Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral

Since my flight into Kuala Lumpur arrived much later than scheduled, I did not have too much time in the city.

After taking the KLIA Express from the airport to the KL Sentral train station, it was an easy walk to the Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral since it is attached to the train station. The KLIA Express is having a promotion through the end of the year. You get a 20% discount when paying with Mastercard. You can buy online, through their app, or at the ticket kiosk at the airport or Sentral station. I chose to buy through their app, which worked like a charm.

After following the signs and heading up the escalator, turn right once you reach the entrance of the mall. You will head down a walkway past some restaurants and enter the hotel on the second floor.

Take the elevator right by that entrance, as it only goes to floors one and two, so waiting shouldn’t be a problem.

Compared to my prior visit earlier in the year, check-in was quicker.

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Room 1811

I was given keys to my king room.

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Bathroom

Upon entering the room, the bathroom is located directly to the left. There is a single sink, a walk-in shower and toilet. The shower and toilet share the same sliding door, which can be awkward if sharing the room with another person.

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Shower

The shower has dispensers for shampoo/conditioner, and body wash.

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Toilet

The space for the toiler is a little cramped. In addition to the toilet, there is a hose.

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Coffee Maker

Across from the toilet is the coffee maker and safe. Four bottles of complimentary water are provided, which is very generous.

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Closet

Next to the coffee maker is the closets, which contains two robes, two pairs of slippers and extra towels.

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Room

The room is fairly spacious with plenty space to move around. The room is on the dimmer side however, as lights are not plentiful.

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Bean Bag Chair

Something that wasn’t in the room on my prior visit was a brightly pink bean bag chair.

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Bed

The bed was on the firm side. There is a small night stand on either side of the bed, however outlets were only provided near the right side of the bed.

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Durian Sign

There was a funny sign/slogan over the bed.

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Free Drinks

One new thing that this Aloft offers is free drinks and snacks, much like the Hyatt Andaz brand does. There were two bottles of water, two soft drinks, an energy drink, orange juice, and a beer.

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Free Snacks

On the snack side, there were two bags much like cheese puffs, a small canister of Pringles, oriental crackers, a small pack of Oreos, a “healthy cookie” and a bag of peanuts.

I though the drink and snack selection was very generous, and would be replaced daily. This is much more than the Andaz hotels that I have been to offer.

My stay was much better this time around. I think that since the hotel has been open for a while, some of the kinks are starting to be worked out. The Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral is convenient if coming from the airport late, or for early departures.

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Nando’s – Kuala Lumpur

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Nando’s

Nando’s is an international chain that specializes in chicken with peri peri sauce. The piri piri sauce uses chilis native to Africa but made famous by the Portuguese.

The first Nando’s opened in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1987.

I have seen and passed by Nando’s on numerous occasions while in Asia, but never thought much about it since it is a chain restaurant.

After talking to one of my friends, he professed his love of Nando’s, and in particular their peri peri sauce.

During my quick layover in Kuala Lumpur I decided to check-out Nando’s since it was in the accompanying mall of the hotel.

I ordered the double chicken breast with the hottest peri peri sauce they have.

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Chicken with Peri Peri

When the dish arrived, I was somewhat disappointed. This did not look like a double chicken breast to me. The chicken was tender, but a little dry. As for the peri peri , although I ordered the hottest they had, it was not spicy at all.

I also used the garlic peri peri  sauce which had more flavor.

The French Fries were just okay, and reminded me of the fries at Red Robin, right down to the seasoned salt.

Overall, I was not impressed by Nando’s. After eating here though, another one of my friends professed her love of Nando’s. Maybe I caught them on a bad day, and need to give them another shot in the future.

Ethiopian Airlines – Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur

Ethiopian Airlines
Flight ET 618
Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur
Departs: 2:20 PM, Arrives 5:45 PM

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Check-In

Upon entering the Hong Kong International Airport, I checked and found out that the Ethiopian Airlines check-in counter was in “Row U”.

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Premium Lane

Upon checking in, I was given a Premium Lane certificate to go through the immigration line.

Security wasn’t too bad, and the Premium Lane certificate wasn’t really needed as immigration lines were pretty short.

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Departure Gate

After leaving the Thai Royal Silk Lounge, it was a quick walk to the D3 gate, where my flight to Kuala Lumpur was departing. This is a somewhat cool flight, as it is a “Fifth Freedom” route for Ethiopian Airlines.

When booking the Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur flight, all of the options were fairly expensive which I found somewhat odd as intra-Asia flights are generally pretty cheap. I continued to monitor fares for a few weeks but there was no change in rates. I ultimately booked this flight for a couple of reasons, those included not seeing too many reviews of Ethiopian Airlines, along with this being a fairly new 787 as this route has been operating with this plane since approximately May.

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Ethiopian 787

Shortly after arriving at the airport, it had started to rain intermittently. Ultimately, the flight arrived late at the gate. Although passengers departing from Addis Ababa do not depart the plane if going onto Kuala Lumpur, the plane was delayed arriving and while on the ground.

Upon boarding, the cabin was already ~60% full. The striking green and gold color scheme stood out.

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Economy Seat

Waiting at my seat was a small pillow.

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Leg Room

Fortunately, I had the whole row to myself for the short flight. Legroom wasn’t too bad in economy, especially having an empty seat next to me.

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Foot Rest

Each seat has a footrest, which I hardly ever use.

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USB Port & IFE

There is an IFE on the back of each seat, as well as a USB port at every seat.

The entertainment choices were rather limited. You would have a hard time finding things to watch on a long haul flight.

I was surprised that a full meal was served on such a short flight.

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Chicken Entree

There was a salad with Italian dressing. The entrée was chicken with mushroom, potato au grating, and vegetables. The chicken wasn’t too bad, but could have used some salt. Dessert was an Asian style mocha cake with raspberry sauce.

Alcohol was served in economy during meal service.

The service was professional but not too friendly.

Due to the weather and late departure, we were placed in a hold pattern for nearly an hour.  Once the plane landed in Kuala Lumpur, the flight was nearly two hours late in relation to the estimated arrival time.  Since I had the first flight out the following morning, I didn’t have as much time in the city as I would have like.

Although Ethiopian wasn’t too bad on this short flight, I’m not sure I would want to fly them long haul given the limited entertainment choices.

Plaza Premium Lounge – Kuala Lumpur

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Plaza Premium Lounge

Upon checking in for my flight to Los Angeles, check-in was a breeze as I had one of the earliest departure times and the airport was nearly empty.

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Premier Lane Immigration Pass

I was given a Premier Lane card to go through immigration thanks to having Star Alliance Gold Status. Although I am sure this would come in quite handy when the airport is busy, at such an early hour going through immigration was not a problem.

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Lounge Invitation

I was also given a lounge invitation to the Plaza Premium Lounge.

I didn’t spend much time in the lounge as I got to the airport with not much time to spare before boarding started.

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Buffet Spread
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Buffet Spread

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Buffet Spread

The food spread consisted of salads, cereal, juice, a couple of hot options, soup, and bread. There is also a fridge filled with drinks and yogurt.

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Seating

The lounge does not appear to be too big, but it never got crowded during my early morning visit.

Although not the most luxurious lounge out there, the Plaza Premium Lounge will suffice for a brief respite from the crowds, a bite to eat and to have a drink or two.

Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral

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Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral

The Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral recently opened, and is conveniently located adjacent to the Sentral train station. In fact, there is a connecting walkway between the train station and adjoining mall to the hotel.

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Sign to Sentral Station and Mall

If taking the walkway, you will enter the hotel on the second floor and have to go down one floor to the front desk.

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The Nook

The hotel’s restaurant The Nook is located on the second floor, which has indoor and “outdoor” seating.

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Lobby
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Lobby
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Lobby
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Lobby

The lobby is very spacious and has an open feel to it thanks to very high ceilings.  To the right there are several sections of seating.

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re:fuel

When entering from the front, the front desk is straight in front of you. Behind that is the re:fuel snack/drink/take away food center.

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Business Center

There is also a small business center with a couple of computers to use.

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Pool Table

There is also a pool table.

Check-in wasn’t the smoothest, as there were four front desk associates just standing around when I got there. It took a minute before one of them acknowledged me and began to help me.

He either seemed kind of lost, or really uninterested, as he took forever to give me the room keys, and asked for me credit card several times as it appeared he got lost in his thought process a couple of times.

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Room 1804

After finally getting the room keys, I headed up to room 1804.

The bathroom is located to the left of the door, and is somewhat small.

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Sink

There is a single sink with an adequate amount of counter space.

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Amenities

Complimentary toothbrushes, razor, and cotton balls/nail file are provided.

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Toilet

The toilet is lodged between a wall and the shower.

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Shower
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Shower

The shower was on the small side, but water pressure was pretty good and the temperature remained constant.

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Free Water

Four bottles of water are complimentary, which is a huge bonus in hot and humid Kuala Lumpur.

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Closet

Closet space is on the smaller side, but it was nice to see that the hotel offered robes and slippers.

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Fridge

There is also a small fridge.

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Room
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Room
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Room

The room itself is on the larger side. The bed was not very comfortable even though the hotel is relatively new.

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View From Room

The view from the room is nothing to write home about.

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Pool
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Pool
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Pool
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Pool View
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Pool View

The hotel has a rooftop an infinity pool with nice views of the city.

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Mai Bar
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Mai Bar

The Mai Bar is also located on the rooftop.

The room was relatively quiet, but somewhat dark. I find this to be a consistent problem throughout the chain as lighting seems to be a premium.

Prices seem to be fairly low, and you cannot beat the convenience of staying right next to the train station, and in the city, if needing to get to the airport early.

 

Dancing Fish- Kuala Lumpur

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Dancing Fish

Dancing Fish is located in Bangsar section of Kuala Lumpur, and is located on the third floor of the Bangsar Shopping Centre.

The restaurant has a modern décor, with a tranquil almost spa like feel.

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Emping
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Sambal

The meal started off with Emping and was served with Sambal Terasi. The chips are made out of melinjo nuts, which are quite bitter. The sambal somewhat offsets the bitterness. Although sambal is generally known as being spicy, I have found that most have a sweeter quality that tends to overpower any heat associated with it, and this sambal was no different.

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Tahu Telur

The Tahu Telur is a tower of tofu and flossy egg mixture. The end result is interesting. Crunchy on the outside with large chunks of soft tofu inside. I could not distinguish any distinct egg flavor. The dish is served with a somewhat sweet sauce.

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Dancing Fish (Nila Goreng)

The Dancing Fish (Nila Goreng) is their signature dish. It certainly looks imposing. This is a skinned fish that has been fileted off of the bone then deep fried. The end result is a crispy fish with a dragon-like appearance. The dish certainly gets a lot of attention, but it seems like too much of the fish has to be removed in order for it to get this appearance. This results in much less fish, and most of it ends up like hard fish jerky or croutons and is almost inedible. I don’t think sacrificing all of that good fish is worth the end product.

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Rendang

The Rendang is a beef curry dish cooked in coconut milk and spices. Although this is said to be a spicy hot dish, almost all versions that I have had have not been very spicy. This version was no different despite the addition of chili’s on top of the dish. Despite the lack of heat, this was still a good dish.

I can see why Dancing Fish has gotten a lot of attention. The décor is somewhat upscale and trendy, and it attracts that kind of crowd. The food is pretty solid. Although the “dancing fish” is Instagram worthy, to me it was more style over substance. I’d rather give up the “food porn” shot to get more quantity of fish that is tender.

Chinatown – Kuala Lumpur

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Petaling Street

Petaling Street is the Chinatown of Kuala Lumpur. Although Chinatown consists or more than just this one street, Petaling Street has become synonymous with Chinatown.

Day or night, the streets are always bustling with activity. There are many street vendors selling food, fruit stands, clothing, souvenirs, purses, electronics, watches, and just about anything else imaginable. Beware that many imitation brand name goods are sold, so if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.

If street food is your thing, there are many options to choose from in Chinatown. It would be worthwhile to check it out for a couple hours, who knows what you may run across.