I always make it a point to go to the Bukit Bintang Wet Market whenever I visit Kuala Lumpur. And this time round was no exception – thank goodness there was an excuse for going to KL (and of course, the market) – the attendance of a friend’s wedding! Even though there is always breakfast at the hotels I stay, I find myself meandering down to that particular wet market in what is arguably the heart of the Golden Triangle.
The place though, has changed somewhat – there are signs of re-development in the area and indeed, the stall holders confirmed that the market is to make way soon for some new buildings. So all the more imperative to go and savour the food at the wet market before the many wonderful hawker stalls are moved, or worst yet, closed. Time to enjoy the atmosphere and good food before it becomes another memory.
My favourite breakfast at Bukit Bintang Wet Market is the Wanton Mee. It’s different from what you get in Singapore as it’s made with black soya sauce and lard. It’s only heart clogging if you eat it every day! Lovely mountains of char siew accompany the noodles. So delicious, especially when eaten hot.
This is to be washed down with ‘kopi kao’ – in other words, thick, black local coffee laced with condensed milk. I love it with ice – made all the more yummy after haggling with the stallholders 🙂 And while you’re at it, order a few sticks of ‘you tiao’ to go with your coffee or tea at breakfast. Another breakfast staple is kaya (coconut pandan jam) and toast. You can catch the nonya kueh man steaming his kaya near the entrance of the market. Better yet, buy some to bring back home.
Breakfast at the market is a reward for the hard work that goes into bargaining for the week’s groceries. The market abounds with fantastic fresh produce, from meat to seafood and vegetables and fruit and the stallholders are especially friendly and proud of what they sell. This smiling ‘Uncle’ at the fruit stall we bought fruit at told us, “Come and see me if the papaya you bought is not sweet. I will change for you!”
So, visit Bukit Bintang Wet Market before it literally disappears. A way of life is slowly changing in Asia’s quest for modernisaton – as it is, many of us now shop at supermarkets, missing out on the banter from stall holders who look forward to interacting with regular customers. A pity that this has to happen, but I guess that’s how the world is moving.