Coliseum Cafe serves up rich history

THE Coliseum Cafe Kuala Lumpur is part of the city’s history, having been around for over nine decades, since 1921.

Located along Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, few places can boast of seeing how the country has progressed from the British colonial era right up to the formation of Malaysia.

This year, the cafe added another feather to its cap after receiving the award for being the Longest Operating Western Colonial-Themed Restaurant from the Malaysia Book of Records (MBR).

The cafe will be celebrating it’s 92nd anniversary this year.

MBR founder and managing director Datuk Danny Ooi presented the certificate to staff members at the restaurant during an award ceremony at the restaurant recently.

“Our country needs iconic restaurants to attract both tourists and locals so the Coliseum Cafe, with its rich history, is the perfect candidate for the award,” said Ooi, adding that the recognition would also inspire existing staff and future members to continue providing the best service.

Ooi recalled visiting the cafe during his own school days.

“We were served by the old staff who have been working here for many years.

“Some of them are still here,” he said.

Synonymous with authentic Western colonial Hainanese cuisine, Coliseum Cafe has always been popular with both locals and foreigners since it opened for business.

With the mushrooming of so many food and beverage restaurants in town, assistant manager Chris Wang believes that the cafe has maintained its competitive edge because of nostalgia and its history, as well as offering food and ambience like no other.

“Back then, this place (Jalan TAR) used to be known as Batu Road.

“The cafe was a favourite meeting place for British government servants, plantation managers, tin miners and their families,” he said.

Wang has been a staff member for over 38 years.

Indeed, stepping into the outlet with its high ceiling, warm yellow lights and wooden furniture, feels like one has gone back in time as the sounds of the city fade away.

Some popular items that have remained on the menu include the Hainanese Chicken Chop and sizzling steaks. The recipes have been handed down through the generations and improved to suit customers’ tastes.

Coliseum Cafe is also located at Plaza 33 in Petaling Jaya.

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