Thursday, 23 March 2017

The Picky Vegetarian Hogger goes to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Let me kick off this post by apologising, profusely for the long and unreasonable absence. My trip concluded back in October 2016 and here I am, continuing to write posts about it in March 2017. Nevertheless, better late than never, I suppose.

To continue where I left off in my last post, the Plus One and I boarded a flight to Kuala Lumpur from Langkawi. The flight itself was uneventful. We took an airport bus from KLIA 2 (Kuala Lumpur International Airport Terminal 2) to KL Sentral Station and boarded another bus to Genting Highland. Pro tip: If you are interested in spending a night at casino(s), gambling away to glory, Genting Highland is the place for you. If not, do not hesitate in giving this a miss. First, the Plus One and I did not have proper, formal clothing to enter any of the casinos (they do not allow shorts and slippers), second, our main purpose of heading to Genting Highland was to visit the outdoor theme park (I hold very few amusement parks at great esteem - this is one of them, especially when there's one built on top of a mountain!) To our dismay we found out that the outdoor theme park had been shut off to make way for some other theme park which is expected to open sometime in 2017. Anyway, the drive to and from Genting Highland is quite nice with beautiful views. On the way back, we were asked to wait at the cable car station to await another bus and it made for quite a nice 2 hours, walking around with just peace and quiet!

As for the food at Genting Highland:

  1. On our first night at Genting Highland, we decided to walk around all the properties because all the places (eateries and pubs/ bars) were crowded and that really put us off. We stopped at Marry Brown at the First World Hotel (where we were staying) to look for vegetarian options. (Tip: you will not find fresh fruits at Genting Highland; carry some from KL if you so wish). I was excited to find a veggie burger on their menu and ordered it off. Turns out, it is just a hash brown inside cold bun and a small slice of cheese. "Epic fail" is the term, isn't it?
    We even stopped over at Marry Brown at the First World Hotel the next day for breakfast, just before we headed back to KL. I ordered the veggie breakfast, which was, wait for it, another epic fail because all I was met with was one hash brown, two stale buns with small slices of cheese with some unlimited strong black coffee. The coffee is something I have no qualms about. The rest of the items? I am packing hundreds of theplas from India the next time I visit Malaysia.
  2. The Plus One decided to eat something at this place called JR Curry where the only item on the menu I could eat or drink was this juice called "Calamansi" which is somewhere of a cross between lime, jamun and kokum sherbats. The sad part about this place is that it was an Indian restaurant and there was nothing Indian on the menu! Oh, they did have okra curry, only, it didn't look like okra.
The Plus One and I then took a bus back to Kuala Lumpur and hailed an Uber from KL Sentral to our homestay, at Kuchai Avenue, near Salak Selatan station. Our host was a beautiful local lady with two sweet kids along with their pet turtles. The place was clean, our host was friendly, approachable and turtles are cute, you know? Drop me an email if you wish to contact the host, I shall share the details with you. 
  1. Anyway, on our first day at Kuala Lumpur, the Plus One and I took the train to Hang Tuah and walked down to Bukit Bintang. After roaming around the area, we decided to stuff our faces at The Loaf (the chocolate items on display were simply marvellous.) We ordered some lemon cream oyaki (which was very similar to Mango Sin that we had at Bread Story, Cenang, except it was lemon flavoured cream), choco petite (it sounds fancy, but, it was nothing more than khari (puff pastry) with some chocolate filling in it), scone vegetable cheese (there was no cheese and it tasted like Maddur Vada except with spring onion instead of regular ones.)
  2. On the way back from our day out at KL, sometime around 23:30 we came across this restaurant called President at Masjid Jamek. Since we were both supremely hungry (the Plus One had given up on non-vegetarian food by then and was craving vegetarian food!) we decided to head in and at least have a coffee. The moment I heard the owners speak in Tamil, my joy knew no bounds and I explained our predicament at not having found any decent vegetarian food (vegetarian food here is laced with oyster oil and fish sauce which gives that pungent flavour that really puts me off), we also explained what exactly we wanted - food with just some salt in it at the very least. They happily obliged and gave us some fried rice along with instant coffee (Nescafe to the rescue). Though the food wasn't very appetising, the experience itself gave me a little more hope at finding good local food without creepy-crawlies in Malaysia.
  3. The next day, I had a craving for some Indian food, and it just wouldn't go away. After some hunting on Zomato, we hauled our sorry, hungry asses to Saranavaa Bhavan at KLCC and happily hogged on rava dosa, plain dosa, some puri masala, idli and medu wada. I don't think food has ever tasted so good. Also, if you do go here, ask for "Bahadur" - he is a Nepali guy who has been working at Saravanaa Bhavan for 15 odd years and speaks impeccable Tamil! Eventually, for the rest of my stay in KL, Saravanaa Bhavan became my everyday breakfast place. The connection was strong with this one.
  4. Right opposite Saranavaa Bhavan at KLCC is this place called Lakshmi Vilas Superior Veg Restaurant. There is nothing superior about it. There is nothing clean about it. Do yourself a favour, walk across the street, pay double the money at Saravanaa Bhavan and eat some good food. Do not go here.
  5. If you have read my previous posts on Penang and Langkawi, you'd have noticed that I was heavily dependent on fresh fruits and Subway for most of my trip. We ended up eating at Subway again at Bukit Bintang and by then, the Veggie Delight sub was nothing but a mockery played in my face by the Food Overlords.
    Also, I decided to try some coffee at a 7-11 right next to our homestay (midnight craving that I can do nothing about), and opted for "Alicafe". Oh, boy! It was nothing short of horrendous and it belongs in the dustbin, in case you were curious.
  6. When at Suria KLCC, we were constantly going in and out of shops, grocery stores and food outlets. At such time, we came across:
    (a) The sugar donut at Cold Storage - simple, fresh and fluffy
    (b) Some promotional 1 RM coffee at Waroeng Warung - strong, black, absolutely fantastic, friendly staff, cut fruits also available
  7. On our last night around KL, we headed to Papa John's at Selangor and ordered a garden house pizza. Suffice to say, there was nothing "garden" about it. We also guzzled on some dragon fruit juice at the same mall's food court which was pleasant and good enough to get the taste of that pizza out of my mouth.
Overall, I'd say my food experience at Malaysia was less than satisfactory. It is not a vegetarian-friendly place. As my TamBrahm-but-Gujju-at-heart friend put it "Do not take chances - carry some theplas - they will be your lifeline." I am not a particularly adventurous person when it comes to food; I am quite opposed to eating any food item that once used to walk, crawl, swim or was able to get itself from one place to another.

This brings to an end my food posts on my trip to Malaysia. In December 2016, I undertook a trip to Jaipur, Rajasthan; vegetarians will face zero problems there and so I will not be making any blog posts on the trip. I shall be updating this blog with all future travels on time, every time, pinky promise.

Take care, thank you for reading and do drop me an email if you have any additional questions -

1 comment:

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