The Coliseum

A couple of friends are honeymooning in KL, and as the local guy they know from UK, I took them out for dinner. Now, when I take visitors from out of town, there's very few places I go; I could take them to Uptown and all that entails, or I take them for Banana Leaf rice with fish head curry or I take them to The Coliseum.

The Coliseum is a KL institution. I remember going to this smoky, colonial-styled restaurant when I was kid. The big appeal was and still is the sizzling steaks. Well, things have changed. They used to put a bib on you and all that, but not any more. They pour the sauce on the hot plates away from the dinner table now. It still doesn't do much to improve air quality, though.

Another thing I like is the old-style bread. We used to be able to buy bread like that in Malaysia, but ever since Gardenia came along with their homogenised loaves, with their perfectly square bread, those have been hard to find.

The other appeal of the Coliseum is that they are probably the only restaurant in KL where the eccentric service is part of the draw. Heck, they've been around since 1921, so personally, I cut them some slack. By "they", I mean the waiters. There are only two types of waiters in the Coliseum: old or temporary. And with age, comes a certain amout of lattitude in service.

For example: I once ordered a steak medium rare and the waiter said, "Are you sure you want this? Medium rare means it's not cooked inside. Don't send it back if you don't like it, okay?".

It's just the way they do things. Some things never change.

Halfway through dinner the waiters cleared up the table next to ours. They took off all the bottles of tomato and worcester sauce and then flipped the tablecloth over so that the used side was now underneath and the clean side above.

Kathy leant forward and whispered to me, "I thought you were joking when you said they did that!".
posted on Thursday, October 02, 2003 - permalink
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