Our quest for vegan groceries in Kuala Lumpur
Now that we have a new home (with a kitchen) in Siem Reap, Cambodia we are cooking much more and although the various stores in town have most of the essentials, some items we use all the time are either very expensive, not good quality or simply unavailable (there is literally no nooch in this town!).
This called for drastic action – taking a flight to Kuala Lumpur where we hear there are lots of vegan groceries roaming the streets, waiting to be captured and transported back to our kitchen in Siem Reap.
We needed a man on a mission for this kind of task, so Paul was sent on an international shopping adventure… can you imagine what happened?
First stop was Village Grocer at Bangsar Mall – we never managed to find it when previously in the area dining at Ashley’s by Living Food but this time I was on a mission and not locating this store (which if rumours were to be believed housed a veritable bounty of vegan goodies) was never an option.
I spent an hour scouring the shelves at Village Grocer as this is the best shop we have found to stock up on essential (and not so essential) vegan groceries during 18 months in South East Asia.
I left having spent over $100 on everything from nutritional yeast to vegan cheese and somehow due to being so excited I managed to buy a couple of non vegan items which just goes to show how careful you need to be when reading labels!
Here’s my vegan haul:
Where is Village Grocer?
Bangsar Village Mall 1
Kuala Lumpur 59100
If you’re not familiar with the area jump in a cab at Bangsar LRT as it’s tricky to find, and don’t forget that Village Grocer is in Bangsar Village Mall 1 not Bangsar Village Mall 2.
Lunch was needed so off I headed to Water Lily Vegetarian Restaurant, they also have a small selection of vegan groceries for sale so my mind was still firmly on my shopping mission and not just on getting my hands on their legendary laksa. This place is a veggie institution in KL having been around for years and serves a whole host of mock meat dishes, which although aren’t the most healthy of vegan options are pretty damn tasty and OK once in a while.
It’s also a great place to get vegan laksa, which is essential if you are visiting Malaysia (seriously, don’t leave without eating it).
They stock a variety of dried mock meat products, ready made curries with mock meat and a section of vegan sauces and sambals (perfect to make your own ‘nasi lemak’).
Where is Water Lily?
23 Jalan Tun Hs Lee
Kuala Lumpur 50000
Hop off the LRT at Masjid Jamek and take a five minute walk with the aid of Google Maps, but beware the location is still shown as ‘Fatt Yan Vegetarian Restaurant’ which is the old name.
Time for some more shopping and this time I headed to Cold Storage at KLCC – these are all over town but the KLCC branch is great as it means you also get the chance to visit the superb Simple Life in the food court on the 3rd floor.
The main reason to visit here was to buy Weetabix, we knew they stocked them from a previous trip and fancied a change to our usual breakfast of chia porridge. For some reason in Malaysia they are called Whole Wheat Biscuits?! But we can confirm they taste just like Weetabix from home…
Whilst in the store I also found tasty soya chocolate milk shake (the only chocolate soya milk we can get in Cambodia has cow’s milk in it!) and some organic vegan pesto.
Where is Cold Storage?
Kuala Lumpur 50450
I’m presuming that you can find KLCC as it has it’s own LRT station called KLCC and is part of the Petronas Twin Towers which are very big 🙂 Village Grocer can be found on the ground floor towards the back next t the central atrium escalators. If you’re not in this part of town, don’t worry as there is probably another branch very close by.
Shopping is very exhausting so it was time to head back to the official Vegan Food Quest Kuala Lumpur HQ (the Doubletree by Hilton) to enjoy some fantastic vegan cuisine (they always feed us well there!).
But I thought I’d squeeze one last bit of food shopping in at Jaya Grocer at Intermark. This has been our ‘go to’ grocers when in KL as it’s situated in the same building as the Doubletree and is where we usually stock up on vegan travel treats before leaving town.
To say I was excited to find vegan pies is an understatement, and perhaps in all the excitement i lost my ability to forage correctly and managed to buy veggie chicken satay which was not vegan! I redeemed myself though with some tasty strawberry soya yoghurt, making my vegan haul complete.
Where is Jaya?
348 Jalan Tun Razak
Kuala Lumpur 50400
Head to Ampang Park LRT station and The Intermark is only 5 minutes walk away and Jaya is in the basement (there are also other branches all over town and at KLIA2).
After a good night sleep it was time to head back to Siem Reap and what better way than in Business Class with Malaysian Airlines? The extra baggage allowance was handy for the haul of vegan delights… The business lounge at KLIA does a mean vegan noodle soup and for once, they even managed to remember by vegan meal on the flight – happy days!
The haul was impressive and the other half of Vegan Food Quest was very happy indeed when I returned from my shopping mission; not to see me I might add, but with the vegan groceries that I captured!