This year, I spent NYE in Malaysia with Jharvis, while my mom was with her friends in Hong Kong & Macau. Instead of the usual family gathering, somehow we all had different plans. While mom was sending me photos of roast goose and fancy dishes by Joel Robuchon, I was sending her photos of roti and curry.
We arrived in Kuala Lumpur late afternoon on the 30th of December 2014. After getting settled at the hotel, we decided to take a stroll and explore the food street called Jalan Alor. Thank goodness for Jharvis or I would’ve been going around in circles. My sense of direction is well… horrible.
Jalan Alor used to be Kuala Lumpur’s red light district. It went through several facelifts and was converted into a night food street. The side walks are set up with food stalls equipped for cooking according to the stall’s specialty. Both indoor and outdoor dining are available.
Barbecue bean curd was deep fried tokwa, or a variation of hard tofu stuffed with julienne of cucumber and radish topped with peanuts and drizzled with barbecue sauce.
I couldn’t resist ordering Penang char kueh teow as it is one of my favorites.
A Malay classic, chicken satay with sweet peanut sauce on the side.
We also ordered the prawns in salted egg which was very very good, coated in a runny salted egg yolk sauce. I had some difficulty eating the prawns with my chopsticks and opted to use my fingers instead.
We were overwhelmed by all the dishes that we wanted to order so ended up ordering a buffet good for atleast 4 people… and finished EVERYTHING. Haha! On the walk back to the hotel, we decided to eat again in the exact same place the next day and order just the salted egg prawns. Walking back to the hotel, we decided to stop by a convenience store for some chips, drinks, and bottled water. That combination plus the two of us means we’re up to no good. And so… this is what happened.
After having spun numerous times, we decided to call it a night. Our hotel had a good location since it was very close to the monorail station plus that there were several shopping malls in the area. We decided to have a quick brunch in a food court before heading out to the Batu Caves. Jharvis and I shared a combo platter of roast duck, steamed chicken and pork barbecue (a.k.a pork asado). Heading to the Batu caves was a breeze not only because someone was leading me there but also because all we did was take the monorail to KL Sentral and the KTM to the Batu caves. We were there in about an hour.
Although there are several caves to enter and visit, we just went to one with the reclining statue and the other one with the temple. To those going to check this out, ladies, no shorts or skirts above the knee. If not, you won’t be allowed entry or you’ll be forced to rent shawls to be tied around your waist to cover up your legs for 3 Ringgit.
Yes, I climbed all 272 steps. The monkeys amused me while climbing. They were tugging onto our plastic bag with bottled water.
After our Batu Cave visit, since it was still early, we decided to do a bit of shopping and grab a snack along the way. We discovered this place called Kafe Karipap (www.kampongkravers.com), which serves “karipaps.” I’m assuming that it means curry puffs? But they had a showcase filled with empanada-like pastry with different fillings. Jharvis tried the chicken, spicy anchovy, and mushroom mayo, while I had the chicken and egg karipap.
While ordering, another item caught my eye: it was their roti jala chicken curry served with different colors of roti: pink using dragon fruit, a green one made from pandan, yellow roti using turmeric and an orange one made of paprika.
With an abundance of time before the 12 midnight countdown, we took a dip in the pool while finishing the rest of our bottle of Gentleman’s Jack. It was then followed by dinner, again at Jalan Alor but this time, we ordered different items. I ordered the prawns with asparagus, while Jharvis had a bowl of noodle soup as he was not feeling well.
We then headed to the Petronas Towers for the fireworks display but immediately left when it started since Jharvis wasn’t feeling well. But, at least I was able to get a photo.
Even though Jharvis and I had a really fun time, spending New Year’s out of Manila is still not the same. The noise makers & sparklers, the unlimited champagne, jumping silly in hopes that I would still get taller, (riiiiiight!), the after parties, booze and dancing, stepping out of the club way past the sunrise, New Year’s day breakfast, and getting home at 7am… or later. I missed all these this year, but hey, there’s a first for everything.