Based on the dishes I ate, the food too is by no means the best. Hokkien Mee @ Kim Lian Kee (Lot 10, Bukit Bintang)
With its rhythmic clattering of the woks being tossed and scraped, Kim Lian Kee, which dates back four generations to 1927, had the longest queue in Lot 10. Their signature Hokkien Mee dish, made from ‘bamboo cane pressed’ yellow ‘mee’ (Chinese noodles) is Fujian in origin. Tossed with pork, slices, prawns, rubbery squid and Chinese leaf, the noodles are coated in a thick fragrant sauce made with spices, belacan (shrimp paste) glossy and oily from dark soy and pork lard. I ate half of the noodles as they were served and the other half mixed with plenty of sambal and fresh chillies but neither way made the dish too exciting for me. Perhaps the original at Jalan Pelating where they cook the food ‘wok hei’ (using charcoal) would be a better option? Fried Oyster Omelet @ Kong Tai (Lot 10, Bukit Bintang) A little younger than Kim Lian Kee, but serving another dish of Fujian origin, Kong Tai dates back to just 1970. Their Oyster Omelette cooked in lard and made with tiny oysters, potato starch and topped with Chinese parsley (aka coriander) was a huge disappointment mainly because of the sweet chilli sauce. Roti Babi @ Yut Kee Kopitiam (Dang Wangi)A Hainanese coffee shop or ‘Kopitiam’, Yut Kee opened in 1928 and was one of my favourite places to visit in KL. The staff and locals were super friendly and they served good rich dark Kopi (coffee) with condensed milk and excellent Marble Cake. Yut Kee is just around the corner from Dang Wangi station (easily accessed via the excellent KL train network) or a short walk from the ‘Golden Triangle’, KL Tower Park and Bukit Nanas Nature Reserve (home to pythons, monitor lizards and monkeys – sadly closed for cable car renovations during my visit).
Their signature Roti Babi (pork bread) is a ‘hard to come by’ Peranakan / Nyonya dish made from minced pork, onions and crabmeat sandwiched inside a pocket of fried ‘eggy bread’, served with Worcestershire Sauce! (I planned to return to sample more of the menu (especially the Beef Rendang and Kaya Toast) but it’s closed on Mondays; our last day.)Chilli Pan Mee @ Restoran Kin Kin (Chow Kit)One place I’d definitely return to in KL is Restoran Kin Kin in Chow Kit. Pan Mee is traditionally a Hokkien-style egg noodle soup (although the Kin Kin version comes ‘dry’). Served in their signature red bowls, which contain blanched noodles, minced pork, crispy ‘ikan bilis’ (dried anchovies) and topped with a perfectly poached, poached egg, the heat can then be adjusted to taste with their rudely hot fried chilli paste – evil but wonderful stuff! I loved this dish!To cool the lips after the chilli, each pan mee is served alongside a clear broth laden with Katuk (or Sweetleaf Bush, known locally as ‘sayur manis’). Whilst in this part of town, be sure to check out the nearby Chow Kit ‘Wet Market’ (Bazaar Baru Chow Kit). This ‘Pasar pagi’ (morning market) sells a breathtaking array of fresh fruits, vegetables as well as live and dead animals (particularly, it seemed, their heads and feet) - a wonderful atmosphere and a glimpse Kuala Lumpian life not seen in the main tourist areas. Nasi Lemak @ Mak Wanjor (Kampung Baru)
Considered Malaysia’s ‘national dish’, Nasi Lemak is traditionally a breakfast dish. In translation ‘fatty rice’ may not sound all that appetising but it refers to the rich, creamy coconut milk that is steamed with Pandanus / Screwpine leaves.
A number of sources suggested that the best Nasi Lemak was to be had in the Malay enclave of Kampung Baru (an area in the city centre where village elders have resisted big money offers from developers in order to preserve their ‘village lifestyle’).
Without a particular place to eat in mind, my process of selection was a simple one: walk up and down the main stretch of