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Neo Tamarind has never been a stranger to me, as the place is pretty well know for its ambiance and food that many occasions I see my friend are there for dinner. Nevertheless, this round we are here for Cape Mentelle wines tasting & pairing. I am lucky to received my first direct wine pairing dinner invitations for this round.

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The restaurant is located on the busy street of Jalan Sultan Ismail or next to a huge Merc showroom.

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NEO Tamarind is best described as ‘the new zen’. Imaginative NEO Tamarind-cuisine the defies rules, borderless food designs will arouse your palate. Filled with statue, galactic bar with a chic & cosy luxe lounge for lazy weekend afternoons. A place that won many awards that bring you to another dimension.

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as we arrive, we are being treated with first bottle of wine which turns out to be me and Cheng Yi’s preferred bottle from this wine range.

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Before the dinner, we can enjoy the Blind wine tasting being prepare for us and I won my self a bottle of my favourite wine back –

Cape Mentelle Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2012

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Upon arrival of many guest, I am honour to be in here with the rest famous blogger, KYspeaks, KampungboyCityGirl, Evelyn, Cheng Yi , & another blogger that I love to read when comes to wine & Whisky is Ei Ling (which I forgot to take pic with her)

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A bit on Cape Mentelle as the winery takes its name from the nearby Cape, named by the French ‘Baudin Expedition’ which charted the coast of Western Australia in 1801. They named the Cape after two notable French scientists, geographer Edmund and his cartographer brother Francois-Simon Mentelle, who lived in Paris in the early 1700’s.

In the early years David Hohnen experimented with grape varieties including shiraz, cabernet, zinfandel, sauvignon blanc and semillon. Many of these original plantings are the source of the distinctive wines that have come to characterise Cape Mentelle. The winery’s flagship Cabernet Sauvignon is sourced primarily from the original Wallcliffe Vineyard.

In 1983 Cape Mentelle won the coveted Jimmy Watson Memorial Award for the best one year old dry red wine, and cemented its position as a premium wine maker with another win in 1984. Our Cabernet Sauvignon is now widely regarded as one of Australia’s leading cabernets.

Another great fact finding that I discover is Cloudy Bay, from New Zealand is actually another favourite wine that I enjoy from that vineyard. Cloudy Bay won world recognition with its Sauvignon Blanc. Cape Mentelle meanwhile developed a stylish Sauvignon Blanc Semillon blend that was to become another benchmark of the Margaret River region, and a Chardonnay sourced from vineyards outside the estate.

Today Cape Mentelle, as part of Estates & Wines (owned by Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton), continues to build on its solid foundations. There are more than 150 hectares under vine and the winery crushes about 1,700 tonnes of fruit from the estate vineyards and contract-grown fruit sourced from within the region.

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We have 5 flavours to test tonight.

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The dining area is simply elegant that nicely decorated with white roses, little table lamp and candles.

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 Menu for the night is rather simple . .

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Best of all, we are dining together with Ashley Wood to enlighten us with his knowledge on the wine that we will be tasting tonight. He is  born and raised in Western Australia, growing up in the Swan Valley and the Perth foothills. He is passionate about the region and in particular the Margaret River terroir. Ash firmly believes that the superb quality of the fruit grown in Margaret River is a unique reflection of this. Ashley travelled extensively overseas and during this time visits to Bordeaux and Alsace fuelled an interest in grape growing. On his return home he enrolled to study for a Bachelor of Viticulture at Charles Sturt University in New South Wales. Ash then spent 12 years working in vineyards in Margaret River before joining the team at Cape Mentelle just in time for the 2007 harvest.

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First glass pouring on the table starts off with Chardonnay 2011, on first sip it is filled with fresh youthful palate with flavours of lime, pear and grapefruit, as further drinking it, it leads to lemony and pear flavours

Pairing with first dish, Steam Cod with coconut sauce it sounds weird to me but after a few bite and with a sip of wine, it turns out to be paired very well, with refreshing end. Interesting.

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Carbernet Merlot 2010 first smells with tobacco and plum skins. . Find it is medium to full bodied palate with soft and elegant tannins ends with fresh fruit characters. Find it easy to drink for a red.

pairs with

Roasted Chicken served with Garlic Bulb, Whipped Potato, Apple Sauce with Chicken Jus

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The roasted chicken is done pretty good, not too dry yet moist and eating along with  the grilled garlic bulb was a bomb and the aftertaste aroma of its is fragrant. On the night itself, the garlic bulb make a highlight on my table as every one is enjoying it.

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Next pairing is Roasted Duck Breast served with Red Cabbage Puree & Mustard Sauce and Shiraz 2011

Duck is rather disappointing as its abit overdone and chewy. . Shiraz is always pretty easy for me to recognise with its mild peppery or spices taste as I am not really a fan of this range. However it has light sweet end with spicy finishing.

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 Last to pair with meat is Grilled Beef Tenderloin served with Eryngii Mushroom, Scallion Oil & Beef Jus with

Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 

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Although the meat looks red and overall I enjoy the wine more than the food, maybe is because I had good steak for past weekend.

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Among the red, I like Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 cuz its full bodied and dry end. The taste is strong with mild oak influence. It is best paired with red meat.

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For dessert, we were serve Green Tea Creme Brulee 

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My favourite wine from this vineyard for white Souvignon Blanc 2012 so easy to drink with light fruity end and can continue drinking non stop, along by recommending Cabernet Sauvignon 2009. I love my red to have dry end as I love dry wine.

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Its a great night indeed and fun to learn so many things about wine. Seated along with Cheng Yi and KampungboyCitygirl and Chong (Brand Ambassador for MHD)

Menu for Tamarind Hills A La Carte Menu

Locations:

NEO Tamarind
19, Jalan Sultan Ismail, Kuala Lumpur
(NEO Tamarind is close on Sundays)

Tel: +603 2148 3700

 

I have been using this road so often for the past 2 years since I work around the area, and pass thru this place countless time, that one of the reason it caught my attention was a mini signage outside the house and got to know its actually a restaurant not a house. Told my colleague many times about this place yet still manage to drop by until recently Eric and Jennifer bring me here. 😀 – Rumah Ku Gallery and Cafe

Update: Jan 2016) HAd move to Jaya One

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Rumahku is a humble place that tug along busy street of Jalan University ( directly opp the hospital) with a single story build up bungalow converted to restaurant and you will be amaze of the concept when you walk in.

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The owner design the dining place that provides homey ambiance by reflecting 3 ethnic races of our country in each room.

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Decoration of the restaurant is rather simple but the feeling to be in here is just unique.

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Upon looking at the menu, surprise by the price at first and followed by serving variety of food from local to western.

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I started with a cup of hot coffee. as roasted fresh daily, will be robust in flavour and perfect for early morning with my half boil egg and toast.:D . For coffee lover this is one of my recommendation! Mango Lassi, that taste of smoothness.Then one of my favourite in the afternoon is the Ginger Lemon Grass Tea, definitely a thirst quench drink  this hot afternoon. Just refreshing. Recommended!

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Tuna Cutlet, at first I thought it was something simple from the snacks that we can obtain in ramadan market or pasar malam and it definitely proof me wrong that it is filled with Tuna. .

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Fried to perfection in golden yellow brown and filled with solid ingredients yet it is soft from inside crispy from outside. As the taste of curry powder is mild that did not over power the taste of tuna and can be addictive if you have more

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Yam Basket Chicken, is a dish from Chinese menu and they manage to cook it exactly Chinese style. Yam is fried to crips as it is that yam is soft in the inside and filled up with pan fried vegetable which is flavourful.

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Curry Laksa that serve in fiery red that might let you think its spicy and do not let the colour deceive you. Filled with coconut base cream curry and we just love the taste of it. Thick in soup flavour and spicy level is just nice to our liking. something you should look  out for as it serve along with generous amount of ingredient.

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I always thought that Green Curry Chicken would end up being Thai style, as the chef improvise it to their version. Cook the curry till dry and well coated onto the chicken and serve along. Food presentation that attracts us on the first impression.

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I always need to have my meal with a plate of vegetable as Mixed sauté vegetables is fried along that mantain the freshness of the vegetable and crips of lotus root.

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 As we are pretty full by this point and Indonesian style Claypot prawn was serve upon. Aroma of the curry flavour trails onto the air makes us cant wait to take a sip of the curry. The taste of the curry is superb, a bit mild spicy that is not too thick, that will goes very well with a bowl of rice and fresh prawn that cook along is medium size. I just drink the curry like soup. Love it~

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Rumah Ku Spiced Honeyed Salmon is a bit more towards local western style that serve along with fried rice. Fried rice is aromatic, as salmon is well marinated with honey and mild spices flavour at your tongue is just nice. – Recommended!

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If you opt for more local flavour then Sambal Chicken would be your choice. Chicken is being grill and cook along with curry to ensure its coated well onto the chicken. Well marinated.

I am totally impress on this restaurant that serve fine and delicious food and I have been returning to this restaurant couple of times. I must say that this is one of the hidden gem in PJ area that serve good HALAL food. Since now its Ramadan month, definately one of the place to Buka Puasa. Recommended restaurant. According to some of the bloggers, some of them mention that their Brickfields outlet taste better. Well, its up to you to try it out.

*HALAL

Location:
Rumah Ku Gallery and Cafe
(PJ)6A, Jalan Universiti,
46100 Petaling Jaya.

Mobile: 012-3131073

Map:http://rumahkuonline.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=13&Itemid=15

Website: http://rumahkuonline.com/index.php

Being a food lover, I have never stop learning how to enjoy food as there are so many types of food available throughout the whole world, I cannot denied that, there are good and bad experience involve, but with middle east food had been growing rapidly in Malaysia, it’s a great chance to try out not until I get a chance to dine at this places was during last year when I was in charge to bring company’s client for Middle Eastern Food. Having the client explaining to me how to enjoy their countries food is something that I learn and enjoy. Not until recently with Sidney’s invite me, and I got this chance to learn directly from Joseph which is the young owner of this Al Amar Lebanese Restaurant located on the 6th floor of Pavilion.

Al Amar

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Al Amar is having their latest promotion with buffet lunch that is only available on Sunday.

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I just love their interior setting with concentrated by infusing Lebanese setting in it as Joseph would just want everyone to feel like home as he is. With porch light, tea pot and accessories imported back from the country, playing soft lebanese background music certainly add up the whole atmosphere.

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In this restaurant you will be treated like a king and queens with their waiter and waitress had been well train.

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Besides this area, the also do have the terrace area that located directly outside of the restaurant which is just perfect for smokers and those who enjoy the night view of the busy street of KL City.

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In just a short time within 2 years that this restaurant was establish, the restaurant had constantly improving and striving to success that it is amazing to see a restaurant to win so many awards, cannot be denied that their food is excellent.

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I have tried quite a few beers before, Tiger, Calrsberg, HoeGarden, Stella, but I have never tried Lebanese beer. I never thought that ‘Almaza Lebanese beer’ would taste as good as any beer out in our market. It is mild in taste, yet smooth and not too bitter that with first sip you get to taste the malt aromatic taste, and I find it that girls would love it too. . .like Witch, she is not a alcohol lover but she fell in love with this.

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I have always thought that this is a Halal restaurant and also Middle East people do not consume alcohol but I was wrong after Joseph explained to me. They have the alcohol that can make you ‘cookoo’ or crawl back and to my surprise, in Beirut they produce wine too.

We got to choose:
White wine – Blanc de Blancs 2008 – with a wine of 2008 could not be any good than this. I love it as now I have found the taste I like which is dry wine.

Red Wine – Les Breteches 2007 – The red taste good, smooth, dry and its like when the wine travels down my troat it had paint a line in it, as now I have found the type of taste that I like, which is dry wine.

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They have come out with the new menu.

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Every meal that we dine in Al Amar, ‘Pita Bread’ is complimentary, therefore you have to order ‘Mezze’ to go along with it.

If you were to eat it plain like that, it taste not bad too as it was served out from the oven.

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Then we start off our meal with Cold Appetizer or name as ‘Cold Mezze-Shanklish’, that is served with fine chopped tomato, onion, mint and olive oil. If you tear some of the pita bread and wrap it, it taste good, with the mild flavor of each ingredient. Joseph pause for a while and stare at us, then asked ‘arent you guys going to eat the vegetable’? most of us thought that it was for display purpose only and he said no, its for us to eat, we were like puzzled abit after that only realise there is actually a small knife in the basket for us to cut.

At that time Joseph teach us how to eat it along with Shanklish or Tabbouleh Harra, take a spoonfull of it and place it on the vegetable by wrapping it after that. The truth is, it taste much better with the vegetable.

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front to back – ‘Mhammara, Moutabal and Hommos’

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The trick of how to enjoy your simple pita with the rest of the appetizer is, tear the pita edge and then roll it into a con size, then hook up the ingredient as in full like ice cream and eat it after that. With the skin become solid and the ingredient is soft, bite it together its nice. I love Hommos taste.

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If you are a salad lover and would want to try something different then opt for their ‘Tabbouleh Harra’ which is one of their popular dish that order by customers, serve in parsley, bulgur, mint, tomato, spring onion, and other herbs with lemon juice, olive oil and various seasonings.

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Deep fried ball is what I see next, ‘Falafel’ is cook in a healty way, which it is fried with olive oil. It is crispy on the outside then solid in inside, then Joseph ask us, ‘why arent you guy s eating, try to dip it with ‘Tahini Sauce’.

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The whole aroma change, as the sauce is a bit sour yet blended in so well with the food.

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If you visit Middle Eastern restaurant for the first time, by ordering lamb, you would not go wrong. I just love their ‘Soujouk (Lamb sausage)’, the lamb had been grilled, till its very juicy in the inside, the meat is soft and tender, filled with aromatic lamb taste (some people might not like the taste of it).

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‘Oriental Rice’ was served next. It look simple but its flavourful with the spices.

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‘Batata Harra’ is another healthy dish that they have in the list with potato cubes been fried by using olive oil.

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I would say ‘Lamb Cutlets’ one of the best in the menu, if you are a lamb lover. Did not taste like lamb chop but season with their own ingredient had make this piece of meat and bone taste so aromatic. Juicy bones and sweet tender meat is something I did not miss eating more than 1.

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Rose Wine – La Rosee Chateau 2008
While eating, then Joseph asks us anyone would love to try Rose wine. Immediately I responded, I would love to have a glass as not many places do offer rose wine and its hard to find a nice one too. Joseph then tell me that, I am going to love it as I enjoy the white and red.

Bahhhh, he is certainly right, the wine is chilled and while smelling on it, it did not smell sour yet the taste is inviting. First sip, can taste a bit of the rosy taste, and after swallowing it, it’s a bit dry. Ahh, found my new love of rose wine.

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‘Grilled Fish Fillet (Garoupa/Grouper)’ pan grilled, with the fish fillet is soft then eat along with my rose wine, what can I say for, I am enjoying my meal.

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‘Mixed Grill including Lamb Mechwe, Kafta Antabli and Kafta Khishkhash’ is dish that can be prepared for more than 3 pax and up to 6pax. Every one can get a bite of every flavour.

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‘Kafta Khishkhash’ can be prepared in this way with Lebanese chili style, do not be deceived by the look of it as it does not taste spicy at all, I love it in this way that makes the lamb juice oozing out and the chili mix well and fragrant. I nearly had this whole plate by myself if Coco did not stop me.

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‘Baklawa’ is know as Lebanese desert made with layers of phyllo dough filled with chopped nuts and sweetened with syrup or honey, the originality of it when I tried it for the first time when I was studying at Melbourne, I find it very very sweet, but this restaurant had tone down the sugar level and it taste just nice.

While we are finishing what is left on the table, then Joseph keep hurrying us to finish it up and going to show us something special for the night that will bring us to another dimension. Then I was like haaaa?! Puzzled a bit while still biting off my last bite of lamb, at that moment he told us that, there is actually one of his customer which is a very good drinker, first time when he went into the restaurant, the guy ask

Joseph, ‘Heyyy….what is the strongest alcohol you got?, I just want a Bottle of it! And he was like, are you sure, our alcohol is very strong! He said yes, I can drink a lot u know~ just bring me a bottle. Not even 2 hours in the restaurant, Joseph need to call in the bouncer to bring this guy out as he is drunk, and I asked him how much left in the bottle, HALF to go, answered Joseph.! I was like darn..!!

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Then Joseph pull out this bottle of alcohol called ‘Arak Fakra’ which is one of the well know brand in the continent. It consist of 53% of alcohol, ways to prepare it is mixed in approximately with a ration of 1 part arak to 2 parts water, and ice is then added.

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A bit milky in colour that did not taste too strong with the way it prepared and now only I understand why that guy is drunk as his formula is the other way. 2/3 alcohol and 1/3 water, if were to mixed it like that I think 3 glass is enough to kill me off.

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Me enjoying my glass of Arak. Kampaaaiiii~~`

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Tastes are a bit different compare to any of our alcohol, as some would feel it taste like one of the Chinese herbs. I had two glass, and Saucer 2nd glass, and see what is the effect of this making to him…keke, that makes Witch have to be the photographer now.

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Shisha with wine, just goes along very well. Flavour for the night is ‘Apple’

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Chateau Keraya – my new love. . . .
White wine – Blanc de Blancs2008
Rose Wine – La Rosee Chateau 2008
Red Wine – Les Breteches 2007

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Besides this great meal, we are celebrating Coco’s burfthday too… She had turn 21 and now she had the license to kill.

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One of the funny question that she asked us, ‘What is the best thing to do when we are 21’.?? All of us gives her funny all type of funny answer.

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With this wonderfull cake was ‘Passionfruit Cake’ which is soft and good. Baked by Sunny (BBO).

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me and Joseph

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with all of us. . . Witch, Coco, Sunny, Sidney, Ken, Saucer, Edward and Richard with the owner Joseph.

Thanks for hosting and feeding all of us with great food. We seriously had a great time and thanks for teaching me how to enjoy Lebanese food. With that, I sure know where to recommend my company client to dine for the next round.

Besides this, they do open till late especially on weekend, if you do not know where to find a place for a drink, Al Amar would be a great option too, with their alcohol range, belly dancing girls and live band performance and its packed during the weekend. Certainly I will drop by.

You also can drop by at their Express outlet too at Bukit Bintang. Al-Amar Express.

Al-Amar Lebanese Cuisine
Lot 6.10, Level 6, Pavilion KL,
168, Jalan Bukit Bintang,
50450 Kuala Lumpur.

Tel: 03-21661011
Fax: 03-21551300

Opening hours: 10am to 2am

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