Jalan Alor Food Street is the eating Mecca of Kuala Lumpur. Thousands of foods, hundreds of menus and an endless sprawl of roadside restaurants. It is easily in contention for my favourite feasting spot in Southeast Asia. Probably not the foodie’s choice but to be honest I am far from a Foodie. Foodie suggests a refined interest in food. I stuff my face then write about it. In Kuala Lumpur there is no place better for this than Jalan Alor food street.
The restaurants on Jalan Alor food street are mainly Chinese selling a mix of Chinese and Malay dishes. Noodles, rices, soups, porridges. Pork, chicken, vegetarian, frog. Prawn, crab, fish, stingray. The menu seems endless. While normally put off by big menus, at Jalan Alor food street this is not the case where restaurants along the main stretch of the road work together to perfect their own dishes. If I order butter prawns in one restaurant it maybe cooked at another. Each restaurant focusing on their own strengths and passing them on to the others. Like a well oiled feeding machine.
Another bonus (for me) is the Beer on Jalan Alor. In Malaysia the state religion of Islam forbids the selling of alcohol in the predominant Muslim (Halal) establishments of the city. However with happy multiculturalism in Kuala Lumpur this is not enforced in Chinese (non-halal) restaurants. Alcohol can be pricey due to high ‘sin-tax’ so I often stick with the cheaper options of the local Jaz Beer or Skol (15RM+). A big bottle or two won’t break the bank. Wine is available don’t expect a romantic wine and dine experience with the outdoor hustle and bustle.
In the daytime the street is quiet with mostly indoor eating. In the afternoon tables and chairs are erected with anticipation of hoards of hungry locals and tourists who arrive after sundown. Sprawling outdoor eating areas fill with big beers, cheap food and local banter. I’ve often found myself on Jalan Alor in the wee hours picking up nibbles for Fanfan back at the hotel.
As with all popular tourist spots you can expect hard-sell hawkers selling tourist junk between tables. To avoid them sit closer to (or inside) the restaurants. The deafening music from cd hawkers on the road opposite can also be avoided.