This extremely short two-day-one-night getaway to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with a couple of friends couldn't have had come at a better time. Min, QY and I were to meet a friend who resides in KL but he had to go out of town at the last minute and couldn't meet us. With our flight tickets and accommodation already booked, we just went ahead anyway!
KL - SIN. Choose To Fly!
It was our first time taking a plane to KL. I've always taken a coach and the last time I went to KL was probably about 5 years ago. When QY said his coach ride took TEN HOURS to return from KL to Singapore the previous time (coz the driver went up to Genting to pick up passengers), I immediately said "No, let's fly". TEN HOURS!! Seriously, I cannot imagine the agony being on a bus for 10 hours when we can pay a little more to reach KL in less than 3 hours.
When we were younger and had plenty of time to spare, a coach ride might have been manageable. But now that we're all working adults (ah yes, I do work), time is money. And money spent on sitting in a coach is not worth it.
The plane ride was so fast we didn't even get to warm our seats! Before we knew it, we heard "Cabin crew, prepare for landing". It was so unsuspected we burst out laughing! We hadn't even had time to engage in deep conversations yet! Lol!
Within 45 minutes we had flown from Changi Airport to Kuala Lumpur International Airport! WOWZA! If you ever need to go to KL from Singapore, and have about SGD100 to spare for a return trip, I recommend you fly.
It would save you the agony of sitting in a coach in an upright position for more than 6 hours, forcing yourself to watch videos on a small screen (if you're lucky enough to have any in-coach entertainment at all), stopping every other hour for toilet break, breaking out in cold sweat if you missed one stop and have to wait another 2 excruciating hours for the next toilet stop. Imagine exchanging all these for more time in KL eating and shopping! 😀
After taking the Aerotrain to KLIA's arrival hall and getting through customs, we bought a taxi coupon for RM74.30 for 3 people. They implemented this system to eradicate touting. I like that. The other option would be to take the KLIA Express to KL Sentral, with each ticket costing RM35.00. This option would be good for those who are traveling alone and/or want to go direct to KL Sentral. Just in case you might be interested!
Our taxi ride to Royale Bukit Bintang took an hour, during which we all took the opportunity to catch forty winks. Because we chose to fly really early in the morning (0550) to get a whole day ahead once we reach, it was obviously too early to check in when we arrived at the hotel at 0800. So we left our bags with the hotel and went to have breakfast! YAYYY!!!
The taxi ride to Jalan Petaling/Petaling Street cost us RM20. As with all our subsequent taxi rides, we don't know if we got ripped or it was the normal rate coz Malaysian taxi drivers don't go by meter, they look at you, then give a rate.
This was the first place we went to at Petaling Street - Jin Lian Ji, which is famous for their chee cheong fun and porridge.
Love the homely atmosphere of the restaurant. I don't know whether 'restaurant' is apt, actually. Haha. It's so old and run-down, yet in every corner breathed the memories of generations of families who have stepped foot in this place, where millions of breakfast talks had taken place, and where people had bonded over a simple plate of chee cheong fun.
Its bustling with life so early in the morning was what made this place so charmingly unique to us urbanites. I was mesmerized by the charcoal-burnt ceiling, the vintage flooring from the 60's, crooked aluminum-wrapped pipes, customers sitting just behind the preparation station, customers talking to the owners like they've known them all their lives.
Left: Original chee cheong fun, lightly seasoned
Right: Sweet and spicy chee cheong fun
The chee cheong fun was SO GOOODDD!!! The noodles were silky smooth, very fine and not greasy. I cannot decide which I like better.
The 8 Treasures Porridge was filled with peanuts, century egg, salted egg, fried pig intestines, minced pork, shredded chicken... Okie I can only name 6. HAHAHA! I don't know what the other 2 treasures are. This was really delicious too! The rice was cooked till each grain was barely distinguishable, so that you would only be chewing on the ingredients while allowing the grains to envelope each spoonful for a smooth delivery down your throat. OMG. SO GOOD.
And you know why it's so good? Coz they cook it over charcoal and put in lotsa love. =)
This place reminds me so much of childhood - of red plastic stools and cracked tiles.
This is how it looks like from the outside. I'm glad we scored a table inside to really soak in the atmosphere. They get sold out by afternoon, so I'm really happy we went to Petaling Street early. You wouldn't know what you've been missing until you've tried it.
This Kim Soya Bean had just opened for the day and already a queue had formed. So I joined it. Erm, I'm just gonna say the soya bean is really nothing much. I saw people queue so I queued, people saw me queue so they queued too.
As we walked down one of the inner lanes, we came across a stall selling roasted duck.
The ducks looked well-roasted but it was kinda hard to convince ourselves we could finish half a duck among 3 of us.
But somehow we DID manage to convince ourselves. LOL! Look at the exuberance on Min's face. PURE JOY.
And it was PURE GOODNESS. Ya, we just opened up the packet and picked at the juicy and flavorful meat with our greedy fingers, right there and then.
Petaling Street in the morning.
I haven't seen a wet market in a while. Wet markets are a dying phenomenon in Singapore. With people like me being the next generation of wives and mothers, it's no wonder wet markets are going away. I wanted to go in and take a look but 5 metres from the entrance, I just couldn't. The smell.... I . COULD . NOT. Goodbye.
A popular stall along Petaling Street selling muah chee. Yes, we did our research on famous food stalls along Petaling Street beforehand.
Honestly, other than the fun twist in having different flavors like strawberry and mango, there's nothing quite memorable about this snack we all grew up eating. The chewy-ness of the muah chee just wasn't up to standard, if I must be defensive of this sacred food we all have fond childhood memories of.
And then we ate some more. Hahaha!
This was a stall opposite the Jin Lian Ji, selling also chee cheong fun but we decided to try their porridge instead.
We ordered their Tender Chicken Porridge and Raw Fish Porridge. We all felt they were disappointing. The raw fish was room temperature, tasteless, too rubbery and too thick for our liking. Much left to be desired in comparison to the standard of cold raw fish, lightly seasoned, and well-sliced that we are used to.
The tender chicken was umm, not really tender. Not quite tasty too. I normally don't quite like things too salty or sweet, but this was borderline tasteless even for me.
So we decided to open our duck pack and finish it instead. Oh ya!! If you ever have the chance to buy the duck, remember to eat it with the plum sauce! OMG. If without the sauce it's good, with the plum sauce the duck is out-of-this-world AWESOME.
My skin's sensitivity has increased TEN FOLDS ever since the facial incident. It gets red and peels easily now. That day there was a constant burning sensation of the skin and was so unbearable I had to buy a bottle of Avene Thermal Spring Water to ease the heat. It did help, but not much. I kept telling them "My skin's on fire!!!" I don't know if you can see it, but the skin was really red and raw and painful. 🙁 It comes and goes. It can be on fire even in an air-conditioned environment, so it's not just the hot weather of KL.
Hits & Misses At Jalan Petaling / Petaling Street:
- Hits - Jin Lian Ji Chee Cheong Fun, 8 Treasures Porridge, Si Yan Zai Roasted Duck
- Misses - Kim Soya Bean, Muah Chee, Porridge from stall opposite Jin Lian Ji
We then carried our heavy stomachs into a taxi to Mid Valley Megamall - RM50.
Mid Valley Megamall
Mid Valley Megamall is really mega in size. It's very much like a regular big mall in Singapore though, just different brands. Many stores had a sale going in - it's the sale season - so we bought quite a lot. Besides, the exchange rate was very favorable to us at SGD1.00 = RM2.48. I later changed more at RM2.49. Some people managed to get RM2.52 the week before!! Wow!
At the basement level there was a Beard Papa's selling the puff in green tea flavor - we don't have it in Singapore. It was... quite nice for a few bites. Then it got boring. Boo.
After shopping for a few good hours we went to chill at a cafe called Plan B. I like the place! Love the detailing of deco and the very... comfy.... armchairs.. zzzzzz...
Hahaha!! After ordering our drinks, three of us just knocked out in our chairs. We'd all only had 2-3 hours of sleep before our flight and the atmosphere was sleep-inducing.
When we awoke, WE ATE AGAIN.
Min liked the wild mushroom soup, but I think the one at Penny Black at Boat Quay is yummier. I'll bring her one day. =)
We decided to take the KTM Commuter (train) back to our hotel for the experience and to save money (not really lol). Mid Valley > KL Sentral > Imbi.
After checking in to Royale Bintang Hotel, putting away our shopping for the day and washing up we went for a massage. Hahaha! Good life! 😀
We just randomly entered a massage place - Old Asia - opposite our hotel and the service and skills of each of our masseuse were fantastic. My back was still hurting from the gua sha I did a day before the trip, so I had foot reflexology, while they had the foot/back/shoulder combo. Very well worth the price.
And then it was time for dinner. As if there was a time for proper meals at all, considering we've been eating almost non-stop all day. LOL!
I love the location of our hotel, near Old Asia, near Jalan Alor / Alor Street, within walking distance to Sungai Wang, Pavilion Mall... I like that it's at the end of the street so we only had one way to go and not be in the middle and don't know whether to explore up front or down behind.
The first time I came to Jalan Alor was with Mr Mode. That was probably 8 years ago and things have changed SOOO MUCH! Back then the whole street was packed with small, individual stalls, each selling their best foods. The best orh jian and roast pork in my life, I had them at Jalan Alor. A couple of years later I went with my mum and friends, the landscape of the street had changed a little. The small, individual stalls had been replaced with larger entities. My favorite orh jian and roast pork were gone. 🙁
This time, the larger entities had grown even larger and each functioned like its own food court with small stalls in each restaurant. Most felt very commercialized to me.
Min has never had lok lok so we let her try. You pay by per stick and each stick has a different price.
I like that this Fat Brother Satay stall has a BBQ area. Most lok-lok stalls only have the normal boiling water method to cook the food.
We said we'll just try 3 sticks but ended up eating 8. Hahaha! The sauces, especially chilli, were SUPERB.
Obligatory touristy shot. =D
This was our REAL dinner place - Restoran Sun Chui Yuen. We walked the whole Jalan Alor (not a very long stretch) to see which restaurant appealed to us the most. I saw this and this was it. Because it had table cloth. The ONLY restaurant with nice, clean, yellow table cloth. HAHAHAHA!! What? I'm a beauty blogger! Packaging is important to me!
Also, this was one of the rare restaurants that didn't function like a food court with sub-stalls inside. It was a whole, proper seafood restaurant that looked homely with yellow table cloth. (This picture was taken past midnight, it was fairly empty by then.)
Best decision ever. This place served madly delicious food! I'm sorry I cannot remember the names but we ordered some vegetable that we've never eaten before but was really good, hotplate tofu, salted egg crab, and my favorite - la la in some special sauce that I cannot even describe how much I love it, how sad I was when I ate my last la la, and how much I crave for it.
I WILL RETURN TO JALAN ALOR, IF ONLY FOR THIS SO-DELICIOUS-I-EAT-UNTIL-CRY PLATE OF LA LA!
I cannot remember the name, but if I see the same menu again, I can remember the location of this food item. Hahaha!
As we walked back to our hotel, QY said this Wong Ah Wah restaurant is famous for its BBQ chicken wings.
"Uncle, three chicken wings. Take away". Of course I said it in Mandarin.
I didn't think it was exceptionally good. Maybe I had high expectations of it having seen the restaurant filled with tables that had plates of chicken wings on them. But I've had better ones at East Coast Lagoon Food Village.
That night, I had the best night's sleep in months.
The first thing that came to mind when I woke up was the la la. LOL!!!
Shi Hao Hu Tong
We had brunch at this place called Shi Hao Hu Tong, a well-furnished food court designed to resemble the old Nanyang days. The concept's much like the Food Republic at VivoCity. I wouldn't be surprised if they were under the same management.
Penang Duck Egg Char Kway Teow: So-so only. The duck egg made it salty. Maybe the normal Penang Char Kway Teow would have tasted better.
Hokkien Mee: Not memorable.
Bak Kut Teh: It was akin to drinking a very thick concoction of herbs. Very expensive for such a small bowl of not much.
Prawn Mee: Best food item! The broth was flavorful and the bee hoon was somewhat different. And this was the cheapest item!
And that's the end of our food adventure.
After that, we walked along the stretch of road, with Sungai Wang and Pavilion Mall as objectives. But we never got there. We popped by Zara and Vincci, and then went into this place called Brands Outlets and spent the entire afternoon there, for like about 4 hours. LOL!!! Very nice clothes at great prices.
It was such a great place to shop but we were so late we had to stop each other from buying and force ourselves to the cashier. We kinda ran back to our hotel to grab our bags and rushed to the airport.
Mad rush to force all our shopping into our hand carry bags. I was so afraid mine would exceed the weight limit so I piled a lot of clothes on myself. LOL!! In the end the person didn't even weigh our bags.
I think I spent RM1000+ just on shopping alone, in less than 2 days. Retail therapy, it works wonders.
We didn't even have time to sit down and have lunch! Immediately after we checked in, we made our way to the departure hall and only had a bracket of 20 minutes to buy Burger King and wolf our lunch down. I tell you, the BK at KLIA is super awesome. The last time I had such a good Double Mushroom Swiss Burger in Singapore was maybe 20 years ago when I had my very first one. Nowadays I can count the number of mushrooms in my burger, like maybe 5.
I wanna go back to KL soon! For the la la, lok lok, roasted duck, chee cheong fun, brands outlet and many more unexplored places! Next time I'll stay longer too! 😀
They say it's not where you go but who you go with that matters, but how about having the best of both worlds? Thank you to QY and Min for being such great travel mates, for being companions who love to eat, love good food, love hunting for great places, and love shopping (although largely influenced by me hahaha)! We did not once mention about my lawsuit nonsense, we just laughed a lot, ate a lot, shopped a lot, and slept very little. Bahaha!!
Till next time! ^_^*