Brazilian and Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee beans, or the Love @ First Sight (RM9.90), a gorgeously blooming tea with jasmine flowers, globe amaranth and tea leaves.
All in all, 163 Retail Park offers a one-stop destination for all your Ramadan and Raya activities. For shoppers, spend a minimum of RM100 within two receipts on a single day and receive five green ang pow packets; alternatively, spend a minimum of RM300 within two receipts on a single day and win five green ang pow packets as well as an exclusive crystal bowl!
Many thanks to 163 Retail Park for having us here.
163 Retail Park
8 Jalan Kiara, Mont Kiara, Kuala Lumpur.