Kuala Lumpur is probably the perfect holiday venue for food-seekers. An astonishing selection of restaurants and food can be found under one roof, that is Kuala Lumpur (and neighbouring Selangor region). The selection of food (or rather, local food) is commonly an appetizing mix of the three main ethnic group that is Malay, Chinese and Indian, although there are also various food outlets catered for holiday makers to feel at home in case they are not used to the local food.
During your stay in Kuala Lumpur, be sure to try some of the most common local food which is Nasi Lemak, satay, Bak Kut Teh and roti canai, among others.
Nasi Lemak is commonly synonymous to the Malay ethnic group and literally means "oil rice" but it is actually rice cooked in coconut milk to give it a fragrant smell. It is normally eaten with sambal (spicy paste to complement the rice), peanut, anchovies and cucumber with egg or some fried chicken.
Satay means sticks of meat or skewered meat (chicken, lamb, beef, rabbit, venison being the common few) eaten with peanut sauce together with cucumber, onions and ketupat (packed rice, dumpling-like).
Bak Kut Teh has to be the most common typically Chinese food (non-halal as it contains pork). It literally means "meat bone tea (soup)" and is a herbal soup in which meat (normally pork and its various parts) are cooked and served with rice.
Roti Canai is a common Indian dish which is a type of flatbread available in mamak stalls. Roti canai is made by flattening the dough and skillfully twirling it until it becomes a very thin sheet and then folded. It is then grilled over a flat pan. Some of the more popular forms of roti canai (varying in terms of the ingredients used) are roti telur (egg) and roti bawang (onion), among others.
Teh Tarik, a mixture of tea and sweetened condensed milk is a common hot beverage found in mamak stalls (outdoor food stalls), restaurants and coffeeshops in Kuala Lumpur. It is the unofficial national drink. Its name literally means "pulled tea" and it is derived from the preparation process. The mixture is poured back and forth between two mugs from a certain height (to cool the tea and mix it well), giving it a thick cappucino-like top. It is said to produce a better tasting tea. The ability to drag a long stream of tea is an amusing novelty for the locals and tourists. Some skilled brewer are able to incorporate some tricks to the "pulling" process, leaving some viewers applauding and amazed.
If you want your teh tarik to be less sweet, do note to say "teh tarik kurang manis". A variant of the teh tarik is teh halia, which is ginger tea and is best taken during chilly weather.
Durian, widely known as the "King of Fruits" is a thorny tropical fruit (as its name means) and can be easily sighted in Kuala Lumpur. The durian is known for its thorny outlook, distinctive strong and pungent odour. Normally, one would have a love-hate relationship with its edible flesh. Some regard it as fragrant, some would just run away at the sniff of it. Try it for yourself and live to tell the tale.
After consumption of the fruit, wash your hands and gargle your mouth with water from the husk and it is believed to take the odour away.
Dataran Merdeka - Kuala Lumpur
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"I see my path, but I don't know where it leads. Not knowing where I'm going is what inspires me to travel it" - Rosalia de Castro