Muslim-Friendly Street Food in Kuala Lumpur
What is street food? It’s food sold at the street and immediately ready for eating, so nasi lemak would count as street food, but buying uncooked beef at a roadside stall would not. Previously, we have featured nine restaurants in KL where you can get halal dim sum. That’s one type of street food too. This time, we’re going to take a look at some of the other great street foods that you can find in KL.
Nasi Lemak Tanglin
We’re starting off with every Malaysian’s favourite street food: nasi lemak. Now, everyone has their own favourite nasi lemak place. Some like it for the rice, some for the sambal, and some for the fried chicken, and so on. What makes Nasi Lemak Tanglin unique, however, is not only the fact that it has been operating since 1948—now managed by the second generation of the original stall’s operators—but also the fragrance of their rice and sambal which remain unchanged since the early days. As soon as they open at 7 AM, there would be a long line waiting, and although they operate until noon, you’ll find that most of their dishes, such as fried chicken and beef curry, would have been sold out by 10.
Address: Nasi Lemak Tanglin
Gerai No. 6, Kompleks Makan Tanglin
Jalan Cenderasari (near Klinik Kesihatan Tanglin/Tanglin Health Clinic)
50480 Kuala Lumpur
Opening hours: 7 AM–12 PM daily
Brickfields Pisang Goreng
Another long-time favourite, though not as old as Nasi Lemak Tanglin, is Brickfields Pisang Goreng. Mr Chiam, the operator of the stall, has been selling pisang goreng in Brickfields for over 30 years, alongside other snacks such as sesame balls, kuih bakul, and curry puffs. Sometimes you may even need to wait up to 30 minutes to get your order, and you’ll want to order and pay first so that you’ll be given priority for collection. The reason why the pisang goreng here is considered one of the best is that the batter does not absorb as much oil as most others, and yet it remains airy, crispy and crunchy. The same applies to the batter coating the fluffy and tender sweet potato and yam slices in the kuih bakul which melt in your mouth the moment you bite into it.
Address: Brickfields Pisang Goreng
21, 19, Jalan Thambipillay, Brickfields (opposite YMCA)
50470 Kuala Lumpur
Opening hours: 12 PM–5 PM daily
Apam Balik in Jalan Hang Lekir
The old uncle known as Ah Lok has also been selling apam balik in Jalan Hang Lekir for over 50 years, and he doesn’t even need a name for his stall as those who appreciate apam balik would automatically seek his stall, which is located in the area known as Petaling Street. Once you’ve had a taste of his apam balik, you’ll see why it’s regarded as one of the best. He sells two different varieties, but both are equally good in their own way: one is made with coconut milk flavoured with pandan, and comes with fresh grated coconut; the other is filled with crushed peanuts and has a thicker yet fluffy texture.
Address: Jalan Hang Lekir, City Centre (in front of Koon Kee Wantan Mee)
50000 Kuala Lumpur
Opening hours: 12 PM–9 PM daily
If you have never heard of churros, they are like the Spanish equivalent of the Chinese youtiao, and these are both popular street food in their respective countries. Over the past few years, churros have been making their presence known in Malaysia. It’s not just churros-speciality shops that are selling them; restaurants, cafes, bars, and even food trucks have started selling churros. Speaking of food trucks, there’s a food truck in TAPAK Urban Street Dining called Churroza that sells—you guessed it: churros. What sets their churros apart from the rest are their special churros that are filled with your choice of Nutella or caramel. Even their regular churros are addictive enough!
Address: Persiaran Hampshire, off Jalan Ampang, Hampshire Park (in TAPAK Urban Street Dining)
50450 Kuala Lumpur
Opening hours: 6:30 PM–10 PM
A list of Malaysian street food would not be complete without mentioning Ramly burgers. Om Burger in Ampang takes the prize for being one of the best Ramly burger stalls in KL. Operating for over 30 years in Ampang, their signature style is the way they fry the Ramly patties until the patties are quite crispy, especially due to their generous use of margarine which results in a semi-deep frying effect. On top of that, a very generous amount of chilli sauce and mayonnaise is slathered onto the patties, and this sloppy appearance earned it the nickname “burger sampah” which translates to “trash burger”, but its taste is a clear opposite of its unappetising monicker.
Address: Om Burger
Lorong Kolam Air Lama 1 (in front of 7-Eleven)
68000, Ampang, Kuala Lumpur
Opening hours: 7 PM onwards
Rojak is another Malaysian street food that cannot go unmentioned. There are two types of rojak in Malaysia: rojak Mamak and rojak Penang. As its name suggests, rojak Mamak is the type most commonly found in mamak restaurants, having a savoury sauce covering cucur, fried tofu, potatoes, etc., and is known as Pasembor if you’re in Penang. Rojak Penang consists of cut fruits in a black sweet sauce mainly made of soy sauce and shrimp paste, and sometimes cuttlefish. Rojak Penang is also known as rojak buah. That being said, the most common type of rojak you can find in Kuala Lumpur is rojak Mamak, and the best rojak Mamak according to majority opinion is Rojak Bellamy. Situated near the main gate of the old Istana Negara, Rojak Bellamy has been around for more than 60 years, and almost everyone who ate there would sing praises about their rojak as well as mee rebus.
Address: Rojak Bellamy
Bukit Petaling Pernama, Jalan Bellamy (near the old Istana Negara)
50460 Kuala Lumpur
Opening hours: 8 AM–6 PM
And there you have it, some of the best Muslim-friendly street food that you can find in Kuala Lumpur. Notice some similarities among them? Each of them has been around for decades, and they are always listed relative to a particular landmark. This attests to how they have stood the test of time. Have you tried any of them? Which one is your favourite? Let us know in the comments section down below!
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