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The Elusive Roti Canai

Choc Oranges KLSome of you will recall a post a month or so back called ‘Dreaming of Malaysia’. Well, finally the dream became a reality and I was in heaven with so many tempting treats, it was daunting to think I may not get through it all.

We knew we were off to a good start when these little beauties were delivered to our room as a welcome gift. At first I thought they were marzipan but after a day, when we caved and tried one, they turned out delicious chocolate ganache in a crisp orange sugar shell. Like super deluxe Jaffas. Of course, once we made that discovery, they didn’t last long!

A highlight was Jalan Alor in Bukit Bintang, where the street vendors come out in force each night at dusk to tempt you with the exotic:

Frog PorridgeAnd the better known:

Satay KL

A serve of satay, asian veges with garlic, a char kway teow and a large Tiger Beer set us back 37MR ($12) for the two of us and it was a benchmark that was hard to beat. The satay were so good that we went back to the same stall on our last night in KL to enjoy the sweet and smoky little morsels of meat with a slightly spicy peanut sauce.

As it was Ramadan, I enjoyed checking out the Straits Times special daily supplement every day, dedicated to the buffets at all the major hotels, for breaking the fast each evening. There is stiff competition with early bird offers, all the Durian you can eat and other enticements such as special gifts and home delivery – imagine getting your meal home delivered from the Sheraton!

We also enjoyed some hawker food including pulled coffee – a mix of coffee, milk powder and condensed milk that is poured (pulled) from jug to jug to mix it make it frothy. Very sweet but strangely addictive, even for someone who doesn’t take sugar in their coffee.

Pulling Coffee, KL

At the same stall we enjoyed a mid morning snack of Nasi Lemak – rice, sambal, boiled egg and ikan bilis (crisp anchovies and peanuts). The sambal was surprisingly mild which was probably just as well.
Malaysian Breakfast, Nasi Lemak KL
We had one breakfast in the hotel and at last, I was able to have some fantastic Roti Canai with amazingly tender Lamb Rendang. I also enjoyed a Vege Samosa but opted out of the sampling all of curries for breakfast. Meanwhile, at the other side of the buffet, the table was groaning under the weight of the Western Style pastries.  I did my best to liberate some and take them back to our room where we enjoyed them in a picnic breakfast the next day.

Western Pastries KL

Breakfast Picnic KL

Food in general was very cheap, whether it was on the street, at a ‘restoran’ or in the supermarket. Fruit and vegetables are more expensive that I would have expected but I picked up these beauties – Rambutan, at the Jalan Alor markets. Delicious!

Rambutans KL

We also visited Little India which has a heaving night market with surprisingly little Indian food. That night, we shared a portion of Sambal Ayam (BBQ Chicken) with rice, relish and soup for a whopping 4MR ($1.50). The one thing that I dreamed of, the delicious Roti Canai, remained elusive despite intensive searching (the hotel one doesn’t count). It appears that as it was Ramadan, special meals and treats are served in place of the usual fare with regular meals ‘off’ the menu for the month.

Malaysia absolutely lived up to the expectations of my inner glutton and as mentioned in the travel blog – we will definitely be back. It’s certainly not for anyone with a Peanut Allergy but happily, with an extensive history of eating peanut butter out of the jar, I was safe!

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