"I hope you are hungry?" Fadly asked. I was, but suspected I would not be for very much longer. I was completely right.
As a service to their guests, Back Home hostel offer different activities. What caught my attention was the food tour. I love to try the local food as I travel and having an expert showing me what to try and where, is my favorite. I instantly signed up!
Walking along the busy streets, crossing the roads “the Malaysian way” (holding your hand out in front of the car like the police stopping the car when running after the bad guys in an action movie. Just no running or guns in our version though…) we reaching our first stop and what Fadly referred to as our pre-dinner snack. Most Malaysians eat 6-7 times a day, so most are snack meals. We were about to do all in just a few hours…
The street by the first stop used to be full of food stalls, but due to construction, sadly most of them had to move. Our first snack was sup Urat or sup lidah lembu at Gerai Mak Teh Aloya (No 1, Lorong Doraisamy). Or soup with cow and quail (small bird) if you, as I, needed translation… The base of the slow cooked broth was the same, so we mixed them both together. Here we also tasted Rojak mixed with peanut butter.
Continuing on, we went to the old area where mainly Malaysians live and very few tourists find their way. The old houses in front of the new makes an interesting contrast. Earlier the “poor” houses were made from timber and the richer in brick. Now it is the other way around, as timber has become very expensive.
Next up was the Farmers market in Jalan Raja Alang. They open at 17:00 and stayed open until the morning. Strolling around, Fadly told us about the different traditional vegetables, seafood, meat and other produce used for cooking. This included a quick walk through the meat market, where butchers were chopping the meat, including chicken with eggs inside. The video is not for the faint hearted…
It was about time for us to eat again (the farmers market was hands off, only looking. And smelling), so at Nasi Lemak City Garden we got to choose several dishes (Beef Rendang, tempe (fermented soybean) with peanut & anchovy, deep fried mashed potato with minced beef (begedil) & calamansi/kumquat lime drink) to mix with our rice packed in banana leaf. Mmmm!
Since we had such a “long” break from eating, we went straight to the next place for dessert; Pancake with sweet corn and peanuts, and one with banana and chocolate. And a lot of margarine!!! Just close your eyes and eat, your taste buds will thank you!
Like burgers? Ever tasted one wrapped with egg? I did not think so. But do not despair, before the end of the tour, you have. The RamIY burger special with egg wrapped around is apparently very popular, so the inventor had to open several branches to meet the demand. I like both burgers and eggs, so I somehow found space for it in my fast filling stomach.
A short walk away, just long enough to let the gastric content contract to make room for a little bit more, chicken satay and octopus was served. I had already stopped thinking this MUST be our last stop, so I sat down, had a small piece of each, and drank a sip of the large bottle of water Fadly gave us when we started. The message was clear; all of you have to finish the 1,5 liter before the end of the tour. I still had a little left, so I concluded we were not done yet.
Time to try a traditional breakfast dish. Was it a trick to make us forget about all the other things we ate?… It was hard to forget, but at least we all found room to try the blue colored rice from the east coast with lemongrass, Vietnam basil, long bean, cabbage, daun selom, chili, anchovy sauce, fish floss and grated roast coconut, all mixed well together. The type of breakfast depends what region you are from. Some eat rice, others more sweet. I am not up for very sweet things in the morning, but this rice I could easily do.
From breakfast back to dessert. Our second one, that is. At this point we were all more than full, so Fadly suggested that we take it to go, and bring it back home(!). Needless to say, that's what we all voted for! Happy, and certainly not hungry, we got on the train back to the hostel for an ice cold beer. And our take-away sticky rice with mango…