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Try These 3 Delicious Food Places at Jalan Alor and Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur

Food Tour, Malaysian Food, TravelDanny MahesComment

Hey, guys! It’s been a month of long weekends and holidays here in Malaysia. I finally took a well-needed break and headed down to Kuala Lumpur to catch up with friends. And guess what we filled our time with? Yup, here’s even more food for your reading pleasure.

First, A Quick Brunch at Jalan Alor

 Kam Heong Chicken

Kam Heong Chicken

 Salted Egg Fried Beans

Salted Egg Fried Beans

 Tuhau from Sabah, sambal and fermented variety

Tuhau from Sabah, sambal and fermented variety

I arrived, as I usually do in places, hungry and ready for food. My friend Sarah joined me for a quick lunch with a twist - she’d brought some tuhau from Sabah.

Tuhau is a Kadazan Dusun appetizer made from wild ginger. It’s often prepared with sambals or sometimes fermented and used as a garnish, and its very hard to find on the Peninsula! It pays to have friends who also love food :)

We settled in for some simple local favourites, and the tuhau really brought an exciting flavour to the table (pun!). Crunchy, with a strong herb taste, fragrant and pungent, it elevated a simple and very common selection of lunch dishes into something special.

 I spent way too long trying to think of duck puns

I spent way too long trying to think of duck puns

 Pork Ear in Sweet Soy Sauce

Pork Ear in Sweet Soy Sauce

The next day, we came back to this stretch of Jalan Alor to visit a shop called Uncle Lim. If you’ve been following our blog posts, you’ll know I have a special place in my heart for good duck rice. And this one was pretty good! We also got a helping of pork ear that was delicious.

The next time I’m in the area, I’m definitely coming back for this. The duck rice stall is called Pin Chen and you’ll see signs out on the street advertising Uncle Lim’s various stir fry dishes and Pin Chen Duck Rice.

Nyonya Dishes and Chicken Wings for Dinner

 Mango kerabu is one of my favourite things in the world

Mango kerabu is one of my favourite things in the world

 Nyonya-Style Assam Laksa

Nyonya-Style Assam Laksa

 Ayam Sioh - first time I’ve ever had it!

Ayam Sioh - first time I’ve ever had it!

Nyonya food is enjoying something of a resurgence in recent years, which I’m very happy about. It used to be very difficult to find Nyonya food, as most of the dishes were cooked at home and not usually sold at shops or by street vendors.

I’d heard about Sarang Cookery from a friend. Their rustic approach to the ambience and reputation for good food made them a top priority on my visit. We ordered the mango kerabu (mango salad), telur cincalok (omelette with sweet fermented shrimp sauce), assam laksa (because of course) and ayam sioh (chicken cooked in tamarind and bean paste sauce).

I’m already looking forward to visiting again to try the other things on their menu. They have very limited seating space, so if you’re planning to go on a busy weekend, call ahead to check for availability.

 Best chicken wings I’ve ever had, not even kidding right now

Best chicken wings I’ve ever had, not even kidding right now

 They also have cendol to go with the chicken wings!

They also have cendol to go with the chicken wings!

Guys, I did it. I’ve found the best chicken wings.

Sweet, sticky, spicy and mouth-scalding hot, the chicken wings from Ticklish has unexpectedly made its way to the top of my Chicken Wings List (yes, I have a Chicken Wings List.)

This was one of those happy suprises that happen when you’re wandering about after dinner. I wasn’t really expecting to get anything else. Gotta stick to that diet, I told myself. Then I smelled the aroma- fat and skin crackling on a hot grill, sticky sauce bubbling luxuriously in the heat, the sweetness of butter softly being brushed onto moist, tender flesh.

Following that gorgeous aroma brought me to this pop-up stand by Ticklish. I somehow restrained myself from getting the pork ribs as well as the chicken wings. The concept of this place really tickled me (pun!) - barbecue and nyonya desserts. Oh, and the chicken was everything I thought I’ve ever dreamed of. Succulent, spicy, satisfying. Absolutely relished every bite and I’m coming back for the pork ribs!

Evening Drinks at a Rustic Gin Bar

 The signature Gin Pahit. Loved that it wasn’t saccharine sweet like most cocktails here. Only got the pun much later.

The signature Gin Pahit. Loved that it wasn’t saccharine sweet like most cocktails here. Only got the pun much later.

 They also have delicious mocktails for who don’t drink alcohol. I forgot what this is called, but it’s sirap inspired.

They also have delicious mocktails for who don’t drink alcohol. I forgot what this is called, but it’s sirap inspired.

I’d been looking forward to visiting Pahit for a while, and oh boy was I excited to get the chance. If you’ve spent any time in Penang, visiting the local food places or the upsurge in local-themed bars, this place will feel familiar.

I’m by no means a gin connoisseur, but I really enjoyed the Gin Pahit I ordered. It had an original approach, very interesting flavours and it was really a departure from a lot of cocktails I’ve had here. Slightly bitter but fragrant, it might feel challenging if you’re used to very sweet drinks. But I really relished the opportunity to explore everything this creation had to offer.

Yeah, you guessed it, I’m going back!

I hope this post has been helpful if you’re planning a night out around the Jalan Alor/Bukit Bintang area. I might link up a few of these as a series down the road. What do you think? Did you find this post helpful and do you want more? Let me know in the comments.

Penang in Pictures Part 3

Travel, Food Tour, Heritage and CultureDanny MahesComment

Hey, guys! I'm back with another (possibly terrifying) blog post about my budding photography skills! This time, I've dug deep into a photo-walk I did in late-2016. This was during my "experimental" phase, and it resulted in a lot of uhhh interesting shots.

I tend to home in on textures and details, and a lot of the photos were taken deliberately off-axis. I think I was going for a surrealist feel or something. Like I said - "Experimental."

Most of these were taken on Jalan Pintal Tali, also known as Rope Walk. Fun fact: there used to be a community of rope makers who lived and worked here, which is how the street got its name. They moved here from their original base in Little India, once the area gentrified too much to accommodate them. I know the gist of the story but I'm still researching it. I'll have more to say about it... soon-ish?

In the meantime, I present to you some photos that didn't turn out terribly! Tadaa!

hop penang food tour pictures rope walk 1

Naturally, I started out with what I feel is the strongest piece. I just really enjoyed the amount of details in this picture, and the myriad stories that must be hiding behind these wind-swept and rain-battered windows. There must have been a time when this was a grand view, with beautiful carvings and giggling bright plaster. It's a withering shadow of it's former self. I feel like it's sad and beautiful at the same time.

hop penang food tour pictures rope walk 2

I liked the textures in this picture, and didn't bother to create a meaningful composition while I was taking it. The outcome is pretty flat, but with a lot of gorgeous wear and tear, telling the passage of time. I liked that the house number is 88, considered lucky in Chinese numerology. The wooden window panes are being held together by string.

hop penang food tour picture rope walk 3

Now, before you start thinking that every house in George Town is pretty much held together by some twain and a prayer, this is one of the off-axis shots I was talking about earlier. It's meant to convey... something? The tilt of modernity? The inevitability of change, like pieces being pulled by gravity on a tilted board? Possible day-drinking?

hop penang food tour pictures rope walk 4

Oohhhh purdddy...

That's it for Rope Walk, folks. I'll dive back into that endless barrel of Penang photographs for next week's edition of Penang in Pictures. For now, check out Part 2 of the series. And as always, safe travels and good eating :)

 

 

 

Penang in Pictures Part 2

Travel, Food Tour, Heritage and CultureHeritage on a PlateComment

Hey, guys! It's been a really busy week! We've been hosting lots of guests and showing them some delicious penang food, exploring the city together and having some great conversations. Before things get busy again, I wanted to share some pictures with you.

These are from a little walkabout I did circa 2016, I think. I was looking to capture some action shots of people making food. One reason was to give you an idea of what actually goes into the process of making the different kinds of famous Penang dishes. But I was also practicing trying to add the human element to the food that people are getting familiar with.

I'll share more of these in the next few posts. You can also check out Part 1 here. Have a great week ahead!

hop penang pictures food tour char koay kak 2

This is from the Char Koay Kak stall on Lorong Macalister around brunch time. I was really drawn by the vivid colours and the thick steam rising from the wok. Unfortunately, I wasn't skilled enough with the camera to capture the scene to my linking. But I think it turned out pretty alright! All the more reason to make another (delicious) visit soon!

hop penang pictures food tour char koay kak

Here's the finished piece. Char Koay Kak is stir-fried rice cakes (we use rice in the north and radish is more common down south) with chili paste, soy sauce, egg and a variety of other ingredients and aromatics. It should be soft with a slightly crunchy carbon char. I had it with some thick local "kopi" and Otak Otak.

hop penang pictures food tour famous cendol

Ok, so, you might recognize a very similar shot on our Facebook page and Instagram. This is pretty much the early experiment, when I was still trying to figure my way around composition and lighting. I came back a year later and finally got the shot I wanted! If I've learned anything, folks, is that when at first you don't succeed procrastinate until a year later and then accidentally get the shot you wanted.

hop penang pictures food tour famous cendol 2

This one was a bit of a missed opportunity. I really wanted to capture the weight and heft of the moment. The sweat and tears that goes into making food, and making it the best food someone has ever tasted. These Penang food vendors work really hard, and I think it's important to tell their story. Who knows, the perfect shot might come to me a year from now! This was taken at the Penang Teochew Chendol cart on Jalan Penang.

See you next week with more Penang in Pictures!