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February 2015

In Malaysia, Travel on
February 25, 2015

Travel | Kuala Lumpur

 

So….. I never quite got a chance to edit and write up a post on my Kuala Lumpur trip last year simply because there was way too many pictures to sort through and way too much to write about. But it was simply too good not  to blog about so I’ve condensed it down into one post so I can salivate over the many yummy eats some time in the future haha (:

 

 

I’m the kind of traveller whose only interest is in shopping and eating so Kuala Lumpur was the perfect destination for me. With cheap street food just about everywhere, and endless amounts of shopping centres,  we ended up swapping all the sight seeing in the original itinerary for more shopping and eating. 

Lot 10 Hutong
First time trying popiah 🙂

And what better place to start than Lot 10 Hutong? The collection hawker stalls meant that we were able to try a little bit of everything, and all in the comfort of an air conditioned food court.

Fishball Noodles (Dry Noodles)

Each stall has it’s own specialty, and we wished we had the stomach space to try all of them. Luckily the serving sizes are mostly on the small side, meaning that we could try a couple more things.

The fishball noodles were bought simply out of convenience as we’d grabbed a table right next to their stall. And we were glad we managed to try this- the fish balls and sliced fish cake were nice and bouncy (reminiscent of the fish cake we tried in Singapore) whilst the dry tossed noodles were incredibly tasty with plenty of sauce and flavour.

Penang Char Kway Teow

I’d been on the lookout for char kway teow from the moment I’d stepped into the food court, so the moment I spotted Penang Famous Fried Kway Teow and the many people around it, I didn’t hesitate to make an order. The serving size is rather small, literally a handful of noodles, but noodles are excellent- plenty of ‘wok hei’, not too much oil and super super tasty!

Penang Chee Cheong Fun

I’m a huge fan of cheong fun (steamed rice rolls) so I couldn’t this dish of Penang Chee Cheong Fun- pieces of soft cheong fun sitting in a pool of soy based sauce, a sprinkle of fried onions and chilli sauce on the side.

Bak Hut Teh
 
I had been meaning to try bak hut teh in Singapore but didn’t end up having enough time to, I jumped at the chance here. And was so glad I did too- the soup was so strong and flavoursome, unlike the ones I have here in Sydney. 

 

Char Siew Noodles

Char siew noodles which were inspiration for my wantan mee. I can’t say it’s be best noodles I’ve had (I’ve certainly had better in Sydney) but was quite enjoyable.

 

Mango Ice 
 
I’d meant to order ais kacang, but this mango syrup one looked more enticing. Unfortunately, it was a huge disappointment as the syrup tasted quite fake, and the canned fruits on top weren’t any good either. 
 

After having filled our stomachs up, we were well energised for a whole day of shopping around Bukit Bintang. But believe me- one day is definitely not enough!

 

Jalan Alor

And who can visit Kuala Lumpur without taking a trip to the famous eat street, Jalan Alor? It’s not as long as we’d imagined, as we took a stroll down the whole street to decide which eatery to eat at.

We couldn’t make a decision even after walking the entire street, so we ended up heading to the restaurant whose staff spent the most time trying to convince us to give it a try. Most of the restaurants along the street similar items on their menu, so I don’t think it makes too much of a difference which one you go to.

Calamansi Lime Sour Plum Juice
 
We’d ordered this exotic green drink at a restaurant the night before, and quickly took a liking to it- definitely one of our favourite drinks in Malaysia. It’s just sour enough so that it’s refreshing, and perfect for the Malaysian heat. 
 
Belacan kangkong

The belacan kangkong is a tasty dish of stir fried water spinach in shrimp paste. It comes with a strong hit of flavour from the shrimp paste, perhaps not the healthiest way to have your greens, but certainly a tasty way!

Satay Chicken and Beef Skewers

It’s hard to miss the aroma of satay skewers when you walk down Jalan Alor, with numerous vendor with huge bundles of meat on sticks, ready for the night’s diners. Since we’re not all that good at deciding when it comes to ordering food, we’re glad the satay skewers comes in a mixed option, with both chicken and beef on a dish. They’re both great, with a smoky char and plenty of flavour from the marinade which pairs well with the peanut sauce it’s served alongside.

Frog Congee

And for something a little different, we try the frog congee, a nice thick and smooth rice porridge that comes in a clay pot. Though the texture and taste doesn’t quite compare to my favourite congee stores in Hong Kong, it was interesting to try frog for the same time though (as predictable as this may sound) it kind of just tasted like chicken.

Stir Fried Lotus Root

More veggies, to get us somewhat closer to the 5 a day goal (which is ridiculously difficult when you’re on holidays). Or moreso because it’s harder to find lotus root in Sydney haha.

Sweet and Sour Pork

The sweet and sour pork was surprisingly good, served with pineapple chunks in a pineapple bowl (in Sydney they’d probably charge you some ridiculous amount of money to serve it in a pineapple!). The pork pieces are incredibly crispy, with the sauce having a nice depth of flavour with a hint of plum.

Cereal Prawns
 

I’d been hearing about cereal prawns for a while (probably reading too many food blogs haha) so I ordered one to find out what it actually is. It wasn’t as good as I’d expected though (probably just this version I’m guessing?), with the thick sauce covering the prawns making it a little sticky and soggy rather than crispy as I’d anticipated. The prawns were huge though!

Oyster Omelette 

 

The oyster omelette was a little different to the type we’re used to, this one being a rather thin crepe-like piece rather than the thick and fluffy deep fried pieces we were used to. It was an interesting difference though, with the thinness adding a little crunch. 

 

 

There’s also plenty of other food vendors along the street, including a couple of fruit shops. Probably not the cheapest place to buy fruits, but they did have quite a lot of fruits I’d never seen before.

 
I tried mangosteen for the first time, which I was surprised to find could be ripped open really easily (I always assumed the shell was really hard). I was also surprised to find that the rambutan tasted a lot like lychees/longans,  though much larger and smoother (and somewhat less sweet though it’s probably just the one I bought). The little brown balls I’m pretty sure aren’t longans but they tasted quite similar…..I don’t suppose anyone knows what they are?
Little Penang Cafe
Mee Jawa 

Although we wiped pretty much all the sight seeing off our itinerary, we couldn’t come to KL without a visit to the twin towers and though we weren’t interested in getting to the top for a view, we were quite interested in the shopping centre below it, and the various eateries within the complex.

Acar Fish Set

There was quite a long line at both the restaurants we wanted to try, so we lined up for both, and eventually got a table at the Little Penang Cafe first so we left the other restaurant for next time. Because it’s so busy during lunches, you can look through the menu and order before you’re given a seat so that when you sit down, you don’t have to wait long for your food to come. Genius idea eh?

Rojak

We attempted to order things that we couldn’t get back in Sydney, so we tried the rojak which was very different to the only version I’ve had in Sydney at Mamak. With chunks of various fruits covered in a thick sweet sauce, it was quite fun to guess what exactly you were eating.

Pie Tee

The most interesting dish was definitely the Pie Tee, little pastry cups with a tasty vegetable and mince filling. The crunchiness of the pastry cups was quite enjoyable, and its contrast with the filling reminded me a little bit of eating Chinese lettuce boats.

Nasi Lemak Penang

 

As the Nasi Lemak Penang was at the top of the Chef’s Recommendations on the menu, we had to give it a try. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but I was kind of surprised to find that it was pretty much exactly the same as the Nasi Lemaks I get from Malaysian restaurants in Sydney!

 

Ais Kacang

To finish off, we ordered our favourite Malaysian dessert- Ais Kacang. Perhaps we’re too used to the version we have at Mamak in Sydney, we couldn’t say we were too fond of this version which had a particularly heavy rose syrup flavour.

Port Dickson

We could have easily stayed a couple more days in KL, but when looking up accommodation in KL, I came across the Grand Lexis in Port Dickson. Wish an individual pool with every room, and at very affordable prices (around $150AUD for the 4 of us) we decided to make a short side trip out of it.

The resort certainly did not disappoint, with a stunning pool in the outer balcony area, as well as large communal pool outside and plenty to see and do. The resort’s restaurant didn’t seem too great (and as we found out breakfast next morning, it wasn’t), but we didn’t want to drive too far so we went for one of the first restaurants we could find around the area.

Restaurant Chardin Sea View Seafood Village
Chicken JJ’s as a premeal snack!?!?

It’s a large chinese seafood restaurant, though there’s not much of a view at night when it’s mostly pitch black outside.

The menu is your standard Asian seafood fare, nothing too exciting.

We ordered the chilli crabs since we’d enjoyed them so much in Singapore, but here they only had small crabs on the day so its meat wasn’t quite a nice. The sauce was also more spicy without much depth in flavour, leaving us a little disappointed.

Seeing as it was a seafood restaurant, we ordered a couple of other seafood dishes all of which weren’t bad but a little disappointing overall.

There was one did that we particularly enjoyed, and that was the fried tofu in fish fragrant eggplant sauce- silky smooth tofu pieces with a lightly crunchy exterior, swimming in a pool of thick slightly spicy sauce.

 
The fried chicken was also surprisingly good- the combination of crispy battered chicken with papaya, other raw vegetables and a light vinegar based sauce worked really well and was especially perfect for the hot weather.

 

There’s also a huge fish tank at the front of the restaurant with live seafood- plenty of seafood varieties we don’t see much of in Australia!

 

Old Town White Coffee, Berjaya Times Square


We didn’t stay in Port Dickson for long as we didn’t particularly feel like driving around and exploring (and possibly getting lost haha) so we headed back to KL the next day, stopping by Berjaya Times Square for some more shopping! 🙂

When we’re at home, one of our favourite instant coffees we have in the morning is the Old Town White Coffee brand, so when we saw their cafe after we’d finished eating out way down the Taipei market section of the mall, we wasted no time in getting ourselves a seat.

Hot White Coffee

As always, their white coffee is amazing- the in store version moreso than the instant one of course!

We tried a couple of their other drinks too including this lemonade spider which brought me back to my primary school days, as well as an iced version of their coffee. Though I tend to like cold coffees better, I have to say that their hot one was so good I actually liked it more than the cold version!

Satay Chicken Skewers

 

Assam laksa

We ordered the Assam Laksa since we’d been in Malaysia and had yet to try laksa, which we didn’t realise (until it came of course) was a different version of laksa than the curry ones were used to eating. The sourness of the soup was a little strange at first, but I did end up enjoying it!

Since we’d only come mainly to try the drinks, we didn’t have much expectations when it came to the food but we were surprised to find that most of the other noodle dishes we ordered were quite good.

Roti Canai

I was a little disappointed that the roti were more like the store bought frozen ones rather than the freshly made ones.

So to make up for it, I ventured down the foodcourt where there was a store selling the freshly made version!

Taste of Asia Foodcourt, Berjaya Times Square
Roti with Banana

I had my eyes set on the roti cone, but they told they’d run out of it for the day so they suggested the banana roti instead. Can’t say I’m a huge fan of bananas, but the soft flaky roti was definitely a winner in my books!

Teh tarik

They also had pulled tea which was quite a show to watch, although to be honest, I couldn’t taste too much of a different between the normal versions I have and this pulled version.

Durian Pancake

I’d been meaning to try durian in Malaysia, as I’d been told that their durian is nothing like that in Australia. But because I wasn’t exactly planning to buy a whole durian just to give it a try, I bought these cute durian pancakes instead.

Probably not the best idea, since the pancake covers the durian so you can’t see how fresh it looks, but I can’t say that I enjoyed these pancakes haha…..

The Warung,  MidValley Megamall
 

We’d been planning on visiting Madam Kwan’s when we went to Mid Valley megamall seeing as we didn’t get a chance to try it out when we were at the twin towers the other day, but we got a little lost trying to find it (it IS called a Megamall for a reason….haha), so instead, we had lunch at this cute cafe instead.

As we were a little early, we were a little disappointed to find that they were only serving a limited section of their menu for ‘breakfast’ service though this did include a variety of Malaysian favourites like nasi lemak which was great though we were starting to get sick of nasi lemak after having had it pretty much daily throughout the trip.

Roti Canai

We also ordered the roti canai, which although wasn’t made fresh, was still nice and flaky.

Nasi tempang
 

When it was time to start serving the rest of the menu, we went back to the counter to order more food. We had our minds set on the nasi tempang the moment we came, as the tall cones seemed rather odd. They’re pre-made and microwaved when ordered and makes for an interesting meal, with layers of rice and various things including beef floss, sambal and chicken curry.

They also had a selection of cute little cakes/snacks which I tried out of curiosity though I still have not much of a clue what they are!

Michael Jackson

And also out of curiosity, I ordered the Michael Jackson, which turns out to be a drink of soy milk with grass jelly. Definitely an interesting combination (though not quite as interesting as the name haha)!

In Cookies and Bars, Recipe on
February 13, 2015

Crunchy Granola Bars

I haven’t been baking much recently.

There’s always a excuse reason of course, and this time, though it may sound stupid, is that there’s not enough space in the fridge and freezer. Too many boxes of half eaten ice cream, fruits and other random things in there so that making a cake, especially an ice cream one (which is at the top of my ‘to bake’ list at the moment) out of the question.

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