Supermodel Danielle Peita Graham shows us a few of her favourite spots in Kuala Lumpur – from her picks on the top outdoor activities with kids to where to go for a macaroon and manicure.
Describe KL in 3 words. Friendly, fabulous food and fun!!!
Best hotel in KL when travelling with kids?
KL Hilton. The hotel has a fantastic pool with slides for the kids. It’s perfectly located, close to Bangsar where the shopping malls are very child-friendly.
Your favourite place to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner? Why?
My favourite breakfast is at Raju’s. I love the Roti Canai. It’s crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. The food is served on a banana leaf and you sit outdoors under big green trees. Our son loves tearing his roti apart and soaking it in Dhaal! The deep fried crispy squid and lamb curry (which you need to order in advance) is so good. I could go on and on about what to order!
Lunch at Madam Kwan (they have several restaurants all over the city) is always good and fast. The Nasi Bojari, mushroom chicken rice and Cantonese Fried Kweoy Teow are the best in town.
The food at Reunion is always tasty. The Hokkien mee, roasted meats, fish maw soup and sago mango pudding our my favourites! It’s fancy local hawker food served in a classy environment. And it’s great for family meals.
What is your favourite thing to do with your kids in KL?
We like taking our 19 month old son Ben to Gymboree. I love how we get to interact creatively and it’s fun! The jungle gym at Bangsar Shopping Centre is cool for kids. Ben loves sliding down the slides and playing in the ball pool.
Kid friendly museum?
The National Science Centre.
Best outdoor activity?
A great day out with the family would be a visit to the Zoo! There are lots of interesting local Malaysian animals such as Orang Utans to see. And it’s possible to take a ride on an elephant.
I get my hair done at….
A Cut Above in Bangsar Village 2 by Favion. Or by Andy Ho Haute Coiffure at the Gardens Mall.
I get my manicure pedicure at….
Boudoir. They have delicious treatments. I feel like I am in heaven having a glass of champagne and macaroons while doing my nails there.
The three shops I can’t live without are:
Maizen: They carry lots of new and hard to find labels. They also sell cool clothes for kids – and you can get matching mummy and baby outfits!
Bludotbaby: A fabulous store. They have a great selection of environmentally friendly things for kids. I am obsessed with their Seventh Generation baby wipes.
Sundays at Bangsar Village 2: For gorgeous gifts and things for the home.
Who I have on my KL speed dial…
My husband, my driver and my home phone line.
Best place for sweet treats?
I love The Bread Shop in Damansara Heights for their freshly daily baked breads and pastries. The cinnamon swirl is soooo good!!!
T forty two is a new French bistro that does a fabulous afternoon tea with delicious cakes. Their chocolate macaroons are to die for!
An unforgettable moment?
My son chasing after the beautiful peacocks at the KL Bird Park. You would be surprised at how close you can get to the birds. We like to go in the earlier part of the morning when it’s not too hot. It’s so lush and peaceful.
Can’t live without…
My weekly pregnancy yoga classes at Fit for Two. I love to stretch out and connect with my baby girl.
The KLCC Aquarium. You can even swim with the sharks if you dare.
What advice would you give families visiting KL?
Pack light clothes and lots of sunblock! Come with a huge appetite for food and fun! A fun family day would be to visit Lake Gardens. The KL Bird Park, Butterfly Park, Deer Park and an orchid garden are all part of the gardens.
Of all the shopping spots KL has on offer which would you try not to miss?
We have fabulous local designers. Do have a look at Khoon Hooi at Starhill gallery, Sonny Son’s ECLIPSE store at Pavilion and Farah Khan at Aseana, KLCC.
Go for a nice romantic dinner at Sage. Everything on the menu is quite amazing they mix French and Japanese food so beautifully. After dinner you could head right next door to the Gold Screen Cinema at the Gardens Mall for a movie. The happening hot spots for drinks would be around Changkat Bukit Bintang. There are lots of cool bars to go to. Frangipani has great cocktails. The live jazz performances at Alexis are great especially with some good wine.
Tell us one thing about KL we don’t know…
English is widely spoken in KL so it is easy to get around. People are friendly and don’t take themselves too seriously. They will go out of their way to help you if you’re nice to begin with. We have a wonderful mix of Malay, Chinese and Indian people so we are spoilt with all their fabulous food. And its available 24/7!
*Danielle Peita Graham
Of Chinese and Irish descent Danielle Peita Graham was born in Sydney and grew up in KL. Her modeling career took off in 1998 with various advertising campaigns including endorsements for Olay, Pantene and Standard Chartered bank. Her career saw her grace countless magazine covers, star in the movie 2002 with actor Nicholas Tse as well as work with Wong Kar Wei for DJ Shadow’s music video Six Days. Danielle lives in KL with her banker husband Patrick, their 19 month old son where they are awaiting the imminent arrival of a baby girl.