Cigarettes After Sex is not bad

The music is slow and hypnotic. Live drums punctuate the spacey synths, reminding the listener that this is also a pop song. While it has become as much a cliché to pronounce a musical act as genre-less as it is to categorise said act, I nevertheless indulge in genre typecasting when it comes to listening to new music. As a listener of popular music, an organised mind is worth the potential scorn.

Most likely to be heard in a post-climax movie scene

So anyways, Wikipedia categorises Cigarettes After Sex as an ambient pop band. Admittedly I am quite unfamiliar with this territory and have always had a regrettably short attention span for the likes of Brian Eno, Velvet Underground, shoegazing etc. Anyways, there are two of the latest Cigarettes After Sex singles on Spotify, Apocalypse and Each Time You Fall In Love.

On the two songs alone, I am a fan of the production. The sounds both singles are consistently spacious, cinematic and clear. And hypnotic.

Cigarettes After Sex is a leading contender for the most aptly-named band. The music is exactly the kind of music that accompanies a post-climax scene for drama, romance and indie films. Post-climax here refers to the “down scene” where the protagonists of the film learn their lesson, or realise things aren’t meant to be, or (insert your favourite Oscar trope).

The two new songs are not bad albeit anodyne. Still merit a listen-   Cigarettes After Sex

Possibly the best Fish and Chips in Kuala Lumpur

Fresco @ Intermark

As someone who loves eating fish and who has tried some of the best fish and chips in England, including the no. 1 fish and chips joint in London according to Trip Advisor, I consider myself a qualified amateur reviewer when it comes to this English dish.

Fresco is a deli-like restaurant annexed to Jaya Grocer on the lower concourse floor of The Intermark. One of the memorable things about Fresco is that you can buy a fresh fish at Jaya Grocer and walk a few steps to Fresco and have its staff cook it for you. I have never tried that service because fresh fish in Jaya Grocer is extortionate. However, I have tried the Fish and Chips, which at the time of writing sells for RM19.90, and it is the best Fish and Chips in Kuala Lumpur. And by the best, I mean it is perfect and unrivalled. Here’s a breakdown of the perfect Fish and Chips.

The Fish

Fresco uses flounder for the fish. This is not common: English joints use cod, haddock or plaice for the dish; Malaysian restaurants and hawkers use salmon for the upmarket version and frozen dory for the generic good ol’. The flounder fillet does not taste frozen to me (sadly, the fish fillets served in the majority of Malaysian restaurants have that awful frozen taste), and the texture is excellent in its own right. Fresco serves a generous portion of two fillet. I believe the batter is tempura and not breaded. Fish is evenly cooked and delicious.  Perfect.

The Chips

The Chips are very well seasoned- I can see a bit of rosemary on the chips and this is a huge turn-on. The chips also have a bit of skin on, which is also a huge turn on. Crispy with right amount of salt. Not too greasy. Perfect x2.

The Coleslaw and Salad

The coleslaw is probably from the deli section. The coleslaw is light, crunchy and sweet. Salad is inoffensively fresh. Perfect x3.

The Mayonnaise

The mayonnaise is really tasty and has good consistency. I cannot tell if the restaurant made the mayonnaise itself or if it is using a premium brand, but it is probably not your average Heinz. I usually eat my fries naked, but I asked for extra mayo for my fries at Fresco.

The Mushed Peas

I have had countless fish and chips meals in Malaysia since being introduced to “Western Food” at around age 7, but never once did my fish and chips have mushed peas. Peas, yes. But mushed peas? No. Not even in expensive fish and chips that range between RM30 to RM50. So imagine my surprise when my RM20 Fresco Fish and Chips came with a generous serving of mushed peas! The mushed peas were flavourful and fresh. Perfect x∞.

Perfect for its price

Fresco’s Fish and Chips is the best Fish and Chips I have had in Malaysia. And that is taking into account the other more expensive Fish and Chips I have had over the years. I have had Fish and Chips at Fresco several times, and the dish is pretty consistent. If you are about to nominate a competitor to Fresco’s, please ensure that your nominee’s dish has mushed peas. Also, there may be a fine-dining restaurant that serves fish and chips using ultra-premium ingredients (Bluefin Tuna fillet?)- but do bear in mind that fish and chips is a commoner’s dish. It is meant to be simple and delicious celebration of fish. And that is precisely what Fresco’s Fish and Chips is.

Fresco @ The Intermark is at 348, Jalan Tun Razak, 50400 Kuala Lumpur. This is a recommendation, not a paid review. Hope the quality and the price remains the same as at the time of writing.