KL STREET BITES
Reminiscing memorable time in Kuala Lumpur, I took a food trail over the weekend to taste dishes ranging from Malay, Indian to Chinese that build the taste of the city I once called home.
FOR SOMEONE who used to be woken up by the smell of Nasi Lemak and have a glass of Teh Tarik for night cap for years, a weekend gateway to Kuala Lumpur is definitely a calling. Here are few nostalgic places where I let my beloved kaki makan (foodie friends) Alia and Wan take me for a treat to taste some nostalgic plates in two days.
Shin Kee would be my first place to-go-to straight from the airport for a welcome set of beef noodles—a Hakka style noodle soup made of stewed beef, beef broth and Chinese Noodle. My friend, Alia, would make sure that I get to release the longing of having their ‘konlo min’ (dry noodle) with minced beef on top of it, aside from personal choice of clear soup with beef slices, beef meatballs or both. However, since it is served in a small portion, ordering different mix wouldn’t harm anybody. Trust me.
Shin Kee is located in Petaling Street area, so it wouldn’t be so hard to find.You wouldn’t miss the scent of beef noodle soup that waft out from its stall in Tan Cheng Lock that opens in the day, or from its original cart which parked at Hang Lekir that make you (still) go hungry at night.
Shin Kee Beef Noodle Specialist
7A, Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock 55100 Kuala Lumpur
Open 10.30 am to 3.30 pm
Jalan Hang Lekir
(the back lane of Hong Leong Bank)
Open from 6 -11 pm
Banana Leaf Rice
If there’s one thing to do to get my hands dirty in Kuala Lumpur, having banana leaf rice is the answer to it. Nothing beat the joy of getting messy with the pile of rice and curry—chicken, mutton or fish—with top notch condiments such as chutneys, masala chicken, varuval mutton and plenty of meats galore one could choose. My favorite addition is of course deep fried tenggiri, beside lots of pappadom and crunchy bitter gourds on the side. To flush all of those down: a glass of fragrant tamarind rassam would gently lead me to bliss.
Sri Nirwana Maju at Bangsar has been my usual place to go to with bunch of friends. Remember, upon finishing your place, fold the leaf inward to show gratitude or praise the proprietor and chefs. That’d be a nice gesture to complete the whole experience of having Banana Leaf.
SRI NIRWANA MAJU
43, Jalan Telawi 3, Bangsar Baru, Kuala Lumpur
Open: 10am – 2 am
Assam Laksa & Chendul
If you’re a fan of noodle like me, Assam Laksa should be on your list. I got to admit that I always have a huge crave for this Nyonya noodle in spicy and tangy thick fish broth with generous amount of shredded fish on top, ever since I had my first bowl experience in Penang with Alia.
Though Teochew Chendul is located inside one of the biggest mall in Petaling Jaya, but the warmth out of one minty aromatic Assam Laksa bowl managed to bring memories of roadside stall at Lebuh Keng Kwee. As I slurped out the noodle and fish off of the giant bowl, it’s time to gulp down its sour and delicious soup to comfort the belly. To balance out, never say no to a bowl of Ais Chendul, a shaved ice dessert with soft pandan-flavored noodle in light coconut milk and sweetened by gula Melaka. This one might be sounded like our cendol back home, but with addition of thoroughly boiled kidney beans that makes it richer.
1Utama Shopping Centre, Lot LGK05, 106 & 115 LG Floor Promenade Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia
Opens from 10 am – 10 pm (Everyday)
If you fancy snacking for supper like me, heading to Lok-Lok stall would be a nice idea. Lok-lok refers to the open-air carts, a street version of steamboat where you could find anything edible to be put on stick. Anything, no kidding.
Lok-Lok carts generally have a huge amount of different offerings especially the Chinese version: sausages, ham, intestines, vegetable, tofu, squid, mushroom and of course my favorite, cockles, among other offers. Get your chosen sticks fried, grilled, or boiled deep, it’s all up to you. But make sure the choice of dips—hot chili or peanut sauce— drizzle them good.
FAT BROTHER AT JALAN SULTAN
Open: 6 pm – late
Roti Canai and Teh Tarik
One thing to enjoy in Kuala Lumpur at night is the lepak time with friends in mamak—voted as the unofficial Malaysian icon—everyone’s favorite place to hang out with friends 24/7. My all-time nostalgia would be comforting offerings such as roti canai and teh tarik.
Mamak restaurant can be found almost at any neighborhood, but the one at Nasi Kandar Pelita could be a good start to try. It is one of my favorites to go to get a flaky and buttery roti canai, a unique flatbread served hot with curry or dhal. It tastes best eaten with hands, chased later with hot teh tarik , local-style milk tea that is creamy and frothy.
If you manage to come to Kuala Lumpur and would love to have a laid-back local vibe, catching up with friends at Mamak would definitely a tradition to embrace. Cause above all memories, mamak-ing is definitely what I miss.
NASI KANDAR PELITA
149, Jalan Ampang
Back in my old days in Malaysia, Nasi Lemak was a meal that I hardly missed in a day. Traditionally, Nasi Lemak is fragrant rice cooked with coconut that is packaged in a banana leaf and simply packed with crunchy ikan bilis, fried nuts, slices of cucumber and sambal. But for me, my Nasi Lemak wouldn’t be complete without sambal paru.
Nasi Lemak can be found at any breakfast pop-up stall in the morning. But at rare time where I found myself craving for it late at night, Nasi Lemak CT Garden has all my favorite topping ready.
NASI LEMAK CT GARDEN
Jalan Dewan Sultan Sulaiman
Open: 24 hours