It’s 2am. Maybe you’re stumbling out of a bar, feeling pretty jolly, or maybe you just like roaming the city in the early hours of the morning. Ever so softly, a deep growl emerges. It starts out quiet, but the longer you listen to it, the louder it gets. One by one, your friends, too, begin to realise this animalistic call within themselves. And then one brave soul pipes up, “Eh, want to go mamak anot?” Someone else concurs and chimes in, “Eh, yeah la let’s go mamak wei. Damn hungry now.”
But you’re tired of going to the same old place and ordering the same old thing (“Bang, satu mi goreng dengan telur mata!”). And you wonder if within this great wide muddy confluence of a city that you love, there is something else to eat. That’s why we’ve scoured the streets before dawn for a guide to the best late nights around.
Wong Ah Wah
Situated along Jalan Alor, Wong Ah Wah is a place you can’t miss. This behemoth of a restaurant spans across four shoplots and is packed with hungry visitors. People who come to Wong Ah Wah are usually after one thing only – their signature BBQ chicken wings. The slightly charred parts of the chicken wings also complement the sweet glaze perfectly. Being a popular tourist destination, you can find people from most parts of the globe gathered here, eating and chatting away – and it’s a good feeling.
Cost: RM3.20 per chicken wing
Jalan Alor, Bukit Bintang, 50200 Kuala Lumpur. Open 5:30pm – 3am.
Ngau Kee Beef Ball Noodles
This brightly lit roadside stall serves up beef balls that are (almost suspiciously) smooth, along with a chili sauce that packs a punch and dark minced beef paste. Mix it all up with the dry noodles, or spoon some soup over your noodles if you prefer them with some extra flavour. Sadly, business isn’t what it used to be for this stall. “With the implementation of new taxes, I don’t serve as many people as I used to anymore,” lamented the owner when we spoke to him.
Cost: About RM8 for the dry noodles and soup
Taman Million Batu Tiga Dim Sum
This little dim sum shop has continuously fed voracious young clubbers and business has been booming every Friday and Saturday night (especially after midnight)! Taman Million is the kind of shop where you walk in knowing exactly what you want and expect them to have it, because they probably do. Even if you don’t know what to have, friendly staff will swiftly come by carrying huge trays creaking underneath the weight of the dumplings in their little plates. You can finish off your meal with the warm, sweet kaya pau as a wholesome dessert.
Cost: For a full meal, approximately RM17 per person.
435 Jalan Ipoh, Taman Million, 51200 Kuala Lumpur. Opens 7:45pm – 6:30am. Non-halal.
Nasi Lemak Famous
Having been around for 30 years now, Nasi Lemak Famous is a familiar sight for Bangsar residents. Although slightly hidden away from view, this doesn’t stop them from attracting patrons new and old. In a buffet-style setting, you’re given a decent portion of rice with the nasi lemak must-haves (half a boiled egg, sliced cucumber, sambal, groundnuts and fried ikan bilis), and after that you have free reign over an excellent meal. I decided to go with the sambal kerang and a fried chicken leg. The kerang was juicy and full of flavour while the fried chicken was crispy and moist without coming off as too greasy.
Cost: About RM9 with the ayam goreng berempah
Lok Lok Street
When we first heard that a group of Lok Lok trucks congregate in an empty car park in Puchong to set up shop until the wee hours of the morning, it sounded strange. In fact, it sounded like something straight out of an urban myth. This delicious story, however, is all too real. With an abundance of Lok Lok trucks to choose from, we highly doubt that there is a single “best” truck amongst them all. It’s all down to which is your favourite – and for us, it’s the one facing HSBC bank. Their fried bacon glazed with a savoury-sweet sauce is all we need (we also need their fried mushrooms, and squid, and meatballs!)
Cost: From RM0.80 to RM3.70 per stick.
Jalan Kenari 10, Bandar Puchong Jaya, 47100 Puchong Opens 7:30pm – late. Non-halal.
Chen Houz Penang Asam Laksa
This Penang-style asam laksa food truck is actually located in the same car park as Lok Lok Street. Our roving reporters found their asam laksa to be so good, though, that they thought it was deserving of a noteworthy spot on this list. Where do we even begin? Maybe the firm, thick rice noodles that made slurping easier. Or the rich broth made from what is clearly a quality fish stock? Or how about the generous chunks of fish you find in your bowl? The owner also made sure to fill up our spoon with prawn paste so that when we mix it into the soup, we get an extra dose of delicious fishiness. There’s something about the sour soup that made me want to drink it down to the very last drop.
Cost: RM6 for a small bowl
Jalan Kenari 10, Bandar Puchong Jaya, 47100 Puchong. Opens 7:30pm – late
Unforgettable Char Koey Teow
Chuckle-worthy name aside, the char koey teow here is definitely something you won’t miss. In fact, you could not miss this food truck altogether – it’s very well the only truck in the area blasting Cantopop songs. When it’s late at night and you’re hankering after something comforting, this is the place to be. There is a subtle smokiness to the noodles that compliments the bits of fluffy scrambled egg dotting your dish. The kerang also deserves a special mention here – if you’re a fan of kerang, you’ll find that the ones they serve here is packed with some serious flavour! This food truck also serves fried oysters, but the omelette batter is cooked differently to the usual crispy type: when you pull apart the oysters, you get a gooey mix of corn starch and slick oysters, combined to form a taste explosion!
Cost: RM6 for a small plate.
Jalan Kenari 10, Bandar Puchong Jaya, 47100 Puchong. Opens 7:30pm – late. Non-halal.
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