Food Tours in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia by Simply Enak is one off-the-beaten-path experiences that every traveler visiting KL should try. I managed to hook up with Pauline who personally runs these food tours in KL where the guest is taken on an amazing and interesting tour around some of the unique places found throughout Petaling Street or Chinatown in Kuala Lumpur. The tour is pretty simple and easy for anyone as it involves some walking, sight seeing and food tasting along the way. You are also taken on a journey which snakes through interesting alleys and back lanes of this famous street and it is all done within a span of three to four hours. Overall, I would rate Food Tours in Kuala Lumpur as one of the must-do things in Malaysia.
Lai Foong Coffee Shop in KL
The Food Tour in KL started with a simple and easy meet up spot in the heart of Chinatown at one of Kuala Lumpur's oldest coffee shop called Lai Foong Restaurant and Coffee Shop. From here, I was introduced to another guest from New York who previously signed up for this tour. We casually sat down having our local Malaysian breakfast of black coffee and toast bread while Pauline got to know us a little better. She was very professional in asking about our diets as we would be sampling a variety of local hawker foods during the food tour. She also mentioned that all tours here would be conducted in English too. After about 20 minutes of catching up and ending with a nice bowl of Beef Noodles, we embarked on our gastronomical tour of KL.
Breakfast, Malaysian style in Petaling Street
Beef Noodles at Lai Foong Coffee Shop in KL
Crossing the busy streets of KL, our first destination was a local grocer store selling all kinds of Chinese items. Here, Pauline explained and also showed us the variety of Malaysian Chinese spices and goods which are used everyday in local cooking.
Pauline from Simply Enak KL Food Tours explains some of the local groceries
A typical Chinese grocer shop in Kuala Lumpur
After about ten minutes in the local grocer store, we proceeded towards Petaling Street where at one point, we were taken into a back lane. If I were to be walking alone here, I would have totally missed this place. It was here that many of the locals would do their daily marketing and have their drinks or meals.
Market at Petaling Street, Kuala Lumpur
As Pauline led us inside, she told us to watch out for the traders moving goods in and out of the place. A couple of vegetable stalls greeted us as we entered and she then showed us some of the unique local vegetables which looked very odd to Brian, who was the other guest. Me, I have seen them throughout Malaysia but the fact that this specialized tour took you into local markets was interesting enough for any traveler. As we got deeper into the lane, you could notice that you were the only foreigner here as there was no sign of other tourists around.
Our next stop was a Yong Tau Foo Stall, one of the best around KL city too. Yong Tau Foo is actually fish paste stuffed into vegetables and bean curd skin boiled or friend and then served with a delicious soup. Pauline explained that the stall here has been around for many years and is one of the popular stalls for lunch or even a snack throughout the day. As I looked over, a number of locals were seen lining up to get their orders. Pauline has sat us down at one of the empty tables while she went and get our sample order.
Yong Tau Foo in Petaling Street, KL
The dish was quickly sent to our table and as she explained the contents of it, we were happily sampling pieces of Yong Tau Foo. A side dish of chili sauce was served but you can opt to not have it if you have a weak stomach. But for a fact, it still taste great without the chilli. Next, she got us a plate of Chee Cheong Fun with sweet sauce and some chilli sauce on the side. This flat steamed noodle works perfect as an appetizer and can also be eaten as a side dish along with the Yong Tau Foo. A bowl of Curry Mee (Noodles) was last on the menu here. This rich fragrant milk based curry dish was served with yellow noodles and pieces of chicken and some long beans. Not as spicy as you would imagine but it will give your taste buds something to ponder about.
Chee Cheong Fun Flat Noodles in KL
Curry Mee in Petaling Street
After sampling the three unique food dishes here, we made out way through one of the old and forgotten shopping emporiums of Petaling street. As we walked through, I noticed a number of unique shops selling Chinese wedding items and even statues of Chinese goddesses. Pauline explained a little about the Chinese marital culture as many folk here still believe in the traditional ways.
Pauline explains to a guest
Air Mata Kuching at Petaling street
From the old shopping emporium, we found ourselves in the middle of Petaling Street where the traders have already begun their daily sales. Walking along, the main street, she then led us to a local candy hawker. Some really unique dried fruit candy infused with sugar was sampled and even bought for us to much on along the way. Upon reaching the main intersection of Chinatown, we stopped at one of the most famous drink stalls here. Air Mata Kuching or Cats Eye Drink was served to us while we immediately consumed it there and then due to the nice and hot weather. Apparently, this drink stall is now run by the second generation of the family who started selling this dessert drink here for over 30 years now.
Local Mangosteen and Chinese Nyonya Cakes on sale
Apart from the food tour in KL, you will also get a chance to experience the unique culture and heritage of the Chinese community from around Petaling Street. Seeing how they trade, sell food and go about their daily lives was among some of the highlights of the tour. Apart from just being taken to a restaurant and eating, this tour is well worth every cent spent as you get to move around on foot in the heart of Chinatown.
While walking along the pre-war shop lots here, you may even encounter some strange signs promoting some traditional Chinese consultancy. Not that I tried any of those, but please check with Pauline if you do want to visit any of these Chinese physicians.
Petaling Street Fried Hokkian Noodles
Our final stop was at one of the famous Hokkian Mee stalls in Petaling Street. Here these thick yellow noodles stir fried in thick black sauce is one of the popular dishes among many Malaysians. Cooked over hit fire, it takes lots of skill to serve out a good plate of Hokkian Noodles. You will find the famous Chinese Croutons (Fried Pork Lard), pieces of pork meat and vegetables in this dish. Mind you this tour is non-halal meaning this is not for Muslims. For those interested in a halal food tour of KL, you can contact Pauline or Simply Enak for arrangements.
Pauline with famous Durian and posing by one of the old shop doors
Finally we concluded by taking Brian to try out the famous Malaysian Durian. He had heard about this strange and smelly fruit but never tried it before. Well, this was it where Pauline asked him if he would really like to experience the Durian. After a quick ponder, Brian's answer was quick - 'Why not? Since I'm here in Malaysia'. So we adjourned to one of the durian sellers in Petaling Street to make that historical moment for Brian. The outcome? Sorry, not revealing it here as you will have to try it for yourself to get that experience.
For more information on booking this KL Food Tour, please visit Simply Enak and make your arrangements. You can also view some of the Trip Advisor Reviews of Simply Enak's Food Experiences. I will personally recommend this tour when you are visiting KL city as it only takes up about 3-4 hours of your time. The tour starts at about 10am and ends at about 1pm. Price wise, I think it is very reasonable and affordable for the business traveler, general traveler or even backpacker. For the Back Packer, you may be staying around the Chinatown area therefore it will be easy to meet up for this tour.
All of the hawker food sampled here has been carefully selected by Pauline so that you will have a safe and excellent experience. Overall this tour is something different from the ordinary as it will definitely fascinate your palate. If you are a food lover and on a business or leisure trip in Kuala Lumpur with a free day, I would recommend that you try out this Food Tour in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.