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A few days ago, I had a chance to dine at 1919 Restaurant Kuala Lumpur. Located at the busy road of Jalan Yap Kwan Seng, the outlet gave me an initial impression of a high class restaurant with its expensive vintage interior decoration, exquisite bamboo furniture, old rare antiques and photos that are displayed on the wall until I met Roy, the restaurant owner who greeted me in a very friendly tone. As customers started pouring in soon after that, the whole place transformed into a family restau
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A few days ago, I had a chance to dine at 1919 Restaurant Kuala Lumpur. Located at the busy road of Jalan Yap Kwan Seng, the outlet gave me an initial impression of a high class restaurant with its expensive vintage interior decoration, exquisite bamboo furniture, old rare antiques and photos that are displayed on the wall until I met Roy, the restaurant owner who greeted me in a very friendly tone. As customers started pouring in soon after that, the whole place transformed into a family restaurant ambiance with loud chatters and laughter that reminded me so much of a classic kopitiam restaurant of the bygone years.
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1919 serves classic Southeast Asian cuisine. When I asked Roy whether the restaurant was established back in the year 1919, he started telling me the story behind the restaurant’s name. Apparently, 1919 has a significant meaning in terms of its numerical arrangement. 1 signifies the lower end while 9 is the upper end. Metaphorically speaking, 1919 is akin to a cycle where there are always ups and downs in life. Moreover 1 + 9 equals to 10 which means perfection; a trait that 1919 strives to achieve in its dishes. 1919 is also the first year of peace after the end of the first great world war and marked the beginning of a decade in which enchanting things happened. Ironically, its first outlet was only established in 1995 (called 1919 Restaurant & Galleri in Bandar Baru Medan Ipoh). Due to its popularity, the restaurant spread its wings to Kuala Lumpur, more specifically at Jalan Yap Kwan Seng in the year 2010.

To keep their food as authentic as possible, Roy insisted on using some of its ingredients from Ipoh. “Items such as bean sprout, Chinese Pan Cake and Hor Fun are sourced from Ipoh. Even the Home Made Sour Plum (RM 5.90) is specially brewed by my mum from Ipoh. We want our customers to enjoy the original taste as if they are in Ipoh.” he chuckled.
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Roy exudes his personal philosophy that if the food is not good enough, it won’t come out from his kitchen. “Such high standards are crucial for us as Kuala Lumpur’s food scene is very competitive. If the food is not good, do let me know personally. I will get my chef to cook the dish again. What is important is that we want to protect the good name of our establishment.” he stressed. True enough, we thoroughly enjoyed out dinner that night. Every dish that came out was met with a smile on our face as the aromatic flavour reminded us very much of how good Chinese food should taste like. For example, the 1919 Special Tofu (RM 23.90) is home made with a special sauce that was meticulously made from fish extract and wine. The tofu has a very smooth texture while I love the presentation with a few prawns and asparagus on the top.
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Philippines Eggplant (RM 11.90 – small / RM 22.90 – large) had a pleasant crispy texture without being overly dry. 1919 Restaurant KL uses a special home made flour to ensure that the fried eggplant has a unique texture.
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I was also a big fan of their Stir-Fry Four-Angled Bean & Petai with Special Sauce (RM 15.90 – small / RM 26.90 – large). The sauce is Roy’s creation which uses blended mushroom stalk with garlic to produce a very unique and flavourful taste. The Four-Angled Beans were crunchy and fresh as well.
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Their Thai Style Siced Fish (seasonal price) was another winner. The taste was predominantly sour akin to asam sauce with a nice tangy flavour without being overly spicy.
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Roy also came up with the idea of combining Kerabu with Yam Basket. Known as 1919 Style Kerabu Salad (RM 23.90 – small / RM 33.90 – large), the dish was certainly unique given the fact that no other restaurant that I know has combined the ingredients in such a creative way. The crunchy textures of the sour mango, sliced cucumber and crushed peanut contrasted very nicely with the soft mashed yam that was coated all over by a thin layer of crispy and flaky skin. In fact, these Yam Baskets are wholly prepared and cooked in Ipoh before it is transported to Kuala Lumpur.
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As for the Chinese Pan Cake with Ice-Cream (RM 31.90) it was a perfect way to end the dinner. The hot pan fried Chinese Pan Cake with sweet fillings paired with icy cold mint and chocolate flavoured ice-cream kind of reminded me of a yin yang concept. This is one dessert that is not to be missed!
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Suffice to say, it was a real treat to dine at 1919 Restaurant KL. The ambiance was homely while the food was fantastic. With Roy helming the restaurant, I am pretty sure that the quality will stay consistent given his strict quality checks on all the food that are brought to the table. While we can sometimes get rather tired of eating the same old Chinese dishes (I do at times), the food at 1919 was very inviting and certainly set a new benchmark to the Chinese cuisine that I had so far.
(The above review is the personal opinion of a user which does not represent OpenRice's point of view.)
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Taste
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Spending Per Head
RM30 (Dinner)
Recommended Dishes
  • Home Made Sour Plum
  • 1919 Special Tofu
  • Philippines Eggplant
  • Stir-Fry Four-Angled Bean & Petai with Special Sauce
  • Kerabu with Yam Basket
  • Chinese Pan Cake with Ice-Cream