Chow Kit is KL's roughest & grimiest neighbourhood, populated by some of KL's most violent characters. The place is full of drug pushers and drug addicts, street hookers (including transsexuals/transvestites), petty thieves, muggers, and the sort.
It's also home to KL's largest market - bustling in the mornings, filled with the city's denizens who're out to buy anything and everything they need: from large, fresh turmeric leaves needed for Malay "beef rendang" to whole cow's head for preparing soups.
It's got the largest selection of fresh herbs, especially those for South-east Asian cooking, that I'd seen in the city - interesting variants of ginger, galangal, turmeric root, etc.
So maybe, just maybe, a journey into the Stygian depths of Dante's Inferno is worth it for a taste of what KL's Chow Kit has to offer.
Tapai, a Malay sweet of fermented tapioca.
Malay curries, including the beef liver one on the right which is redolent with cumin and coriander.
Chow Kit was a traditionally Malay neighbourhood, but the influx of Indonesians in the past couple of decades has resulted in a changing culinary landscape, with the food reflecting more Indonesian (Sumateran/Javanese) characteristics.
Malay "kueh" (sweetmeats) stall, selling various types of popular desserts like "onde-onde", "kueh lapis", "kueh dadar", Malay curry puffs, even a local type of donut called "kueh keria" made from sweet potato dough.
Putu piring, a Malay steamed rice cake filled with jaggery (Gula Melaka) and fresh, grated coconut.
Chow Kit's large fresh produce market.
All types of salted fish.