Decorative pillar and sign, Bora Asmara, Kg Sg Penchala, Kuala Lumpur.
It can be said that you'd expect to find the most amazing things in the most unexpected places. Case in point is this wonderful restaurant tucked away in the midst of Kg Penchala where one would last think of looking for great eats, fantastic times and a beautiful setting to enjoy your evenings at. Our venue for our monthly Flickr meeting brought us all to Bora Asmara after recommendations courtesy of Shafina who heard about the place and had her fill there.
Taking the lesser traveled road past Taman Tun Dr Ismail or just past the Penchala Link tunnel or even as you head from Damansara Perdana, the road less traveled leads you to the kampung setting of Kg Penchala where you'll be greeted by quaint wooden kampung houses as well as some modern counterpart, rural settings whereby underaged kids blaze by haphazardly in motorbikes with no helmet and two or three on a bike and small time hawkers set up stall under the giant overpass.
Entrance to Bora Asmara, Kg Sg Penchala, Kuala Lumpur.
Looks might fool you as the winding small rural road winds amidst these kampung vistas and as you creep in farther you start to wonder if the directions given to you were correct as you seem to be heading nowhere that looks like a posh restaurant. Given a little more adventurous spirit and less doubt, you'll soon find yourself sliding your car into the parking bay of a seemingly plain walled facade dominated by its sole Balinese doorway and stonework with the sign proudly proclaiming 'Bora Asmara' and you know you've arrived.
Whereas the outside may look plain and spartan, the interior is anything but such. The moment you enter and the gong sounds to announce your arrival (only if Kazzie is there mind you), you're greeted by a large open air courtyard and landscaped garden that sends you away from the concrete jungle that your mind still tells you is just 5 minutes away in any direction from here. Yet you couldn't possibly be farther from civilization, maybe a civilization not usually accustomed to, more into exotic than normal.
The main pavilion for diners, Bora Asmara, Kg Sg Penchala, Kuala Lumpur.
Stone decors are brilliantly toned down by the copious amount of water feature and greenery that is in abundance all around. Terracota sculptures lay await in sculptured gardens while water cascades from earthen jugs. Tatched huts decorated with low lying tables, soft curtains and even softer pillows bids you to sit down and forget about your troubles a moment. The dining area is in the open so people can appreciate the atmosphere although within you can opt for more creature comfort in the air conditioned dining halls or take a sip at the beverages offered at the coffeehouse. Walked deeper in and you'll be lost in small walkways designed to make you pause and relax, fountains spew cool water and intricate stonework and artwork litter every corner of the place. In the back, a large open hall used for functions can accommodate a large crowd if need be with artwork to inspire and awe.
The gazebos for diners, Bora Asmara, Kg Sg Penchala, Kuala Lumpur.
Come night, the place takes on a softer feel, natural lamps and lights placed around the place cast a soft glow around the features. The place is relatively quiet save for the chatter of the diners and merriment of those around. Every helpful workers utilising the latest in F&B gadgets are ever ready to take your orders. I can't believe I've been talking all about just the decor and ambiance and haven't even gotten to the food yet! A band is ready to serenade diners as they tuck in, moving from around the place and singing everything from classical to modern to dance music, in malay, english, chinese, whatever you want, requests are always considered and played enthusiastically and the music will get even the most stuck up person to let loose and let dance as was evident with our group.
Doorway leading to back of restaurant, Bora Asmara, Kg Sg Penchala, Kuala Lumpur.
Besides the decor, the food did not fall prey to the usual nice place but mundane taste syndrom so afflicting so many fine diners at times. The food were a mix of local Asiatic fare as well as Western servings. A more Thai and Indonesian feel was evident such as the great tom yam soups, green mango salads and young coconut juices. I had a taste of lemongrass drink and was thrilled to like it. Portions were commensurate to the price although be prepared to fork out more for the drinks. For cigar afficiandoes be ready for a whole list of choice selections as you browse the menu. The meals were satisfying, made more so from the great ambiance and even greater company. Our Flicker group were all decked in their Raya or traditional garbs seeing it was still Raya week at that time and we all had tremendous fun. Clearly this was one of the great choice of places that we all have been, which we seem to have a knack of finding for our meets and kudos to Shafina for pointing it out to us. So please if you're interested go see it for yourself, take that little turn from the Penchala Link, left past the mosque at Kg Penchala and head onwards until you past the passover and to your left a little distance away be sure to look out for the sign for Bora Asmara, you'll be sore to miss such a fabulous place.
Function room with decorative lighting and artwork, Bora Asmara, Kg Sg Penchala, Kuala Lumpur.
The live band serenading the diners and heckled by us constantly photographing them, Bora Asmara, Kg Sg Penchala, Kuala Lumpur.
Evening sunset and clouds, Bora Asmara, Kg Sg Penchala, Kuala Lumpur.