Though sad about leaving the country that had been our home for a year, we were thoroughly excited to arrive in our next port of call – Kuala Lumpur. And to be honest, it doesn’t get any more dramatic than the view that we were greeted with outside our BLINGING hotel window…
It doesn’t get much more Kuala Lumpur-ish than that, right?! A tropical thunderstorm complete with sheet lightening and a killer view of the Petronas Towers, all from our bed. Life outside Korea might not be so awful…!
Of course, one of the main reasons we wanted to visit KL was to eat. So as soon as we had picked our jaws up from our hotel room floor, we were off to explore the heart of KL’s food scene – Jalan Alor, affectionately known as ‘food street’. Sounds like our kinda place!
Both sides of Jalan Alor are lined by endless rows of stalls and outdoor restaurants, interspersed with hawker stands selling fruits, barbequed meats, whole ducks, grilled bits and pieces; the smells are extraordinary and the buzz of the people both selling and eating is incredible.
Of course, all this choice, temptation and intoxication of foodiness creates one hell of a dilemma for two wee holiday makers who adore stuffing their faces – how on earth to pick what to eat? Which stall would be the best? Should we eat inside or outside? What amazing food to sample? Argggghhhhh. Once again our life was proving extremely difficult.
In true waterfallandcaribou style we decided on the most sensible and effective decision – eat as many different things as we could until we got close to exploding. Turns out this was to set the tone for the next four days. Buffet pants, here we come again!
Chili crab was first on the ‘to-eat’ list. Words fail to describe just quite how delicious this crustacean was. He was swimming in an ambrosia of chili, garlic, ginger, tamarind and, we think, essence of something from somewhere resembling heaven.
It also seemed wrong to be here and not order the perhaps most eaten Malaysian dish – the stuff that has nurtured us through our first teenage jobs (Dan), kept us fed while living a rather poor boho lifestyle in Wellington and been the standard dish for many a gathering at the local cheap and cheerful. Laksa!
Grilling sticks of various meats had an insanely alluring smell so this seemed like a great place to indulge next. In the spirit of the night, we chose not to choose a single meat and went for a variety of delightful meatiness.
While H-J generally likes to drown her satay meat in about a ton of glorious peanuty satay sauce, this particular meat in question was so juicy, so flavourful from its basking over coals and so, so damn tasty that the sauce came off a definitive second best.
Jalan Alor is a hub of industrious people working super fast. The food takes next to no time to arrive and is so fresh, so delicious and blah blah blah. Just really awesome, basically. All the better for us to continue on our path of food-packed destruction!
Next on the agenda was a steaming heap of char kway teow, a noodle dish redolent with dark soy sauce, chili, shrimp paste, prawns, cockles, bean sprouts and chopped Chinese chives. Served on top of a banana leaf, it looked as beautiful as it tasted.
Still more room in our bellies to fill, it was time to order one our favourites from the Malaysian takeaways back home and see how its REALLY done – steamed chicken rice.
Oh we also managed to squish in some delicious roti bread which was so good that we went for round two, this time ordering roti telur, a version made with egg and filled with cheese. This is the kind of stuff we’d eat for breakfast every day, given the chance! And who knew, perhaps in Kuala Lumpur we might just do that!
It was about this point that we reached out limit – oh yes, we actually have one! Even by our standards it was a pretty impressive couple of hours eatin’. Having only been in Kuala Lumpur for the evening thus far, we were excited about lay ahead over the next few days. In the meantime, it was back to our hotel room for one last glimpse of the towers before collapsing into a well earned food coma.