It’s hard to leave the brilliantly blue oceans of Thailand but somehow we find ourselves on yet another flight winging our way back to Kuala Lumpur. We’ve been flinging ourselves around Malaysia for the past two weeks and after all the commuting of the past week in Thailand I’m (somewhat ironically) looking forward to relaxing in Kuala Lumpur and enjoying some of my Malaysian favourites one last time.
We’re in Kuala Lumpur for 2 more nights, but with all our commuting in the end it’s just one full day – just enough time for us to tackle the depths of a few Malaysian shopping malls and to meet up with Billy’s college friend Christine for a few last meals. Rather than stay in Bukit Bintang we’re moving outta the city and into Petaling Jaya (PJ) for easy access to food and the megamalls (we’re so close that our hotel is actually built into a megamall!).
Dinner – Wong Poh
We’ve got a hankering for crabs (the good kind yo), Christine has organised dinner with a few of Billy’s mates and she’s taken us along in the bar to Wong Poh, where we’re promised crabs and a good night out. It’s a return to the familiar with plastic bowls and cutlery, handwritten menus on the wall, wet towels in plastic bags and ceiling fans spinning lazily above us.
I’ve got an unfortunate habit of eating anything that’s put down in front of me, even knowing there’s a feasting planned in mere moments doesn’t stop me from pecking at the tart slices of pickles and bowls of nuts placed strategically around the table. It soon becomes a challenge for me to pick up the nuts with my chopsticks, I feel a surge of success with each successful pickup (cheap thrills lah).
Oh BABY. I’d been eying the Marmite Pork Ribs on the board ever since we sat down and it’s with glee that I realise we’ve ordered them for dinner. The meat comes out glistening with the Marmite glaze, not at all sticky as I’d thought it would be with the Marmite cooking down and becoming an almost sweetly caramelised coating.
The Tumeric scented curry comes out in a huge claypot bowl and sits down on the table in all its glory, the fillets of fish have been broken down by the cooking process to the extent that the flesh falls off the bones as we lift the fillets to our plate. Puffed squares of tofu and slimy okra all drowning in the mellow yellow stock are irresistible and I end up sneaking back multiple times for more tofu.
I can feel my arteries clogging up with each successive meal and in a vain attempt to slow this down there are the token greens and noodle dishes ordered to help round out the seconds (Despite my protests I actually rather enjoy asian greens). The vegetables are a little limp with some overzealous cooking but the noodle serving is deceptively large and satisfying.
The serving sizes are large enough that I could have easily stopped here, but then that wouldn’t make for much of a dinner would it? The party really gets started when the crab finally comes out to the table.
Butter Crab... Life doesn’t get much better than this really!
Our Butter Kum Heong Crab is served up in a claypot similar to the curry and lands with a richly buttery scent that draws simultaneous sighs from the table. Kum Heong is a butter cream made up with curry leaves and when cooked with the crab results in an almost creamy stock which coats every surface possible, including the massive claws which tempt us with hints of meaty flesh between the cracks.
There’s a moment of politeness where I pass over a few pieces of crab then mayhem as I attack my crab with fury sending pieces of shell everywhere, it’s definitely not a first date meal! The sauce is a creamy texture with hints of butter and salt which only gets better when the bread arrives.
Deceivingly cute, the bread comes out piping hot and gloriously fluffy with a crunchy exterior. It’s perfect for mopping up the sauces left behind in the crab claypot, I know I’m filling my stomach unnecessarily but somehow find it impossible to stop.
For the other end of the scale we’ve got Salted Egg Yolk Crab as our secondary main, the salted egg mixture is much drier than the butter stock and almost clings to the flesh. I find myself licking the shell at one point, the majority of the flavouring stuck to the outside of the crab. It’s exactly what I’m expecting, the salty sauce is almost overpoweringly so but pairs well with the milder flesh of the crab.
It’s a battle between the two but an easy win for me. The Butter Crab has my heart with its creamy stock but Helen’s on the other side of the ring, siding with the Salted Egg.
The crabs have all come out pre-cracked but there are a few pieces that stubbornly refuse to come apart. Surprisingly rather than a conventional cracker the restaurant has supplied us with a board and yes, a hammer to literally bash away at the crab with. I’m sure I look like a mad woman attacking my claw and am instantly regretting my decision to wear white (lol), as fun as the hammer is it’s agreed that it’s not really very efficient!
When you’re eating fish curry (complete with bones), and whole crab the only possible result is carnage. Hard work lah!
After a meal like this the simple desserts really are the best way to end things! Plate of chilled Sour Mango slices slides onto the table after a quick cleanup, the yellow flesh is deceptively sweet looking and is instead a sour shock to the system perfect after mouthfuls of curry and crab.
Dinner is indeed a great success. The menu doesn’t list individual prices for dishes with the crabs priced by weight, our final cost is a ridiculously low $10 each! We’re rolling out and I cast one last look at the extensive menu just for a moment wishing we could have tried more.
36 & 38 Jln BM 1/2
Bukit Mayang Mas
47301 Petaling Jaya
The winding road home
It’s been a long trip but we’ve got just enough time for one last shopping day! We’ve decided to separate for the day with Billy, The Pom and Simon all heading off in different directions. Helen and I are keeping it local and are determined to attack One Utama – possibly the largest shopping mall I’ve ever set food in, we hit the mall at 10am and manage to shop all the way until closing at 10pm, retail therapy at it’s best.
We’ve got a massive commute home the next day with a day flight from Kuala Lumpur to Melbourne before facing an overnight stay at the airport before a 6.30am flight home. Oh the price we pay for cheap airfares!
Obviously, the overnight digs are affecting some of us more than others… Rule 1, Cardio.
It’s a tired crew that finally roll onto the flight from Melbourne to Sydney, despite that I still manage to get excited having managed to snag my first window seat of the trip! It’s not a holiday until you’ve gotten that shot out the airplane window.
Things are predictably murky when our plane arrives over Sydney, the rain and clouds mean that it’s only by chance that I spot the Harbour Bridge in the distance. It’s pouring rain and close to 12c when we step out at the airport, enough to send anyone into post holiday mourning.
- 16 Days
- 7 Cities
- 6 Flights
- 6 Hotels
- 1 Car (Lost track of Kilometers!)
- 3kg (You bet I jumped straight on those scales)
- 9 Posts
- and countless jumping photos
It’s been a blast and I’ll end it all by spamming you all with some of my favourite photos from the holiday!
And with that Malaysia Mondays is officially over!