Lucky Bo @ Bangkung, Bangsar
October 1, 2015
If you know your history, this Bangkung address has housed some excellent neighbourhood eateries over the years, from seafood sanctum Four Seas to mod-Oz haven Madisons (plus Tasting Room by Wine Cellar, if you count the space upstairs). Lucky Bo, reputedly named in honour of the beloved dog of the outlet's owner, preserves that tradition; if we're fortunate, this 'community cafe' (more on that a bit later) will enjoy a more enduring presence than its predecessors.
Lucky Bo takes familiar favourites & puts its personal spin on them; expect both Western & Asian offerings, with 'The Boger' (RM18 - it's 'a booger in your nose & a Boger in your mouth') featured prominently on the menu - a serving of two sliders, stuffed with tender & flavoursome seared sirloin beef (a nice change from processed patties), tomatoes & lettuce. From this alone, it seems clear that the restaurant makes a genuine effort to serve feel-good food with an honest quality - the accompanying fries taste fresh & are not an afterthought, while even the side salad is more deliciously dressed than expected.
High marks for the nasi lemak (RM12.50) too, with creamy, satisfyingly fragrant rice matched with all the essential components (each irreproachable), including a choice of prawn sambal (our pick), beef rendang or chicken curry. If it's available, ask for a side serving of Bernie Chan's sambal ikan bilis, a terrific concoction with a beautiful balance of sweet-savoury dimensions (bonus points: it's not too spicy). Other Eastern temptations here include Siamese laksa, Hainanese chicken rice, Hong Kong macaroni beef soup, Mee Siam, fried wantan noodles, yee tau mai fun & kai see hor fan, costing between RM9.80 & RM18.
There's a sense that Lucky Bo's founders appreciate food & have been cooking for a long time - the spaghetti tuak vongole (RM22), loaded wonderfully with clams & cooked with rice wine for a slightly more robust flavour than your regular white-wine variety, feels like the successful result of experimentation in someone's home kitchen. The only dish that wasn't up to mark was the grilled chicken (RM24) - the meat bore the off-flavour of a potential storage issue, but the sides of guacamole, roasted potatoes & rocket were all fine. And a bottle of red, reasonably priced at RM120, made the evening all the more enjoyable.
The 'community cafe' factor is showcased on the shelves - patrons can purchase wide-ranging independently made products, from royal jelly honey & peanut butter for pets to CDs & children's books, many of which seem to emphasise a sense of being Malaysian, a trait that may already have been apparent if you spotted the miniature national flags on the Bogers. Lucky Bo was an oasis of calm on a recent Tuesday night, but expect this to become a crowd magnet soon. Service is warm & efficient.
65 Jalan Bangkung, Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur. Daily, 12pm-10pm. Tel: 03-2092-1222
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