Every country has food that is identified with it, food that best represents its tastes and cultural traditions. They are prepared with locally available and sometime special ingredients in distinctive ways and are part of culinary traditions. Jalan Alor the food street in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia is where some of the nation’s best foodie experiences can be had. It represents a hodgepodge of the country’s culinary traditions.

Jalan Alor, a normal shopping street by day comes to life in the evening when it becomes one of Kuala Lumpur’s most sought after destinations. This is where locals and visitors alike come to get a quick meal, sample Malaysian staples or even more exotic fare and get a feel for the food of the culturally diverse nation. Most balance on inadequate plastic stools in front of food vendors or open air restaurants. All eat on plastic plates with chopsticks or plastic spoons, selecting from the astounding array of food before them. Although there is nothing elegant about it, Jalan Alor is where almost everyone comes to get a taste of reasonably priced street food.

Plumes of charcoal smoke rise from hot grills and open fires and pungent cooking smells fill the air. The clanging of pots that signal food being prepared to meet the needs of demanding customers are everywhere. Competition is rife and stall operators do not shy away from trying to tempt other people’s customers.

Among the food and drink in demand are rojak the popular fruit and vegetable salad, stacks of tender beef and chicken satay skewers with peanut sauce and fresh onion rings, grilled chicken wings, fried oyster egg with fresh coriander leaves, grilled tofu and julienne strips of green mango, carrot, cucumber and spicy shrimp paste, stir fried cockles with garlic chilli and shrimp paste, chilli crab, grilled stingray and the regional favourite stir fried flat noodles with egg, seafood and vegetables.

Calamansi lime drink, pineapple, longan and other fruit juices with plenty of ice is thirst quenching. Drinks come in plastic tumblers. Popular deserts include ‘ABC’ ais kecang comprising of grass jelly, red beans, palm seeds and toasted peanuts in palm sugar syrup, cendol which is pandan flavoured noodles with shaved ice, red beans and gula Melaka and fresh fruit served whole or cut up including mango, mangosteen and durian. The art of sampling a cross section of the delicious offerings is to wander around and select what appeals from several food stalls or to come back again and again.

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Chandrishan Williams is a travel writer who writes under the pen name, Caleb Falcon. He specializes in writing content based on the many exciting world adventures that await intrepid travellers. Google+