Back to Asia for this week's big breakfast and the Lemon Garden Cafe in the Shangri-La hotel, Kuala Lumpur. Agent Triple P has travelled to KL, as British ex-pats irritatingly call it, probably more often than any other Asian city. It was a senior executive of a very big British bank with Asian roots (er...) who once said to Triple P that British men move to Asia for one of three reasons: women problems, drink problems or money problems! Certainly every time we go to Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Manila, or Jakarta we run into a certain type of forty-something man, usually with a mustache, who drinks too much whisky at the ambassador's reception and has a twenty year old local girlfriend who is spending all his money. She wants to get married so she can live in England and then, of course, he will lose half his money anyway. Oddly, (or maybe not) they often seem to work for tobacco companies as Asia is their only expanding market. So, they'll be dead by the time they're fifty anyway, what with the drinking, the cigarettes and the twenty year old girlfriend. Someone from the British Embassy in Bangkok once told me of the alarming number of dead businessmen they have to deal with who have literally been fucked to death by a local teenage prostitute and they have a selection of stories they have to use for the wife and family.
Anyway, all of this was prompted by the fact that we first met one of these ghastly ex-pats the first time we visited Kuala Lumpur about ten years ago. We were staying in the Mandarin Oriental, which is still our favourite hotel in the city. The Shangri-La was not nearly as good as the Mandarin. Still, we had quite a good view of the Petronas twin towers (formerly the tallest building in the world and still much more attractive than number 1).
The Lemon Garden Cafe is one of those big canteen style breakfast areas that also serves as the cheap, holidaymakers, lunch and dinner venue. The selection was as expected with a mix of western and Asian food. The choice for a cooked breakfast was not brilliant, we have to say, but we had the (rather chewy) beef bacon, some chicken sausages (not bad) and the usual strange local version of baked beans. The hash browns were a bit dry but they did have mustard. What cheered up the whole experience were some really pretty girls working there. In fact the welcome and friendliness of service was excellent.
So it scores 5/10 but at least one point was for the staff.