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[Kuala Lumpur] Chow Hunt in Chow Kit

klyeoh | Dec 7, 201605:44 PM

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.

Chillis a-plenty.

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