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“A moment in time .......”
Review of Coliseum Cafe

Coliseum Cafe
Ranked #262 of 4,655 Restaurants in Kuala Lumpur
Price range: $10 - $30
Cuisines: Malaysian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Local cuisine
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Description: Established in 1921, Coliseum Cafe & Grill Room is one of the oldest in the country and is a walk down memory lane for KL in the early 1920s. Nearly a century old and it's one of the best examples of the city's colonial heritage. To tourists discovering Malaysia and its cultural diversity, we welcome you to the country that many call 'Truly Asia'. Over the past 500 years, sea-faring missions sailed past this peninsula onwards to their destinations, east or west-bound; many broke journey to rest, replenish stocks, whilst some chose to stay on, being tired of the perilous adventures besides wanting to seek both fame and fortune in this new land. Then, there were those which came and colonised the land, wherein Portugal conquered Malacca in 1511 followed by the Dutch in 1641. The last were the English from 1824 right up to Malaysia's independence in 1957.Malaysia is a wonderful living example of how many races and their colourful traditions-cum-cultures have assimilated to present a wonderful, unique ethnicity and a quaint palate of cuisines. The Coliseum Cafe and Grill Room is a fine example of how West and East have assimilated tastefully to present a unique Western Hainanese cuisine. 'Selamat Datang' as we welcome you to enjoy a tasty selection that has evolved over the years through the influence of the British Colonial Era and the assimilation of Asian taste buds. The Coliseum Cafe and Grillroom started in 1921 and some nine decades later, still continues to operate in the same premises at one of the city's oldest streets, Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman. The restaurant's ambiance is atypical of a colonial grillroom, retaining many of its original wood interior and trimmings. Customers, diners and guests alike, locals and tourists, have forged a special connection to the place, the people and its varied menu spread. In the early days, the restaurant served the British who worked and lived in then Malaya. It was patronised by government officers, tin miners, planters, traders and military personnel together with their families who swung by for tea, cocktails and dinner. Over time, the Western Colonial cuisine evolved into its own unique style as the Hainanese chefs, immigrants from China, concocted their own interpretation of many a western dish. One would detect delicate influences of ingredients synonymous of the Malay, Chinese and Indian cuisine in certain dishes as the chefs gamely mixed local spices and style. With time, what is now served at the Coliseum Cafe and Grillroom is famously known as Western Hainanese Cuisine. Its signature dishes, then and now, include the ever popular Oxtail Soup, Baked Crab, sizzling steaks served with a choice of 4 different sauces, Hainanese chicken chop, chicken Maryland, Hainanese Meehoon, Mamak Mee, Fried rice and also fried sambal rice. Desserts include banana fritters, fried ice cream, creme caramel and Hainanese coffee.
Reviewed December 22, 2012

It was 15 years-ago since I was last here so, time to check-out progress, thankfully zero-change and everything just how it was and should be :).

Took my partner for a 20 minute stroll from KLCC through the bustling Selangor House/Masjid India ablaze with colour, gold and fabulous silks and onto the Coliseum where I have fond memories of fun Saturday afternoons in the bar and the smokey dining room. The place is still the same and, in fact, not much has changed from (never mind 1995 but) the 1920's when it first surfaced. For me this is such a welcome change from a lot of modern restaurants in shopping malls where they all have so much in common. Coliseum has nothing in common with any other place, it ain't posh, it ain't necessarily purdy but it's a real institution (hallowed ground so to speak).

We decided on the sizzling Chateaubriand to share, for what is a visit to Coliseum without the smoke (they do do non-sizzling as well, sauce of the side) ! Salad, chips, onion rings and a couple of Pims No. 1s and off we jolly-well-go. All perfectly acceptable !!

As my partner says, for a fussy diner this is probably a 3-pointer BUT if you go understanding the tradition, quaintness, old-fashioned service, smells and smoke it's a 4. Because of my happy memories, and seeing that nothing has changed, it's deffo a 4.

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2  Thank Wotney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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190 - 194 of 290 reviews

Reviewed December 19, 2012

My golfing group had their Christmas lunch here on the 6th December 2012 (as we have done for the past 3 years). However this time the oxtail soup was mediocre whilst the steak & kidney pie has no kidney & the crust was like leather and was simply inedible. The banana fritters were simply awful, and the batter just tasted oily.
The whole place just looks dingy now, and has little appeal other than it used to be a happening place half a century ago!
If you need to experience it, by all means pop in and have a beer or a glass of wine, but there are literally thousands of better places to eat in the city.

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1  Thank fizzysoup
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 30, 2012

Coliseum is certainly an old place. I was brought here by my parents first about 20 years ago. Dont be put off by its aged appearance as the food is still as good as 20 years ago. The place tends to get smocky due to the sizzling beef but thats what to expect for a place famous for it.

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Thank gloryredstar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 23, 2012

Just had to try 28 years after my father brought me there. Did no disappoint as the sizzling rib eye, hainanese chicken chop and prawn salad was very nice or it was just that we were very hungry. Whichever it is we enjoyed our meal very much. Enjoyed the ambience, nothing classy but it just made you feel relaxed.

Thank Jeep6530
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 17, 2012

When you first look in you may feel the urge to walk back out, the decor is ancient and possibly non existent. However it had a certain charm as well. The food is cheap well cooked and excellent, the service is very friendly too. Order the sizzling steaks and let your friends have a laugh as you get the obligatory bib tied around your neck, funny but does the trick.

Thank Whadders
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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