Apr 5 • 6M

Couchfish Day 294: Eating KL

You are what you eat, therefore I am a bowl of pork.

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In the past entry for Kuala Lumpur, you may have picked up on a bit of a stuffing face theme. If so, you’d be on the money—when it comes to eating, KL delivers. In fact, I’d go as far as to say writing the food section for the city was about an eight-kilo task. I’m serious. So, with that in mind, let’s bounce around town for a bit of all-day grazing.

Breakfast

I have no idea why I had a heart attack last year. At Selangor Mansion. Photo: Stuart McDonald.

The most important meal of the day doctors say, but I’d rephrase it to say “get out of the hotel and enjoy it outside.” This, dear reader, is a command—not an advisory. Regular readers will know I’m a fan of roti for breakfast, so it should come as no surprise that I’m starting my day before a plate. Set by the bank of the Klang “River” in Little India, Selangor Mansion slings plates 24 hours a day, and it is humming. Their “special” is an artery choking dish of torn up roti and two runny eggs, all bathed in curry and sambal. Thank God I’ll be walking a bit today.

Second breakfast

Edging towards Chinatown, though not far away on Jalan Tun H.S. Lee sits Restoran Santa. A little more polished than Selangor Mansion, its chapatis are anything but pretentious. Light and fluffy—go on, have two.

Simple but delicious. Photo: Stuart McDonald.

Roti and chapati ingested, I need to walk, and while KL is not a great walking city, it has some great walking spots. One is KL Forest Eco Park, a patch of some 20 hectares of forest in the middle of the city. Blows the mind to think that once the whole joint was like this. Anyways, a solid hour or so walking the trails and the rope bridges gets me about a half-roti credit. If greenery isn’t your thing, try the nearby Telekom Museum.

First lunch

Chinatown-bound, I ignore the bastion of deliciousness on Jalan Ampang and push south. I’m here for one bowl but will be back later in the day. I’ve touched on Shin Kee Beef Noodles in a past post, but yes it is worth a second mention. Almost pho-like, it’s like three meals in one—just about the last thing I need.

Love in a bowl. Photo: Stuart McDonald.

There are quite a few beef noodle joints in the area, another I’ve tried nearby is Soong Kee Beef Noodles, but really, once I’ve found a bowl as good as Shin Kee’s I’m loath to risk a bad bowl by trying somewhere else.

Second lunch

From here, there’s a bit of walking and transport involved to get up to Kampung Baru. One of the best districts for Malay fare in the city, I settle in to Chunburi Seafood for two side by side dishes. On the left sits laksam and on the right nasi kerabu. Of the two, the former is my favourite, smooth thick noodles in a rich fishy broth. The heat, it sneaks up on you.

Laksam on the left—Oh My God. Photo: Stuart McDonald.

I could write a whole post dedicated only to what I’ve eaten in Kampung Baru. Many of the food walks take you through here, but it is also a great area to simply wander and explore—and eat. It is a fascinating area with plenty of history wrapped up within its borders. If there was one place I must mention, read on.

Third lunch

You didn’t think I was going to stop at two surely. It is about a twenty-minute stroll north to MZ Darul Naim. A beggar’s banquet of what seems like a million options, the ayam percik, with budu and tempoyak on the side... where is a recovery hammock when you need one?

Shut up and eat. At MZ Darul Naim.Photo: Stuart McDonald.

Intermission

Option one: Return to the guesthouse and sleep for a few hours. Option two: Head to the Petronas Towers and wander KLCC Park for a spell. While both work, I recommend seeing the tower—the views are pretty ace—then go find a shady corner in the park and sleep for a bit.

Sunset

It isn’t all that far to walk from KLCC south to Heli Lounge Bar which, as the name suggests, is a helicopter pad. Repurposed as a sunset bar, the prices are not quite as high as the 34th floor the bar sits on. I have met some very odd people here (entry coming!), adding a bonus attraction to the excellent views. Take the stairs to work off some of the food.

Advice for idiots. At Heli Lounge Bar. Photo: Stuart McDonald.

Dinner

Back into Chinatown, we go. I’m tempted to swing by Jalan Alor for some of the chicken wings at Wong Ah Wah, but, I’ve got pork on the mind. Towards the bottom of Jalan Sultan sits Seng Kee, a hole in the wall where the pork train pulled in and never left.

Start a day with eggs and finish it with one too. At Seng Kee. Photo: Stuart McDonald.

On one visit I ordered three dishes and the waiter asked if I wanted to wait for my friend—I was dining solo. If three dishes are too much, go with the clay pot pearl noodles—amazing.

A cold drink after all that eating

Unlike the food, boozing in Kuala Lumpur is not a budget game. Omakase + Appreciate and PS150 will melt your plastic faster than your ice. I prefer the latter, it has gone full tilt on a red-light theme, the drinks are great, and the crowd is well eclectic. Both can be a little tricky to find. My favourite though is Pahit, a gin bar with some comfy hidden corners to relax in.

Find a booth to share with a new friend at PS150. Photo: Stuart McDonald.

Best of all, it is only a ten-minute walk from the chicken wings on Jalan Alor.


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