The first thing I ate, and I’d been dreaming about this for a while, was Roti Canai. Simple flour dough, folded several times to make flaky pastry rounds, crushed then served with sambar – a simple curry sauce, a little like the indian paratha.
I go to Nasi Kandar, my favourite roti shop, every time I’m in KL. It’s one of my favourite places to eat in the world. Its rotis and Dosa are perfect crispy examples of their like and they also serve some great non-veg curries. Its also open 24 hours, perfect for midnight munching. I found myself in there a couple of times at 2am on this trip.
Another of my favourite midnight snacks are the burger stalls found near Chinatown. Not a typically Malay dish but they do it their way. First they fry the burger, then make a thin omelette in the centre of the grill and put the burger on it. Next add, mayo, chilli sauce, maggi seasoning – essentially liquid MSG, and fold the whole thing up into a parcel. Salad and a bun and you’ve got yourself a tasty treat. Don’t forget the tiger beer from the 7 eleven.
At night time Chinatown comes alive with people selling all sorts of stuff, clay pot chicken is one of the most popular. Rice and diced chicken cooked up quickly in a clay pot over a super hot flame. They mix in some spring onions and some wind dried pork sausage, which is tastes a bit off but once you get into it the saltiness really makes the dish. The best bit though is the rice that has stuck and burned a little to the sides of the pot. You can pull this off in pieces and eat it like a crisp.
The other great Chicken dish is Hainanese Chicken rice. It’s a simple dish of soy braised chicken, some rice, a little cucumber and tomato and a spicy fresh salsa for dipping. Simple but iconic dish, one of my favourites.
Lunch times are all about the Malay stalls advertising Nasi Campur. The will have a selection of fried fish and chicken, spicy curries, some vegetables and eggs of some kind, either in a kind of green curry, or as had them for the first time the other day, fried and covered in a sweet/sour chilli sauce. Amazing, even looking at them they didn’t look appetising, but I can’t wait to try this on at home
My last meal in KL was some pork noodles. Simple but some of the tastiest morsels to ever pass my lips. I can’t remember the name, but apparently it was the speciality of the house. Thin rice noodles in a rich soy coating, some token onions and cabbage, but it was the pork, little nuggets of caramelised sweet joy and the garlic on top that were the amazing thing. The garlic was made into what I can only describe as a brittle. Chopped fried garlic, mixed with sweet soy and pressed into sticky toffee sheets. We also had a bowl of soup dumplings, which would have been outstanding against any other dish I’m sure.
So that’s KL till next time. I would have like to spend a bit more time on the food hunt, but I was there for a wedding.
Even now though sitting at the airport, I’m watching guys at a fast food noodle stall making their own wontons, which just wouldn’t happen in Europe, but in KL even at the airport you get good food.