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Remembering hunger in Kuala Lumpur


Why food trails should be taken on an empty stomach

Forget ‘please’, ‘thank you’ and ‘Where are the toilets?’. In Malaysia, there’s only one phrase you need, and that is: “I’ve just eaten.” Learn this and you will be saved from many a food coma. If you try claiming to be full, you won’t be believed. Apparently here being full is, like nirvana, a state to strive towards, but, like nirvana, is a state attained only by an enlightened few.

 

Notorious lovers of a hotel breakfast (particularly when in South East Asia) we meet our guide for a food tour of Kuala Lumpur at 10.30am, each of us already full of tropical fruits, an Indian breakfast, a Japanese breakfast, a Malaysian breakfast and Chinese soup.

 

Twenty minutes later and we’re in Mr Singh’s Chapati being gently forced to eat chapati and sambal, curried tofu and vegetables. From here, we walk to Chinatown for some beef mince noodles. I try to use my vegetarianism as an excuse to skip this one, but of course, a vegetarian version has been provided and an iced barley drink is ordered to help us wash it down.

 

The food seems to never end and our walking between establishments becomes more of a waddle.

 

By our third or fourth stop we have a list of places to eat and dishes to order in Kota Kinabalu after having mentioned to our guides we’d be heading there later in our trip. By our final stop (via a durian tart, a visit to a secret lookout and the oldest Hindu temple in Kuala Lumpur) we are firm friends with our guides and have bonded over rendang, nasi lemak and the belief that to marry for love or money is foolish. Marrying for food is apparently the way to go.

 

Back at The Westin we have a couple of hours to recover before dinner at their superb Five Sen5es restaurant, but of course have to pop into the Executive Lounge under the guise of having a drink and end up with a couple of plates of ‘snacks’.

 

We look down at our, now prominent, tummies and realise we cannot remember what it feels like to be hungry. But the thought doesn’t last long as we tuck into our samosas, secure in the knowledge that in just half an hour, we’ll be eating again.

 

While in KL, Traveltalk stayed at The Westin Kuala Lumpur.

 
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Written by: Gaya Avery
Published: 11 January 2015


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