KL's curry laksa, a Malaysian hawker food staple with its thick, spicy coconut milk broth, has hit the right spot with renowned travel guide publisher Lonely Planet, being ranked second out of the world’s top 500 food experiences in a recently published book.
The book, “Ultimate Eatlist”, lists pintxos - a version of tapas, or small snacks usually eaten in bars - in San Sebastian, Spain as its top food experience.
This is followed by KL’s curry laksa, and sushi in Tokyo, Japan.
The only other Southeast Asian country that made the top 10 list was Thailand, with som tum, or green papaya salad, in Bangkok coming in at fifth place.
Singapore’s chilli crab was ranked 17 on the list.
The book’s entry on KL curry laksa points readers in search of the dish to the "fantastic little hawker centres tucked into the shadows of towering skyscrapers" for an “only-in-Malaysia experience”.
It recommended that travellers choose the stall with “the longest queue” in Madras Lane, off Petaling Street, and to return the next day to try the stalls beside it.
On its website, Lonely Planet said that its methodology for the “Ultimate Eatlist” first involved surveying food writers, bloggers and staff associated with Lonely Planet, asking them to “vote for the tastiest and authentic gastronomic experiences they’ve encountered on their extensive travels”.
The list was subsequently evaluated by Lonely Planet’s food editors, who enlisted the help of Penang-born chef and MasterChef Australia season two winner, Adam Liaw, as well as UK food blogger Leyla Kazim to definitively rank the entries.
Editorial director Tom Hall was quoted as saying that “this is not a list of the 500 best restaurants or chefs, or dishes. This is about the overall experience of eating a particular dish in a specific location.”
The top 20 entries on the list, as reported by CNN, are as follows: