KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 9 — Rail service to Ara Damansara is via the LRT Kelana Jaya line with two stations in the vicinity; Ara Damansara and Lembah Subang LRT stations. Feeder buses help to connect the township and the area around the stations. As an example, it is possible to get as far as Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport via the bus.
For places of interest within walking radius, the obvious choice is Evolve Concept Mall and the commercial lots in Pacific Place, an integrated development featuring serviced apartments as well as business shop-lots.
About 1 km away is Citta Mall. Depending on your inclination, you can head here or to Evolve since both offer different shopping and dining experiences.
I’ll focus on the latter since it is a comfortable 400-500 metre stroll from the Ara Damansara LRT station.
As a rule of thumb, the food court is my first choice whenever I’m on the hunt for variety and a fairly-priced meal in a mall. Evolve’s answer to a food court is The Food Zine located on the 2nd floor. There are about 10 stalls offering familiar local and international fare such as fried noodles and chicken rice. As expected, many are priced below RM10. For a change, I decided on Vietnamese, Korean and Indonesian.
The ayam penyet, bimbibap and Vietnamese beef soup proved to be decent tasting and princely in portion. Food aside, this place offers free Wi-Fi, a large outdoor dining space overlooking the surroundings of the mall, power points and an activity area which can be rented for events.
A lesser known food court of sorts is located within Jaya Grocer. Named Jaya Grocer Food Street, food options are predominantly hawker favourites. A small dining area is available or you can grab and go. A familiar name here is Ali Rojak Kelana Jaya, a branch from the original at, well, Kelana Jaya where they operate from a van parked at the roadside.
Like all things popular by association, I ordered a basic rojak to satisfy my curiosity. Over at Meng Delicious stall, the delicious radish cake fried with chili caught my eye. Oh, how I miss a good fried carrot cake!
And boy, I got more than what I bargained for. This was by far one of the best fried radish cakes I’ve had! Each square was enveloped by a crispy, somewhat elastical outer film while the inner part is like a cloud; soft yet not mushy. It was simultaneously smoky and tasty.
Folks, if you are a fan of Chinese fried radish cake, try Meng’s.
The packed nasi lemak is not bad for RM3.90 too.
Scouting around among the independent eateries, I was drawn to Ten Years Restaurant’s fare due to its unique concept.
The menu here is a compilation of signature local dishes from established hawkers around Malaysia. The same recipes for these dishes are replicated in their restaurant.I love nasi kerabu so that order was decided pretty quick.
Another dish was Kak Tum’s nasi kuning, a 20 year-old recipe originating from Tawau. This is also the only venue that I could order coffee with grass jellies and ice cream! Overall, it was an enjoyable meal and it did trigger a desire for further visits.
Malaysians in general love their Nippon fare. Within Evolve, there are two Japanese food restaurants with wide-ranging menus. Be it raw seafood, sushi, ramen, tendon bowls or hotpot, Ebizo Ginza and Nabe-Ya would have you covered.
Affordable makan spots paying homage to all things local are found at the Teh Tarik Place, Ah Cheng Laksa, AK Noodle House and Little Fat Duck.
For snacks, I like Daan Daan. The Hong Kong milk tea, the almond drink and the wafflet (egglet and waffle hybrid) are slightly unconventional as opposed to the common cakes and coffee.
In short, getting sustenance is not an issue unless you are extremely particular about food. No doubt Evolve isn’t as large as some of the other shopping centres in the Klang Valley, but its dining options are acceptably varied.
The commercial blocks around the mall have many mamak restaurants and a few local eateries worth checking out too. Penang Nasi Kandar was packed during lunch hour, the House of Pie was a cosy space with pretty good savoury pies and Sisters are known for their Penang hawker delights.
(1) Ebizo Ginza — Kaisen Restaurant
(2) Nabe-Ya Shabu-Shabu and Hot Pot
(3) Food Zine Food Court
(4) Daan Daan
Address: Evolve Concept Mall, Jalan PJU 1A/4 47301 Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.
From the station
- There is only one exit ― Take the Evolve Mall, Rapid Rail Subang exit.
- Go past the fare gates and head down to street level via the escalator.
- Turn left and left again towards a long corridor to the car park.
- This path is parallel to Evolve Concept Mall.
- Once you see a dirt path on your left, turn towards it until you see a gate that leads to the East entrance of the mall.