Who needs to travel the world when they can travel to Kuala Lumpur Malaysia and discover three different worlds in one day? Kuala Lumpur is the capital of Malaysia and the largest city meaning it’s just bursting with life. Malaysia is a mixing pot of three distinct cultures – Malay, Indian and Chinese so you can bet your bottom dollar that the food is
insanely good AMAZING.
Get a serviette ready because you’ll be drooling by the end of this, we’re off to eat Kuala Lumpur!
Watch the two videos on Kuala Lumpur Food Tour here:
As soon as I stepped off the plane my stomach was growling so by the time I went through customs and the hour-long drive from the airport I was like a ferocious beast who needed to eat ASAP. Thankfully just around the corner from my hotel (near the national library) I stumbled upon Roti Valentine.
If you travel to Kuala Lumpur, you absolutely have to go to Roti Valentine. It’s a no thrills roadside restaurant with shitty service and the occasional rat running around but don’t let that put you off. Roti Valentine serves up the best roti in Kuala Lumpur.
For only 50c AUD/ 36c USD you can get a freshly cooked Roti Canai served with Sambal, Daal and Chicken Curry.
If you need something a little more substantial try one of their signatures, Roti Valentine ($1.99 AUD/ $1.45 USD) – roti stuffed with cabbage, onion, chives, tomato and sardines. Make sure you grab a Teh Tarik (57c AUD/41c USD) to wash it all down with!
No. 1, Jalan Semarak,
54000 Kuala Lumpur
Operating Hours: 5:30 PM – 2:00 AM, closed Sunday.
Minji Bak Kut Teh
I can’t tell you how many times I was recommended to try Bak Kut Teh during my two-week stay in Kuala Lumpur. I was even lucky enough to have a grab (like uber/lyft ) driver show me to his favourite place.
Bak Kut Teh is extremely popular with the Chinese community in Malaysia and consists of pork ribs/other types of pork cooked in a complex broth of Chinese herbs and spices. The name literally translates to meat bone tea. There is, in fact, no tea in the dish but instead refers to the tea you’re meant to drink alongside it to wash down the fattiness of the dish.
I ordered the Pork ribs ($6.08 AUD/$4.35 USD) and Pork Tendon ($6.31 AUD/$4.59 USD) (on the recommendation of the owner) to try. The soup base for the ribs was very cinnamony and left a sweet taste in the mouth, the meat on the ribs just fell off and went perfectly with spicy soy sauce provided on the side.
The pork tendon was nothing like I expected, it was like gelatine. Not a huge fan but the flavour in the dish was good! Super concentrated and very medicinal.
A dish you should defiantly try whilst you’re in Kuala Lumpur!
Minji Bak Kut Teh
7-6, Jalan Sungai Besi,
57100 Kuala Lumpur
Operating Hours: 9:30 am – 9 pm – 7 days a week.
Lot 10 Hutong Food Court
If you’re looking for to try some authentic food but feel a little overwhelmed on where to go then head to Lot 10 Hutong Food Court.
The owner of the mall Dr Franics Yeow convinced the owners of some of Malaysia’s most famous hawker stalls set up a stall here. Given the mall’s located in the popular Bukit Bintang the prices here are little more than you would find at a proper hawker stall but you’re paying for convenience. Don’t worry you’re not going to break the bank the prices are still less than a fiver
Porco Macau Pork Chop Bun ($4.39 AUD/$3.14 USD)
I had high hopes for this dish, it is after all pork marinated in herbs and spices, fried and placed into a warm buttered Portuguese bun. The bun it was on was good, soft, warm and buttery. I could happily eat that on its own, the rest of it I found underwhelming. The pork was oily and I felt there needed to be a sauce to ramp up the flavours.
Kim Lian Kee ($4.87 AUD/$3.50 USD)
The Hokkien Mee from Kim Lian Kee, it is said he invented the very popular dish over 100 years ago. The uniqueness of this stall is that they still use charcoal to cook the noodles. The noodles are rich and dark packed full of pork and you can defiantly taste the smoky wok flavour in the dish.
Kin Kin Chilli Pan Mee ($3.68 AUD/$2.63 USD)
In the 1980s husband and wife duo decided to combine two things they loved – spicy food and runny egg yolks. Thus the Chilli Pan Mee was born. The dish is made up of chewy flour noodles, dried fried chilli, minced meats and crispy anchovies and a poached egg. You crack the egg and use the yolk to make a “sauce”.
This was my favourite dish in all of KL, the chewy noodles mixed with spicy chilli, salty crispy anchovies and creamy yolk all mixed so well together to create an absolute flavour bomb.
Lot 10 Hutong
50, Jalan Sultan Ismail
50250 Kuala Lumpur
Operating Hours: 10 am – 10 pm – 7 days a week.
Every great city has a Chinatown and Kuala Lumpur is no exception, especially when 43% of Kuala Lumpur’s population is Chinese. Chinatown is centred around Petaling Street and is always bustling with vendors selling the same items as the last ready to go into a bidding war with you. If you’re anything like me that’s not the reason you go there. The reason is the Chinese street food
The optimum time to head to Chinatown is late afternoon, this is when street food vendors come out and the street sides fill with table and chairs for hungry patrons to fill their stomachs alfresco.
From Char Sui to Chicken Rice Claypot, whatever Chinese delicacy you’re craving you’ll find it here. Just pull up a seat and get eating!
Char Siu ($3.33 AUD/ $2.41 USD)
The Char Siu was caramelised perfectly with a good sweet honey glaze. Unfortunately, the fat to meat ratio was a little off. The meat had cooled down so I was just eating cold fat, not the best.
Wantan Mee Dry ($2.66 AUD/ $1.93 USD)
The noodles were chewy and the greens fresh and crispy but the dish lacked flavour, the only flavour was soy sauce.
Popiah (for one $1 AUD/ 72c USD)
This is Malaysia’s version of a fresh spring roll. Filled with fresh crunchy vegetables and topped with a sweet bean sauce. To me, this tasted just like a peking duck pancake just without the duck – obviously.
Jalan Petaling, Kuala Lumpur
Operating Hours: different stores open at different times, the best time to go is just after sundown.
Little India – Vishal Food and Catering
Another huge ethnic group in Kuala Lumpur is Indian and there’s a whole neighbourhood known as “Little Indian” or Brickfields.
There are so many wonderful and flavour places to eat at in Brickfields but one of my favourites and an extremely popular place is Vishal Food and Catering. Here they serve up a typical South Indian dish known as Banana Leaf Rice.
A banana leaf is placed down then topped with a pile of rice and vegetable curries/yogurt. Huge trays of different curries and fried goods are carried around from table to table where you can choose the curries you want – be careful some of these curries are extremely spicy. Not only is the food delicious but it’s also an experience eating here because there are no knives or forks you have to eat with your hands, so be prepared to get a little messy!
Banana Leaf with just the Rice and Vegetable Curries $2 AUD/$1.45 USD.
Additional Curries vary in price, usually around $2.16 AUD/$1.57 USD each.
Vishal Food and Catering
No. 15, Jalan Scott ,
Off Jalan Tun Sambanthan,
50470 Kuala Lumpur.
Operating Hours: 7am – 11 pm – 7 days a week
Note: prices may vary depending on the exchange rate – these are the prices whilst I was there in September 2018.