Drop by Lorong Kurau to find out how a row of shoplots can contribute so much to the community.
The name Lorong Kurau is legendary – the older generation know it and the younger generation know it, albeit for different reasons. It’s also a favourite destination for vegetarians as well as Indian food lovers. Heck, it is even the spot for some amazing grub to go with your beer.
Many may not know this but Lorong Kurau was the one of the first row of shophouses to be built in the Bangsar vicinity. The business that opened shop there served the residents’ basic needs – basic sundry shops, a barber, gas vendor and simple eateries.
Today, however, gentrification has emerged the clear winner; Bangsar’s boom along Telawi and Maarof has witnessed a spillover effect on Lorong Kurau as well. Although the housing area surrounding the shophouses are still intact, small businesses at the row have since moved out, giving way to more modern and sophisticated outlets that can afford the mounting rent.
Thankfully though, most of the new business owners of Lorong Kurau are passionate about the street’s past and are more than happy to tell you of its former glory. All you have to do is drop by for a quick bite and ask. After all, the valet here is free, thanks to the cumulative effort by the participating shopowners for patron’s convenience. Also, did you know they’re also growing a herb garden at the back of shops. Trust us when we say, Lorong Kurau is truly winning.
Here’s a quick list of must-visit restaurants at Lorong Kurau if you’re in the mood for a healthy serving local history with your food.
The Ganga Café
The restaurant is an institution for vegetarians and vegans in the Klang Valley. Run by Meeta Sheth and husband Prabodh Sheth, The Ganga Café emphasises on North Indian meat-free goodness. Having been a vegetarian her whole life, former-caterer and self-taught chef extraordinaire Meeta presents a well-curated menu beloved by all. She is also very hands on with the operation and hospitality, ultimately resulting in the fame that the restaurant has garnered today. Say hi when you see her, or she’d greet you first.
This fine dining restaurant spins Mediterranean cuisine on its head, and presents it meat-free. An endeavour by the Sheth couple with Chef Lingesh, Barat plays on many meanings, with the prominent two being ‘western’ in Malay and ‘a get-together’ in Sanskrit. The food here, however, is not just limited to being meat-free or vegetarian; patrons can put in any sort of request to Chef Lingesh and his team, and they will accommodate it without sulk or pout. The Chef is the go-to person for the history lesson here – he is one most passionate members of the Lorong Kurau community.
Pasar Mini Mary Provision Store
Don’t let the name fool you, there are no sundry or grocery to be bought here. Currently operating as an Indian mixed rice restaurant for the office workers in the area, Mary Provision store was once a sundry shop, until eight years ago when Aunty Mary’s small scale dinner set became a hit. Since then she has been serving people wholesome Indian meals every day of the week. “Unless if I’m ill or out of town”, she says. The provisions in the store are no longer there and Aunty Mary only sells food now. She is also one of the OGs of Lorong Kurau, and can detail out the shops that operated along the street 13 years ago.
The Enclave @ Bangsar
Although one of the newer kids on the block, The Enclave understands its role in the bigger scheme of things in Lorong Kurau and Malaysia in general. Understanding its patrons – who are mainly expats – the walls of the gastrobar are lined with old images of Kuala Lumpur, when our forefathers led a simpler life so to speak. Drop by for the food but definitely stay for the history.
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