Last week I was in Kuala Lumpur (KL) for a couple of days. It was sort of a layover after my diving holiday (I’m doing a post on it next week). Since I’ve never been to the city before, I really wanted to experience its food. I’m not someone who is particularly fond of Asian food, so I had to wrap my head around it, but it wasn’t something I could not do.
We only got to KL in the evening, so I got to do no real exploring that day, however, we did go out for some proper Malaysian street food. Since we were doing KL post a dive holiday, we had our organizer with us and he lived in KL for a few years, and knew a thing or two about its food. He said that the ideal place for authentic Malay street food was Jalan Alor, and that’s exactly where we went for dinner that night.
The entire street is only and only food stalls and establishments, serving everything and I mean everything. You might want to walk down the whole street before deciding on where to eat. I know you may get tempted along the way to buy little bites to eat, I totally did, but just remember that means you’ll get to eat less later on.
One of the first things we got tempted to buy was dim sums. I can eat dim sums for breakfast, lunch, and dinner literally. So when I saw the stall, I just had to buy a plate. We chose chicken and pork dim sums and got a plate of 8. I honestly have no idea what they were called, so I can’t give you any sort of description, except that they turn absolutely divine.
As we walked along, we saw more and more interesting foods. For example, they sell whole squids deep-fried in a crispy batter or grilled frog.
There is also this concept that a number of stalls used where raw meat and vegetables and dipped into a scalding hot broth and then eaten. Most people tend to eat such meals post a big night out.
Post all this walking, we decided to sit at one of the many restaurants all of them serve the same food, so it doesn’t really matter, which one you sit at. We just chose one closest to us and sat there. Honestly, I had no clue what to order. The menu is some 10 pages, in both English and Bahasa, and made absolutely no sense to me. So, I left it to the expert. He just ordered a bunch of different things for us to try.
I love oysters, I really really do, so we decided to order a bunch. However, it didn’t go down so well (get it?). I added the lemon, and then the chilli sauce even swallowed it and then choked. As in had to spit it out in the middle of the street, couldn’t breathe and had a burning sensation in my throat for the rest of the evening. You know what works the best? Lots of beer, more specifically Tiger beer.
The highlight of the meal had to be the black pepper crab. So so soooo spicy, but so so soooo good. You end up making a mess of yourself, with crab shell everywhere and the pepper all over your hands, but its all totally worth it.
Absolutely no clue why this is called carrot cake, it has no carrot at all or any form of cake. When our friend first said he wanted to order it, everyone made a face going “eek why would you want to eat that”. Our expressions changed however when this arrived and was placed in front of us. The first bite tastes like potato, but there isn’t any. Honestly, I have no idea why this dish insists on being so confusing. It’s actually made of egg and seafood and tastes delightful.
Is there an explanation needed for this?
We decided to end this wonderful meal with some octopus coconut ice cream. Yes, you read that correctly. Hawaii Coconut Ice Cream on Jalan Alor sells octopus ice cream. Just FYI it’s not very nice. It’s essentially grilled octopus with sweet and sour sauce, with 3 types of ice cream. We chose mocha, coconut, and mango. We honestly only bought it because its one of those things you have to try. But it’s not very good. It doesn’t go so we may have just gotten rid of the octopus and eaten the ice cream plain. I would recommend buying so that you experience it, coz it’s really cool.
We stayed at a lovely hotel in Bukit Bintang, a 10-minute walk from the Patronus Towers. Its one of those hotels where you can Instagram everything. From the entrance, elevators, reception, rooms, everything. Wolo Hotel is literally 500 meters from Pavilion Mall and 100 meters form Lot 10, a 10-minute walk from Jalan Alor, and basically anything cool in the city.
We got one of the deals at the hotel where breakfast is included, so it was perfect since I wasn’t in the mood to start my day that early. Breakfast is served at their restaurant, Brasserie Fritz. They have a small selection, of everything, cereals, juices, eggs, breads, pastries, cheeses, cold cuts, noodles. I got a bit of everything with a cup of coffee, and it was the perfect start to my day.
When I was in Jakarta a few years ago, my mother and I discovered this amazing thing called Pepper Lunch. It’s essentially an iron plate heated to some insane temperature, on which rice and any meat and vegetables of your choice are added, raw. The idea is that you cook the raw meat and vegetables on this hot plate, by mixing all the food together. I’ve been to Jakarta twice and ate it at least thrice on each trip, that’s how much I loved it and honestly, I had forgotten all about it, till I saw it in the food court at Pavilion Mall in KL. Obviously, it now meant I HAD TO eat it, which I did. The classic one is the beef rice with some corn, salt, and pepper, which is what I got.
I’ve done a version of it at home, two actually. One is me using a sizzler platter, it comes out very very similar, and the other is me doing the entire thing in a pan.
Dinner that night was just my father and I, and we both really really wanted a steak so we decided to go to The Steakhouse very close to Jalan Alor. The prices there were a little too high, plus the place was very formal and we were totally not in the mood for that so we walked further down and reached a bunch of pubs and bars. We just picked the closest one and went with it, and it was a great decision. Burgers, beer and margaritas, and the night was perfect.
My last meal in KL had to and I mean had to be sushi. The fourth floor of Lot 10, is a bunch of Japanese restaurants serving everything from ramen to sushi. Obviously, I went for the sushi. We ordered some tuna sashimi, a sushi platter which comes with miso soup and egg custard and a shrimp tempura roll.
Post this we got some ice cream at Vito. They offer all kinds of flavours like tiramisu, green tea, lemon, raspberry, mango. You can get a combination of the two, which is what I did, green tea and tiramisu. Weird combination I know, but it tasted really really good.