Jalon Alor is the well known street for night time food stalls. It is quiet through the day, but at night it comes alive with a heap of activity and cheap food and trinket stalls.
It often is quite crowded but interesting to walk along with all the colours, smells and local food.
Definately worth your while to go check out.
Some of the best food I have tasted has been street food in Malaysia, in Kuala Lumpur as well as in George Town, Penang. Don't be afraid to taste, just be sure it is really warm/hot and than there is no danger to get sick. Eat what you can see for yourself when it is being prepared. The same for beverages, if you can see when they squeese out the juice from the sugar cane, orange, lime or whatever then just enjoy it. I have done and this far never had an upset stomach from street food/beverage.
Different kinds of ikan bilis = small dried fishes. They are used in curries and for giving a salty taste like in nasi lemak, the national dish eaten as breakfast or evening meal. If you get the chance to try nasi lemak and haven't done yet, I can warmly recommend it!
Most of the past thirty or forty years of my learning about Islam has been from the perspective of people from the Middle East, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Iran. There were a few differences, but mostly similarities.
Coming to Malaysia I began to see how the cultural of a country is also influential in the understanding and practice of Islam. I've seen this cultural difference with the understanding and practice of Christianity in various countries but it surprised me in regards to Islam. Don't really know why.
This is a neighborhood boy's school where learning the Koran in Arabic is much the same as learning the Mass in Latin at a Catholic girl's school. Though we're different, we're much the same in every culture.
"Hari Raya" is one of the important holiday festivals in Malaysia. It is equally to Chinese New Year in China or Christmas in the States. It is a celebration of the conclusion of the 29 to 30 days of fasting during Ramadan period for our Muslim communities. Traditionally, Malays are living in "Kampong" or Villages, they have a tradition to prepare their own foods like Rendang Chickens, Malay desserts, Satay, and etc. They usually have their new dress made from their own tailor in Kampong, and shop in local grocery stores, wet market, or out-door markets like Pasar Malam or Pasar Pagi.
The Malay folks living is the City have an alternative way to prepare for the festival. They could shop in hypermarket or in shopping mall that set up to celebrate the festival like this one in Mid Valley. Shoppers can buy traditional ketupat (sticky rice in a roll), Chicken pieces cooked in Malay Sambal, durian candies, fruits, and other traditional cooked food in here during Ramadan month. Malays traditional dresses and batik clothing are available here as well.
I do enjoy the shopping at this Ramadan market in Mid Valley, year 2012 !
since I lot collecting assorted knick knacks of my travels, besides buying refrigerator magnets, I also usually buy Shot glasses of the particular area that I am visiting if the shot glasses are available since some areas that I've visited has none of them as souvenirs and it was a good thing that kuala lumpur has shot glasses avaialble. You can buy them everywhere particularly at the assorted souvenir shops around the area and they go into different sizes and the price range will be between RM 8 to 12 (13 if buying from the petronas tower gift shop) so buy one now.
I am an avid collector of refrigerator magnets and whenever I travel, I usually buy them as part of my souvenir collections of the local area that I've visited and here in Kuala Lumpur is no different hence I bought some and you can find them everywhere especially at the assorted souvenir shops all around kuala lumpur and genting highlands area and always remember to haggle when buying the souvenir items. The refrigerator Magnets go for RM 8 to 10 depending if the ref magnet is ceramic or plastic or magnetized metal. If you're a collector too then I would suggest you buy one too.
Like any country around the world, malaysia has a varied and numerous kinds of sweets and candies and biscuits. There are chinese and indian and indonesian influences on the various malaysian sweets and you can find them everywhere like in stores or malls or at shops and the samples of Malysian Sweets include: Rojak, several dried fruits like the dried mango or nutmeg or papaya or durian; coconut biscuits and candies, chinese inspired almond biscuits and egg rolls and many sticky rice versions of dessert. Prices vary but I would reccomend that you buy the malaysian sweets to experience them since they are available everywhere.
again Roti is a flat bread that originated from North India and Pakistan and brought here by Indian Immigrants and is available everywhere. the roti is also an unleavened flat bread unlike the Naan Bread which is leavened but it is cooked in a flat pan instead of a tandoori oven in the Malaysian and the Singaporean Version and as with the Naan Bread, it can be paired with various chutneys and sauces when eaten but again my favorite is that it is just painted liberally with my favorite Indian Clarified Butter called Ghee. an Order of Roti bread with chutneys or sauces or combined with Pratha with toppings inside the bread will costs from RM 5 to 10 depending on the sidings inside the bread and the sauces, try it!
the Naan bread is a northern Indian food flat bread cooked in a tandoori oven that became popular in Malaysia due to the influx of Indian Immigrants and is now available everywhere and one of my all time favorite breads ever. The typical naan bread recipe involves mixing white flour with salt, a yeast culture, and enough yogurt to make a smooth, elastic dough. The dough is kneaded for a few minutes, then set aside to rise for a few hours. Once risen, the dough is divided into balls which are flattened and cooked in the tandooriu oven. i usually eat it without chutneys or sauce like the canai or the prata since I like the buttery taste of the Naan bread spinkled liberally by the Indian Clarified Butter called Ghee. They are available everywhere and costs RM 6 an order with a chutney like mango chutney or a sauce like a canai or pratha included.
the Satay is the Malaysian and the Indonesian Version of Barbecue and since both are Muslim Majority Countries, you would hardly see pork satay in these countries except for the chinese living in these countries. Satay may consist of diced or sliced chicken, goat, mutton, beef, pork, fish, tofu, or other meats. These cuts are grilled or barbecued over a wood or charcoal fire, then served with various spicy seasonings and peanut sauce since the mainstay of a satay is the peanut sauce and the coloring is yellow from the Turmeric. You will see many roadside stalls and hawker centers in and around kuala lumpur selling this barbecue goodness and are eaten either alone or with Lemak rice or Curry rice or Biryani Rice and the cost is about RM 3 per small bamboo stick. Highly recommended and i can eat about 6 to 7 sticks in one sitting hehehehe.
malaysia has a variety of small snacks and cool drinks from western to local favorites. Local specialties include the squid balls and fish balls and shrimp balls, the exotic nasi lemak, my favorite assorted prawn and lobster crackers and a lot more. foreign food inlcude hot dogs, hamburgers, pan cakes and more. Among the drinks there are literally lots and lots of choices like the standard soft drinks, the assorted fruit juices whether concentrated or artifically flavored, the assorted kinds of hot and cold teas like teh tarik or teh c peng and ubble teas and way lot more. these snacks costs fromk between RM 1 to 5 depending on the kind and are available everywhere form stalls, hawker centers, stores, malls etc.
The Hainanese chicken rice is as popular here in Malaysia as it is in Singapore but it is the National Dish of Singapore. this dish orginated from hainan island in Mainland China and was introduced by the Hainanese Immigrants to Malaysia and Singapore but it was tweaked into The Singaporean and Malaysian Versions. The chicken is prepared in traditional Hainanese methods which involve the boiling of the entire chicken in a pork and chicken bone stock, reusing the broth over and over and only topping it up with water when needed, in accordance with the Chinese preferences for creating master stocks. This stock is not used for rice preparation, which instead involves chicken stock created specifically for that purpose, producing an oily, flavourful rice sometimes known as oily rice with Southeast Asian pandan leaves added sometimes.The orginal Hainanese Chicken Rice version is called Wenchang Chicken and is different from the Hainanese Chicken Rice version of Singapore and Malaysia in the the dipping sauces in Singapore include soy sauce and spicy chili sauce while in Hainan is it more of oyster sauce. The chicken is so tender and so flavorful that you would order more hehehe. It is available everywhere in Singapore at food courts, hawker centers, malls, restaurants and it cost RM 10 an order.Hainanese Chicken rice everywhere either the Roasted kind or the Boiled, they taste so good!
I visit Kuala Lumpur a lot but not resident there, so my expenses would be higher than a resident and I am sure expat (european and non european) as well as Locals would give you another view point.
I dont find KL to be a cheap place at all, especially if you are interested in good food, which is available freely but not inexpensive. looking through the prices at the supermarkets, they are comparable to Miami even for tropically produced stuff. Malaysia imports a lot of stuff, Milk for example was from Australia!
A Car is a must and the traffic is very time consuming so learn a habit of thinking or listening to soothing music.. Certainly if your wife is allowed to work that would help with the financial strain, remember 4000 MYR which is slightly over 1000 usd is only twice as much as what a shop assistant earns since they are paid around 2000 MYR. Once again it all depends upon your taste and austerity.
Having said that KL is a wonderful place. The Locals are very friendly and helpful and there is a large expat Indian community and there is a large malaysian Tamoul Community. It is an interesting place to live in Asia.
Once again I will wait for local residents or expats to give you another side of the story.
the cendol is a trans southeast asian dessert that you can taste even in thailand, vietnam, singapore, myanmar, indonesia and here in malaysia. It is one of my favorite Southeast asian desserts and cendol or chendol is made from coconut milk, a worm-like jelly made from rice flour with green food coloring (usually derived from the pandan leaf), shaved ice and palm sugar. Next to these basic recipe, other ingredients such as red beans, glutinous rice, grass jelly, creamed corn and the taste is oh so heavenly. the chendol is available everywhere like in food stalls or food courts, markets, malls, hawker centers and hotels. the price of a chendol in a glass is about RM 5.
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