Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Goodbye 2017.....Hello 2018!

Goodbye 2017.....Hello 2018!
Hi everyone.....Happy New Year to one and all...and welcome back! ^.^

As we bid farewell to 2017...and usher in 2018, we say goodbye too to many eateries that have since left us.  Opening a restaurant (I guess) is the easy(ier) part....but staying the course proves a lot harder.

There were many that closed, some I visited and wrote about on my blog and some I didn't visit but got to know about their closures.  Here I'd like to take a moment to remember a few notable ones that have left us.

Some were gone too soon.

Ohla Tapas & Cocktails @ The Intermark

I was smitten with the excellent food (by head chef, Toni) and service (by manager & sommelier, Gustavo) before they moved to Coquo and vowed to visit Toni at his new restaurant but, before I got round to doing that, he uprooted again (Coquo is now Deuce) and left to start a new adventure in Singapore (at La Ventana).  I'm sure gonna miss Toni (and by that I mean the food he puts out)! T_T

Shinjiro @ Tropicana City Mall

I visited twice in two months for nicely charred sticks of awesomeness and was saddened when they closed in less than a year.  I don't know why they closed as the food was good...perhaps wrong location or the small sticks of food proved too pricey for some?

Flingstones @ Subang Jaya

I will miss the Bacon Fried Rice.  Friends I've recommended have only good things to say about the place.  My only grouse was that the limited menu stayed pretty much the same the entire time.  Perhaps what led to their downfall was their failure to refresh their menu to keep their regular customers returning.  On my last visit here on a Sunday morning, we found only one table occupied besides us and I suspected the end was near.

Some closures I didn't expect.

The Press Room Bistro @ Pavilion

I was shocked to find this place boarded up (on a recent trip to Pavilion) and, in its place, Dean & Deluca, is scheduled to open.  I'll look back with fond memories of the good food (from their Jospen Oven) and equally good service.  I'll miss this place for sure and will forever remember that the meltingly tender beef cheeks I had here was the one that gave me an introduction to how good beef cheeks can be.

Tous Les Jours @ Empire Damansara

This French-inspired Korean bakery chain announced its closure of all 4 stores in May 2017.  I have no memory of the cakes and pastries I ate here, so obviously that wasn't a good sign.  But I do remember how magnificent the one in WOLO Bukit Bintang looked (from outside) each time I passed by.  I told myself I must visit (even if the pastries were just so-so) but before I could do that, the road construction works in front of the place (that went on for the longest time) killed that thought (and inadvertently "killed" their business too, I think)! >_<

Tim Ho Wan @ Mid Valley

This popular dim sum chain with two branches opened (in November 2014) to insanely long queues in its first few months of operation...but less than 3 years later, it was all over.  I waited for the initial euphoria to die down before making my first (and only) visit.  The one thing I'll miss would be their Steamed Egg Cake.  Although the dim sum taste was acceptable, there are many more local dim sum shops that taste much better...and cheaper!  If they wanted to charge those prices, the dining environment and service have to reflect the higher prices we pay but, sadly, it didn't with cramped spaces, noisy environment and rushed, hurried, hectic and poor service.  Obviously diners comfort and dining experience wasn't a priority, making money was.

Soon, a third popular international restaurant chain, Bulgogi Brothers, also closed all its outlets in 2017.  I have passed by their outlet many times in Pavilion and had wanted to try but the prices made me reconsider.

Some other renowned chains like the French bakery and cafe chain, Delifrance, and the pork ribs specialist, Chicago Rib House, also did not make it here.  If foreign chains or franchises think what works in other countries will work here, they're in for a rude awakening! :P

Some I thought would survive but didn't.

Fork D World @ Damansara Perdana

This cafe wasn't among the prettiest looking with practically zero ambience but the food, though simplistic, was tasty enough.  I will reminisce about their bacon-centred dishes like Bacon Twist, Bacon Bombs and Bacon Toasts but the Salmon Pot Pie will be the one I remember the most.  These days, it's not enough to just put out good food, it has to be photogenic and the ambience matters too.

Second Sunday @ Damansara Jaya

The only thing I can remember from this place is that they specialised in pancakes, that's it.

Some closed but not necessarily permanently.

That Latte Place at ikon Connaught

This one is a little weird...they're closed but yet not quite...they just moved from one place to another, from Persiaran Ritchie in Ampang to ikon Connaught in Cheras and now back to Ampang at Lorong Nibong.  Well, for their sake, I hope third time's the charm! ;)  They do serve decent food at very reasonable prices and I think the location at ikon wasn't the right choice.  Although located near UCSI university (they might have been hoping for a vast student crowd) but the mall turned up to be a 'dead' mall! >.<

Tulip by That Latte Place @ Sunway Pyramid

With the initial success of That Latte Place and Map's Cafe (that has since been renamed/rebranded to The Coffee & Bar), add a u and an i to tlp and Tulip by That Latte Place was born, the husband-and-wife team's third foray into the cafe business.  I'd say all three churn out an almost similar menu except the prices for this one are slightly higher.  Not sure why they closed at this location...too competitive?  For now, this one looks to be permanently closed.

Some closures I did see coming.

Brolly @ Persiaran KLCC

Some focussed on a quirky ambience but didn't follow up with the taste of their food.  Come on, who wouldn't want to post instagram-worthy pictures of stuff like an illuminated drinks bus, a popcorn cart, foosball table, pool table, an upside down car and lots more quirky decor.  But once the hype of "been there, done that" was over, so were they...coz after the initial buzz, it's the consistently good food that keeps bringing people back.  I suppose this was what happened to some of the themed cafes Helly Kitty Cafe.

Quest?on Mark Cafe @ Pandan Indah

There were some whose food was simply just not good enough and the seeds of their demise were already sown as soon as they started.  The place has since been rebranded with a change of name to Kofix under a new management (but the same team).

Tai Lei Loi Kei (Macau Pork Chop Bun)

Some who were sensationally well-received in other parts of the world (with videos of insanely long queues) don't necessarily mean they'd be a guaranteed success here (even if it was famously endorsed by Anthony Bourdain!).  Who wants a pork chop bun that has a very dry bun and an overly meaty pork chop with bones?  Not me! O_o

Whatever the reasons for their closures, 2017 has been a tough year for the F&B industry.  So, have you seen a favourite restaurant of yours closed down this year? :'(

Let's hope 2018 brings a brighter and better year for all restaurants concerned, some of which will take us on exciting culinary journeys as we eat....and eat...and eat some more! ^_~


  1. Happy New Year, Kris! Oh dear, Flingstones closed! Of all the above you featured, I have been to only two - Flingstones and Tim Ho Wan. You are right, opening a restaurant is the easy part but sustaining is a tough one. I have had some of my favorites closed down too like Ampersand and Epicuro. There were a few in Uptown that did not even last a year!

    1. Yeah, I'm sad to see Flingstones close too but I think not revamping/upgrading your menu (for close to 3 years) may have contributed to their need to stay fresh. If you miss Epicuro, you can still go to the one in USJ Taipan...hihi! ^_*

  2. oh, i didn't know the press room and fork d world closed this past year. i hope the founder of fork d world has found something else to move on smoothly to. and ya, hopefully 2018 will somehow be a better year ... though it looks like it'll be equally as challenging as 2017!

    1. I do not know why Press Room closed as they serve good food...I still have wonderful memories of their Josper Oven steaks and beef cheeks. This is one I'm gonna miss for sure. :'(

  3. Wishing you & your family a fabulous 2018!

    1. A wonderful 2018 to you and your family too :)


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