The Malaysian Night Life
Ever wonder where Malaysians get their supply of snacks, food and beverages during the night, apart from cooking by themselves and ‘kedai makan’?
They got it from the ‘pasar malam’ of course!
Pasar malam is like any other typical pasar tani or pasar pagi you can find in Malaysia, except it is all about selling ready-made snacks, food and drinks. The best part is, it is open from evening up until night (hence the name, Pasar MALAM).
Malaysians and pasar malam cannot be separated as it is one of the main components of Malaysian culture and lifestyle. People go there to buy food and drinks they rarely find anywhere else or simply just to experience the heavy jostling and hot, packed pasar malam atmosphere.
It is normal for you to go to pasar malam and hear the sellers chanting “Beli, beli! Apam balik panas-panas, murah-murah!” or “Adik manis, meh beli kacang kuda panggang, adik manis!” and end up lugging back two hands full of plastic bags. Each bag would be over flowing since you suddenly have no will power to say ‘NO!’ and end up succumbing to the blatant shouts of sellers to come by their stalls and buy their tempting treats.
Usually, pasar malam happen once a week with each place and district in KL having their very own pasar malam. Though generally, all pasar malam are quite similar, waling the whole stretch, you may find a few stalls or gerai that sell unique dishes that you can’t find at any other pasar malams anywhere.
We have been to A LOT of pasar malams around KL but these are the top 5 that are worth going!
#1 – Pasar Malam Taman Connaught
Uncle Dim Sum In Action
We were pretty excited to explore Pasar Malam Taman Connaught since we had heard it was one of the longest pasar malam in Selangor stretching up to 2 KM LONG (A word of advice, you might want to wear your sport shoes and ready a bottle of vitamin water to go food hunting there!) This pasar malam opens every Wednesday and basically has everything, from electronic gadgets, clothing, flower plants, fruits, snacks, dry food to ready-made food.
Pasar Malam Taman Connaught offers lots of street food for you to try and the smell of food there that will definitely make your stomach rumble. There are various types of food that you can find here. Particularly interesting is the famous BBQ Scallops, BBQ Korean Oyster, Cartoon Cakes, Korean Deep Fried Chicken with Coke and the classic Jelly Kelapa!
Of all the foods there, we decided to try the BBQ Scallops which comes with different flavors that you can choose ranging from spicy, seaweed, garlic, cheese and many more! We tried the seaweed and hot-spicy scallops which tasted um…how can we say this, VERY DELISH!
Scallops Ready to Be Eaten
The next stall that stopped us in our tracks was a stall selling cartoon-shaped cakes. The cakes were actually bahulu! We half-heartedly took our first bite but the freshly baked bahulus tasted so light and fluffy that we stopped feeling sorry about eating them!
My Melody In My Stomach
Okay, now we are about to reveal the best-selling item at Pasar Malam Taman Connaught…it’s their BBQ Korean Oysters!
There were several stalls selling BBQ oysters usually offering up 3 types of flavours that you can choose from including cheese, garlic and spicy. These special flavours are added to the oysters while they are being grilled. The smell of grilled oysters will surely make you drool.
Grill Them Oysters Kid….
#2 – Pasar Malam Pantai Dalam,Bangsar
Early Visitors Catch The Best Grub
Pasar Malam Pantai Dalam is located in Bangsar and it only operates on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 5pm until 9.30pm. The traffic on the way there is a little bit heavy so you might want to come early because it becomes really packed by 6pm. However, the arrangement of the stalls at this pasar malam is arranged in an orderly fashion so it makes it easier for you to navigate the tsunami of visitors there.
So, what can you find here? We’ve discovered that this pasar malam sells a lot of novelty food items such as the once-famous ice cream pasu and fried ice cream. The ice cream pasu comes in different flavours that you can choose from such as vanilla, chocolate chip, pistachio and many, many more. We decided to try the cookies and cream ice cream with cornflakes and a rolled wafer on top! Make sure you do not throw the pasu away since you can actually use it later to grow your plants in.
You Scream, I Scream Pasu!
For those who are die-hard fans of traditional kuihs, get ready to eat to your heart’s content. This pasar malam features an abundance of kuih such as hand-made popiahs and other kuih that will make you reminisce your care-free days frolicking in your kampung and chasing after the Makcik Kuih.
And oh, before we forgot, we must mention that they also have the king of fruit here, durian!
#3 – Pasar Malam Taman Melawati
Crispy Apom Balik
Pasar Malam Taman Melawati is THE pasar malam to go to when you want to find basic essential for your daily life such as clothes, groceries and, of course, ready-made food! It took us 20 minutes to go there from Damansara Jaya but it was totally worth it. If you are not a people person and hate to be in crowded places but still want to go to a pasar malam, this is the perfect pasar malam for you! The food here isn’t bad but, more importantly, the price range left us flabbergasted!
EVERYTHING WAS JUST VERY CHEAP! Price is definitely the first thing many of us look at when we want to buy food (We so Malaysian, liddat).
We had Gula-Gula Kapas or in Kelantanese slang ‘Gulo Leng’ which only cost us RM 1/ stick. Cheap, right?
Chicken Wings were RM5 for 4 wings, Apam Balik was 70 cents per piece, Sate Ikan cost us RM 1 for 4 sticks andddd…. best of all, we bought 3 selar kuning fish for RM 1.50 (Soooo VERY The CHEAP, I tell you). The taste of the food is so satisfyingly good especially for those who love delicious street food!
Balls of Fish
Apart from that, you can easily find a parking spot for your car near to the pasar malam site. We honestly think this is the best pasar malam to go to in Selangor!
#4 – Plaza Mont Kiara Fiesta Night
If you’re looking for a not-so-typical-night-market, you should put this pasar malam on your list. Instead of selling local food and snacks, The Plaza Mont Kiara Night Market also offers you an abundance of street food from other countries. There, you can find Vietnamese rolls, toppoki/teok-bokki (a popular Korean street food, made from rice cakes and fish cakes eaten with chilli paste), the Korean kimchi, the Thai somtam and Chinese dim sum. It’s important we mention that these items were prepared by natives of each country too! We tried the topokki, dim sum, twisted potato and chick spice with cheese wrap, and they were all finger-licking good! For those less adventurous, there are also a few stalls selling a variety of local food here too.
Apart from food, you can also find second-hand books, clothes (really cute ones!) and accessories. What we love most about this pasar malam is the atmosphere and ambience. The surrounding area is clean and there are a lot of tables and chairs set up on a nearby pavement for you to sit and enjoy your food, or just hang out absorbing the evening atmosphere, since it is not too crowded here.
This pasar malam is open every Thursday from 5pm to 10pm. However, since it is located at the center of Plaza Mont Kiara, you may find that the traffic on the way here is quite heavy. If you want to come here, we suggest you park your vehicle at the plaza’s parking lot because you’ll be very lucky indeed if you’re able to find an outdoor parking space.
#5 – Pasar Malam Taman Megah
Sea of Tarts
Here you’ll find a number of stalls selling ‘very-Malaysian’ foods such as Char Kuey Teow, Yong Tau Foo, nasi campur, Tau Fu Fa, mooncakes and muruku. Though it is not the longest pasar malam in Selangor, but it certainly compensates by offering a variety to sate your cravings for some good old Malaysian street food.
If you have a ridiculously sweet tooth, there are a number of pastry stalls selling tarts, cakes and various kinds of fresh-from-the-oven breads! The price is certainly cheaper than the fancy bakeries but the taste is just as yummy. Don’t forget to try the thirst-quenching sugarcane and lemon drinks should you come here as it is refreshing and cool. Just like any pasar malam, here you will also find stalls selling cheap shoes and slippers, clothes, toys and phone accessories.
Fruit Tart, Anyone?
This pasar malam is not too crowded so you can walk at a leisurely pace, while surveying food you wish to eat. What makes it a crowd-puller is because it is located just a stone’s throw away from LRT Taman Bahagia and easily accessible for you to go there. If you want to drive, there are also plenty of parking spaces for you to park your car. This pasar malam is open every Sunday from 4.30pm till 10pm.