Thursday, May 06, 2010

April 7, 2010: Kuala Lumpur II

On Wednesday morning we decided to see a little more of KL via the hop-on hop-off bus. At RM38 (~$12.90) for a 24-hour ticket, it's priced very much for the tourists without being outrageously expensive.  (However, if you're only planning a couple of stops in your day, other forms of public transport are a lot cheaper.)  We made our first stop on Bintang Walk, a densely packed strip of shopping malls.  None of the merchandise took our fancy but the air-conditioning was a relief from the unrelenting sticky air outside and of course, Michael is always up for a coffee.

We checked out one of the kopitiams.  At this one the wait staff didn't seem to speak English, yet it was still easy to order - we were presented with single-use paper menus where we marked what we wanted.  Michael's Iced Blended White Coffee was cold, it was coffee and it was RM5.90 (~$2.00) so it was perfect.

Keen for something refreshing and game for something new, I tried an Iced Cucumber Sour Plum (RM3.50 ~ $1.20).  It was certainly cooling and definitely refreshing in its way but frankly, it was not my kinda drink.  Oh well.

Kaya toast (RM2.20 ~ $0.70) is my kinda snack though - especially when the toast is crispy with a little butter on the outside.

Mall-trekking further, we gradually made our way to our lunch destination, an all-vegetarian food court called Blue Boy.  When we got to what seemed like the right address, we hit the apartment block pictured above.  It didn't look promising or welcoming.  But thank the Supreme Master we bothered to venture round the side, because there it was!

Hot, dazed and relieved, we wandered in and found ourselves a table.

Before we'd even had time to assess the options or the procedure we were greeted by a friendly staff member, enquiring what we'd like to eat.  I hadn't a clue!

Michael, however, knew he was after some char kway teow and our host had it sorted in minutes. This was a tangy, noodle-y treat - rich with tofu, tamarind, soy sauce and just a hint of chilli.  If anything, the heat could have been turned up a little higher, but at RM4 (~ $1.40) you couldn't really complain.

To me he asked, "Can I make a recommendation?  Have the curry noodle.  Can you take chilli?"  I meekly replied that I could take a little chilli and went with his tip.  Naturally he was right on the money - the curry noodle soup (RM4 ~ $1.40) was tremendous, with a lip-smacking medley of veges, tofu puffs and mock meat slices amongst the noodles and broth.  The chilli, I could handle.  Just.

With a few spare tables dotted around, we didn't feel rushed.  Michael finished my curry noodles and I prodded the unusual-looking lime in my iced tea (RM2 ~ $0.70).  All it took was the first motion of gathering our bags and another staff member was upon us, sorting out payment at the table.  Too easy!  Well, it was once we'd found the place.

After a little more wandering, we returned to the bus and travelled onwards to Chinatown and the Petaling market.

The market is best known for its fake designer gear and pirated DVDs, which the stall holders showed off to anyone within earshot.

We resisted the merchandise, concentrating on the fruit...

... and the cendol!

These king-sized cups of cendol supplied some much-needed fluid, as well as the novelty of canned corn amongst the beans and noodles.  

Eventually I was utterly wandered out.  Unable to drag myself to the nearest park, we ended up just sitting and resting on a small patch of grass by the side of the road.  Once the clock ticked past 5pm we agreed that we could legitimately eat an early dinner at a nearby vegetarian restaurant, Fatt Yan.

This turned out to be another Supreme Master establishment, and we were treated to another friendly and chatty staff member on the floor.  Like our host at lunch, he knew what we needed to order better than we did, lining us up with spicy chicken rice and Mongolian rice (RM5.50 ~ $1.90 each).  This was exactly what I wanted to eat at that moment, filling and a little spicy without being excessively rich. As we finished our meal we heard a little of our host's past travels to Australia and he even brought out one of the 'Chinese lemons' that had been used in my honey-lemon drink - it was just like the limes in my lunchtime iced tea.

Exhausted and well fed, we returned once again to the bus.  Following its loopy path slowly back to our hotel, we glimpsed some of the attractions we'd be missing out on - the National Museum, the Bird Park, Titiwangsa - all of them quiet or closed this late in the day.


  1. Wow... Petaling St markets got all fancy, with what looks like a retractable roof? when I was little I had many rain soaked shopping adventures there.

    Its a pity you didn't make it to the Bird Park, that was a place we always used to take our visitors when we lived there. The highlight for me was always the burger at Carls Jnr afterwards in the park (back in the meat eating days!) surrounded by some extraordinary looking birds, looking to steal a bite.

    From memory Lake Titiwangsa wasn't anything special... I fell in the lake once when on a paddle boat and the murky scummy water well and truly grossed me out.

    LOVING these updates :)

  2. it always seems so right when you have friendly service at an all veg place - those curry noodles look amazing - the cucumber and sour plum sounds challenging and I love the colour

  3. OMG. Kaya roti. Char Kway tiao! Miss all those food.

  4. These posts are so much fun - and when I see the combination of delicious food + cheap prices for said delicious food, I think back to my European travels and my bank account cries.

    Next trip really must be to Asia...

  5. Thanks, Christine! We might have visited the Bird Park if we'd been in KL longer, but our other birding adventure was a very worthwhile alternative. :-)

    Hi Johanna - the curry noodles would probably rate as one of my favourite Malaysia meals. The cucumber drink, not so much!

    Penny - have you ever found kaya in Melbourne? I'd like to eat it more often. :-)

    Hannah, glad you've had fun with us! The Malaysia portion of our trip was certainly gentle on our Aussie bank accounts.