t i g e r   t a l e s  

  n o v- d e c

58

ON FOOT

 

There’s simply nothing Malaysians love 

more than food. They typically can’t last 

more than a few hours without eating and 

regularly enjoy six meals a day (breakfast, 

brunch, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner and 

late-night snack). Their obsession is such 

that tourists who ask a Malaysian which are 

the must-see attractions in any given part of 

the city are likely to hear that person reel off 

a list of nearby restaurants.

It makes sense, then, that the best way 

to see the real Kuala Lumpur is by taking a 

food tour – such as those run by Food Tour 

Malaysia. While the evening Off the Eaten 

Track Tour is a bestseller, we signed up for 

the Kuala Lumpur Walk Tour as the earlier 

time better suited our young children. 

Initially, prospects were not good – amid 

a downpour, our guide Charles approached 

our waiting group at Bangsar LRT station 

with a smile on his face and a poncho 

wrapped around his shoulders. 

The fi rst meal on our tour was “banana 

K UA L A   L U M P U R

leaf”, named after the wrapping and “bed” 

for the dish’s mix of vegetables, curried 

meat and 

poppadam (thin, crisp fried 

dough), which is served with steamed rice. 

It’s a traditional South Indian dish and was 

brought to Malaysia by ethnic Tamil workers 

in the early 20th century. Just like all the 

best Malaysian food, it’s simple, cheap 

and delicious. En route to our next 

destination, Charles ran through some 

of the high points in the history of the 

neighbourhood, known as Brickfi elds.

Also known as Little India, it took its name 

from the numerous brick-making factories 

once found in the area. The clay bricks they 

produced were used to build Kuala Lumpur, 

after most of the nascent settlement’s 

original wood and thatch dwellings were 

destroyed in a devastating fi re in 1881. 

Pondering the magnitude of such an event, 

we headed down the street for a refreshing 

dessert of 

chendol, a classic dish of shaved 

ice, coconut milk, green starched noodles 

with pandan fl avouring and palm sugar.

Though the culinary journey 

subsequently carried on to Chinatown, 

where we drank sweet iced coffee and ate 

bowls of sour 

assam laksa next to crates 

fi lled with squawking chickens, it was at this 

point that I fi nally understood: to experience 

its food is to understand Malaysia – 

everything else is just an appetiser. 

The Kuala Lumpur Walk Tour, which 

costs S$43 per person, includes a guide, 

transportation and all food and drinks. 

www.foodtourmalaysia.com

 IF YOU ASK A MALAYSIAN 

 WHICH ARE THE MUST-SEE 

 ATTRACTIONS IN ANY 

 GIVEN PART OF THE CITY, 

 DON’T BE SURPRISED 

 TO HEAR THE PERSON 

 REEL OFF A LIST OF 

 POPULAR RESTAURANTS 

Hunger games: eating is by far the leading 
pastime in Malaysia and Little India is a 
great place to start

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