The Amazing Race Is in Malaysia! Here’s Where Chowhounds Eat

Nobody knows global travel like CBS’s The Amazing Race, just like nobody knows food adventures like Chowhound. To celebrate great food and great travel, CHOW has teamed up with Amazing Race host Phil Keoghan, for the new season of The Amazing Race: All-Stars. Here on CHOW, Phil will document his food adventures throughout the journey, as we share Chowhound favorites from the same locales. Think of it as your Express Pass to amazing food-adventure Pit Stops!

With Thailand and Singapore to the west, Indonesia and Brunei to the East, and maritime boundaries with Vietnam, Cambodia, and the Philippines, Malaysia has a cuisine jam-packed with cultural influences. Of course, not every restaurant or street stall delivers memorable results. That’s where Chowhounds come in, offering expert advice on where to chow down in Malaysia right now.

The city of Kota Kinabalu sits on the aquamarine waters of the South China Sea. While the beaches attract both local and international visitors, many people travel to this small city just to taste the fresh seafood and handmade noodles. Chowhound tkamp says Kak Nong is an absolute “must visit in KK,” and klyeoh recommends Fatt Kee Coffee Shop (also known as Ang’s Hotel Restaurant), one of Kota Kinabalu’s oldest eateries. Locals love Fatt Kee’s oyster-sauce chicken wings, but if you’re feeling adventurous, leave it to the feisty owner to choose your dishes. Visit our Chowhound discussion for more suggestions!

Malaysia’s vibrant capital, Kuala Lumpur, boasts a range of dining options, from street-food stalls to white-tablecloth restaurants, as diverse as the country’s multicultural origins. Although there is plenty of good eating to be enjoyed in KL (Bijan, Cilantro, and Sambal Hijau, to name three), some Chowhounds head to the nearby towns of Tanjung Tualang, Sitiwian, and Ipoh.

According to klyeoh, Ipoh is a “major culinary city in Malaysia in its own right…just behind Penang, and above…Kuala Lumpur.” No wonder many suggest staying a few days to explore the food scene. Most residents are of Cantonese descent (with Indians and Malays in the minority), which translates to the food. If you make the two-hour-plus drive to Ipoh from Kuala Lumpur, be sure to try one of the town’s signature dishes: Ipoh kai see hor fun (flat, thin rice noodles served with shredded chicken and prawns) or fried freshwater prawns in soy sauce. For the freshest seafood, klyeoh and penang_rojak agree that Mun Choong is the spot.

Sun Mee Fong in Tanjung Tualang, 40 minutes from Ipoh and a little over two hours from Kuala Lumpur, is Chowhounds’ “must-visit” restaurant in Malaysia. Klyeoh goes so far as to say that the giant prawns are the world’s best, “hands down,” then notes that people from all over Malaysia flock to this food complex “not much larger than a city block,” but with 10 big Cantonese seafood restaurants.

Finally, if you’re craving dessert after all that seafood, Yee Si, a Foochow bakery in nearby Sitiawan, serves thousand-layer peanut steamed buns. The place opens at 3 p.m., but klyeoh says most days the treats sell out by 3:30.

Read about these great Malaysian food adventures and more on Chowhound, and remember to tune in to The Amazing Race on CBS this Sunday, March 9, at 8 p.m. ET/PT, 7 p.m. CT.

Photo of Kota Kinabalu by Flickr member Alexander Synaptic under Creative Commons