A blog about food in Thailand
and elsewhere.

Back in the MY

Posted date:  February 28, 2012


This may come as a surprise to people who’ve been reading this blog for a while, but I’d wager that Malaysia is the best eating destination in Southeast Asia. I love Thai food, but having lived in Thailand a long time now, I’ve always been secretly jealous of Malaysia’s variety: regional Chinese, Indian, and of course, Malaysian cuisines are available just about everywhere there. Food in Malaysia generally isn’t super sweet — a flavour the Thais love, but one I’m not so hot about. And Malaysia seems to have a disproportionate amount of the type of stuck-in-time old-school restaurants that one really has to work hard to find in Thailand.

So I’m very happy to be back.

My main reason for being in Malaysia is to begin work on Lonely Planet’s Malaysia, Singapore & Brunei, but I spent my first several days in country in Kuala Lumpur, doing a photo shoot. The running around didn’t leave me time to do to much exploration, but I was still able to eat well, and hit now-familiar EatingAsia faves Yut Kee, Bakti Woodlands and Sek Yuen, not to mention LP-recommended places including Jalan Alor and Imbi Market:


But my most memorable meal in KL was probably at Vishalatchi Food & Catering, a southern Indian restaurant suggested by Jarrett:


Unlike most southern Indian places I’ve encountered in KL, this place is not vegetarian, and in fact sold one of the best versions of mutton biryani I’ve encountered in a long time:


Served with short-grain rice that’s fragrant but not over-seasoned with dried spices, a hard-boiled egg and fall-apart tender mutton (not to mention the tasty all-you-can-eat vegetable-based sides), on a banana leaf on a long communal table, in a hall-like room with the music and noise spilling over from a ceremony at an adjacent Hindu temple, it was much an experience as it was a meal.

My next destination is Penang, where I have plans to meet up with some locally-based bloggers and food experts, and most likely, experience even more excellent Malaysian food.

Visalatchi Food & Catering
18 Jalan Scott, Kuala Lumpur
012 311 2837

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5 Comments for Back in the MY

quite a coincidence: i just posted a few pictures of our last year’s trip to malaysa, and i absolutely loved the food there, even more than in thailand (and i didn’t expect that to happen). i’m sure you’re going to meet bee, we had a sunday-morning-feast last year. and her brother ck brought us to the best soup in my life: assam laksa balik pulau. i’m sure you will be eating there as well. and that small kueh factory in penang…

    Hey Austin, I have waited many years for someone to come out and say these words: “Malaysia is the best eating destination in Southeast Asia.”

    We’ll be eating more, to be continued. ­čÖé

Good indian banana leaf places are hard to find these days (at least I’ve not been able to!). Most are commercial type places serving overcooked, oversalted and overspiced stuff prepared in bulk.

I used to frequent this Vishal place a fair bit because I thought the food was decent and the accompanying vegetables change from time to time. Until I got sick in the stomach several times. I have an iron stomach and I eat in all sorts of places. I think this place must be pretty filthy.

[…] my long time blog friend Austin Bush of Real Thai this afternoon, who came to Malaysia on an assignment for the Lonely Planet guidebook. We had Char Kuey […]

[…] by both┬áMei and Austin, I headed off one day in search of Vishalatchi Food and Catering, purveyors of authentic Chettinad […]

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