Exploring the Little Myanmar in Kuala Lumpur

Very close to the Central Market (and Chinatown) in Kuala Lumpur there is a Myanmar enclave. The enclave has grown over the years to entertain and feed the vibrant Myanmar community in Kuala Lumpur. The place is about 5 to 10 minutes walk from the street market at Chinatown. Just walk along Jalan Petaling until you reach Lebuh Pudu. By now, you will already start seeing the signs in Burmese script. I always hike up to this neighbourhood to get some Shan noodles and mohinga. There are several smaller Burmese restaurants up the staircases, but usually these speak no English. However, there are two restaurants on this street at the ground level, where you can use some English. The New Gantawin has English menu. My favorite here is the noodles from Shan state. Added attraction of this place is that the staff are clad in Burmese attire, complete with Thanaka paste on the face. The DVD player at the far end plays pop hits from Myanmar. Even with the English menu, chances are that you would be the only non-Myanmar person here. But do not be shy or afraid, the folks here are nice and will let you be.

I will mention the old Gantawin, just in case the New Gantawin is full. This restaurant is on the junction of Leboh Pudu and Lorong Pudu. Here, there is no English menu, but if you do find yourself here, just confidently look at the staff, and ask for Mohinga – the rice noodle soup. Ask for the Burmese tea (close to the Indian sweet milk tea) if want to spend some more time people watching. Though this neighbourhood is called Little Burma by some, it is more like a combination of Bangladesh, Nepal and Burma. Walking around here, you will find some Bangladeshi and Nepalese shops and eateries too. There is a Rambo mini-market – just in case you are planning to stock up on supplies to take down a small country. If you end up at the Nepalese restaurant, ask them for momo – Nepalese dumplings. I must add that the people working in these eateries are nice bunch and many of the younger guys enjoy talking to tourists, and are happy to give you extra serving of curry, if you compliment them on the food. Not many tourists know about this place so it is likely that you would be the only outsider here.


Some things to try

Explore the nearby building called Bangunan Cahaya Suria (google map link), this place has a Burmese Biryani Restaurant called Zayyar.   Also check out the nearby KotaRaya Complex for dessert and food from the Philippines.

Check out this link for more insights into Myanmar immigrants living in Malaysia and couple more recommendations. The Food Detective: A Burmese Food Tour http://poskod.my/features/food-detective-burmese-food-tour/