These days, apam balik filling might include banana and desiccated coconut. But we still prefer the original – the turnover pancake is sprinkled with chopped peanuts and cooked to a crisp on the griddle. When the sugar starts to caramelise, the apam balik releases an irresistible nutty and sweet aroma.
RM1.20 per piece
Durian purists, don’t turn your nose up at this snack just yet. Ordinarily the king of fruits should be enjoyed on its own, but you can’t go wrong with a little innovation now and then – like, for instance, fried durian in a crispy, delicious batter. The flour coating is just thin enough to produce a golden skin while the fruit stays beautifully creamy inside.
RM 1.20 per piece
The focused vendor fries up cubes of radish in a swift motion, guaranteeing a smoky, greasy finish. Get him to crack an egg into the wok; you won’t regret it.
Despite its playful appearance, apam beras is a complex, delicately textured kuih that’s becoming increasingly rare in markets. If you’re packing up a few, top with shredded or desiccated coconut before eating.
RM1 for five
The Malaysian version of fruit salad, consisting of raw mangoes, sengkuang, pineapple, cucumber and papaya, tossed in sweet and salty hae ko (shrimp paste). The owner jazzes up the bite-sized ingredients with chopped peanuts and a prawn cracker. Trust us, one cracker is never enough.
Zaidi’s satay stall is where you want to go for sticky, juicy, charred-at-the-wingtips grilled chicken wings. A word of warning, however: the wings have probably been through a dose of food colouring.
RM1 per piece
Stall no. 63 only specialises in one thing, and that’s Korean pancake. Our favourite is the pleasing sour-spicy kimchi iteration (other flavours include mushroom and yellow bean), which is pan-fried to golden, crispy perfection.
RM4 for one, RM10 for three
Is it Indian? Is it Malay? The ambiguous origins of kuih peneram (or athirasam in India) are ignored at Kak Som’s stall, where batter is rolled out, filled with palm sugar and fried to a puff.
RM1 for ten pieces
This streetside steamboat’s secret weapon is the chilli and peanut sauce. There’s something about dipping our food in a communal hotpot that we love – the joy of parking our butts on the roadside and gorging on a variety of meat skewers. The experience is even better on a rainy day.
RM1.50 per skewer
Lemon Terrace boasts a formidable catalogue of Korean delicacies, namely gimbab (steamed rice rolls), chapchae (glass noodles) and spicy tteokbokki (rice cakes), but the juicy mandoo (dumplings) are the stall’s star attraction.
RM10 for seven pieces
Oyster mushrooms are dipped in spicy batter and deep-fried till they’re brown, light and crispy. The bustling stall’s trippy sign (S’hroom) will also reel you in.
RM3 per portion
A street snack that’s commonly associated with Taman Connaught pasar malam, the stinky tofu assaults the nose but pleases the palate. You’ll smell it from afar but once you bite into the deep-fried tofu with pickled vegetables, the soft white curd melts on the tongue. Watch out for the sauce that gushes out with every bite.
RM3 for four pieces
The mango sticky rice and pad thai are crowd pleasers, but patrons flock to this perpetually buzzing stall for its wide range of Thai-style meat dishes, curries, noodles and fried rice.
Despite the presence of other Japanese treats like inari and edamame, Onipon Japan’s biggest draw is perhaps its fluffy homemade rice balls, which are given experimental new fillings like chilli tuna.
You haven’t been to a pasar malam until you’ve sunk your teeth into a crispy Uncle Bob fried chicken cutlet. Tell the stall owner your heat tolerance and she’ll tweak the amount of chilli powder to suit your taste. Juicy meat encased in a salty and greasy crust – this is pretty addictive stuff.
RM4.50 per piece
KL's best night markets
If you’re looking for a dizzying array of dining options, you should look elsewhere. Chow Kit bundle market is all about highly affordable, pre-loved clothing items and accessories like shoes, denim products, leather goods, jackets and T-shirts.
One of the highlights of this pasar malam is the vegetable stall that stocks tomatoes and leafy greens from Cameron Highlands. But what you’re after here is the homemade mini apams with red bean or peanut filling. Did we also mention that the night market’s location (also a hot spot for fireworks-viewing) offers a clear view of the Twin Towers?
The humming Taman Connaught night market best illustrates our obsession with street food. Perched behind their stalls, vendors offer slap-up versions of fried chicken, curry noodles, char kuey teow, laksa, satay and ABC that will keep you going until midnight. Stay for the stinky tofu – you’ll spot (or smell) it easily by the queue that snakes around the block.