06 April 2008

Kuwago's Flights: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Whenever I travel to another country, I insist at some point of the trip to try my host country's street fare-- The places the locals would commonly go to have their meals. Nothing fancy, just good local comfort food. This time around, I took a fancy to banana leaf meals.

A huge portion of a banana leaf is laid across you on the table, then filled with typical Indian fare. It isn't difficult for me to get a decent meal, for most places in KL have vegetarian options. 4 different viands were placed on my banana leaf, along with some pickles, papads and fried cassava chips. Then, a healthy helping of Sambar was poured over my hot steamed rice. When I thought that the ordering and serving melee was over, more viands, including a plate of vegetable curry and rasam was served.Wow. I had almost forgotten all the many different tastes and flavors of real Indian Food. And I still wonder how I ended up eating all that food.

I must say, you don't need to go to India to enjoy authentic Indian food. Sadly, only a few places in the Philippines fit my bill. In KL, it is gastronomic galore. The last time I enjoyed such a feast was when I was actually in India.

Of course, I couldn't get enough of these banana leaf meals that we again found ourselves in similar fashion for lunch the next day, at a different place this time. Again, I enjoyed to my heart's content.

Oh, and did I mention that banana leaf meals meant eating with your bare hands? YUM!

In spite of the heat in KL, al fresco dining abounds. When you don't expect to eat in an airconditioned environment, pretty much like we do in the Philippines, it isn't all that bad. In fact, I have grown to enjoy it. If al fresco dining meant cheap, wonderful, authentic food.... I didn't mind. No one else seemed to care. I just wish open air places in the Philippines were this clean.

I regret not having had taken my camera along when we had our afternoon snack that day, for after a long, long time, I again was able to taste one of my favorite childhood fruits, the Balimbing. I took it as a juice, and was told by my host that it is a good natural remedy for high blood pressure. I did miss the bitter-sweet-and-sour taste of that star-shaped fruit I have now renewed my affection for.

Of course, no trip to KL would be complete without visiting the KLCC Petronas Towers.

They say that no matter where you were in KL, you could probably see KLCC. I have to agree. In the picture above, you see both KLCC and the KL Tower to its left -- two magnificent structures gracing the skyline.

Up close, I suddenly recognized that Indian influence on its design, commonly seen in temples around India. Such a magnificent building, all lit up at night. All I can say is it was a sight to behold.

The KL Tower has a revolving restaurant at the top. It is a pity I didn't have time to at least see it. You have to see KLCC and KL Tower yourself to see how much it really imposes itself upon you.

Before retiring for the night, I had to try their local tea, and Steven's Place was a nice place for such a nightcap. In usual al fresco style, I just wish we had more places like this in Manila. But then, we probably do. Could it be that I am just less adventurous in my own country?

Next time, though, I'll remember how the tea kept me awake until 4AM and that I should stay away from it if I wanted a good night's rest.


FilMasons NSW said...

Lucky you can combine business as well as pleasure in this trip to KL.

That banana leaf meal looks delicious.


Senor Enrique said...

I agree with Mario. That banana leaf meal looks inviting.

You certainly know how to enjoy life :)

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