I was in KL for two days. If you have been following this blog for some time, you'll know that KL is one of my least liked city. After this trip, I think maybe that Bangkok is not so bad after all.
Again, KL's taxi drivers take the prize for worst taxi service. I fail to understand why the government can't get the taxi drivers to use their meters. That just tells so much about the government's efficacy. KL is a totally hostile city for walking and even short distances are best travelled by car. The standard unmetered fare is RM20/USD6.70, twice the cost of a metered ride. It is common to see tourists bargaining with taxi drivers.
I walked in the cold in Shanghai on streets that were straight and clean but in KL, I couldn't walk because it was so hot and the government just doesn't like trees. Even if there are trees, Kl is still not walkable because it's not a city built sensibly. Buildings are here and there, with a car park or other structures in between and no walkways are provided. If they are, the walkways are uneven and broken with deep open pits here and there. Rubbish is everywhere. KL is unbelievably dirty, even on Jln Bukit Bintang, the main shopping street. I am ashamed of our capital city.
On our first night, the taxi driver driver dropped us at Petaling St because he said that was a happening place where we can eat wood-fired hokkien mee. We walked up and down Petaling St and it was filthy, just horrid. We finally sat down at a restaurant and ordered Hokkien mee and fried mee just because there were lots of Europeans eating there and we figured that if they can eat in such dirty places, so can we.
The next morning, I wanted to eat pork noodles at a shop (a dirty restaurant called Kedai Mei Sin) behind Park Royal Hotel because that's where I used to eat whenever I was in KL during my working days.
The stall is now run by the son and the noodles aren't as good anymore. The sang yuk meen (pork noodles) in KK are tons better.
From another stall in Mei Sin, assam laksa. This was bad. It's strange why nobody can make assam laksa as good as those Penangnites.
This is beef noodles at Soong Kee in Lot 10. Nah, KK's beef noodles are tons and tons better!
"Imbi pork noodles" at Lot 10. Not outstanding.
Pig stomach soup. This was good, very peppery and thick.
We were around the Bukit Bintang area and wanted a nice place to rest our feet and perhaps nibble on some nice cakes. It was about 2:30 pm and none of the hotels had any afternoon tea. From The Westin to The Grand Millenium to JW Marriot to I can't even remember which hotel, there was no afternoon tea! Dim sum at the Grand Mliienium was made with pork (hooray) but they were just closing when we got there. We found ourselves in the Pavillion, a very nice shopping mall, and stepped into Ben's. I was thrilled that they served afternoon high tea, on those silver multi-tiered trays, for only RM48 I think. Scones, sandwiches, cakes. Then the waiter came and said they've run out of scones and sandwiches. I grudgingly ordered the moist coconut cake,
This wasn't moist at all but it was still quite good.
Tasty and cheap at RM2.50.
Imported mochis. I found them too hard, even after 50 minutes of thawing.
Dinner was buffet (we ran out of ideas) at The Westin Hotel. We swear after every buffet that we'll never have buffets again. We swore again.
I don't get why this building was allowed to be built right up to the walk path. Worst of all, this is right on Jln Bukit Bintang. It also blocks off the entrance to Starhill. Amazing how some people can get away with anything.
This was the best thing I ate on my KL trip: chili pan mee, something we don't get in KK. The pork oil, the el dente noodles, the crispy ikan bilis, the delicious sauce, the fragrant fiery fried chili flakes just made this an awesome dish.
The soup pan mee was ordinary after the dry chili pan mee. I was surprised to find sayur manis in KL pan mee.
The kick ass chili was SO good that we asked to buy it but the old man was adamant that he didn't have enough to sell.
Fine, I thought, I'll figure out what's in the chili. See those thin bits of crystals? MSG. This is just dried chilies, deep fried until crispy, processed until fine and seasoned with salt and plenty of MSG.
Would I go back to Restoran Kin Kin, recommended in food blogs and magazines, on Jln Dewan Sultan Sulaiman Satu? NO. The chili pan mee is delicious but look at the shop and the environment. I still can't believe I ate there. It looked like an area for drug dens. It very likely is. On the way out of the area, we nearly stepped on a smashed dead rat. I felt sick.
We decided that we had enough of exotic restaurants and ended up in the Inter Continental Hotel for dim sum. I won't bore you with the same old photos of ha gow and taro puffs but this was the final straw for us. The dim sum was very average, devoid of pork (dim sum without pork is not dim sum) and at the end of the meal, this came:
Unless you are in an American Chinese restaurant, fortune cookies have no place in a good, authentic Chinese restaurant.
I harboured a desire to eat a meal of bak kut teh before going to the airport but I knew that Hub had enough. It had been a pretty rough food adventure this trip. We ended up eating KFC at the airport. It was good.