Jalan Alor

There's a place that every foodie in KL needs to check out.

A street full of food

Every night Jalan Alor, the street, closes itself off to vehicular traffic and turns into a giant food court. It's really impressive.

I wonder what the history is behind Jalan Alor. Did some of the restaurateurs start taking over the sidewalks decades ago, adding more seating over time so that they eventually took over the whole street nightly? Or is this a tradition that began long ago before the time of automobiles?

I don't know, but if you do please drop a comment below.

A sea of diners.

The food

A piping hot bowl of prawn mee to start things off.

Up next: two orders of satay skewers.

Pork slices, fresh off the grill.

Pork belly on a stick.

I dine alone on my visit to Jalan Alor and the attention I don't devote to food is directed at observing. These restaurants are well oiled machines, as efficient as a modern manufacturing plant.

I'm down to the last few bites of my prawn mee when my waiter strolls casually by with my check. No words exchanged. No sooner do I stand to leave than does the busser come to clear my table and wipe down. The waiter that served me is already waving the next customer in to be seated.

The whole process feels like a tire change happening at an F1 racing event. It's impressive as it is impersonal.

The machine at work.


I see a surprising lack of sweets and head towards the fruit stands instead. I bypass the bananas, oranges, and lychees—these are too accessible in the States to be worth my time here. Instead, I eye the durians, mangosteens, and mangoes.

I end up settling for some sliced mango. It tastes alright.

Weighing durian.

Mangosteen. Did I mention these things were once banned in the U.S.?

Caress the mango. This guy knows what's up.