Perhaps the top breakfast spot in all of Kuala Lumpur is Imbi Market, which is also known as Bukit Bintang Wet Market. Although you will not receive service at your table or fancy place-settings, Imbi Market is a great place to find some of the region’s best hawker food at a low price. In my opinion Imbi Market has much better food than Jalan Alor, in addition to being less expensive. When visiting Kuala Lumpur for your holidays, book a hotel in the area around the market, which is easy to find because it is next to the Bukit Bintang shopping district.
The place was notoriously packed and chaotic but I find it vibrant and charming. People from all walks of life do their marketing here.
What do I normally buy here? Corns from Cameron Highland and Buah Pulasan, a tropical fruit that looks something like a cross between rambutan and lychee.
Walking further inside, one will be greeted by this interesting scene: crowd and a myriad of food stalls.
#1 Ah Weng Kor Hainanese Tea. The owner, “hoi lam zai” which literally means little hainanese became our best friends. Sometimes, he will brew up a special cup just for us when he feels like it or when he won some $$ from the share market.
Glorious Hainanese coffee (RM1.60) with thick frothy foam that sits on top of the coffee. It is said that Hainanese coffee is actually cham with more tea than coffee as a composition. The coffee is aromatic and thick enough to keep me awake for a few hours.
kaya and butter toasts, half boiled eggs
For the toast, one can opt for flat bread or round bun and have the kaya and butter spread served separately. However, I like mine all nicely slathered with thick slabs of butter and kaya. The ultra thin toast that is slightly browned just hit the spot. It is always so light and crispy that the crumbs keep falling from my mouth.
The round bun too, is great. The exterior is crispy while the inside is all soft and fluffy. They are really generous with the fillings, as you can see from the thick slabs of butter.
#2 Chee Cheong Fun. I have to say that this stall sells the best chee cheong fun in town eventhough the boss is quite a cocky person. Understandable though, as his chee cheong fun normally finishes by 11 am. My favourite yong tofu picks can be seen on the bottom left of this picture – crispy beancurd skin filled with a generous amount of minced pork. Addictive stuff!
To maintain its freshness, most of the yong tau foo is made fresh on the spot!
I love my CCF drenched with sweet sauce, chilli sauce and curry sauce with a generous sprinkling of sesame seeds.
#3 Another stall not to be missed is the Sisters’ Crispy Popiah (RM1.80). The popiah stall can be spotted in major shopping malls and there’s even a Sisters’ Cafe in Menara Hap Seng. However, the original stall remains in Imbi Market where you can get the same stuff at a fraction of the price.
The popiah (RM 4, 2 rolls) is really good, and the quality is consistent because we come here often enough to justify that. Apart from the usual ingredients like shredded yambean, carrots, cucumber, egg and ground peanuts, some crispy bits are added in for some good crunch.
#4 Sang Kee Pork Intestines Porridge is another popular stall here.
For RM 4.50, you get a huge bowl of tummy warming and velvety pork intestines porridge. The pork intestines were cleaned thoroughly before deep frying, so there are no hints of weird offal smell.
#5 Sometimes I find myself craving for this particular version of wantan mee (RM 4.5) here. Tossed nicely in a thicker and darker than usual sauce, every strand of the noodles is coated throughly. They are particularly generous with the cha siu and slice chicken too.
#6 Hainanes Assam Laksa (RM 5), available only in the weekends. I don’t exactly know what is hainanese assam laksa but it tastes so good – perfect harmony of sweet, spicy, sour and savoury.
#7 Ginger and Wine Mee Sua (RM 7)
A hearty and nourishing bowl of mee sua, Hakka style. Looks something like confinement food to me but I love it nonetheless. Ginger helps in preventing the wind from getting into body and using rice wine gives it an authentic kick. Eggs and pork intestines can also be found in this treasure bowl.
#8 Egg Tarts from this bakery next to Ah Weng Kor. Fresh from the oven, these egg tarts are still warm before we shove them into our mouths. Flaky, crispy, and light pastry enclosing a velvety smooth wobbly egg custard. How could we resist these evil little morsels? My only gripe is they are only selling it in limited quantities. I’ve already missed it for a few times.
Google Map: Pasar Besar Bukit Bintang