Although one of the best ways to experience the local culture during your travels is by sampling its delicacies, Kuala Lumpur has its fair share of unusual foods that may put off visitors with a weak stomach. From herbal soups with pig innards to bitter beans with shrimp paste, locals claim that these delicacies contain loads of health benefits such as strengthening the immune system and improving male virility.
However, if you’re gutsy enough to sample something that’s completely out of the ordinary, we’ve compiled five of KL’s strangest delicacies and where to find them. A word of caution though; many these bizarre dishes are not visually appetising, so it’s best to enjoy what you can with an open mind (and closed eyes).
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While the sight of this slimy amphibian may send some running, the local Chinese consider frogs as a culinary delight with a number of health benefits. Frog meat is also a healthier alternative to chicken as it has a higher level of protein and nutrients compared to chicken. A traditional breakfast option, it is stir-fried with spring onion and ginger and served with a bowl of piping hot porridge. Mostly found in Chinatown KL and Jalan Alor, the best place to enjoy a bowl of frog porridge is at Petaling Street’s Hon Kee Porridge. This humble-looking stall has been in operating since 1959, serving homemade porridge with unique ingredients such as raw fish slices, minced pork, and century eggs.
- Opening Hours: Monday – Friday 10:00 – 22:00, Saturday & Sunday 08:00 – 22:00
- Address: 93, Jalan Hang Lekir, Petaling Street
- Tel: +6012 227 6281
Bull Penis Soup
Fondly known as sup torpedo, bull penis soup is believed to help increase male virility. The thick and spicy broth is a blend of spices such as fennel seeds, cinnamon, garlic, and cloves while the main ingredient is so finely chopped that you can hardly tell what you’re eating. If you’re looking to try this male aphrodisiac, head to Sup Haji Abu Bakar at Jalan Doraisamy behind Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur. Open from evening onwards, this open-air stall also offers heavily-spiced soups with conventional chicken, mutton, and beef as well as bizarre parts such as ox and goat tongues, innards, tendons, oxtail, and quail meat.
- Opening Hours: Daily 18:00 – 00:00
- Location: Jalan Doraisamy, Kuala Lumpur
Braised chicken feet
Deep-fried, steamed or braised chicken feet are a popular street food that can be found in almost any wet market in Kuala Lumpur. As a whole chicken feet only consist of bones, skin and tendons, it is believed that this tasty morsel is a good source of protein, calcium, collagen and cartilage. If the idea of snacking on chicken feet only intimidates you, we highly recommend pairing it with a plate of wantan mee at Restoran Koon Kee. Also located in Petaling Street, locals flock to this Chinese eatery for its springy noodles that are sautéed in sweetened black sauce and served with braised chicken feet and mushrooms.
- Opening Hours: Daily 10:00 – 22:00
- Location: 95, Jalan Hang Lekir, Petaling Street
Pig innards bak kut teh
Bak kut teh is one of Malaysia’s signature delicacies, consisting of pork meat with mushrooms, garlic, tofu simmered in a broth of herbs and spices. Served with rice or noodles, this dish is usually eaten during late nights or rainy days, as the blended herbs such as star anise, cinnamon, cloves, and dong guai have warming-up properties. For a more authentic experience, head to the Yuyi Bak Kut Teh restaurant for breakfast. Set within a five-minute walk from the Imbi monorail station, its bak kut teh dish contains a number of pig innards such as stomach, belly, intestine, liver, heart, and kidneys.
- Opening Hours: Daily 06:00 – 21:00
- Address: 53, Jalan Barat, off Jalan Imbi, Pudu, Kuala Lumpur
- Tel: +603 2145 6416
Petai is a flat and bright green bean that’s used in many Malay and Nyonya dishes. Consumed either raw or cooked, the pungent smell and flavour can be unbearable to many so it is often accompanied with a choice of shrimp paste (belacan), chilies, or anchovies. Health benefits include regulating glucose levels, reduce the risk of high blood pressure, and has a natural antacid effect on the body. If you’re looking to try petai beans, Lima Blas Nyonya Restaurant (set behind Changkat Bukit Bintang) cleverly pairs this ingredient with spicy belacan and sweet prawns in its authentic sambal udang petai dish. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Monday – Saturday 11:00 – 15:00 & 17:30 - 23:00
- Address: 15, Jalan Mesui, Off Jalan Nagasari, Kuala Lumpur
- Tel: +603 2110 1289