KL is one of those places you either love or hate. Luckily for me, I happen to like it there. Just to visit, not to live or anything. I have family there, which I think makes a world of difference. Our trips to KL inevitably involve copious amounts of food and a healthy dose of shopping. I do throw in some running, just so I can fit through the door when I get home.
My last trip to KL was in June for my mom's birthday, and the amount of eating we managed to do in the four days we were there is nothing short of amazing. First up, my aunt picks us up from the bus station and brings us to go eat ban mian, which is a type of handmade noodle. I was kinda skeptical at first, cos I thought the ban mian would be the type that we got back home, in soup, which is kinda boring. To my pleasant surprise, this ban mian comes dry, with loads of minced pork and an egg on top. The key to this dish is the chilli, which you add to your taste. Being the wimp that I am, I added just a teeny amount so as not to burn myself to kingdom come. It was yummy, but really filling - I think I managed to eat about half a bowl before the tummy gave up. Note to self: sharing is caring.
Stupid me forgot to take the before picture. This is after you mix in your chilli. I break out in a sweat just thinking of the spicy chilli. Good for all you fire-lovers out there.
To celebrate my mom's birthday, we headed to Sao Nam, which is an awesome Vietnamese restaurant down in Tengkat Tong Shin, which is within walking distance from Bintang Walk. When you think Vietnamese, you think pho. But Sao Nam is different. They have stuff that I've never seen at any other Vietnamese restaurant, in addition to the regular pho. It's run by Uncle Paul, who always takes very good care of us, cos he's friends with my aunt. I'm not complaining.This is our appetizer platter, with spring rolls, fresh rice rolls, shrimp on sugarcane skewers and some beef which is wrapped in some leaf or other. Delish!This is the Vietnamese pancake, with goodies like chicken and veggies hidden inside.
This is the mangosteen salad, which is something we ALWAYS get. It's really refreshing.This is the lotus root salad, which we also ALWAYS get. I love these 2 salads. Makes me think I'm kinda eating healthy. This is a lamb dish which was one of the specials for the night. I don't usually order lamb, but this was really good, smothered in the sauce. This is duck, which I ended up eating more than anyone else cos I liked it, but no one else seemed keen. This was my mom's fave dish, it's some fish thing, but I wasn't such a fan. Finally, this is okra, or ladies fingers as it's known here, smothered in a tangy, tomato-ey sauce. One of my faves too.
You'd think after all of that we wouldn't have space for anything else. But we did. We also had carrot cake from Secret Recipe, which was pretty good. But it was one of those carrot cakes which had lots of raisins in it. I prefer my carrot cakes to be nut-less and raisin-less.Happy birthday to my momsy!
The next day we decided to have the Malaysian version of wonton noodles, also known as go lo mee. I think the main difference between the ones found at home and the Malaysian one is the sauce, which is dark in the Malaysian version. I enjoy a good bowl of wonton mee, whether it's from home, Malaysia or Honkers. Good stuff.
Look at that fatty char siew! I personally prefer my char siew a little leaner, but I know some people really like the fatty bits in their char siew. Absolutely sinful.
For dinner, we went to Champs, which serves authentic Penang food, as well as ribs and a variety of pub grub. I love Champs. When we went to KL last Christmas I missed out on Champs, but not this time. My favorite! Prawn mee soup. It's what I get each and every time I'm at Champs.
Assam laksa... this is my sis' favorite. I don't quite get this dish though. It's got no protein! Just lots of noodles and cucumber. And it's pretty sour. Nasi lemak with beef rendang - my cousin's pick. Pretty good, but I think I like the one from Madam Kwan's just a little bit better.
Another must-stop for us in KL is Raju's which has the best roti canai I have ever tasted. We love sitting under the trees, and eating with our hands. That's my excuse for not having taken any photos. And don't ask me how to get there, I've been there countless times and I still don't know.
Raju's! I even da pao roti canai to bring home for my boy. They're pretty resilient, and you can keep them in the freezer.
On our final night in KL, we had a wonderful opportunity to have dinner with Chef Cheong Liew, who happens to be my uncle's cousin. How cool is that?! Chef Cheong Liew is one of South Australia's most renowned chefs: he is the chef at The Grange at the Adelaide Hilton, which unfortunately I've never been to, but have heard good stuff about. So yeah, imagine my delight to be invited to Sunday dinner with the great man himself, together with his family! This ain't something that's gonna happen every day. I must admit to being a little awestruck. =P
The restaurant we went to is one of Chef Cheong Liew's favorites in KL. It's called Sek Yuan, and as you can tell, it's one of those old skool restaurants that's been around forever, not those fancy shmancy designer joints that seem to be a dime a dozen these days.Front door to the restaurant. Love 'em curtains!
We started with a traditional cold dish, which has lots of stuff going on, including some sort of gelatinous chicken which is right smack in the center. I love the jelly fish that comes with these cold dishes. Next up: suckling pig! So cruel, but really really yummy. Also very fattening. How grumpy does he look? Can't say I blame him though. Eight treasures chicken, aptly named due to all the good stuff like gingko nuts and whatnot that's stuffed into it. Pork ribs. Simple, yet so tasty. Steamed fish. Yet another staple of most traditional Chinese dinners.Sweet potato leaf, which is often cooked in sambal back home. This one was different, cos it was cooked with a type of fermented beancurd sauce, called hu zhi. My sis loves to eat the hu zhi stuff with porridge. I'm not such a fan, but I really liked these veggies. Finally, we had this vegetarian tang hoon (mung bean vermicelli) dish. There's a story to this dish. Apparently traditionally, when the oldest daughter gets married, the parents will serve this dish, but why I don't know. I think my mom doesn't know why either. In any case, it's really quite tasty.Chef Cheong Liew chatting with Uncle Moon, who's my uncle's brother.That's Chef Cheong Liew in the maroon shirt. My uncle's the one who wandered into the picture on the right.
What a way to end off a really wonderful trip, filled with family, food and of course, shopping. =)