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Spring Tomorrow
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Chinatown | Petaling Street in Kuala Lumpur

Chinatown (Petaling Street), Kuala Lumpur

It was a Saturday morning and J didn’t have to go to work so we hopped onto the LRT train and made our way to KL’s Chinatown a.k.a. Jalan Petaling or Petaling Street.

The nearest LRT station to Petaling Street is Pasar Seni on the Kelana Jaya line. Once you exit the station onto Jalan Sultan Mohamed, turn left and walk towards Jalan Sultan and turn right onto Jalan Sultan itself. Keep walking straight ahead till you see Jalan Petaling on your left.

Alternatively, you can also take the free GOKL bus (purple line) and alight at KotaRaya on Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock which is in Chinatown itself.

For more information on KL’s rail transit, GOKL bus & their respective maps, read my earlier blog post -> Getting Around Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Chinatown (Petaling Street), Kuala Lumpur

We reached Petaling Street at around 10+ in the morning and most of the shops were just about to open for business. This would be a good time to visit Chinatown as it wasn’t super crowded (tourists started coming in droves just before noon time) and the weather wasn’t that scorching hot yet.

Chinatown (Petaling Street), Kuala Lumpur

Shopaholics would love this place which is truly a shopping haven. From souvenirs, toys, apparels, shoes, luggage bags, watches, tech gadgets and mobile accessories to replica branded bags, counterfeit sportswear & designer clothing and more – basically whatever you can think of. Prices are bumped up since this is a touristy area so always bargain if you want to buy something unless it’s already dirt cheap.

Chinatown (Petaling Street), Kuala Lumpur

I was captivated by these vibrant colours of flower bouquets at one of the florist shops. Those with soft toys were just so cute! Prices for the flowers were actually quite reasonable (from RM20-35 for a huge bouquet) after currency exchange. The husband had previously bought me SGD99 one-dozen rose bouquets back home – so bloody expensive! Ok, but I must say the bouquet packaging here (and the colour choices) were a bit tacky and old-fashioned, lol. Not for the hipsters obviously.

Chinatown (Petaling Street), Kuala Lumpur

Graduation bouquets – love the teddy bear with specs!

Chinatown (Petaling Street), Kuala Lumpur

What a rare find of wooden clogs. I hadn’t seen them since the 80s. Not sure if they were any good for wearing but worth getting if you like collecting old school stuffs.

Chinatown (Petaling Street), Kuala Lumpur

This was the Pasar Karat (flea market) which consisted of a pretty long stretch of individual sellers peddling all kinds of knick-knacks in the back lane – used clothing, electronic goods & appliances and even vintage collectibles could be found here. It was just like the former Sungei Road Thieves’ Market in Singapore. Dig deep and you might just discover a treasure.

Chinatown (Petaling Street), Kuala Lumpur

And this was the cross-junction of Jalan Petaling and Jalan Hang Lekir where most of the street food vendors were located.

Street Foods You Must Try at Chinatown (Petaling Street), Kuala Lumpur

We started our street food adventure at this Ban Chang Kuih cart.

Street Foods You Must Try at Chinatown (Petaling Street), Kuala Lumpur

Ban Chang Kuih (or Apam Balik) is actually a peanut pancake like our Singaporean version of Mee Chiang Kueh. This Ban Chang Kuih (RM1.20 per piece) was however tastier than Singapore’s one. The pancake itself was quite sweet and had a nice pandan flavour. It was quite light in texture and I liked the crispy brown crust on the outside too. Best eaten when fresh and warm.

Street Foods You Must Try at Chinatown (Petaling Street), Kuala Lumpur

My first time coming across Air Mata Kucing and I really wondered what it was. Based on the Chinese definition underneath <罗汉果龙眼冰糖炖冬瓜>, Air Mata Kucing simply referred to this black-coloured drink that was made by boiling luo han guo, dried longan, candied winter lemon and rock sugar together.

Street Foods You Must Try at Chinatown (Petaling Street), Kuala Lumpur

This iced Air Mata Kucing (RM2) was very refreshing. It kinda reminded me of those packet longan red date tea but this was much better with bits of dried longan and candied winter melon in it. J thought this was too sweet though. If you don’t fancy cold drinks, there is also the hot version at the same price.

Street Foods You Must Try at Chinatown (Petaling Street), Kuala Lumpur

After trying Ah Fook Chee Cheong Fun at The New Imbi Market @ ICC Pudu, how could I pass up the chance to enjoy more fu chok and yong tau foo?

Street Foods You Must Try at Chinatown (Petaling Street), Kuala Lumpur

I randomly picked a few pieces (RM1.20 each) that came doused in sweet sauce and chill sauce. Everything was delicious (damn, why are fu chok and yong tau foo so good in KL?!) but would have been better if they were warm and crispy.

Street Foods You Must Try at Chinatown (Petaling Street), Kuala Lumpur

Different types of bak chang (rice dumplings) to choose from

Street Foods You Must Try at Chinatown (Petaling Street), Kuala Lumpur

I was hunting for this stall and was really happy when I finally found it.

Street Foods You Must Try at Chinatown (Petaling Street), Kuala Lumpur

Sze Ngan Chye (四眼仔) which means ‘4-eyed boy’ in Cantonese is a famous roast duck stall in KL. I was chit-chatting with the lady boss and she asked me where I was from and then she said it would have been a wasted trip coming all the way to KL if I left without eating her roast duck, lol. Yes, that was how confident she sounded.

Street Foods You Must Try at Chinatown (Petaling Street), Kuala Lumpur

The roast duck was sold in half portion (RM26, min. order) or full portion (RM52). At first I wasn’t really keen to get half a duck because there were only two of us and we still wanted to eat other things but the lady boss assured us that we could definitely finish half a duck so we went ahead and got it.

The roast duck was tasty but I wasn’t sure if it was really one of the best as I hadn’t eaten enough roast ducks in KL to know that. The skin was beautifully roasted and I liked that most of the fats underneath the skin were already rendered off so overall, this duck wasn’t very fatty or overly oily. The accompanying dipping sauce was good – very robust-tasting and flavoursome. And yes, the lady boss was right. We did manage to finish this half duck – no problem at all.

Street Foods You Must Try at Chinatown (Petaling Street), Kuala Lumpur

I also got one 鸭脚包 (Ya Jiao Bao or duck feet parcel) at RM2 as I had never tried something like it. Basically the parcel was made up of a huge piece of duck liver on top of a duck web and then tied round with intestine. Very smart of them to use up the unwanted parts of the duck and remake into another dish. Unfortunately, I didn’t like this at all. The parcel was coated with this overly sweet and concentrated char siew sauce. The duck liver had a very cloying texture and smelled really gamey – I just couldn’t eat this after 1 small bite. Totally wasted.

Street Foods You Must Try at Chinatown (Petaling Street), Kuala Lumpur

A vendor roasting chestnuts to the beat of dance music that was blasting away in the background

Street Foods You Must Try at Chinatown (Petaling Street), Kuala Lumpur

Found this Traditional Hainan Kaya Roll which again was something new to me.

Street Foods You Must Try at Chinatown (Petaling Street), Kuala Lumpur

The Hainan Kaya Roll was like a Swiss roll that was airy in texture but was quite dry too. The kaya filling wasn’t too sweet but it didn’t have much flavour either. Overall, the cake was on the salty side instead of sweet which made it a little different from other cake rolls.

Street Foods You Must Try at Chinatown (Petaling Street), Kuala Lumpur

After all the eating, we had to get another drink. This time, we opted for soy bean milk.

Street Foods You Must Try at Chinatown (Petaling Street), Kuala Lumpur

This cold soy bean milk (RM1.60) was like the regular soy bean milk we would have at food centres here in Singapore. Just remember to ask for less sweet if you don’t like overly sweet drinks.

I don’t have specific addresses for these street food vendors but they are all located along Jalan Petaling and Jalan Hang Lekir with most of them situated near the cross-junction of the two streets so it should be very easy to find.

Chinatown is open daily from 10am till 10pm but not all of the street food vendors operate within the same time frame so come early if you want to try some of these eats.

Happy shopping and eating!

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