Hi Guys - sorry for the hiatus. I recently re-located from Kuala Lumpur to Penang after a change of jobs - my new company (a Singapore one) allows us to locate ourselves anywhere in Malaysia whilst we handle Malaysia-based projects and I figured that since I’d already spent 5 years in Kuala Lumpur, why not move to Penang instead, where there’s better food, nicer environment and a smaller, easy-to-navigate city (500,000 populace compared to KL’s 5 million). I just moved into my new place in George Town end of Dec, so starting my food exploration soon - yesterday, had a fab “lam mee” (pork-shrimp noodle soup dish) at Penang’s Victorian-era Campbell Street Market, at the junction of Buckingham St, Carnarvon St and Campbell St. I don’t see this dish in KL, but it’s similar to Singapore’s Nyonya “lam mee”.
Jalan Alor is still KL’s answer to Singapore’s Newton Circus - 80% of the food places are dedicated to BBQ seafood and targeted at the tourists. It’s nice, but not so much for KL locals who go to specific, very small clusters of night food stalls for their fix. Wai Sek Kai is one such place which you must explore - go after 6pm. and make a beeline for the Daipu Hakka noodle spot: it tends to sell out before 9pm on busy evenings. KL doesn’t really have really interesting night food streets like Penang’s Kimberley Street and Chulia Street.
Oversea at Imbi is always worth visiting if you want the best Cantonese in town. It’s not cheap but very affordable as the ringgit is pretty low these days vs the USD or GBP. The best crispy-skinned roast pork in KL can be had at Wong Mee Kee in Pudu, whilst the best BBQ pork or “char-siu” is at Soo Kee in Ampang (not to be confused with Soo Kee in Pudu which is renowned for its noodles with freshwater prawns). But Oversea can produce respectable versions in much better surroundings than either Wong Mee Kee (which opens at 12 noon each day and sells out in one or two hours!) or Soo Kee which is located way out on the city’s outer limits. Try and catch these Cantonese roasts in KL, as Penang doesn’t do them as well - Penang’s Chinese populace is mainly Hokkien and Teochew - similar to Singapore’s, whereas KL is mainly Cantonese.
I joined the Malaysia Food Whisperers FB group (an offshoot of the Singapore Food Whisperers) last year, but they’ve made me one of the administrators since. I have some very detailed write-ups on food places in KL, Penang, Ipoh, Malacca and other Malaysian cities if you’d like to join the group:
BTW, I’m now in Penang (unless I’m on home leave in Singapore or away on project work in KL or somewhere in Malaysia), so anyone who’s in town and wants to catch up for a bite can always drop me a line.