Thursday, December 20, 2018

Kuala Lumpur Chinatown - Kim Soya Bean, Bunn Choon Egg Tart and a Ramly Burger

To be honest, we found Kuala Lumpur's Chinatown area fairly disappointing - lots of people selling merchandise and very little food. Still, we managed to find a few things to eat.

Right in the heart of Petaling Street is Kim Soya Bean, and it was doing a brisk business when we stopped by.

We got a bowl of warm soy pudding ("tau fu fah") and it was really, really good. Lovely, soft and creamy and swimming in lightly sweet syrup.

If you've followed our time in Hong Kong, you are aware that we developed a bit of an obsession with egg tarts there. So when we found Bunn Choon Egg Tarts on the edge of Chinatown, we had no choice but to stop in.

And when we saw they had durian flavored egg tarts, we just had to try one.

The regular tart is on the left and the durian on the right. The standard egg tart was very good. I wasn't sure what to expect from the durian version, but it turned out to be terrific. The tart itself wasn't durian flavored - there was a layer of durian jelly on the top. Very good.

Later in the day, we found ourselves back in the same area, desperate to grab something to eat. Most things were closed, but on our earlier visit had seen a Ramly burger cart just starting to set up and they were now in full swing.

Ramly burgers are definitely a thing in Kuala Lumpur. As I understand it, they are named after the Ramly patties, a product of a local fast-food company. Various street food vendors take these patties and do their own thing with them. Above is a chicken and fried egg version.

And there is a beef patty somewhere in that one, although it was hard to see (or taste) under all the other goop. Definitely a case of condiment overload for me, but it was fun to watch them make it.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Kuala Lumpur - Breakfast at Restoran Tajudin Nasi Beriani

Our first morning in Kuala Lumpur happened to be "Mawlid" - the celebration of Prophet Muhammad's birthday. What this meant was that lots of places were closed. After trying a few options and returning to our hotel in failure, we noticed that the lady at the reception desk had a tasty looking to-go breakfast.

We asked her where she got it, and she directed us a short walk away to Restoran Tajudin and we soon had delicious trays of food and hot mugs of tea in front of us.

Roti canai with dals and a very nice sambal, a super tasty potato cake, an egg, a sausage, and a curry puff for good measure. What's not to like about that?

As we were leaving, the offerings were being switched out for lunch. We'd hoped to get back here for another meal, but never managed it. Maybe on our next visit.

Kuala Lumpur - Nasi Kandar Pelita

The term Nasi Kandar has an origin involving the historical selling of rice dishes. Currently, it embodies a heady fusion of Indian and Malay food.

Nasi Kandar Pelita is a chain of restaurants, one of which is conveniently located in the center of Kuala Lumpur. It is a large, bustling food mecca and we enjoyed two dinners there.

We arrived on our first rainy evening in Kuala Lumpur a bit overwhelmed. Helped by a friendly waiter, we ordered from our table. A Roti Canai, a Chicken Biryani set, squid, and of course Nasi Kandar rice.

Our first introduction to Malaysian Roti Canai was very good, with nice layers of bread/pastry to soak up the variety of sauces.

The chicken biryani was tasty, as was the squid.

But the heart of the meal was definitely the nasi kandar rice - mostly because of the sauce. The rice here typically comes with a mixture of the cooking sauces of the various supplemental dishes. On our first visit, they brought the mixture of sauces in a dish to our table:

The sauce spooned over the rice was very, very good.

On another evening, we were more organized, and bellied up to the counter to pick out individual add-ons to our rice - fried chicken and and braised mutton, along with some greens and the necessary complement of sauces.

We also got a Masala Dosa, which was tasty and filling.

Even with two visits, I feel like we only scratched the surface here.

Nestled under the the iconic Petronas Twin Towers, Nasi Kandar Pelita is definitely a conveniently located spot.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Kuala Lumpur - Chilli Pan Mee at Restoran Kin Kin

Sometimes the simplest things are the best, and the Chilli Pan Mee at Restoran Kin Kin was one of the most enjoyable things we ate in Kuala Lumpur.

It doesn't look like much when it arrives - a bowl of noodles topped with ground pork, scallions and a flaccid egg:

But once you add a generous amount of their magic chili condiment and get everything nicely mixed together, man...

It came with a little bowl of a lightly-flavored broth - providing a good foil if you added a bit too much chili.

We left with happy bellies and a pleasant lingering burn in our mouths.

Kuala Lumpur - Breakfast at Nasi Lemak Wanjo

Nasi Lemak is coconut rice served with sambal, fried ikan bilis (dried anchovies) an egg and a host of other optional bits. It is perhaps the quintessential Malay breakfast. This version was at Nasi Lemak Wanjo in the Kampung Baru neighborhood of Kuala Lumpur.

In addition to the staples, you choose your own extras. We got one plate with beef rendang:

and another piled high with chicken (fried, and rendang):

The rice was really good, with more coconut flavor than other versions I've had, and both the beef and the chicken were very tasty.

The place was bustling on a Saturday morning, but everything was run very efficiently and the line moved quickly.

Washed down with some iced milk tea, this breakfast really hit the spot.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Kuala Lumpur - Curry Puff and Kuih Bakul at Brickfields Pisang Goreng

After having lunch in the Brickfields neighborhood, we found ourselves in the vicinity of a famous pisang goreng (fried banana) cart, so we stopped by to check it out.

Unfortunately, they had not been able to get their banana stock and so fried banana was off the menu. Not to be deterred, we ordered a curry puff and a kuih bakul.

The kuih bakul was a caramelized rice cake wedged between a slice of sweet potato and a slice of daikon radish, then deep fried. Sounds like a strange combo, but it was really good.

We didn't have belly room for the curry puff until later in the day.

Chunks of chicken and potato with a super savory curry mixture and a nice, flaky crust. Even cold, this was one of the best curry puffs I've had.

Kuala Lumpur - Peter's Pork Noodle and Curry Laksa at Moneys Corner Food Court

One day we were wandering around the Brickfields neighborhood of Kuala Lumpur and needed something to eat. I'd read about a food court in the area. I'd heard it was a bit hard to find, and I'm glad I did my research since we would never have found it otherwise.

A little sign points down a nondescript alley way. Walking down, and ducking in through a dim doorway, we emerged into a bustling little food oasis packed with people on their lunch break.

After finding one of the few empty seats, we ordered a bowl from "Peter's Pork Noodle".

It was simple, but really satisfying - a delicate pork broth with rice noodles, greens and a generous amount of tender pork slices.

There was a stand right near our table selling curry laksa, so we jumped at the chance to get a bowl of that as well.

Also really good.

The intense, curry-flavored broth was still light enough to be eaten as a soup. It was packed with assorted fish balls, bits of fish cake, a bit of chicken and a mound of nicely textured round wheat noodles.

Seated at a table with a group of friendly locals that seems somewhat surprised that we'd found our way here, it was a very enjoyable lunch.

Kuala Lumpur - Banana Leaf Thali at Bakti Woodlands

One of the areas we stayed in while visiting Kuala Lumpur (near the Masjid Jamek metro stop) had a wealth of Indian food within a few blocks radius. We had never had a thali before, so one afternoon we stopped into Bakti Woodlands vegetarian restaurant to rectify this hole in our culinary experience.

A thali is a platter-for-one containing an assortment of foods - often served on a banana leaf, either spooned on directly, or presented in small containers.

We got a North Indian thali - pictured at the top of this post, and below:

And a "mini" thali:

Which wasn't particularly mini at all - it just came with less rice.

Both were delicious. Nicely seasoned rice, flatbreads, papadums with lime pickle, and an assortment of tasty dals and chutneys. The yellow cubes you see in the picture above were a sort of dessert - kind of like a sugary fudge. The single chili on the platter was really interesting - it was very salty, and crumbled easily so that you could use it as a condiment.

Definitely the kind of meal I could be happy having on a regular basis.