Yesterday evening, I took the KL Express (monorail) to go to Kuala Lumpur downtown for Thai Dinner, and possibly take a trip to top of fascinating PETRONAS (now 4th largest structure in the world). I was told at my hotel that tickets are always sold out in the morning. I was at the tower around 6:30PM and went to box office, just to validate what I had heard. To my pleasant surprise, they said they have couple of tickets for 7PM entry. I have asked usher (who appeared local to the city) on the sky bridge (where famous both Hollywood and Bollywood stunts were shot) as I was exploring alone, for recommendation of a good Thai Restaurant, post the visit to the top of the tower. Those who know me well know that, my first love is for Dosa, and next comes Thai food
Usher said, go for “Chakri” which is within the mall at the ground level of Petronas tower. I asked him, if he is really sure about. I said, Chakri is an Indian name. He said, can’t it be derived from Sanskrit name? He Googled it on his cell and reconfirmed. He said, “Place could b little pricy, for people like me, but you should do fine”. I have asked, what are the other choices. He took me to the window of the sky bridge, and showed the region little far off, and said that is “Kampung Baru”. He said, it has oldest settlement in Malaysia, and tourist friendly. He said, the place has still old world charm, as the settlement is against the modernization of the place with huge concrete tower
He said, Kampung Baru is a touristy area, where one can find good Thai food and at great price. He said, just take the train and get off the next station. After coming down, I went to the train station and got off at Kampung Baru. Road outside the station looked quite empty at was already 9:30PM, and I almost thought of getting back into the train looking at “eeriness” of the surroundings. Then I thought, some moderate risk is worth for good Thai Food, given the craving. I walked half a block, and found Mom and Pop, fruit drink cart, where Coconut Shake (Indian style coconut water fresh off the mound, mixed with crushed ice, and ice-cream mixed).
I asked the lady, where is the good Thai Place ? She pointed me to the place, which looked like a Street / Dhaba style structure that I see in India, but with awesome view of Petronas Tower (as seen in below picture). I went inside. I have asked waitresses, do u guys have Thai Food ? All the pics on the wall have names written Malai language. None of the waiters spoke English. Entire menu was also in Malai language. I spoke animatedly, if they have Green Curry or Panang Curry. All the girls were giggling, when I was talking in English. Then they took me to a table with dozen family members enjoying food and they all appeared to be local too. They spoke to them in local Lang. They translated my query to them. Then one person from the group stood up and volunteered to help. I told him what I am looking for. He pointed to Fish Curry and Chicken Curry. I said I am looking Vegetarian stuff. He then said, “Yes, they have Rice with Sea Food”. I told him, I want Thai Fried Rice, without meat, without chicken, without seafood, and make it spicy. He translated that to the waiters. They all giggled again and said Yes, Yes, Yes.
I went to the table on the street, sat down, enjoying the views of the downtown skyline. Old lade from Fruit Cart, delivered Coconut Shake for 4 RM (as seen in the pic). After 10 minutes, girls got me the food. Taste was just about OK, but not great enough for all the effort / risk that I took travelling to downtown alone in the night After 20 minutes of finishing the food, I have asked young and petite waitresses, get me the bill. She ran inside, as if I have done something wrong
I went inside the hotel. Again, they were all giggling and trying to tell me something. I spoke in animated style again, how much? How much should I Pay for the food?, displaying my wallet. They were all giggling and telling me something. Then they took me to new table with new set of guests. This group was full of women and girls. Hotel waitresses and guests talked in animated style. Only one of them knew English. Finally that lady said. “It seems someone already paid for your food”. I asked, “who?” She asked the waitress, and their answer was abstract.
I am thinking, the guy who helped me translate earlier has paid for me. I thanked in my heart, and thanked the girls for the food. Now I want to return the favor that I have received, by doing the same to few more folks. Yes, PAY IT FORWARD
3-Minute video of my 36-hour stint in Kuala Lumpur
Enroute to KL Sentral