Friday, February 5, 2010

Tehbus on Tour - Kuala Lumpur (Part 1)

Ever since I received my "Carte Blanche" to travel again way back in July 2009, I have made damn sure that I have gone to as many places as possible. I have eaten in cities as local as Dublin and Edinburgh, and even managed to fit in a trip to those further afield such as New York, Seattle and Las Vegas.

2010 is a year where I will be embarking on a different adventure altogether. With South Africa looming in June, January finds me in KL. It's been seven years since I returned to Kuala Lumpur, the birthplace of my parents and home to the majority of my family. One of my cousins is getting married, so off I jumped on a plane and lo and behold, the heat and smog of Kuala Lumpur.

KL comprises of 3 main ethnic groups (the ethnic Malays, the Chinese and the Indians) and there are influences of each of these ethnicity's within the food. I came for my cousin, but I wasn't going to turn down the opportunity to stuff my face with the food of the fatherland. Here is a (food) diary of my 9 or so days in Kuala Lumpur.

Eating in Kuala Lumpur
KL International Airport - One of the best airports in the world. And so bloody far away from the city center. It's at least an hour in the car.

Eating in Kuala Lumpur
Kickapoo Joy Juice - As the luridly coloured can suggests, this drink contains nothing other than e-numbers and colourings, every child's dream.

Eating in Kuala Lumpur
Char Kway Teow - A rice noodle dish with pretty much whatever you want in it. Traditionally it has cockles, prawns, Chinese sausage and little porky bits. Delicious. Ordered with "double egg", it cost a princely sum of $6RM (about £1.10). Bought in Brickfields.

Eating in Kuala Lumpur
Kon Lo Mee - Traditionally eaten as wonton noodle soup, you can have it "dry" with the soup and dumplings on the side. I like mine with char siu (BBQ pork) which you can see isn't dyed red like the char siu you find in London. Much more appealing, isn't it? (Bought in a restaurant off Pudu Road)

Out and about in KL
Out and about in KL
Petaling Street Wet Market - More famous for the market during the day which peddles fruits and all sorts of fake goods, it is also home to a wet market early in the morning, which replaces our traditional butchers here in London. With tables littered with pig, chicken and fish carcasses, it appears to be the place to come for your fresh meat. In fact, the chicken is so fresh that it is often alive a mere few minutes before you actually buy it. Food hygiene would have a field day in this place.

Out and about in KL
Congee - A savoury rice based porridge, this was the most perfect example of congee I have ever tasted. Flavoured with pork strips, century egg and crispy onions, the silken porridge was warming and smooth.(Bought in Golden Imperial restaurant, Bangsar)

Out and about in KL
Eating in Kuala Lumpur
Durian - A fruit native to Malaysia, it is immediately noticeable by its thorny exterior, as well as the smell from the fruit, often likened to rotting cabbage. Personally, I don't see what the fuss is about as I enjoy the smell almost as much as I enjoy the sweet, sticky flesh. In modern times, we have seen various types cross-bred forming a whole variety of durian, each with their own taste and characteristics. I like the D9 (whatever that is)

That's all for now but there is more to showcase of this amazing city. Part 2 will follow shortly, but if you fancy a sneak preview at the rest of my pictures, you can find them here.


Su-Lin said...

That char kway teow is huge! (then I saw the price and I think you got a large?!)

No plans for me to go anytime soon so I'm going to live vicariously through your posts!

catty said...

ok I only drooled on my keyboard a little bit :) You know what i miss? the cockles in char kuay teow!! you can't get big fat fresh cockles (not the canned shite) anywhere and I do miss it from Malaysia *sigh*

And go durian power :)

Greedy Diva said...

WHAT?! You didn't have the snail porridge for me? The congee looks delish. Look forward to catching up on your travel tales over some food soon.

tehbus said...

@su-lin - It was a large. My aunties think I am some sort of eating monster. I had half and then got the rest wrapped up.

@catty - Oh don't worry. Once the other posts are done, your computer is going to be saturated.

@greedydiva - Sorry Carly. I wanted snail but they had run out :)

Wild Boar said...

Ughh the jealousy... such a nasty emotion. At least I got my own trip home planned soon :-)

Have a great time at home.

Helen said...

Looks like you had a brilliant time! I have yet to try durian but I must pick one up from the shop that sells them in Peckham. I must take the plunge! Whereabouts are you going in SA? I loved it when I went.

An American in London said...

I agree with Su-Lin - that char kway teow looks huge and hugely appealing. I hope you'll post about your cousin's wedding.

Years ago, I bought an unlimited-flights-in-Asia ticket through Malaysian Airlines. It was a great deal, but all the flights were in and out of KL airport. Luckily, as you say, the airport was new and sleek, so all those hours in the airport could've been much worse.

Hollow Legs said...

What! You can bear the smell of the durian but not munch one little anchovy? I am baffled :)

tehbus said...

@WB- I will be jealous when you jet off ;)

@Helen - As I learnt, there are so many types of Durian, some bitter some sweet. They are expensive out in KL, I cannot imagine how much they would cost here!

@AIL - I will be trying to cover the intricacies of my cousins wedding, but I may not have enough page space!

@Lizzie - Durian rocks my world.

Wild Boar said...

I had really bad durian cravings at one point and bought a fruit in See Woo which cost £20 for one fruit although it was pretty big. Think it was one of the Thai durians so it wasn't as aromatic and tasty as the quality ones back in Malaysia.

Anyway it was bloody expensive :-P

furnished office rental said...

Their food are a mixture of Malay, Chinese, and Indian cuisines.