Sri Hartamas has, of late, been touted as the next "Bangsar" of the Klang Valley. We recently took a quick tour of the two hot spots and here's our report.
Bangsar currently enjoys the undisputed title of the most "happening" entertainment hot spot in Kuala Lumpur. Of late, many party goers are turning to Sri Hartamas instead as an alternative due to the lack of parking and traffic congestion happening around Bangsar during weekends and public holiday eves. Often being called the next "Bangsar", we decided to make a visit to Sri Hartamas to make up our own minds whether Sri Hartamas will indeed be the next "Bangsar".
Nestled within the posh expatriate suburb of Mont Kiara and with easy access to the Petaling Jaya and Damansara Heights suburbs, Sri Hartamas does seem to have all the basic ingredients that make Bangsar successful. Many restaurants have sprung up in and around Sri Hartamas catering to the jaded and cosmopolitan taste buds of the residents in Sri Hartamas and Mont Kiara. Here in Sri Hartamas, you can easily find, Italian, fusion, Cantonese, Hakka, Japanese, Taiwanese cuisine and hawker favourites alike.
However on closer inspection and in comparison, it would appear that Sri Hartamas at best can only be said to be quite different in focus from Bangsar. At worst, we suppose Sri Hartamas will require another 5 years to reach a standard that can really rival Bangsar as the entertainment hot spot of Kuala Lumpur.
For one, Bangsar has been around for longer and boasts of a greater variety of restaurants, pubs and night clubs. With parties going on till the wee hours of the morning, patrons can really party the night away in Bangsar. With the many pubs and restaurants around, patrons can do their pub crawls after they got tired of their regular watering holes. Sri Hartamas, in comparison, seems tame with only a couple of night spots like Finnegans , Bistro 1957 and Souled Out operating late. When we tried to take some night photo shots of Sri Hartamas, we found it to be really quiet in comparison to Bangsar. In short, Sri Hartamas lacks the necessary cluster of pubs, clubs and restaurants that gives Bangsar the party mood that many people go to Bangsar for.
"Success begets success,", says a property analyst friend of ours from Melbourne who frequents Kuala Lumpur quite a bit. "Most parties like F1 and event launches are taking place in Bangsar and all this adds to the fun!", says our "expert" who prefers to be known only as Alex. He also pointed out that the narrow streets and shopfronts of Sri Hartamas also restricts its potential. "Look at Bangsar, the streets are wider for the cars and the pedestrians - that's a small but often overlooked aspect of creating the next Bangsar!", he quipped, "You will find that the Jalan P Ramlee / Sultan Ismail / KLCC area may in fact stand a better chance of rivalling Bangsar as the hottest entertainment area in KL." Indeed, with the presence of Hard Rock Cafe, the Beach, Nouvo, Emporium and other night clubs in the the Jalan P Ramlee / Sultan Ismail / KLCC area, this area seems to be more successful than Sri Hartamas in giving Bangsar a run for their money.
Nevertheless, Alex believes Sri Hartamas really has a lot of potential. "Really, Sri Hartamas need not be a Bangsar. Focussing on a different theme and catering to a different market segment may be a better strategy for all", he added.
From our survey, we believe that more and more shoplots are being built around the Sri Hartamas area which will greatly increase the number of restaurants and pubs in the area. We have been informed by the residents that the infrastructure there like the roads and amenities are being planned and upgraded. Therefore we are not discounting Sri Hartamas yet. Watch out Bangsar! Sri Hartamas could very well be the next "king"of the entertainment hot spot in a couple of years time.
Thinking of visiting Sri Hartamas? Check out Sri Hartamas restaurants and pubs here.
Thinking of visiting Bangsar? Check out Bangsar restaurants and pubs here.