It is because of some arcane Indian visa rule that I find myself in Malaysia for the second time in 5 months. And I would just like to say “thank you, India”. At first I was beyond irritated that the never-ending Indian bureaucracy fouled my itinerary, but, now that I am here, in foodie heaven, I am grateful to Mother India.
Nothing compares to the food of Malaysia. It is fusion at it’s finest. Chinese, Indian, Malay and Nonya cooking styles & ingredients blend in an indescribably delicious way. and despite being a predominately Muslim country, all things pig find there way onto most menus. Pork fat rules, baby.
Malaysia is a melting pot of cultures. On any given day you can see young girls in daisy dukes and platform heels, women in burquas and prada bags, Indians in saris & punk rockers with facial shrapnel (on the monorail one day I saw a young girl with a Bad Religion button & I pointed to it & told her that I, too, once liked that band, she smiled wanly as if to say “thats nice, you weirdo”).
We stayed at a minimalist Ikea design inspired guest house, where the owner, a chatty & flamboyant gay man, gave us a tour of his new guesthouse next door. He proudly told us that each room comes with all traveler amenities such as free wifi, a kettle in each room & flat screen TV & DVD player that comes with your choice of porn upon check in (straight, gay, bi, trannie… do they even have trannie porn?)
Malaysia’s food is as varied as it’s people.
Last time I was in KL, I did sample some fine food, but being with a fellow foodie helped me go out of my way to search out some hidden gems.
One night we took a street food tour with food tour malaysia and if you ever find yourself in KL it is a must do. Charles, our guide, was more like a local foodie friend taking us to his favorite joints. We made half a dozen stops & sampled some of KL’s finest hawker food. we ate non-stop from 7 pm to midnight.
Lor bak. Minced pork & chicken mixed with spices including chinese 5 spice, wrapped in thin sheets of bean curd & fried until crispy. served with a healthy portion of chili sauce.
Hianese chicken. Chicken that has been poached in aromatics such as lemongrass, garlic, & spring onions. after poaching it is plunged in ice water which gives the flesh a silky almost gelatinous texture. Unbelievably simple & delicious. served with rice (that has been cooked in the poaching liquid) broth & chili sauce.
Laksa. love in a bowl. Thick, spicy coconut soup with noodles, tofu, chicken & prawns.
The Thai sampler plate at the food court. food courts here do not have crappy food. they have some of the best food I have eaten. it's true. and Malaysians love shopping only second to eating, so it's a natural pairing.
noodles with chicken, cashews & chilies
also known as bacon, everyone's favorite snack food!
Iced kecang. very popular dessert here. Shaved iced, topped with tamarind syrup, condensed milk, green jelly things, red adzuki beans, mango & sweet corn. there are a million incarnations & everyplace & person has a different combo. It's actually pretty good
Bak Kuh Te is a chinese dish that literally means pork tea soup. It is a rich porky broth seasoned with star anise, cinnamon, garlic & shitake mushrooms. It is one big bowl of porky goodness! One bowl I got had an entire pig tail in it. I sent home several BKT spice packets so I can try my hand at it.
B to the K to the T!
Calamansi & sour plum, perfect on a hot day
typical dining establishment
simply the best chicken wings.... ever
big bowl of curry mee; rich coconutty curry with egg noodles, tofu, prawns & bean sprouts .Can you say, yummy?
These were bolsters of heaven. soft, pillows of rolled rice noodles. fried so that they have a little crust then topped with some shrimp paste, soy, sesame & spring onions.
super spicy, super porky, super good
another version of bak kuh te. oh, did i mention this is served with rounds of fried bread for dunking?
breakfast of champions
making street food
finished product. chunks of rice noodle, chilies, soy, onions & bean sprouts, served in an eco friendly take away container
The package says it all
Ipoh is a small city in northern malaysia. There is not much to do but eat. And eat we did. they are known for their bean sprout chicken, pommelos & sweet tofu.
chicken & bean sprouts. doesn't look like much but it was so good we went back 2 days in a row
the fatest, crispiest most flavorful bean sprouts I have ever eaten.
the famous Lou Wongs...best chicken & bean sprouts. After waiting with the masses we finally spied a small table way in the back and after We sat down, we asked for a menu. "no menu". I like this place already.
The infamous ipoh pommelo
preparing the chickens at lou wongs
we stumbled upon this great find....
so you get this bowl of pork ( and pork bits, like pigs ears, skin & other piggy goodies) & shrimp & dip it in curry & the MOST delicious sambal.
the trifecta of pork: crispy & spicy skin, a think layer of soft & succulent fat & sweet tender meat. amazing.
cauldron of curry
This place was so good we decided to get up early & have breakfast there before our bus… but our taxi was late so I had to settle for a cup of nescafe (in a styrofoam cup) and some weird sweet bun thing at the bus station. Very disappointing start to a travel day.
the delivery tofu cart
not so sure about this... but hey they have a FB page.
more porky good soup
I did manage to take in some sites in between all that eating. Yes, it’s true.
chinese temple in Melaka
Our guest house in Malaka
blinged out rickshaw
lanterns in a temple
next stop Indonesia…. again