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Pescatarian in HK, Penang, KL, and Singapore!

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My husband and I are taking a two week long SE Asian vacation and EATING is my number one agenda item! I guess we'll see some sights too.

My husband is adventurous and willing to go anywhere with me as long as there is SOMETHING he can eat. He is a lifelong 'pescatarian' which means he eats some seafood. All fish, clams, mussels, shrimp is fine. But he won't eat squid, lobster, crab, or octopus. Definitely no poultry, pig, or beef.

I have spent lots of time scouring over the boards on all the places we are visiting and definitely going to have a hard time narrowing down the choices. I would love suggestions. I don't want to miss out on great food just because of my husband's eating habits.

We would prefer to stick with cheaper places and hawker food. (Like less then $15 US per person per meal) We also don't mind paying more for more modern clean places. A good mix is what we are going for. But we don't really like the old establishment places that have been around for 80 years and haven't updated a thing.

Here's the itinerary:

HK for one day (crazy long layover) staying at: Ramada Hotel in Kowloon. I really want to eat dim sum but am afraid of the options for my husband. I also would prefer somewhere that has a menu in English available. I only speak conversational Mandarin but I know that won't do me any good in Cantonese places.

Penang: At Flamingo for 5 nights. Not too worried about here since we have plenty of time to explore and am taking a food tour the first day and a cooking class the 2nd day.

KL: Staying in the bukit pintang area. We are planning on seeing the batu caves and fireflies. We also will want to see the Petronas towers. Any lunch or dinner suggestion in route to these locations would be helpful.

Singapore: Moon Hotel for 2 nights and MBS for one night (we just had to check out the pool). The chicken rice at maxwell shopping center is on my list. I'd like to eat chili crab or black pepper crab but definitely need to make sure there is something for the husband to eat at the same hawker centers. We also want to try a banana leaf style eating.

I'm from the SF Bay Area if that makes any difference. Malay food is very hard to come by here and would love to try new things. I don't want to eat Japanese, Mexican, Italian, French, European etc. anything. I don't mind fusion though! I want to stick with local flavors and cuisines.

We probably won't travel back these places for at least 10 years or so we have to make the most of it!

We will be relying on public transit exclusively so nothing that is too far of a walk. Air conditioning does not matter. I am trying to follow the rules of the board when asking for help, hopefully I have covered all my bases.

Thank you all for your help in advance!

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  1. Pescatarians will have no problems at all in the cities you're visiting - seafood a-plenty and, if you're planning to hit the hawker food trail, wil definitely find something to eat. Singapore & Penang are famous for their oyster omelette (called "ohr-luak" in Singapore, "oh-chien" in Penang), and spiced fish (like stingray) and other seafood which will be wrapped in banana leaves & barbecued. In most seafood places in Singapore (Long Beach, Palm Beach, No Signboard, Red House) where chilli crabs are served, you'd find many other fish & seafood options to order, from Canadian geoduck to Scottish razor-clams.

    Banana leaf curry meals will include fish curries and fish patties, besides the chicken and lamb curries, and lots of vegetarian options. Can be very spicy though. In Singapore, try Komala Vilas on Serangoon Road for vegetarian banana leaf meal, or Apolo or Muthu's on Race Course Road where fish-head curries, and lots of other fish/meat options are served with rice or Indian breads on banana leaves. In KL. Brickfields has banana leaf options, whilst in Penang, go to Sri Ananda Bahwan although you can find lots of other options in its colorful Little India district.

    KL - sorry, haven't done Batu Caves nor the firefly-watching thang, but food in KL is never hard to come by!

    2 Replies
    1. re: klyeoh

      Disagree about HK especially if the OP wants Dim Sum as pork is used quite extensively in many of the dishes and is often an undeclared ingredient. Also lots of the soups and stocks are meat based so it can be tricky unless is is clearly just a fish dish. Top Dim Sum places maybe safer than cheaper but still a bit of a lottery. My partner now works with a vegetarian and the team struggle to find easy lunch places in Central tht can cater for the non meat eater.

      1. re: PhilD

        i agree about the dim sum bit; the only dim sum dishes i can think of that doesn't use meat are the prawn / scallop cheong funs, as well as some of the baos...

    2. Even though I've only been here a couple of years I can heartily agree with klyeoh's recommendation of Sri Ananda Bahwan, especially convenient for that late night snack right across from Flamingo!

      If you're not already done with your trip, please let me know and I will be glad to make some more local recommendations (i.e. Malay, Hokkien/Chinese).

      Enjoy!