27 May 2012

Kuala Lumpur Tour Day 5

Imbi market morning, Port Klang midday adventure and a nighty-night satay and seafood feast.

We read that Imbi market is great for breakfast so we hit it early-ish. We hail a taxi and get the grumpiest driver in KL.
 "Imbi Market?" Shawn asks the driver, a wrinkly, skinny old Chinese Uncle.   
"What do you want to go there for?" says Mr grumpy taxi driver.
"To eat." says Shawn.
"You can eat here" says Mr grumpy taxi driver, pointing to a Nando's chicken burger joint, hardly breakfast food, and not even open. With a grunt of disbelief he drives off, leaving us scratching our heads in disbelief on the footpath.
The next taxi driver we hail is a bit wiser, pocketing a fare, a tip and a commission as he smooth talks his way into taking us to a chocolate "factory"(ie tourist shop) on the way. This kind of thing usually annoys us but this guy did it in such a nice way. Good on him.

All four in our touring party reckon Imbi market was the best spot on the trip. It's a morning market so hit it early. We also all agree that breakfast was hands-down the best meal of the day in Kuala Lumpur: the food options are fresher and more interesting in the morning and the tummy is ready for it. Plus it's sweltering hot at lunchtime, and by dinner-time we're not so hungry.

Ice vendor. Some folks are wary of block ice as it gets dragged along the ground like this. We're big fans of tube shaped ice, if it's tube shaped it's manufactured and supplied in bags and super safe, plus it has a super cooling affect on your bevvy.

The main food area has plenty of spots to eat. You sit in the middle surrounded by the smells and sounds of cooking. Joy.

Popiah Sisters has quite the business after a glowing endorsement in Lonely Planet. Alison asked if it had been good for business - a huge smile and enthusiastic nod declares yes. Perhaps guidebook snobbery is something to be reconsidered when you see how much it means for a stall to be picked up as something special. This stall deserves the merits, and doesn't seem overly effected by the kudos.

The production line gets going. Sauce, salad, crunchy pickles, soft thin wrappers.

Finished popiah, a fantastic breakfast entree. The wrappers are so soft. Divine.

The search continues for more breakfast.

The popiah lady recommended the coffee at this joint, we oblige. They're so busy the're almost running the stuff out.

The popiah lady was right, this coffee is sensational, it has a nice bitter coffee bite and it's not overly sweetened - ie it tastes like coffee instead of sugar. Coffee really varies around KL but now and again we strike caffeine gold.

Some dishes are prepared in advance, so an early start to the food hunt can mean some tastier fresher finds.

Serious noodle making. The noodle master puts his dough through a pasta making machine.

Noodles from the pasta master above. The crunchy anchovies were a wonderful adjunct to the moist mushrooms and perfect noodles. Terminator goes gaga over this one.

Loh shi fun - RM$5. Shawn forages for this rats tail noodle dish with pork mince and a fresh egg on top. The pork had a strong dark soy flavour and there was plenty of porky oil to flavour the noodles. We found a version of this dish at Petaling Street back home in Sydney, very nice though not half as rich and spicy.

Dancing fish balls pumpkin noodle soup - RM$5. A refreshing light breakfast soup.

A fine Imbi kuching.

Bundling bean curd skins.

This little poodle wouldn't look out of place on King St Newtown.

Miss Economical Bihun finds a pussycat pal out the front of Imbi Market.

A friendly local notices Miss Economical Bihun patting pussycats, so out of the blue she brings over a puppy for her to cuddle. Folks are so nice here.

We stumble across another market in Imbi, this place seems to be mostly Malay and Indian traders. We return at night for dinner but the vibe isn't there.

Market action.

Mr Imbi J. Kuching keeping the world safe from dropped fish scraps.

This afternoon's adventure is a trip to Port Klang. To most folks Port Klang is the gateway to the great seafood of Pulau Ketam, Crab Island. But to us Port Klang is the gateway to Port Klang. Somehow we managed to miss the signs for the boat to Crab Island, instead we wander around a downbeat suburb in the searing heat of the day until we all get cranky. And that's generally what a holiday with us is like. If you'd like to test the strength of your relationship, come wander the world's exotic industrial areas with us.

Still, we found Port Klang interesting in it's own way, it's like a little piece of regional Malaysia, there's something kind of 1950's about it. And it's an interesting train ride through the outskirts of the city. We'd done some vague research suggesting there might be some good places to eat out here, none of which we could find.

Miss Economical Bihun disappears and we find her being licked to death by a gang of seven of the cutest puppies you've ever seen, hanging outside the KFC grabbing bones and breaking hearts.

Random resto, Port Klang.

It's dang hot, and there doesn't seem to be too much action.

Random resto.

The pussycats are too friendly here. When they see Shawn's camera they always get up to come and say hello.

As we all get heat hungry cranky we spot Port Klang Food Stall. That'll do.

There's a few stalls so of course we have to order from the one with no menu and no spoken English. Shawn orders by pointing a large jar of Marmite and grinning like an idiot.

The result - Marmite pork on rice, with a fried googie for good measure. Marmite dishes are surprisingly nice, like a dark, rich sweet'n'sour. If only we could convert them to Vegemite...

Fried noodles with seafood.

Nothing wrong with a bit of fried rice now and again.

Our chef.

Watermelon and a super sweet red cordial from the grumpiest drink cart dude in Port Klang.

We get the train back to KL, taking care not to smooch in period drama costumes.

Drink vendo, Imbi.

These looked a better than they tasted. Nice at first sip but after a while, thanks to some floating corn kernels, it tasted like the milk left at the end of a bowl of cornflakes.

We prowl the streets at night in search of dinner. This roadside Malay stall looked fantastic but we are after something a bit more sit-down-drink-beery. We'll be hunting for this next time we come back.

There's a wazzo new shopping centre on Jalan Bukit Bintang that's appeared since our last visit.

Indian joint on Jalan Sultan Ismail. We're keen to return for some vegetarian Indian.

Random Indian joint.

We see a tops mamma making satay.

Who could resist that face?

Hubby takes over satay cooking duties, fanning the coals with manual and electric apparatus.

Those folks make a mean satay.

We wander back up to Jalan Alor for main course.

Random menu, Jalan Alor.

We hit Restoran Beh Brothers for dinner, which seems to be a conglomerate of Thai and Chinese stalls.

Go Tiger! Love how beer glasses are little in Asia, it means you can have more beer.

Terminator feels like a seafood hit so we order some crisp prawns with garlic. The giant hunks of garlic are sweet and cover the whole plate. Vampires be gone.

Love the artful way in which the prawns are prepped.

Chili crab.

Random kitchen.

Dig this dude's wok face...

Laundry cat makes sure his spare tuxedo gets washed properly.

My kibble, bugger off. Pussycats are much loved here.

We love Malaysia.


  1. I would do ANYTHING to be there right now!!!

  2. Yummmmmmmmmmmm.....love the photo of the cute mak chik (old auntie),

    1. I wish I could have packed her in my bag and brought her home


Thanks for your comment joy - please keep your musings happy - if you want to complain about a restaurant please do it on a restaurant review site (or your own blog) - we're all about celebrating cultural diversity and the great eats that come along with it :-)

Our ethics: We pay for all our own meals and travel (though sometimes Mum shouts us).