getting a little fruity in kl.

KL fruit

i had some fun correspondence with the housekeeping staff at my hotel; i would leave them one of the bento boxes from the conference (not bad but i'm in kl--sooo many more possibilities) during the lunch break, then return to find more than my fair share of whatever fruit was on offer from the housekeeping cart. whoo! unnamed housekeepers, you rock! of course, no one left me any durian (shucks), but i saw it quite a bit in the produce stalls around the city; no one wanted to split one, so i didn't try the local version (for the record--yes, i've tried it before, and like it okay. the smell doesn't bother me, but whilst the flavour is complex on the sweet end of the spectrum, it lacks an acidity i look for in most fruit). the mighty mangosteen and prickly rambutan, on the other hand, were bought at any given opportunity, and eaten just as quickly--hence, the woeful lack of photos.

young coconut drink sugar cane juice

also imbibed whenever possible: fresh coconut water, in the young coconut, served with a straw and also a spoon, to scoop out the tender, sweet flesh; coconut water contains a high amount of potassium (lots more than a banana), and helps a body rehydrate easier than just cold water. also sucked up: sugar cane juice, freshly expressed from the cane, diluted only with copious amounts of ice, and a touch of fresh lemon. cane juice is nowhere near as sweet as you would imagine, as it comes from the younger, greener cane, picked before the sugars develop.

shave ice with soursop + guava

probably my most favourite dessert in kl is the shave ice treats topped with fresh and preserved fruits, but unlike the filipino halo-halo, korean bingsu, or even its regional sister ais kacang, it does not have red beans or dairy added, so it is much lighter on the stomach. too many fruit concoctions and combinations were available; this one had fresh soursop pieces, preserved palm fruit, mochi balls, and nata de coco (fermented coconut water gel) covered in a guava syrup and basil seed syrup. fresh, fruity, sweet, yet sharp, icy and refreshing.


imho, the best fruit brought over by the housekeeping staff was the local wax jambu (if you want to get all latin fancy it's Syzygium samarangense.) it is known in the philippines as macopa, and on the island as simply "mountain apples." i never see fruit as big as this here on island, nor this colour--usually it's white or pinkish here, but in malaysia--where it is cultivated for harvest--it comes in a rainbow assortment from white to yellow to green to various shades of pink and red. the interior is snowy white, with a cellulosey texture and flavour similar to an asian pear but slightly spongy and lighter. as i can only get it on island in the wild or from other people's backyards, i took every opportunity to munch on this simple but satisfying gift.


What beautiful pictures! Love all the reds.

Hey Santos - You had quite a good deal going! I don't think they'd do a durain though....they'd have to clean up after..... ;o0 BTW, did the hotel have those "No Durian" signs posted?

Your photos are beautiful. The sweets remind me of Thailand.

i can't resist eating up kilos of mangosteens when in season, rambutan too but less so. Those macopas look lovely, dark red unlike the ones I find here which tend to be rather pale and puny.

hi Santos, long time no visit :) sorry.

The photos are beautiful and such delicious looking fruits!


I wanna go homeeeee..!!

ei... i miss macopa. none here in vancouver... or maybe it's still not in season.

Oh all those pictures are making me hungry. I grew up with fruits like the jambu and really miss them these days.

starved! wish I could duck out and get me some of that fruity goodness...just some tiny left-all-winter wintergreen berries to find around here so far...a month to go for strawberries.

i call it jambu air (literally water guava) and i love it! my nanny harvest really big, juicy and sweet ones

Hello there...I had just collected your little gift for me from Jackson of Living in Food Heaven. Thank you for your lovely gesture though we didn't get a chance to meet up. You really shouldn't have. Glad to read that you had a great time (from your posts) in Malaysia. Will you be returning to Malaysia again? Lots more food to cover ;o)

hi- i love your site; been a reader for a while! every post is mouthwatering... i think i may be your biggest fan in the desert [nm]. the food reminds me of home [hawaii + ilocos]

Your photos are fabulous and left my mouth watering! Mangosteen is so delish and so good for your health! Do you know of any places in Guam to get fresh Mangosteen? I'm anxious to get my hands on some!

Hey, that last pic is of what we call in Belize "Molly Apple" which is a corruption of the name "Malay Apple". From my understanding (what I have read) the Malay apple is actually native to Malaysia which might be why there are so many varieties there. We have a tree on the farm at home and when it blossoms, it is filled with pink powderpuff explosions of flowers, and literally scores of hummingbirds going nuts in there. So many wings beating so fast it sounds like a hive of bees.

Sounds like you are having a great time on your trip. Too bad you have to work!

hi acornbud! yes, all the fruit are so vibrant.

hey kirk, didn't notice any no durian signs :)

taste, ah, thailand, i want to visit there soon!

hi mila, the macopa were soooo nice, much tastier than the ones here too.

hi jmom, i'm due for a visit at yours soon too!

mamabok, i hope you get to go home soon :(

tommy, i have no idea where you'd get macopa in canada....

y, i am fortunate that all the fruits i'd grown up eating are still around the island. i would miss them all.

hi wmw, there is so much i didn't get to cover. i hope i get to meet you next time.

hi suburban rambler, thanks for stopping by. albuquerque! i bought an espresso maker there during a road trip. i love those roasted green chiles.

hi ablykins, unfortunately, we don't have mangosteen on island, and no one is importing them in. probably too expensive, which is too bad. you can buy them canned but it's definitely not the same thing.

hi lyra, thanks for all the information! hummingbirds, wow, that must be an amazing sight.