Discovering Kuala Lumpur’s local food scene is akin to stumbling upon a gastronomic holy grail. From Malay to Chinese and Indian cuisines, you can spend your entire day feasting and still not uncover all of the city’s culinary secrets. Don’t step out of KL without ticking these dishes off your list first:
Nasi Lemak - Skip the toast and seek out Malaysia’s national dish for breakfast. Its literal translation is ‘fragrant rice’, and it doesn’t disappoint - fistfuls of fluffy coconut rice are joined by crispy anchovies, peanuts, an egg and a dollop of sambal. Most stalls give the option of add-ons like a fried fish or chicken and squid. The very traditional stalls still serve the dish swaddled in a large pandan leaf for additional fragrance.
Char Kway Teow - If there was one dish that is a must-try, it would be Char Kway Teow. This culinary opus consists of steaming sheets of rice noodles drenched in a dark soya sauce and wok-tossed with prawns, cockles, beansprouts and Chinese chives. The result is a sweet and savoury dish that is worth every calorie.
Ramly Burger - When it comes to supper options, the Ramly burger is king. Wander the streets and look out for street stalls brandishing the iconic yellow-maroon logo. The burger is made out of either a beef or chicken patty, onions, an egg, cabbage, cheese and various other seasonings that will surely hit the spot.
Bak Ku Teh - When all else fails, there is always a warm, comforting broth to lean on. Bak Ku Teh is a well-loved dish in both Malaysia and Singapore, consisting of a herbal broth served with chunky strips of pork ribs. It is frequently savoured alongside a small bowl of fried dough fritters, which take on a different consistency when dunked into the soup.
Durian - The legend of the king of fruits has enthralled and repulsed many a visitor to South East Asia. But beneath its robust smell and thorny exterior lies a creamy, bitter-sweet gem that is revered by locals in this region. It is a must-try, at least so you can say you’ve done it.