Many Singaporeans love travelling to Malaysia for good food and cheap buys due to the exchange rate. We are not any different as well and one of our favourite place in Malaysia for great food is Kuala Lumpur (KL). It is really weird how when I talk to friends from Kuala Lumpur, they are always talking about coming over to Singapore for nice food while we Singaporeans are complaining about how the food is Kuala Lumpur is much nicer! Our group of friends have our annual trip to KL for our favourite foods. Here is the 10 MUST-EAT items for our trip.
Top on our list is this famous roast pork. Wong Mei Kee is located in a non discreet area but gets absolutely crowded by lunch time. This place is popular with locals and long queues start to form by 12 noon even before the store operation hours of 12.30 to 3.00 pm. The freshly roasted pork comes out from the kitchen at 12.30 pm and by then many tables would have made their orders and are just waiting for their dish to arrive. The stall also sells roast chicken and honey barbequed pork which is pretty good compared to Singapore standards. For us, the roast pork shines way above the rest so we usually save our stomachs for this.
The roast pork is fatty by Singaporean standards but trust me this roast pork fats melts in your mouth the moment you bite into it. It is totally worth your calories. Note that this is true only if you have it at the stall. I have done takeaways before and while the flavours are still good, the fats get slightly oily. The pork is so well seasoned that the meat and the fats just melts to great harmony inside your mouth. I dare say this is better than those I had in Hong Kong or Guangzhou where roast pork originated. The roast pork is by Malaysian standards very expensive at about RM 110 for 1 KG of roast pork. The roast pork is all sold by weight and 1 KG would serve about 5 to 6 persons if roast pork is the only dish. I have introduced many locals and tourists to this stall and they are now re-visitors.
Address: 30, Jalan Nyonya, Pudu, 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Operating hours: 12.30 pm to 3.00 pm
Our next stop will be this to die for honey barbequed pork ( char siew ). The first time I tried this char siew was around 8 years ago and they had a stall along Jalan Alor street. They subsequently closed the stall and we finally found the original stall 3 years back. They have 2 stalls, one called Restoran Meng Kee Char Siew King located at Hicom-glenmarie Industrial Park and Meng Kee Char Siew Wanton Mee which is at a different location. The photo on the left is the Wanton Mee outlet and the right is the main Meng Kee outlet. We prefer the Wanton Mee stall as the service is so much more friendly and they allow you to order char siew on its own while the main stall will only allow you to order char siew if you order their roast chicken as well. Both stalls are equally popular so it is your preference on which outlet to visit.
The char siew is juicy and sweet and fantistically barbequed that the skin is glistening in roasted honey goodness. For those who loves their blackish bits of the char siew, this is like heaven! Every single bite of the char siew has that smokey barbequed taste to it and the meat is still juicy and tender. We usually order a plate of char siew and plain noodles. If you order the wanton noodles, they come in RM 5 – 7 sizes. A small plate of char siew will cost you about RM 17 which will feed about 2 -3 persons. The plain noodle will be only RM 3 to 4.
Address: 48, Jalan Kuchai Maju 6, Kuchai Entrepreneurs Park, 58200 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Operating hours: 7.00 am to 9.00 pm ( 6.00pm on Monday and 10.30 pm on certain days )
Our next place is a restaurant that only locals go to as it is about 15 – 20 mins ride from the city centre. It is a very traditional looking Chinese restaurant that serves many Cantonese styled dishes. There is 2 parts to the restaurant, the non air-conditioned side and the air conditioned side. If you would like to be seated in the air-conditioned side, do call for reservations as the seating is limited. We usually order only the 2 famous dish and another vegetable dish although we did hear that the other dishes are equally good. Service might not be top notched as they are really busy during meal times and you might have to wait for someone to take your order and even for the food to arrive.
The 2 dishes we always order is the claypot mee tai mak ( rice pin noodles ) as well as the prawn crispy noodles. The claypot mee tai mak comes in a gluey gravy which has egg whites, minced meat and mushrooms. The starch from the mee tai mak has thicken the gravy to a very comforting texture. It is very savoury and I personally feel that there is a slight hint of salted fish taste. You can go for bowls of this continuously. The fried noodle is crispy and the gravy is smooth and well balance. The prawns were huge, fresh and springy.
Address: 31 & 33, Jalan Serdang Raya 8/4, Taman Putra Indah, 43300 Seri Kembangan, Selangor, Malaysia
Operating hours: 10.30 am to 2.30 pm . 5.30 pm to 10.30 pm . Closed on Monday
One dish we always crave for in Malaysia is the Bak Kut Teh. Personally I love the herbal soup version better than the Singapore peppery version. I know there are better ones in Malaysia, for example in Klang or even outside of KL city centre. Personally, I think Ah Sang BKT which is located outside of the city centre has much better soup base and the meat is tastier but due to the distance, we only visited once. There are 2 in the city centre that are famous, this Ban Lee stall and another Sun Fong. We always go to this Ban Lee store as they close only in the wee hours of the morning and we can always visit them for supper after finishing our activities for the day.
Address: 222, Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah, 51200 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Operating hours: 5.30 am to 3.30 pm , 5.30 pm to 3.30 am
We discovered this breakfast restaurant only in the last 2 years. Yut Kee is a restaurant that serves traditional Hainanese dishes since 1928 and is a favourite amongst locals for breakfast. If you come around 8am to 9 am, be prepared to queue up to 30 mins or 45 mins for a seat. Our first time, we arrived around 8.30 am and there was a long queue of people waiting on red stools outside the shop. You will need to look for one of the guys holding onto a notepad to give you a number. Also be prepared to share a table with other patrons.
Some of the famous dishes here include the Hainanese pork chop, lum mee, roti babi and marble cake. The pork chop does not come in the usual tomato sauce you would expect to see in other Hainanese pork chops, instead the gravy is a light savoury sauce that comes with diced carrots and peas. The pork chop is very crispy, juicy and tender. The roti babi is basically meat in strips inside egg toast. The meat is fried with onions with a savoury gravy and wrapped into the egg toast. This is very delicious and is a great choice for breakfast. I found the lum mee and marble cake to be very normal and plain. The noodles tasted a lot like those plump yellow noodles in light soup. The beverages however are fantastic especially the milk tea and coffee.
Address: 1, Jalan Kamunting, Chow Kit, 50300 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Operating hours: 7.30 am to 3 pm ( closed on Monday)
The number 6 , and 7 dishes are from Jalan Alor. This street is usually swarming with tourist and the later in the night it gets, the crowd gets worse. Do be careful of your belongings as you walk down this street as where there is crowd, there are also petty crimes. The street used to be opened to cars as well but it has since closed during the night for pedestrians only and there are tonnes of new street side stalls. Some of these new modern stalls sell items like coconut ice cream, lok lok ( sticks of food served with satay sauce), fresh-cut fruits as well as mixture of fried food. We usually order a couple of different dishes to eat at our apartment to avoid the heat and crowd of eating at Jalan Alor.
There is a non discreet looking pop up stall at the very beginning of Jalan Alor that sells stir fried noodles with very good ‘wok hei'( defined as good heat). Our favourite includes the stir fried hokkien noodles and mee tai mak. Order the dishes with chilli as it packs a nice punch. The signboard of the stall is in red with green letterings and the name is 厨留鲜 . There is no menu but the dishes that she sells can be seen just below the signboard. A large-sized noodle will cost about RM 20 – 28 . The aunty does not have fixed operation hours so you have to count on your luck. ( the aunty has opened an outlet in Singapore RWS food court )
Another famous restaurant down the alley of Jalan Alor is Meng Kee grilled fish. The food is quite good but nothing I cannot find in Singapore so it does not make it to the list.
The 7th dish is the grilled chicken wings from Wong Ah Wah which is located at the end of Jalan Alor. It is impossible to miss this restaurant with its huge signboard and smoking chicken wing station which is right outside the restaurant. They serve a full fledge menu but the most popular item here is no doubt the chicken wings as you have to wait minimally 30 mins for your order. We ever waited for 1 hour and the order did not arrive to our disappointment and anger. The wings are grilled to perfection and the skin is crispy and the meat juicy. This is quite addictive.
The 8th dish comes from this traditional looking Cantonese restaurant. Sek Yuan is celebrating their 70th year anniversary this year. There are 2 sides to the restaurant, the newer side which is air-conditioned looks like something out of the 1980s while the older building which is the original store looks straight out from a time machine from 1950s. The entire decor of the restaurant is very vintage and all the grills and window panes feels so nostalgic. The service staff are all old and middle age and you will feel like you are in your friendly neighbourhood.
The 2 dishes that left an impression is the fried fish and the roast duck. There is nothing fanciful about the dishes but the taste is quite unforgettable. The duck is roasted to perfection and the favours are bursting from the meat while the fish is crispy to every bite. There are many good restaurants around but every dish from this restaurant is great and there is no hit and miss at all.
Address: 15, Jalan Pudu, Pudu, 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Operating hours: 11 am to 2.30 pm , 5.30 pm to 10 pm ( closed on Monday )
The 9th item I must have when I am in KL is this simple but yet so tasty grilled corn. These can be found along the street in Bukit Bintang. As the stalls are illegal, you have to hunt for these stalls. They are grilled till brown and slathered with a layer of butter and salt. The combination of the sweetness of the corn combined with the butter and salt is just gorgeous. This is different compared to steamed corn as the grilled ones has that smokey flavour that is missing in the steamed ones.
The final thing which we all love to eat in KL is either the KFC chicken in original or the A&W curly fries, root beer float and ice cream waffle. For reasons unknown, the KFC chicken in original is way better than the ones in Singapore and since A&W closed in Singapore, we can only have our favourite float in Malaysia.
As i finished this post, i am already missing all these food…