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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