Food in KL

So I said I would write a post about the food in KL so here we go. Because the food was really good. And I mean really good. From all the places we’ve been so far, KL might be the very best. That’s really saying something considering where we’ve been. I think KL is probably the place (excluding western fast food chains, which exist practically in every big Asian city, unfortunately) that you will have to work hardest to find a really bad meal. You can get really good food in Saigon for example, but there are some pretty sloppy restaurants catering to tourists there as well which are pretty plentiful in some places. Of course, these kinds of places exist in KL too, but in my opinion, are less prevalent.

Why isn’t this served in more Indian restaurants in Europe?

What makes the food in KL soo good then? Well, for starters it’s reflective of the way the city is basically a melting pot of cultures with the three biggest ones being Malay, Indian and Chinese. You can have excellent meals of all these cuisines by themselves, I would even argue that Malay cuisine has kind of evolved partially from these two cuisines, you have the heavy spice-rich curries from Indian cuisine but with more Southeast Asian touches such as liberal use of Coconut milk (yes yes, I know it’s also used in South Indian cuisine) and shrimp paste. But then you have all the noodle dishes which constitutes a clear Chinese influence, sometimes you mix them with curry such as in Laksa or Curry Mee. Some dishes are even basically directly descended from their parent cuisine and are only slightly remade if at all, such as Hainanese Chicken rice, a Malay and Singaporean staple. And it’s all really tasty.

During our visits too KL we stayed in Chinatown and that served us very well. Now frankly the Chinese food in many parts of Europe is pretty miserable. It’s usually some sort of weird European adapted slimy and msg-laden hybrid with Cantonese food. If that’s the kind of Chinese food you are used to, prepare to have your mind blown. Apart from having many different styles coming from different regions (of which I’m underqualified to speak about, to say the least), the freshness, textures and the tastes are just on another level here compared to most European Chinese food. In the middle of Chinatown nestled in between all the stalls selling fake designer products we found Tang City food court, a place that hasn’t disappointed us yet, and trust me, we ate there more than once. Worth knowing is that several stalls close during different hours, one really tasty pork noodle stall I had for breakfast was only open during breakfast and lunch for example. We also ate around in Chinatown, with somewhat varying results but there wasn’t a single really bad meal to be had, everything was decent or better! Perhaps the one meal that I found a little bit disappointing was the stall selling the “famous” clay pot chicken rice. But it was not bad, merely not as mindblowing as some other sources (mainly food youtubers) had indicated.

But that’s not the only kind of food you can get in KL, you also have little India which is also known as Brickfields. Actually, there is another area also known as little India in KL but Brickfields is the larger and more central of the two. Here you can to nobody’s surprise get really good Indian food. Again, compared to most Indian food in Europe this has a bigger variety and is much tastier. The biggest difference is probably that you can get really good South Indian food in KL, something that is really difficult in most parts of Europe. In Sweden, there is not a single Dhosa to be found, which also mirrors most of the Indian food I’ve had in other parts of Europe. However, we stuffed ourselves with Dhosas, Indian Sweets and Banana Leaf thalis (and regular thalis) and were very happy with all the food we had.

We did commit one cardinal sin which I intend to rectify as soon as I’m given the chance, and that was missing the Jalan Alor hawker stalls and night market. I guess we were so happy with the foods in Chinatown and little India and several other places that we prioritized other things before going there. But in all fairness most of the food we just had as a result of being somewhere else was great too, so you don’t really have to go to any specific place. The Nasi Kandar next to Scuba Warehouse where I bought a new dive computer was really good, as the food in the mall food court before we saw Captain Marvel in One Utama shopping centre or the food outside the Batu Caves or… Actually, I think you get the point. In case you didn’t, the point is, go to Kuala Lumpur and eat.

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