This week I would like to introduce special guest blogger – Marbles who recently returned from a trip to Malaysia and is lovely enough to share her foodie experience with us. Marbles has her own fab blog – http://passthebrownpaperbag.blogspot.com/ so check it out!!
Kuala Lumpur is a stark contrast to the clean, highly Americanised streets of Singapore. I liken KL to Rome. Hustle, bustle, with a very strong undercurrent of sleaze, grime and grease (at least that’s what I experienced in Rome – I just remember the tube ride in the city being decidedly scary). I walked past markets with stall owners practically pulling on my arm to drag me towards their knock off LV bags, Gucci belts and Burberry wallets. It was really very intense.
So after traipsing through the markets, trying to get an authentic feel for the city, we felt ravenous. We strode past street hawkers that had cooked mountains of food and left it by the side of the road, cooked, to be covered in road dust and pollution. I was fairly convinced my delicate constitution wouldn’t be able to handle that, so we continued our search and found a shopping centre, called the Paragon, where all the food outlets were shiny and new. I didn’t want that either. I wanted authentic! After 30 minutes of walking up and down streets trying to find something real, I developed hunger pains and a need for an ice cold beer.
We finally decided on a little place called The Heritage that we had walked past several times that day. It had red and white checked tablecloths and deep, rich wooden interior and four big Malaysian Mafioso types hanging out the front, dripping in bling. I thought I was in an Italian Taverna, not some hot spot along Bukit Bintang, KL.
We were the first in the restaurant and were the centre of attention for the Italian knock off heavies until a passionate, loud and arguing young couple entered who were seemingly from Brazil. Finally, we felt more at ease and ready to relax into the evening.
Being more native to the region than my husband, I ordered for both of us to share a variety of dishes that included the beef satay, Nonya prawns (my mother is Nonya), and the Penang Keow Teow (pr. Kway Chow).
Satay from Malaysia is well known and an absolute must have if in the region. Some people believe that satay is from Thailand. It is not. It does in fact originate in Malaysia and they do it so well. The satay sauce was rich with big chunks of peanuts, coriander, chilli, drenched in oil and tamarind juice and was a perfect accompaniment to the succulent beef skewers. Husband and I drooled as the plate was put down in front of us and then furiously stuffed our faces with so much peanut sauce that it dripped from our chins!
The Nonya prawns were another stand out for me. A dry chilli flavour was impregnated into them through the cooking process that clearly took place on a grill or a BBQ. Each giant prawn was delicately cooked to tender perfection, yet had crispy tails that practically begged for the meat to be sucked out of them. I think I could have eaten those forever.
The Penang Keow Teow (Keow Teow means flat noodles) was divine. The only difference that I could see from the Penang Keow Teow to the ordinary Char Keow Teow was the missing fish ball (like reconstituted fish into perfect, round balls – a little plasticy), which was fine with me, since it is my least favourite part of the meal. I was so incredibly full by this stage, but I continued stuffing and stuffing and stuffing, until I could stuff no more, shovelling as much as I could as fast as my little chopsticks would allow.
We managed to inhale the whole meal in about 15 minutes. Once finished, I wanted to eat everything again, but knew that the next day we were going back to Singapore. The price of the meal was extraordinary. For the two of us to eat and have a Tiger beer, the total came to what would equate to be $24. Unbelievably good value.
Overall ambience was great –including arguing tourist couple in the mix, so I give it a three out of five.
Food was a sensational five out of five
Service was also a five out of five.
** Go the Recipes tab to see Marble’s Penang Keow Teow recipe