Going to TAPAK
TAPAK Urban Street Dining is located beside Corus Hotel near KLCC. It’s an outdoor dining space of small wooden chairs and tiny patios, enveloped by a plethora of mostly-Western cuisine food trucks and surrounded by a forest of towers and high-rise buildings. It’s so easy to get there that I’m shocked how I’ve never known of its existence. Alight at KLCC train station and turn left, keep walking. That’s it. It’s an outdoor dining experience and open at night until late. Officially from 6pm but we tend to get there around 10pm. Now I don’t normally like to eat that late but I had to try this.
First Impressions and What I Ate
I was in KL on December 2016 just after Xmas and that was the first time I discovered TAPAK, thanks to my cousin. It was drizzling that night which thinned the crowd a little. Hence we had vacant tables and chairs everywhere but the patios with umbrellas attached. Those were always occupied. The air smelled of grilled meat and spices.
My first impression: So clean.
Second impression: I want to eat everything!
In Brunei we don’t have any proper Mexican cuisine establishment. The closest thing is Ricardo’s Mexican Delivery which mainly operates at Belait. But I’ve heard good things about that place and will give them a go and review soon. Anyways, slim pickings. Back to TAPAK. I was hankering for proper Mexican food. Everytime I travel I am always on the lookout for Tacos and Burritos. So the first food truck that caught my eye was Babarittos.
I instantly ordered beef burritos (RM14) and was asked to wait 10 minutes for my food. Which was normal as there was a queue of patrons waiting to be fed. What I’ve learned over the years is to trust long queue of locals. It’s almost definitely good if people are prepared to wait it out for their plate of food. Anyways I spent the 10 minutes exploring my other options. I ordered a large glass of delicious mango juice (RM6).
Of course I wasn’t alone. My cousins and brother ordered different things at roughly the same prices or cheaper. My cousin had a grilled salmon pasta from a different truck. He said it was the best pasta he’s ever had. My brother had a crispy chicken quesadilla. I saw a Korean food truck. Gourmet burgers. Nasi lemak. Italian food. Giant hot dogs. Grilled meat. Roti John. Surf and Turf and many more. It was so different to our Pasar Malam at home. Nothing like it. It was something we could only experience from The Food Channel or Instagram feeds. But of course we do have The Food Brigade: the one solitary food truck in Brunei. I will be trying their gourmet burgers one of these days.
I went back to Babaritto and shortly they called out my name. My burrito was ready. I went to our slightly wet patio and dug in. Warm pillow of beef strips, cheese, rice and veggies topped with their signature salsa. I finished it at record time because it was a bit small for a Burrito. Delicious but I wished it was a bit bigger. Still hungry, I left my seat and hunted again.
After surveying everything I settled on Macxito. They had a little crowd going. I ordered Soft Tacos (RM14) and soaked in the atmosphere. Young entrepreneurs with their own food trucks. Positive and creative. Each of them having something different to offer. A youthful movement I would’ve loved to be a part of. We’re starting to see a similar indie food movement crop up in Brunei over the last few years. Especially in Bandar. I wish we had more of this in Seria and KB. I work in Seria and half the time I’d get bored with the lack of dining options there.
My name was called out, knocking me off my reverie. Picked up my tacos and went back to my table. The tacos look great. They taste much better and more satisfying than the burritos I had destroyed earlier. Their special sauce was spicy and perfect for the damp weather. I’ve never had a soft taco before. It was amazing. Well worth the wait and the rain. Tummies full, we chilled out after that before taking our leave, cutting across KLCC Park and Pavilion back to our hotel near Lot 10. Christmas lights started to be taken down, replaced by the red of CNY lanterns.
That night I dreamed myself having four stomachs, like a cow. With that much capacity I would probably manage to try out the specialties of all 20+ food trucks busying themselves at TAPAK. Dream on.