Jalan Alor & KL’s Top Food Streets
Malaysia and in particular, Kuala Lumpur, is a fascinating place for foodies having a mix of Chinese, Indian, Western and it’s own local Malay cuisines. It’s a place where you won’t be at all disappointed. It’s also one of the few places in Asia where I am comfortable eating street food, and the most popular place for that is the street named Jalan Alor.
Jalan Alor comes to life after 5pm every night and is a characterful, classically Asian food street. It’s not elegant, it’s not modern, it’s not sparklingly bleached clean like an upmarket restaurant but it has the atmosphere that cannot be found elsewhere. And the food is cheap, plentiful and delicious. If it’s your first visit to KL then this is a must add destination on your dining list.
You can secure a table anywhere, then follow your nose and pick and choose from the different stalls or there also several walk-in restaurants. For ordering, some menus will be in Chinese only, but you can always ask for recommendations, look at what others are eating and request the same. Here are some tips for stalls to visit along Julan Alor:
Wong ah Wah – 1 Jalan Alor – Famous for its chicken wings and noodles.
Alor Corner Curry Noodle – Corner of Jalan Alor and Changkat Bukit Bintang – Famous for its curry mee.
Nasi Lemak Jalan Alor – corner of Jalan Alor & Changkat Bukit Bintang – Malay cuisine be sure to try their namesake, Nasi Lemak.
Ngau Kee Beef Noodles – located on the nearby street Tengkat Tong Shin – a range of beef dry and soup noodles, all are good.
Meng Kee Char Siew – Alor Kopitiam (next to Nova Hotel) – Char Siew (or Char Siu) is Cantonese style BBQ pork, delicious.
These are fairly safe picks, great taste, and food that’s very acceptable to most people. You can also find self-serve Dim Sum restaurants here which is also popular with everyone. If you are the more adventurous type keep exploring and try Rojak which is a spicy fruit salad that’s hugely popular throughout Malaysia and Indonesia, fish head soup, frog porridge, century eggs (sometimes called peetan, or thousand year eggs), roast stingray to name just some.
You’ll note that there’s a strong Chinese influence in the food options but you can also easily find Indian, Thai and Vietnamese. It’s more than a food street, it’s a cultural icon that represents the fabric of KL itself. If you go there just to eat, you’re really missing out on a cultural kaleidoscope.
On your street food journey in KL some other top dishes to try out are:
Bak Kut Teh – slow cooked pork rib soup
Chee Cheong Fun – rice roll with pig intestines
Hokkien Char Mee – Hokkien fried noodles with pork, soy sauce, and cabbage
Roti Canai – Indian flatbread served with dipping sauces
Nasi Lemak – it’s the national dish, coconut rice served with fried anchovies, fried peanut, sliced cucumber, tomato and hard-boiled or fried egg.
Other food streets:
Kampung Baru pasar malam – get there via Kampung Barua LRT Station – Kampung Baru night market is a true Malaysian food experience. Opens roughly from 6pm to 11pm.
Petaling Market – around Chinatown and Petaling Market there are loads of stalls offering Chinese and Malay fare.
Taman Connaught Night Market – a little way out of town but rewarding. More here
Lot 10 Hutong – 50, Jalan Sultan Ismail (close to Bukit Bintang Monorail) – offers a great way to experience street food is a homogenized and sterilized environment. Whilst it doesn’t offer the character and atmosphere of a true food street, it does offer air conditioning and a wide range of choices in a convenient location.
Pavilion Food Court (Food Republic) – Pavilion Mall – again, misses on the atmosphere but it does offer convenience, comfort, and an array of fairly priced Indian, Chinese and Malay options.