Foraging for street food in Asia can be heaven or hell, as I was reminded recently after slurping a bowl of curry noodles in Kuala Lumpur. Sometimes you end up with a dish that makes your day — all for the price of a cold drink at a ‘real’ restaurant and sometimes you wish you’d just dined at a real restaurant.
Although when you end up with an average meal at a street stall, at least you can take some comfort in saying it was inexpensive.
So much is being written on food blogs these days about the ‘best’ versions of dishes out on the streets that it can be hard for those unfamiliar with places to know where to go, but we increasingly tend to follow our noses these days and eschew the local foodspotters.
One street where the advice is overwhelmingly divisive is the famous Jalan Alor eating street in Kuala Lumpur. After staying there a few days recently, much of what was on offer didn’t excite me. That was until I spotted a little street cart serving curry noodles that was doing a very brisk trade of locals for a quick sit-down meal and take away.
As we’re currently working on a story on one of our favourite dishes ever, laksa, I made some photographs with my ‘real’ camera as soon as the steaming hot bowls were placed on our table.
Lara’s laksa was lovely to photograph, but my curry noodles were in a red bowl with orange chopsticks and a red soup spoon, and they were sitting on a red table. Bingo.
The light was lovely with the low cloud coverage creating a soft light that’s just made for food photography. Art directors and food stylists would probably be crying “too much red!”, but I love how it looks.
‘Real’ photographs done, I pulled out my iPhone and made a quick happy snap before the aroma of the soup was too much and I had to dig in.
This curry noodle soup was just the way I like it. Every time I look at the photo I can still remember thinking that I just wanted to order the soup again — and for the rest of our stay in Kuala Lumpur I had to force myself to eat at other street food stalls rather than go back to that cart again. That’s a memory shot.
Details: Apple iPhone 4, @ F2.8 @ 1/15th second @ ISO160.