More commonly known as Little India, Brickfields is a juxtaposition of new and old. Modern high-rise buildings co-exist with colonial and village-style houses suspended in time. From shopping for traditional Indian goods to historically rich temples, Brickfields is worth a full day of exploration. Here are 10 things to do in the area.
Little India is easy to spot. Intricately-designed arches adorn the sidewalk along the main road where most of the action is. You will find a lot of traditional Indian goods on this bustling street, from colourful flower garlands and spices to traditional Indian clothing and textile as well as jewelry. If you need a break from all the walking, there are plenty of Indian restaurants in the area serving northern and southern Indian cuisine.
One of the newest additions in recent years, Nu Sentral serves as a gateway connecting the new and the old in Brickfields. It is also linked to KL Sentral, a major public transport hub in the city. This shopping mall provides everything for the modern day traveller, from clothing shops, drug stores, and bookstores to a supermarket, restaurants and cinema.
Fondly known as Scott Road temple, Sri Kandaswamy Kovil is a Saivite style temple that has been around for over 100 years. The temple’s residing deity is Sri Shakthi Vel Peruman. Many other deities are installed at the temple as well, including Lord Shamugar. Sri Kandaswamy Kovil is elegant with its soaring towers, golden domes, well-decorated halls, majestic pillars and intricate sculptural works. Photography is not allowed in the temple, but visitors can take shots of its beautiful ornate exterior. The gopuram (entrance gate), is a sight to be behold with more than hundreds of carvings of Hindu deities.
Within walking distance of KL Sentral Station, Buddhist Maha Vihara is a temple that practices the Sri Lankan Theravada Buddhist tradition. Nestled in residential area, the temple is away from the main streets and exudes a peaceful atmosphere for its devotees. Inside the rusty-red and white shrine, you will find impressive reclining Buddha statues, high ceilings and ornate fixtures. Drop by on a weekday when there is lesser crowds, to fully take in the spiritual atmosphere at Budhiist Maha Vihara.
Need a break from all that exploring? Head over to PB Blind Massage to rejuvenate your body and show your support for the visually-impaired individuals. Without sight, they have honed their touch perfectly to help undo those knots in your muscles. The location is simple and clean with affordable prices, which is perfect for a quick breather.
Head over to Legend’s to enjoy this classic Muslim-Indian dish in a different form. Served in claypots, you can expect a pot of sizzling hot biryani rice made aromatic with a handful of Indian herbs and spices. There are various choices available, from chicken and mutton to seafood and vegetarian. You can also find affordable banana leaf rice sets and a la carte dishes like varuval, cutlets and perattal. For a light bite, the restaurant has the usual rotis like thosai, appam and murtabak.
Situated along one of the main streets in Brickfields, is one of the oldest pisang goreng (fried banana fritters) stalls in Kuala Lumpur. Instead of using halved or thinly sliced bananas, this stall uses whole pieces of pisang raja, and the result – crunchy golden brown fried bananas sweet from the first bite to last. With the spotlight on the bananas, the batter here is light and airy instead of the usual thick and chewy layer. Long lines can be spotted here as customers patiently wait for their orders to be freshly made on the spot.
Escape the hot weather with a cool bowl of cendol or ABC. Run by a Chinese couple, this stall is just across the road from Brickfields’ Pisang Goreng Stall. Handmade by Uncle Ah Keong, the cendol (green jelly) here are springy and boast a mild aromatic flavour. Lines can get long here, so be patient or head across the road to get your fried banana fritters while waiting.
Run by MySkills Foundation, De’divine is a social business venture formed to help underprivileged and at-risk youths in the city. The youngsters are trained in practical food and beverage skills – either working in the kitchen or as part of the service crew – to ensure their livelihood in the future. 100% of the cafe’s profits go back to the youngsters in order to support them. You will find classic Malaysian favourites prepared by these budding chefs such as nasi lemak ayam, chicken rendang, mee curry and more.
Soak in beautiful views of the city at Mai Bar as you end the day in Brickfields. Located on the 30th floor of Aloft KL Sentral, the bar boasts a spacious rooftop and poolside space for patrons to wind down. Chill by the pool or the Tiki-themed lounge area and choose from a large variety of alcohol and creative cocktails to wind down the day. Don’t miss out on happy hour promotions from 7pm to 9pm on selected wine, beer and cocktails!