Kuala Lumpur

The row of shop houses in Plaza Batai, on Jalan Damansara, which once housed old bookshops, florists, coffee shops and a market, has now caught a second wind as a hip and happening neighbourhood hangout. Food choices here are abundant and so is the variety, thanks to inventive and passionate cooks who took advantage of the redevelopment to set up shop here.

Eateries such as Yellow Brick Road and Beauty and the Beast live up to their name with creative and whimsical creations ranging from pancakes to burgers and sandwiches to entice diners. International cuisine offerings include Torii, which specialises in Japanese Yakitori and Sitka, a modern Asian restaurant and wine bar and Ekkamai, which serves contemporary Thai.

The biggest footprint is occupied by Ben’s Independent Grocer, which also houses a small number of eateries within the supermarket but regulars however have a soft-spot for Restoran Shangri-La. The outlet maintains a selection of food stalls, peddling hawker fare, which adds a dash of nostalgia for diners who used to frequent Batai all those years ago.

Jalan Batai, Bukit Damansara, opens daily 7am to 11pm.