"I like my food spicy and salty, not sweet"
Another hour spend in dizzying Grab taxi rides in congested streets with battering suns outside, finally arrived, ordered the chicken clay pot and waited. Staring around the dining room was utter silence. Not for lack of customers, but for the fact everyone was moving their hands from plate to mouth in extreme haste.
The heat radiating off the clay pot was immense as it was laid down before me. Almost enough to tan. I eased into it, stirring deep to loosen the crispy/burnt bits at the bottom that are so delectable in a paella. I spooned my first load in and was overcome with sadness. Sure, it tasted decent, but this flavour profile was not in my wheelhouse. It ate sweet, very very sweet.
I mistakenly popped a bit of salted fish in my mouth and almost gagged. It was like eating a pure snooker ball of sea salt with fermented shrimp paste painting. Wildly unsatisfying. I quenched the taste with 100 plus and kept on picking around the bowl until I was full enough to not feel guilty for leaving most of it behind.
The sweet old lady took my money and asked if I enjoyed it. I lied in part by saying yes, but also it was a lie born from sadness and hope that tomorrow would bring a better meal to my table.
p.s. If you like chicken clay pot rice, I've heard on good authority this is as good as it gets in KL.
These recommendations are just personal opinions based on my palate, things change, chefs get fired or replaced, places open-close, relocate, so take it all with a pinch of MSG and discover your own gems too. But please do try a few of these, they have been researched exhaustively.
"Tastes are subjective, so take everything with a pinch of salty tears"