The Flaming Vegan

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Eating out in Kuala Lumpur:  A Vegan's Paradise
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Eating out in Kuala Lumpur: A Vegan's Paradise

I have just returned from Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia and I must say that I have never seen so many vegan dining options in any other metropolis.

Malaysia is a multicultural country situated between Thailand and Indonesia and is a former British colony, and because of the colonization there are a number lasting British shops and flavours such as Harrods, Marks and Spencer, and my favourite artificial juice, Ribena.

Kuala Lumpur is a modern, fairly clean (by Asian standards) metropolis filled with thousands of immigrants who all brought the flavours from their native countries. While in the heart of the city, I had the opportunity to gorge myself in Chinese Buddhist fare, Indian vegan, and Malaysian cuisine, and Middle Eastern, north African, and western vegan food is also easy to find.

Buddhist fare

Chinese Buddhist fare is all over Kuala Lumpur. If you are unfamiliar with it, it consists of mock meats made from soy and seitan, and fresh and sautéed vegetables. Think of all the Chinese foods that you cannot eat because they have meat in them, and realise that there is a vegan alternative. Vegan fish, duck, chicken sate, lemongrass beef, its all there, and its all made from vegetables. I can’t say that it tastes exactly like meat (thank goodness) but it has a similar texture, though a little more spongy. A large plate of a selection of “meats” and vegetables costs under $2 USD, and is called “nasi campur” in Malay, meaning “mixed rice” (rice with small portions of other flavours).

(You can also find Buddhist vegan fare in North America. There are often several restaurants that serve mock meats in Chinatowns.)

Indian fare

Because of its proximity to India, KL has a large and vibrant Indian population, which is very exciting because Indian food is amazing! A favourite was dosa: a giant lentil crepe filled with basically anything you want. Roti pisang (roti skin filled with banana and lentil curry) and tandoori cauliflower (vibrant red cauliflower). Indian food in this city is ultra inexpensive. A massive dosa, called a thosai in KL, which is hard to finish is less than one American dollar!

Malaysian fare

Different combinations of fruit juices are always available from road side shops to cool you off. Almost any combination exists, and sometimes even contains salt. These are also quite inexpensive and are a great alternative to soft drinks.

In conclusion, it can be quite hard to find vegan and vegetarian foods when travelling, but in KL, you will have no problem at all, in fact, you might become quite fat because you will want to try everything!

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  1. Akanksha
    Wow..I must say I was waiting for this post.. You must visit India sometime for some real Indian food :)
    1. kristo
      I would love to!
  2. Veganara
    Vote no 3. Great blog, you have really made me want to visit Kuala Lumpur! (Also a bonus from my point of view that they have some British shops!) Your remarks about dosas remind me of one I had in an Indian restaurant here in England recently: it was a massive rice-flour pancake, stuffed with a veg mix, and it was delicious, but I couldn't finish it! (It reminded me of a rug on a plate!) Please check out my latest article, Fuelling Around, and vote if you like it, thanks! :-)
  3. SnakeWitch
    This sounds good. I've had some of that mock chinese food before and liked it. This is great information! Voted! When you have a chance, my latest post is on GMO Soy. Cheers!
  4. Roopam
    That's one city I wanna visit. Good to get some first hand information on the variety of food available. Voted!
  5. Marita Gold
    Marita Gold
    Wow, I must visit KL!
  6. Anita Vegana
    I enjoyed reading this post. You paint a nice picture of these places for vegans. I voted. Please come read my new article, 25 Years of Ozone Protection, and vote if you enjoyed it.
  7. Shabs Online
    Shabs Online
    Must say, I loved reading it........... You're rite Aks, Kristo, you should visit India and m sure, if you're a real foodie you would enjoyyy like anythn'! In the mean time, keep posting such great articles....Voted! :)
  8. Sue B The V
    As a diver, I have wanted to visit Malaysia for a while. As a vegan, now I REALLY want to go after reading this. Thanks!
  9. Fearless Vegan
    insightful..voted..please check my article "Extraordinary Deed or Every Ordinary Man's Moral Obligation"'s in the animal rights if you resonate..India too has a widespread vegetarian cuisine but veganism is still to catch on..if in India,I think Bangalore is a vegan's paradise..we are roughly 20,000 vegans but very close knit & the support system is great..we even offer our homes for other vegans around the world to crash into..


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