Our next travel adventure took us to Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia. Earlier in his career my travelling companion had visited another city in the northern part of Malaysia called Penang. I was fascinated with this country ever since he showed me pictures of his experiences with reptiles. Since I am no friend of creepy crawlies, we unanimously decided we wanted to experience something totally different together.
Now what is better than sharing a meal together! On doing some research we discovered this suburb in Kuala Lumpur called Bukit Bintang. This place is the hub of the best ‘street food’ experience KL has to offer. The name of this street is Jalan Alor.
So when we booked our hotel we made sure it was located as close to this famous eating spot as possible. Now during the day when we walked the street it was bustling with people going about their daily routines but at dusk a big transformation takes place in this same area. The street comes alive with people returning from work and oddly enough long queues start forming in front of sidewalk food stalls. The vendors too start filling up take out containers and there is a buzz of activity.
Passing through the street one can get the aroma of sizzling food on the make shift ovens. Big pots of steaming noodles and rice and a variety of snacks and cold drinks for sale. Most tourist like us get fascinated and you just want to get in and experience what is happening around you. So of course we joined one of the lines that was forming in front of the popular stalls.
Now the street food sold here is not only tasty but also within reach of the local Malaysian population. I would recommend trying it as you pay a fraction of the cost for the same food one would pay at a near by fancy restaurant.
The food stalls sell a mix of Chinese,Thai, Indian and Malay dishes which reflects the population of Malaysia. The dishes generally use a variety or spices and ingredients such as coconut milk, lemon grass, kaffir lime, tamarind, ginger and galangal.
Some of the tasty food that my companion indulged in over a few days of our stay was grilled meat: beef and chicken on skewers, grilled fish, a smaller version of spanish mackerel, grilled shrimp and Nasi Lemak, Malaysia’s national dish. His love for rice also led him to the stall that was selling biryani which tasted like a fusion of Indian and Malay flavours. I however, tasted a variety of snacks like the piping hot samosas, a triangular pastry with a variety of stuffings: meat, fish or potatoes.
Now this street food for sure was tasty, clean and wholesome. We enjoyed meals here savouring the flavours amidst the friendly locals who would enjoy making suggestions as to what to taste. We also did not mind the street noises while eating. On the other hand it may not be an ideal dinning experience for a person who is very fussy and does not like bustling crowds while they enjoy their dinner.
For us its all about the experience so we keep travelling!