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10 Must Try Food in Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur is a melting pot of different cultural influences, and its cuisine is astoundingly diverse. Choosing which one to try can be difficult, so to narrow things down for you, here are the 10 must try food you shouldn’t miss:

1. Nasi Lemak

Nasi Lemak

This is my go to food whenever I am in Kula Lumpur.  What I like most about this dish is the perfect marriage of all its flavors and textures – rich aromatic rice cooked with coconut milk, hot and spicy sambal, crunchy anchovies, hard boiled egg and roasted peanuts which make it simply divine!  You can find Nasi Lemak literally anywhere, on the street and in restaurants.

2. Asam Laksa

 

penangassamlaksa6

Asam Laksa is another personal favorite of mine though it can really be very spicy! This dish is a mixture of slippery glass noodles drowned in a sour and spicy broth made by stewing mackerel flakes, tamarind juice, sambal, mint leaves, lemongrass, onions, and chili.  I like the tangy kick to it which somehow tame the spiciness a little bit. I highly recommend this dish – full of flavors and heartily satisfying meal.

3. Roti Jala

roti

I love the look of this dish, so classy! This dish is a cross between noodle and pastry, roti jala is a yellow net-like crepe, made from rice flour, with an almost gelatine consistency. It has a lacy appearance, frequently serves as an alternative to rice, and is especially popular during festive celebrations. Cooked on a hot griddle, the square-shaped crepe comes with a variety of side servings, from a customary thick and savory chicken curry with potatoes, or chicken and beef rendang, or spicy Indian-style dry mutton squares, or even chicken kurma (a mildly spicy yogurt-based curry).

4. Hokkien Mee

Hokkien

Every time I visit Kuala Lumpur, I always look forward to eating Hokkien Mee.  The noodles they use in KL are very different from the type used in Singapore – it is thicker, pale yellow with a starchy texture that really defines KL Hokkien Mee. The flavor is further enhanced by a thick black sauce, a sliced pork, prawns, and cabbage.  I usually eat this dish with “calamansi” (Pinoy counterpart of lime) drenched all over the noodles to boost the overall flavor.

5. Mee Rebus

mee-jawa-03

This dish is also called “mee jawa”, this dish of fat yellow noodles immersed in thick, sweet and slightly spicy beef stock. What I like about this dish is that it is not overpowering to the taste buds, the translucent brown gravy binds all the ingredients perfectly together, which includes squares of tofu, sweet potatoes, bean sprouts, half of a boiled egg, fried onions, chili slices, and roasted peanuts. This simple dish would surely bring you down memory lane as you savor the different flavors that are deliciously good.

6. Otak Otak

otak otak

This dish is a perfect starter to an authentic Malay meal.   It is a grilled  fish cake mixed with tapioca starch and spices. Otak Otak is delicious with a very complex taste, and the aroma of the banana leaf just makes it  even more flavorful.

7. Ayam Perchik

ayam percik

Ayam perchik is quite popular and easily found in Malay restaurants around the city.  In Malay, “ayam” means “chicken” and “percik” means “splash”, which actually refers to how the chicken is prepared. Marinade is constantly “splashed” to the chicken while being grilled. I am a big fan of this dish, with chicken that has been marinated in coconut milk, onions, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, and chili, and then roasted. What makes it so great is the fact that the meat is tender and juicy and, when paired with white rice and a side serving of salad, makes for a terrific meal.  This is quite comparable to a chicken BBQ in the Philippines 🙂

8. Ikan Bakar

Gurame-bakar

If you are a health conscious traveler then this dish is for you. In Malay, bakar means roast or burnt while ikan means fish. Put the two together and you’ve got burnt roasted fish. What makes this dish special is the sauce used to marinate the seafood.  It is often splashed with bright orange chili sauce as it roasts and best eaten with steaming rice. The spiciness of the sauce will make you crave for more!

9. Pork Noodles

pork_belly_ramen_noodles

A basic bowl of pork noodles is topped with pork mince patty, pork slices, your choice of pig innards and vegetables. You also have the option to add an egg to give the broth a creamier taste.  The broth is the key to a standout pork noodles, and I like mine with egg!

10. Char Siew

char siew

Char siew is for the meat lover. Char siu literally means “fork burned” which is a reference to the traditional preparation, skewered and barbecued over a fire.  It has a good amount of fat and a ginger kick that you will taste at the end of a mouthful. It is served with cucumbers, white rice and drenched in sweet gravy or drizzled with dark soy sauce.What I like about  char siew is that it is moist and flavorful on the inside and caramelized and slightly chewy on the outside and the skin is so crispy! It’s like eating spicy  “Lechon Kawali”  (deep fried pork belly) 🙂

Devour each dish  with a glass of teh tarik. So go ahead and give it a try!

Which is the best food in KL you have ever tried?  Write it down as a comment below!

Photo Credits:

  • Asam laksa  Photo by rasamalaysia.com
  • Roti jala Photo by kellysiewcooks.com
  • Hokkien Mee Photo by flickr.com –  su-lin
  • Mee rebus Photo by keeprecipes.com
  • Otak Otak Photo by Cara Membuat
  • Ayam Perchik Photo by localfavourites.com
  • Ikan Bakar Photo by kulinersehat.com
  • Pork noodles Photo by westword.com
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31 comments on “10 Must Try Food in Kuala Lumpur

  1. sarah
    December 11, 2015

    Wow these all look delicious! I love the way they use boiled egg and peanuts combined with a bit of spice in many of their dishes. It may seem like an odd combo to us Westerners but I find it amazing!

    Like

    • Ynah CA
      December 11, 2015

      Using eggs to enhance the flavor of the dish is common among Asian countries. We do the same in the Philippines 🙂

      Like

  2. NYC JetSetter
    December 11, 2015

    Darn!! I was just there but it looks like I missed some dishes!! They all look yummy.

    Like

    • Ynah CA
      December 11, 2015

      Awwww too bad! You can always go back 😉

      Like

  3. Claudia
    December 11, 2015

    An order of Ayam Perchik please!!

    Like

    • Ynah CA
      December 12, 2015

      Coming right up Claudia! Hahaha.. Great choice!

      Like

  4. anitahendrieka
    December 12, 2015

    Oh my gosh these dishes looks all so good!!

    Like

    • Ynah CA
      December 12, 2015

      They do Anita, hope you could give it a try!

      Like

  5. Dang Travelers
    December 12, 2015

    Wow! I’m so hungry right now. Great pictures! #4 Hokkien Mee looks especially scrumptious.

    Like

    • Ynah CA
      December 12, 2015

      Haha… Thank you Dang Travelers! Hokkein Mee is indeed mouth watering dish 🙂

      Like

  6. Jessica Ayun
    December 12, 2015

    Roti Jala for the win! Haha. Even without explanations, your photos are more than enough to convince me to try them all.

    Like

    • Ynah CA
      December 12, 2015

      Haha… Well loved dish! Simple yet flavorful 🙂

      Like

  7. Marta - Learningescapes
    December 12, 2015

    Mmmm they all look delicious! I love noodles: I’m having breakfast and despite it, I’d have a bowl of pork noodles right NOW! Follow by Asam Laksa please (never tried, but going by the looks seems something I’d really enjoy) 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ynah CA
      December 13, 2015

      You can never go wrong with noodles Marta! As for Asam Laksa it quite intense with spices but the marry of each create a unique flavor. Hope you could try one of this days 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Carol Colborn
    December 12, 2015

    Mouthwatering pictures! A lot of them have similarities to Filipino cuisine, like our otap that looks like otak. I should have tried more and probably I would have liked it as much as Thai food.

    Like

    • Ynah CA
      December 13, 2015

      Thank you Carol! Yes, they do look the same but the flavor is very much different 🙂

      Like

  9. TheBohoChica
    December 13, 2015

    Wow, you’ve got me hungry. I’d love to try Roti Jala- looks so interesting!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ynah CA
      December 13, 2015

      Roti Jala is a good choice! Its a very simple dish but flavorful 🙂

      Like

  10. Grietje | TravelGretl
    December 13, 2015

    Ohoow! This list makes me hungry! We had some kind of thick noodles in Vietnam too, it tasted amazing! Probably a slightly littlebit different all over asia, love them 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ynah CA
      December 14, 2015

      Yes, I think it’s the combination and of spices that makes the difference. Hey, I love Vietnamese food too – very light and hearty 🙂

      Like

  11. Jesper
    December 14, 2015

    That’s great. I just had lunch. Now I’m hungry again. Thanks for that.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. An interesting look into the cuisine of KL. I also wonder if there are any Vegetarian dishes to try?

    Like

    • Ynah CA
      December 15, 2015

      There are several vegetarian dishes that you can try such as “ulam” – Its Malaysia’s traditional salad. It can be eaten alone or with rice.

      Like

  13. Interesting look into the cuisine in KL. Are there any Vegetation dishes to try?

    Like

  14. Julius from Traveltipy
    December 15, 2015

    Wow, these meals look so delicious! The one thing, however, I don’t like on Asian meals is that they are just too spicy. So spicy that you don’t feel anything else than how spicy it is. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ynah CA
      December 15, 2015

      Hi Julius! I don’t like my food super hot (spicy) too. You can always ask the vendor to lessen the spice each time you order and they will be happy to do that 😉

      Like

  15. whenbrazilmetgreece
    December 16, 2015

    Oh God, we’re hungry ritght now!
    This Ikan Bakar seems delicious (in fact everything looks delicous, god x2!). We can’t wait to have some!

    Like

    • Ynah CA
      December 17, 2015

      Hello there! Thank you so much and I hope you’ll get the chance to give it a try 🙂

      Like

  16. Ruth - Exploramum
    December 19, 2015

    Ive just been to Malaysia a little over a month ago. So your article brings back memories of amazing food!

    Like

    • Ynah CA
      December 19, 2015

      Glad you had an amazing food adventure in Malaysia Ruth 🙂

      Like

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