For those of you (like me) who’s geographical knowledge of Kuala Lumpur doesn’t extend much further than Bukit Bintang and environs, then chances are you won’t have strayed into the badlands of Bangsar. I lie, for the lands of Bangsar aren’t bad at all, in fact they’re really rather pleasant. It’s like KL’s version of Holland Village – suburban, expatty, lots of terrace houses and trendy cafe’s and inflated prices; that sort of stuff. Much of the action is centred around the network of roads that share the Jalan Telawi moniker followed by a number. I counted up to JT 6, but i’m quite sure there are more lurking somewhere. Getting there (by public transport) is a rather grim affair, as it involves a long and lonely trudge along the busy/smelly/noisy (take your pick) road that connects Bangsar station to JT-ville, the infamous Jalan Maarof. My advice? Take a cab.
Enough waffling, my reason for heading to the badlands of B. was to try and hunt down a rather brilliantly named vegetarian/vegan restaurant called Woods Macrobiotics that claimed to be on Jalan Telawi 2 (number 25, in fact). It wasn’t there. Moved. Gone. Finito.
Nevermind, for in its place (or maybe next door, I forget) was this rather spiffy looking resto called Mikey’s Original New York Pizza. It certainly looked the part – black and white checkerboard flooring, faded photos and NYC number plates on the walls, pizza’s on the tables, you get the idea. And so, just like that, Woods was forgotten and Mikey’s embraced as if it was date arranged by destiny. Fickle, no?
Mikey’s specialises in pizza, waffle fries, and a couple of other big and sloppy American-style dishes. Vegetarian options are generally limited to three pizza choices (margherita and the two below) and fries. But who cares; pizza is not something to be ummed and ahhed over. If it looks good, get it in your gulliver. It’s not rocket science. This stuff looked good, and the prospect of carb-laden stodge was exactly what was needed.
The Wild Mushroom Pizza (MYR 12.88 per slice) hosted a triumvirate of shiitake, oyster, and portobello mushrooms. According to the menu, they claimed to be sauteed in butter, garlic, and olive oil. Could have fooled me, for the taste was bland and lacked the savouriness of mushrooms, or of anything sauteed for that matter. The flavours were lost somewhere between the pan and the pizza, causing this to be a rather desultory affair. Even the shredded basil struggled to make an impact. I think bigger chunks of mushroom would have helped. Massively.
Thankfully, Mikey’s “signature” cheese pizza – the Pizza Bianco (MYR 10.88 per slice) – not only cost 2 ringgit less, but tasted twice as good as well. Hosting a dairified mess of mozzarella, ricotta, cheddar, and goats cheese, this thing packed a salty, and rather satisfying punch. Although the cheeses themselves were nothing special (far from it – the white blob in the photo positively frothed with goatiness… Or maybe just the can from which it originated), they seemed to have rallied together during the baking process and delivered a bolt of satisfaction with every chomp of the molars. The snob in me wanted to reject it, but the slob overruled and passed the final, positive judgement.
To accompany all this baked dough and cheesy goo, we sensibly ordered some Staten Island Waffle Fries (MYR 10.88). There are umpteen different types of waffle fries to choose from, with the Staten Island version being the most vegetarian-friendly of the lot. I say “the most”, although we still needed to tinker with the sauces a little. The brown gravy was omitted (and was not replaced – pah!), meaning we were left with blue cheese, smoked chilli mayo, and Heinz ketchup. As you can see, the quantities were positively Lilliputian (no, that’s not because the waffles were so big…). That said, the smoked chilli mayo was rather interesting and delivered as promised – smokey notes gave way to a sweet spiciness which worked rather well.
Overall, I got the impression that Mikey’s is probably the prototypical Bangsarian eatery. It’s independent, trendy, (relatively) expensive, expat-friendly, and popular. It also runs a delivery service (that’s got nothing to do with the Bangsar prototype, just thought I should drop it in somewhere). For us, it was a life-saver. And judging by the number of expats wolfing down plates of the sliced stuff, our sentiments are shared.