[Kuala Lumpur] Bukit Bintang/Imbi Market hawkers at ICC Pudu

The KL City Hall has relocated the famous Bukit Bintang/Imbi Market hawkers to the new ICC Pudu building, next to Pudu Plaza, as at end-April 2016.

  1. The new ICC in Pudu - like the Death Star in Star Wars Episode 4, it looked like it’s still under construction, but is in fact fully operational!

  1. Ann’s Nasi Lemak, with its famous curried pig’s skin and pork curry. Her rice did not taste as rich as those from Madam Kwan or even Sakura, but costs only a fraction of the price at the other two places. Ann offers the hard-to-find pork curry and curried pig’s skin - rich, decadent and to-die for.

  1. Sister’s Crispy Popiah - so-called as they incorporate crispy bits into their popiah filling - is the best-known popiah stall in KL. One of the must-not-miss places at the old Imbi Market, and still packing the crowds at this new location:

  1. One of my faves - Ipoh-style chee cheong fun - served with pickled green chillis.

Address
Pudu Integrated Commercial Complex (ICC)
Jalan 1/77C (between Jalan Bugis and Jalan Pelanduk)
Pudu, 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

3 Likes

Wow, quite a difference from the market!

This move was mentioned in my Malaysian guide book from 2013 so it was a long time coming.

Do you think it will have a big impact on business?

Does the wet market remain?

I have too many questions, thanks for the report Peter.

I think their business has spiked sharply in the short term, as KL-lites are curious about the new place. It’s only 10 minutes’ drive from the old spot, but a whole world of difference as this part of Pudu is quite an edgy, grungy part of town - many of the regulars from the old location may not feel comfortable enough to come down here. However, the new location is also in a busier neighbourhood - working-class, dense, packed, so they are going to get more walk-ins.

Ah Weng Ko’s business has gone through the roof at this new place in the last month - I think what they earned in one weekend exceeded what they used to earn in a fortnight at the old spot! Not sure what the long-term impact would be - once the curiosity of their old regulars who came here wears off. This part of Pudu can be pretty colourful - gang-fights, triads, etc.

The wet market is to move into the same new building as well - but I didn’t see any of those stalls there yet in my last two visits to the new place. They may be impacted - as Pudu’s large, well-known wet market is pretty nearby - the old Bukit Bintang/Pudu market catered to a different segment of KL society, who will most probably not venture down to this rougher neighbourhood.

Ah Weng Ko’s famous kaya-butter toasts and Hainanese “tea” (actually a blend of tea, coffee and sweetened, condensed milk). Unfortunately, in this currently very busy new location, the standards of their kaya-butter toasts have declined precipitously - the toasts were cold & limp by the time we got them, past the masses of walk-in customers that teemed the new location.

More ICC Pudu eats today - first stop: Ah Fook Chee Cheong Fun - one of the most popular stalls at the old spot, and still doing great business here. Ah Fook’s “chee cheong fun” noodles had the perfect texture: silky-smooth and of the perfect thickness. Its accompanying “yong tau fu” morsels were also pretty good: the pork “ngoh hiang” rolls were unique and I’d not seen those served with “chee cheong fun” anywhere else.

Another interesting option there is Choo Choo’s Hainanese curry noodles, with poached chicken, curried pig’s skin and long beans. Spicy and delicious.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold