"Are you a food explorer? a colleague asked Dave, this blog's photographer, over a lunch of fish ball noodles.
The term "food explorer" succinctly describes both Malaysians and the sort of foreigner who will feel immediately at home here, in a land where every meal is made to count and a 2-hour drive north in search of the ultimate Ipoh guay tiaow is nearly as common as a 15-minute journey across town for the fish porridge dished up only 3 hours a day, by a legendary vendor, on a side street that originates kitty corner to a certain bank building.
In the few weeks since I landed in Kuala Lumpur, I've had more conversations about food with enthusiastic strangers than I can count on both hands. I've encountered more food surprises -- all extremely pleasurable -- than in the previous three months combined. And I've been offered, by Malaysians generous with inside information, more leads on where to go for the greatest version of this, that, or the other dish than I could possibly follow up on in a solid month of 3-meal-a-day eating.
But I've made a start. The culinary attractions of Malaysia -- and Asia -- are endless. Come back in early September and see what I'm Eating(in)Asia.