Stepping into Kampung Baru in the heart of Kuala Lumpur is akin to entering a food paradise.
Mere minutes away from the city centre, Kampung Baru is a century-old district where you can still see many old attap houses and warung style restaurants. One of the oldest collection of villages in Kuala Lumpur, Kampung Baru was identified as an agricultural settlement in 1900 so that the Malay locals could retain their village lifestyle close to the city. This translates to the charm of its people and their cooking standing the test of time.
Jumping on the LRT during a late afternoon and hoofing it for this foodie adventure is the best way to be mobile as the narrow lanes and haphazard parking of the locals are hard to get past by car. If you plan on going for food hunting in Kampung Baru soon, here is a gastronomical guide to some of the must-try food in Kampung Baru.
Pak Lang Ikan Bakar
Pak Lang Ikan Bakar is arguably the best ikan bakar stall in Kampung Baru. Nestled in Restoran Noorizan Gerak 21, they offer a wide selection of grilled fish, including terubuk, keli, tilapia, kembung, pari, and cencaru fish. The marinated fish is freshly grilled on the spot using a large and flat frying pan. The grilled fish is then served with two types of chili sauces. Sink your teeth into the ikan bakar and taste its firm flesh and crispy skin rich in spicy flavours.
Restoran Wong Solo
Originating from Indonesia, Wong Solo is famous for its Ayam Penyet. Operating since 2005, the restaurant is a one-stop destination for authentic Indonesian delicacies. Their famous Ayam Penyet is grilled to perfection, resulting in crispy skin and succulent meat. Before serving, the chicken is smashed to soften the meat and topped with Indonesian chili paste to add an extra spicy ‘kick’ to the taste.
Nasi Lemak Wanjo
There are a few options when it comes to nasi lemak in Kampung Baru but we definitely recommend Nasi Lemak Wanjo. Formerly known as Nasi Lemak Mak Wanjo, this humble eatery has been operating for 55 years since they started as a regular roadside stall. Today Nasi Lemak Wanjo is highly regarded as the best Nasi Lemak in Kuala Lumpur. Much like most nasi lemak stalls, you will be served a standard plate of santan rice and essential ingredients such as ikan bilis, boiled egg, and cucumber. Lastly, you have the option of proceeding with the side dishes of your choice.
Pak Saf Sate Padang
Close to the Kampung Baru LRT station is Sate Padang Pak Saf, a stall on wheels at the junction of Jalan Raja Muda Musa. Here, customers make do with two tables and several chairs. Most orders are takeaways and that alone is enough to keep Pak Saf fanning away the whole evening. We were bowled over by the tender meat―lean and oh-so-flavourful. And the thick gravy had just the right balance of spiciness and sweetness. Each order was served with a sprinkling of nuts and fried shallots. You can opt for rice cake or do without.
There you have it – the local fare at its finest!
More foodie adventure here.
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