One of my favorite things to do in a new city is a street food tour. Food tour with a local guide is an extremely enjoyable crash course in culture and people of the land. On a recent trip, I picked a Kuala Lumpur food tour named ‘Flavours of Malaysia – Off the beaten track’, by ‘Simply Enak’.

Kuala Lumpur Food Tour

This tour covered the Chow Kit Market, also known as the biggest wet market in KL. Chow Kit area is divided into two parts, one the official red light district and the other a popular bazaar or market that houses produce, butchers and street food vendors.

Our tour started with a meet and greet outside the Chow Kit monorail station. Mimi, our tour guide, did a great job introducing us to the area and its historic vs current day relevance within the KL sub-culture.

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First Stop – Traditional Malaysian Satay (Chicken/Goat/Beef) with steamed rice and chilli sauce

 

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People are the best stories: His weekend job, helping run parents’ food stall. Weekdays he is an IT professional at a bank. Spoke immaculate English.

 

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Amazing range of curries and versions of Kuih Kochi (rice dumplings in banana leaf)

 

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Deep fried Fish preparations

 

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Murtabak – Egg roti with various protein fillings

 

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The range of veggies, fruits, roots and spices were incredible. My favorite was sampling fruits that I often overlook at local grocers, like mangosteen and rumbutan fruit, yum!

 

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Varieties of dried fish, anchovies that are part of traditional Malay cuisine

 

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More herbs, spices and roots

 

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This part of the tour included extremely powerful smells and sights of all things blood and butchery, and came with intense trigger warnings. I left out the gory pictures from this write up.

 

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Putu Bambu – Steamed rice cakes traditionally cooked in bambu

 

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Chilli Pan Mee – This place was churning out the best fresh noodles I have ever eaten! Accompanied by secret recipe chilli paste.

 

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Final stop of the tour – Indo-Malaysian spread with various curries, roti canai and traditional coffee.

This 3-4 hour tour cost $62.50 USD and was worth every penny. Mimi, a  chow kit local and our tour guide was the highlight. Her passion for the area and its people was infectious and thoroughly enjoyable. The food on offer varied from hefty sampling to a full 8 course meal towards the end. It also offered various vegetarian options and accommodated those with food allergies.We were stuffed happy with knowledge and amazing food.

Take Away

For me, a food tours remain the best way to quickly connect with the city and its culture. Every city has  plethora of food tour options, I make sure to pick one that represents the locals best, away from the glitz and glamour of downtown or over commercialized tourist establishments. Chow Kit market was one such destination, a local favorite and a tourists’ delight.

Have you been to KL? What are your local favorites? Share with a comment below.