Sunday, June 13, 2010

How to get from Heathrow Airport to Malaysia Hall in London - oh, the Canteen in the basement as well

Some time back, the yearn for a good roti prata and teh tarik drove me to hunt for the ever elusive Malaysia Hall in London's Bayswater. I mean, if you have to have it, might as well go for the best in town isn't it? Well, I wouldn't say that it was the best but its price tag is certainly a stark contrast to Awana's.

We thought that Malaysia Hall lies at the northern end of Queensway but decided to ask stop and ask for directions (after being given the ultimatum by Wife). "Er, aww, Malaysia Hall huh, you go straight then turn left and then turn right," an affable chap manning a convenient stall promptly pointed us to it.

What greeted us was a huge Malaysian flag flapping in the wind. You can't mistake that for any other building, can you? Just in case you missed that huge flag, there was a stern notice at the basement entrance to the renowned Malaysia Hall Canteen - "Only Malaysians need enter".

Holding my breath, I pushed the door in, fully expecting to be pinned to the ground the very next moment. Such was desperation for a decent piece of roti prata (or roti canai in this case) and a creamy teh tarik.

There was a healthy bustle inside. It reminded me of Cafe Bonda just a couple of streets away. No one even glanced up when we stepped in. So far so good. I went up to the counter, mustering up my entire Malay language vocabulary, "Encik, teh tarik dua... bulapah? (forgive my spelling)".

The Malay gentleman behind the counter looked up and gave me a smile and replied, "Two pounds."

Incidentally, I received an email the other day asking me what is the cheapest way of getting from Heathrow Airport to Malaysia Hall. Short of trekking all the way, I guess the best bet would be the London Underground.

I did a quick check at the Transport for London website. It'll cost him a grand total of £4.20 during peak periods and only £2.40 during other times if he's using a Oyster Card - another reason to get an Oyster card. Even if he were to insist on using cash, it'll just be 30p more.


Take Piccadilly Line (purple blueish line on the London Underground) and transfer to Central Line (red line) to Queensway at Holborn. The Tube ride should take under 90 minutes. The walk from Queensway to Malaysia Hall shouldn't take more than 10 minutes.


That said, I wouldn't really advice going that route simply because the cost saving isn't worth the agony of having to travel for over an hour on the Tube, which can be rather stuffy at times. I recommend that you get the Heathrow Connect to Paddington (£7.90 for one way) and then hop onto the Tube (Circle or District Lines) to Bayswater and take a 15min stroll from there.

If you are feeling peckish, why not just drop by Leong's Legends or Kiasu at Queensway for a quick bite before continuing your way to Malaysia Hall? 

Malaysia Hall
30-34, Queensborough Terrace
London W2 3ST
Tel: +44(0)20 7985 1262

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Nora Din said...

Hey CK, thanks for the directions to Malaysian Hall. Will definitely go there the next time I'm in London.I only knew the old Malaysian Hall at Bryanston Square. Do you know that the old Malaysian Hall had rooms for rent available to new arrivals as well?? Not too sure if this facility is available too at the new premise. Yup,only Malaysians are allowed to stay at Malaysian Hall but me and my partner at that time (both Singaporean Malays) did not show our passports as we did not want to be refused entry as Singaporeans but we cheated a little & showed our ATM cards issued by a Malaysian bank & this was enough to convinced them that we are "Malaysians"!! LOL....It's funny about the canteen, but I brought in my Englishman partner before to let him sample Malay food and he had no problem being allowed in??!!!!