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Street food in Kuala Lumpur

Spicy curries, grilled satay skewers and noodles in all shapes and sizes: the streets of Kuala Lumpur offer a delicious culinary feast. The food on the street is as diverse as the city’s inhabitants. Malay, Chinese and Indian food stalls stand side by side. Their stoves operate night and day so there is plenty of time to explore the diverse cuisine of Malaysia, one food stall at a time.

It is quite common in Malaysia to eat 6 small meals a day, often outside of the home and in the company of friends. The food stalls in Kuala Lumpur are usually pretty busy. People sit on plastic chairs and chat with their friends as fragrant rice or noodle dishes are brought out one at the time. The streets of Kuala Lumpur are full of tempting delicacies; try a Malaysian deep-fried snack, a Japanese noodle soup, an Indian curry or an Arab stuffed pita.

The streets of Kuala Lumpur are a culinary feast
The streets of Kuala Lumpur are a culinary feast

쿠알라룸프르

A city full of spicy delicacies

To fully immerse yourself in the Malay food culture, visit Jalan Alor. The murmur of this long street can be heard from a distance: this is the most popular destination in the Golden Triangle area of Kuala Lumpur. Hungry visitors stroll by food stalls full of spicy delights – pull up a blue and red plastic chair and help yourself. The food stalls serve mostly Chinese food, but there is great deal of variety. Be sure to try the barbecued pork with a sweet-and-sour sauce, which tastes even better with a cold beer.
For local delicacies continue to the Kampung Baru district. It is a lot quieter than Jalan Alor and draws mainly locals. This friendly village-like enclave in the middle of the city is home to a large community of Malay senior citizens. Experience the friendly small-town ambiance early in the morning when people flock here to eat some 'nasi lemak', one of the best in Kuala Lumpur. This rice dish with peanuts, cucumber and boiled egg is a typical breakfast dish, but also tastes great any other time of the day.

“The best nasi lemak in Kuala Lumpur, according to locals”

Culinary masterpieces in Chinatown

Officially named Jalan Sultan, Madras Lane runs right through Kuala Lumpur’s bustling Chinatown. This is the neighbourhood where zealous vendors try to sell fake watches. It can be a challenge to find the best food options amidst the hustle and bustle, but if you know where to look, you can savour some fantastic culinary delights. Specialties include the Chinese soup 'yong tau foo' and 'curry laksa', a rich and spicy stew filled with delicious ingredients. Cooks prepare these dishes in large woks over a high flame in simple food stalls, some of which have been around for more than 60 years. To find the best food, pick the stalls with the longest line-ups.
Curry laksa is the specialty dish at Madras Lane

Photo credits

  • Curry laksa is the specialty dish at Madras Lane: Alpha, Flickr