Monday, January 25, 2010

Lot 10 Hutong

After reading about the refurbished foodcourt at the lower ground level of Lot 10, we decided to give it a try last Saturday. It was said that the foodcourt boasts 'the best of the best' hawkers from all over Malaysia including Singapore, some personally invited by Francis Yeoh himself (Lot 10 is part of the YTL-owned high-end malls in Bukit Bintang).

My first impression and conclusion of the place was not as flattering as the journalist's. I was actually quite disappointed.

First, let's talk about the layout and decor. While it was a much improved version of the old foodcourt (I'm talking about 8 years back -- yes, last Saturday's visit to Lot 10 was my first after 8 long years), I did not like the new layout.

There is of course many more stalls this time and they were clustered in islands and at various corners. If there was a system (probably synonymous to the original hutongs in Beijing), I could not tell. It was like a maze. Maybe it was meant to be that way since it's a "hutong". But for the hungry person who just wants to be able to check out what's available with one sweeping glance around, this place does not offer that.

After walking around to check out the variety, trying to return to the one I had decided on took some work. There were many hidden corners for seating too. Because of the low ceiling, and many pillars (they mirrored the pillars to make them less imposing and to give the place a spacier look I guess), the entire foodcourt felt claustrophobic. Lot 10 Hutong does not have the typical open, high-ceiling foodcourt feel. Chairs and tables are of different designs unlike the typical foodcourt with uniform chairs/tables arranged in straight rows or neat clusters. I'm indifferent to that.

As for the food, there is indeed variety. I didn't notice the 'famous' stalls mentioned in the newspaper article accept for Lameeya where I happened to find seating. Not all the food was as tasty as I had expected them to be, after getting the impression that all the various stalls served great tasting fare. I spent more time walking around trying to decide on what to eat, then trying to find my way back to the stall I finally decided on, and waiting for the food to be ready than actually sitting down to enjoy the food.

I ordered some lamb chops from one western food stall and didn't really get my fill. The meat was tasteless (not well marinated) and if not for the accompanying mushroom sauce (RM13.90), I wouldn't have eaten whatever little meat there was stuck to mostly bones with overfried french fries. C and E had fish porridge (RM6 something)which was nothing to shout about. We also tried the fried oysters (RM10) -- no big deal. My sis-in-law had wan tan mee (RM8.90)- also not that mouth-watering.

As for pricing, you can tell they are much higher than the average. For the price you have to pay, I was disappointed with the quality and quantity per serving. I can't help but compare it with the foodcourt at Pavilion. I like Pavilion's much better in terms of layout, ease of navigation and more balanced price-taste-quantity ratio.

I didn't take any photos of that place or the food we had unfortunately.

As for my visit to Lot 10 mall after 8 years, I discovered that some shops remained while many other new ones have opened. Lot 10 now also boasts a hip rooftop (Forest in the City) hosting various cafes and bars, as well as the new Actors' Studio.

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