Discover The Melting Pot of Vibrant Flavors in KL

Posted by shloke 23 December 2009
A wide array of attractive and delicious tropical fruits. Clockwise: Pomegranates and mangos in Bazaar Baru Chow Kit, rambutans in KL Wholesale Market and Chestnuts in KL Chinatown. Pictures taken with my Nikon D60

What do Malaysians and tourists like about Kuala Lumpur (KL)? It's a simple one word answer - FOOD! KL food is a melting pot of fine cuisine. It comes as no surprise as we are unique in Malaysia because of our diverse culture. Our 1 Malaysia food offers an endless choice of exotic flavors and textures. Whether you enjoy bistro style dining, a sophisticated night out in a five star restaurant, or prefer a friendlier mamak experience, KL has it all.

I am a simple guy with simple needs. On weekends, I usually invite my friends to have a hearty meal at mamak stalls. It's cheap and I LOVE the vibrant atmosphere. Best of all? It is an informal and refreshing way to enjoy good company and friends. Mamak stalls are a true multi-racial melting pot, this is a place where everybody meets for a snack or a drink with friends, breakfast or just watching live football match at night.

Whenever I travel to KL, I always make it a point to find the best food in town. By far, I've tasted fiery and delicious Indian food in Brickfields, oriental Chinese delicacies in KL Chinatown and authentic Malay dishes at Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman.

Clockwise: Nasi Lemak Antarabangsa, Ketupat & Grilled Fish. Pictures taken in Kampung Baru with my Nikon D60.

Four days ago (19th December 2009), En. Azlan (company senior associate) invited me for a free lunch at Nasi Lemak Antarabangsa, Kampung Baru. KL has a collection of terrific eateries. Nasi Lemak Antarabangsa is one of them. I've wanted to try this eatery since it opened years ago as I heard many positive reviews about it. There are 10 staff members in my department. Four opted to 'balik rumah' (return home). So, the seven of us drove to Kampung Baru. We anticipated traffic jams on Saturday afternoon. Luckily, it turned out to be a smooth 30 minutes drive from our office.

I was expecting a 5-star restaurant. Upon arrival, I saw a roadside medium-sized stall with some table and chairs. That's interesting! There's a long line of customers queuing up to buy the famous nasi lemak. The food must be AMAZINGLY GOOD & TASTY!!!

I requested En. Azlan to order a plate for me (since he is a loyal customer). In the meantime, I obtained permission to snap some pictures. I was granted special access to take pictures of the eatery. OH YEAH! I stood there for 5 minutes observing the workers.

The lady helpers were busy scooping rice, meat, kacang (peanuts), ikan bilis (fried anchovies) and sambal (chilli based condiment). They greet customers with a smile and give them excellent service all the time. I was impressed! A relaxed customer is a generous customer.

Eight minutes later, En. Azlan got me a big plate of nasi lemak with extra egg, big chunks of meat (beef lungs & squids) and a generous dollop of sambal. He looked at me and uttered loudly "Loke! Stop blogging for a moment! It's time to EAT!" OMG! The customers stared at us. LOL! I smiled sheepishly. The nasi lemak is definitely 'enak', 'lazat' and delicious!

Clockwise: Keropok lekor in Kampung Baru, Murtabak in Bazaar Baru Chow Kit & Roti Sardin in Kampung Baru. Pictures taken with my Nikon D60.

This is my first trip to Kampung Baru. I am really thankful to En. Azlan for inviting us. After the lunch, I decided to stay back. I wanted to explore the food in Kg. Baru. The plate of nasi lemak has inspired me to write another article. I named this article as 'Jalan-Jalan, Cari Makan'.

Along the way, I smelled something good - a combination of grilled meat and spices. I followed the smell directly to a cozy restaurant. A young man was making 'ikan bakar' (grilled fish). He was pouring droplets of peanut oil onto the fish. At the same time, he was flipping the fish with his right hand - to ensure the fish were cooked to perfection. The taste, smell and sight trigger an uncontrollable craving. I ordered a small piece of 'ikan bakar'. It was heavenly delicious. The texture of the meat is soft and juicy. In addition, the 'cili sambal' is AWESOME! Check out my YouTube video below:

Ikan Bakar Kampung Baru. Captured with my hand phone camera.

"What is the BEST time to taste authentic Malay food in KL?" you might ask. Visit us during the annual Ramadan Bazaar. It is only during the holy month of Ramadan that you will find the Ramadan Bazaar. Three months ago, I've visited the Ramadan Bazaar in Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman and Jalan Masjid India. I've tasted great delights such as 'ikan bakar', rendang daging (hollowed bamboo rice with curried meat), Malay 'kuih' (sweet cakes) and many more.

This bazaar is an extravaganza not to be missed by overseas visitors and locals. Every year, Malaysians from all walks of life look forward to the fasting month of Ramadan. Everywhere you go, you'll see Malaysians regardless of race and religion visiting the Bazaar for their favorite food. You can find Ramadan bazaar in KL, Putrajaya, Labuan and all other cities in Malaysia.

Indian sweets and a roti canai maker. Pictures taken at Jalan Tun Sambanthan and KL Sentral in Brickfields with my Nikon D60.

Other than that, I've explored Jalan Tun Sambanthan in Brickfields to taste YUMMYLICIOUS Indian food. Brickfields is a gem on the elegant city. It's not much to look at on the outside - but once through the door, you are transported to an amazing array of Indian food. These simple restaurants capitalize on a simple-is-the-best philosophy, dishing out the most flavorful ingredients in a fast but fresh manner. 8 out of 10 Indian restaurants are packed with KL-lites waiting to savor great Indian delicacies!

I've tasted thosai, Indian sweets and curries. The sweet and spicy Indian flavors are tantalizing. In my humblest opinion, Indian curries are the BEST! Even better than my mom's homemade chicken curry.

The best time to visit Brickfields (KL Little India) is during the month long celebration of Diwali/Deepavali - Festival of Lights. Remember to check out the annual Deepavali Carnival held at KL Sentral. Visitors will be spoilt for choice with the array of tasty Indian dishes served for the Diwali Carnival. Indian food is delicious and varied, but you must try the colorful sweets such as Adhirasam, Halwa, Gulab Jamun, Burfi and Laddu. You'll enjoy this light and delicious dessert.

Clockwise: Chinese Sausages, Yau Char Kway' 油炸鬼 (Chinese doughnut) and grilled chicken. Pictures taken with my Nikon D60.

What about Chinese food? Malaysian Chinese food is derived from mainland Chinese cuisine but has been influenced by local ingredients and dishes from other cultures though it remains distinctly Chinese. You can always visit our street hawkers to get a plate of Char Kuey Teow or Yong Tao Foo. In KL, there are two places to eat delicious Chinese food - KL Chinatown in Petaling Street and Jalan Alor in Bukit Bintang.

I've tasted the BEST Assam Laksa, Yong Tao Foo and Longan drink in KL Chinatown. These stalls had lined the city's streets for nearly four decades. The recipes have been passed down from generations and are traditional secret recipes that are not found in anywhere else. The quality and taste is TOP NOTCH! KL Chinatown is definitely a gastronomic haven.

Jalan Alor is partially hidden at the back of Bukit Bintang. I LOVE the 'chap fan' (economy rice) and 'Yau Char Kway' 油炸鬼 (Chinese doughnut). The food is a bit pricey by KL standard. But rest assured, you get delicious food in return.

Looking for fresh ingredients? Get it all in KL Wholesale Market and Bazaar Baru Chow Kit. Clockwise: Salted Fish, Peeled pineapples & fresh limes. Pictures taken with my Nikon D60.

I truly enjoy my 'Jalan-Jalan Cari Makan' adventure in KL. This is not a one day 'jalan-jalan' trip. It's a year long discovery to find the best food in KL. Our Malaysian food is the best in Asia; it has the most variety and the best quality. My journey will not stop here. There are still plenty of places to explore. KL is definitely a haven for anyone who simply enjoys delicious food.

Last updated 17th March 2010 (8:16 p.m.)

Food Extravaganza - Slide show created with Photo Flash Maker Pro

Kampung Baru - Getting There:

  1. Take Putra LRT (e.g. from KLCC) to Kampung Baru station
  2. Take Monorail to Medan Tuanku station (5min walk from there)
  3. 30 minutes walk from Bukit Bintang

Kampung Baru - Google Maps:

Great Places to Eat in KL:

  1. KL Chinatown
  2. Jalan Alor Bukit Bintang
  3. Kampung Baru
  4. Brickfields
  5. Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman

Read More/Useful Links:

  1. (Wikipedia Article)
  2. (Malaysia Number 1 Food Blog)
  3. (My Journey to Jalan Alor, Bukit Bintang)
  4. (My Journey to KL Chinatown, Petaling Street)
  5. (My Trip to Ramadan Bazaar)


  1. roslan Says:
  2. I used to be a fan of Nasi Lemak Antarabangsa in Kg. Baru. But since i tried Nasi Lemak Wak Manjor just next to Antarabangsa, it becomes my regular hangout for nasi lemak. Wak Manjor's rice is softer and creamer.. try it and you will agree, as others did..

  3. shloke Says:
  4. roslan

    WOW! Thanks for sharing that. Will try out Nasi Lemak Wak Manjor soon. I guess Kg. Baru is a perfect place to savor delicious nasi lemak :)


  5. Anonymous Says:
  6. Ha ha... Now, I know why I always put on so much weights when I "balik kampung"!!

    By the way, how come your little cartoon friend looks like my Finder? My Finder is botak; your little friend is punk? Ha ha... Got red highlights, some more!!

  7. fufu Says:
  8. yau char kuay... i cant get it here >< i used to have it every morning with kopi panas before i came to germany T.T peeled pineapples?? @_@ i was thinking what the heck were they... hihihihi... anyway merry christmas ya mylo =p

  9. shloke Says:
  10. 1ondoncaller

    Our festive treats are TANTALIZING and taste GOOD!!!! 1 Malaysia food is the BEST!

    It took me some time to figure out what is 'Finder' (I'm not a Mac user). My little imaginary friend does look like Finder. LOL! It's version 1.09 :)


    Merry Christmas fufu!

    Cheers to all!

  11. Shelyn Says:
  12. The variety of food in KL is indeed diversified and delicious, but they are not meant to consume daily :p too high cholesterol and fat.

    I used to crave nasi lemak but now I have changed my habit to only eat it once in a while for the sake of health.

    Nonetheless, KL is still a good place to pamper our appetite once in a while.

  13. shloke Says:
  14. Shelyn

    Yeah....the food is really delicious. Usually, my belly ballooned a few inches during the festive season :)

    It's not so bad after all. I eat KL food all the time - in large portion. At the same time, I also exercise a lot. So, we really need to keep ourselves in balance. Eat and exercise :)


  15. Alex Says:
  16. Thanks for sharing this info. :-) Great post.

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