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once a stranger, twice a regular.
you must have certain charm of your own. :)

that's a HUGE serving of pasembur btw.


That's what I liked about food in Malaysia in general, and in KL in this case: the food has a natural colour, because of the "real' ingredients used. In Singapore, our Indian rojak is neon red through liberal use of red food colouring for the sauce, and our chendol has nary a drop of pandan juice in sight but is bright-green through use of bottled green food dye!


You've summed up pretty well a reason for not always travelling and always being on the move. Don't get me wrong, travelling is fine and good, but you are never able to make the connections and the routines. My favorite thing about living in a place is getting into a new routine and really enjoying it on a deeper level. I suppose for a lot of people travel is what helps break the monotony.

As a side note, my bay area routines have mostly involved my kitchen in some way. This used to make me a little bit frustrated, but now I'm not so sure.


I love being regulars. At the Farmer's Market here in Saratoga, we've become known to several of the vendors and even though it's really far from our home, we go just because we're familiar with all these faces and they know us too. It's wonderful when you can call people by name and they know exactly what you like.

A long time ago, when I was living in Subang Jaya, we were regulars at a coffeeshop and every Sunday, my brother or I would head down there and order breakfast for the whole family. We just had to raise our hands and indicate with our fingers how many, just like you do, and the vendor at the CKT or Wonton Mee store would know exactly what we wanted. That's a great feeling!


I ve been reading your blog now for a week! each food story is tres tres interessant, j'en aime beaucoup!! I am in Paris at the moment so the asian food really brings back good memory of home, home is Indonesia. Thank you! and please keep writing food stories...


our fav cendol stall in taman tun!! :)


J2kfm - I don't know about charming but we are a novelty, I suppose. I don't know why we don't see more expats eating where we do, but all I can say is -- their loss!

I forgot to mention that Allaudin's pasembur is EXCELLENT value for money. It is a huge mound, you are correct. And he always gives 'extra veggies' on request. :-)

Pete - there' plenty of yicky artificial stuff here too, but we avoid it. I think it's also still pretty easy to find the real deal here.

a - if you have time when you travel you can also get into a routine. But most travelers don't have that luxury. Anyway we've always been more for knowing fewer places better than for knowing many places to a lesser degree. I'd rather spend 1 month in 1 city than hopping from bed to bed so I can tick 8 locals off my list. We've also been known to revisit the same place again and again.

Different strokes for different travelers.

Our routine here in KL very much revolves around our kitchen. When we're in town I prefer dinners at home and evenings at the stove, and I'm happy to say that 98% of the time that's the way it plays out.

Annie - I'm with you on markets. There is one pomelo vendor at the Sunday pasar malam from whom we always buy at least 3, and sometimes as many as 5 fruits - because she smiles 'hello' and from our first purchase she has always picked out nice specimens for us. When she's not there we don't bother, because the other pomelo vendors are pretty sullen and have sold us crap fruit. They don't seem to associate taking care of your customer with the prospect of future steady business!

A smile or even a nod from a familiar vendor or coffee shop staff can really make your day, don't you think? It means you've been noticed and your presence is valued.

Welcome Emmelyn, and thanks for reading! Hopefully we'll have some more Indonesia content for you in the near future...

Julian Si

Well done on being a regular :-) Great write up and super photos!



Welcome to the neighbourhood!

It will be very hard to leave TTDI :) I grew up here and I am still here - working and living within its perimeters.


Hey, I know these folks! My brother lives in TTDI and that's where I've stayed my last few trips home. It's such a great neighbourhood. Yes, that cendol is lovely -- there's also a chap in Damansara Utama right near the mosque who makes a great cendol. And is also happy to add the extra gula melaka once he knows you like it sweet ;-) . That kind of personal interaction with vendors is the best, isn't it?


Another great post. Even though I have been living in Australia for the last 26 years, I spent the first 17 years of my life in Msia. And to think I have only ever known pasembur as rojak! The shame of it all! Oh well, better late than never, I suppose. If anyone knows where I can find something that looks on par with Robyn/Allaudin's pasembur here in Sydney please please please tell me. Thank you, Gobsmack'd


ahhh.. the good old days.. but these days, we can hardly find these cendol 'pushcarts' anymore?

there was one if United Garden, old klang rd.. but it's gone now. do u know any other apart from this ttdi's?

p.s : love your blog!

agnes sim

hi... nice photos here. Like your photo here.


There's a place beside the school I work at in Korea where we eat lunch every day, the owners there reserve us a table each day and usually know who will order what on any given day.

Back in the UK I bought smokes from the same shop everyday but all i would receive when I walked in was a blank stare!

Some people are petrified of familiarity!


Here in carmel, indiana known for the snobbish attitutes of some of its people, I get warm welcomes all the time in its very nice clay terrace mall, despite me wearing hijab (head covering). I shop there all the time although a closer mall is just 5 minutes away.
It is part of basic human need, satisfied to be acknowledge warmly by fellow human being.


i call him mamu razlan!!

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