Food & Wine

Bubur Ayam & Taro Pie: Eating at McDonald’s Kuala Lumpur

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A common perception about traveling abroad is we’re supposed to eschew international chains and the brands we can get at home. That an authentic local experience must be something entirely unique to that area.

And while that’s a great rule of thumb to push travelers out of their comfort zones, deviating from it is not always bad. Take McDonald’s.  I often get heat from friends and family who hear that I’ve visited the “US” chain on one of my trips. How could I??

I’m not going to lie, MickeyD’s is not a favorite destination of mine. But since their menus cater to local tastes, sometimes it’s fun to see what the differences are. Take my recent stop in Kuala Lumpur (where, anecdotally, McDonald’s is the favorite fast food).

Sure they had McChicken, burgers, and fries on the menu. But they also had Bubur Ayam, Taro pie, and Ayam Goreng. A chili dipping sauce instead of ketchup (yay!).  And a designated hand washing room — wouldn’t mind that in the US!

And in case you were wondering, turns out Bubur Ayam is a surprisingly (for fast food) tasty chicken porridge.

Also turns out, not surprisingly, I’m wasn’t a huge fan of the taro pie. I didn’t care for the sweet broccoli pie in Bangkok a few years back either.

The spicy Ayam Goreng McD is better than the buttermilk fried chicken in the States.

The price for all that? Right around $6USD.

I’m still a big advocate for trying local street vendors and restaurants — as fun as McDonald’s was, the $.40 curry puffs and fried bananas a block away in Brickfields were way better. 😀 But if you don’t know where to go or are intimidated by a culture or language barrier, McDonald’s may not be a bad option for trying something new!

Curry Puff in Brickfields

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