A Culinary Adventure through Kuala Lumpur’s Food Maze
Before making my way to Bali, I stopped over in Kuala Lumpur. Instead of just passing through, I decided to stay for the day and explore the city.
What I hadn’t taken into account or even known about when booking my flight, was that the day I would be in KL was the day the elections took place. KL was a very different place that day. Still, I organised to meet up with TK and May, both of whom run food tours in KL and knew each other beforehand. TK runs tours with Withlocals, May (also known as MK) through her own company Jalan-Jalan with MK. Both offer bespoke and uniquely curated food tours through KL’s food maze.
Even though it was election day, we were rather lucky and most food places TK and MK took me to were open as usual.
When TK and May tell you to come with an empty stomach and forget about dieting for the day, they sure do mean it. If you’ve been on a food tour before you might be able to imagine - now double or triple that idea to get just a slight insight into how much food passed through my stomach that day. I arrived on an early morning flight. By 11am I felt like I had already eaten my own body weight twice, and the day hadn’t even started properly yet.
We tasted our way through all the delicacies Malaysia has to offer, which there are many of, influenced by the wide variety of cultures and cuisines - from Indian-Middle Eastern fusions, such as Rojak (a sort of sweet and spicy fruit and vegetable salad) to Shaved Ice (also known as Cendol), to fresh Naan (the best Naan I’ve ever had!) and Sate, to Teh Tarik (Pulled Tea) to economy rice (named so because it’s a cheap bowl of rice you can top with anything your heart desires), to fried banana, to my very favourite: coconut and peanut pancakes (a Chinese-Malay fusion).
Apart from doing the best job at showing me around the most delicious places only KL locals eat at, May and TK had the best personalities - welcoming, generous, and helpful in any respect. TK even dropped me off at the airport that night to make sure I’d catch my flight.
If you only have one day in a city and want to explore the local food, instead of wasting time and calories by trying to find the best spots on your own, always meet up with a local! Withlocals is a great resource in that regard, or - if you’re stopping over in Kuala Lumpur - hit up TK and May directly. They make a great team!