Deplorable City Eateries Reveal Kuala Lumpur's Dirty Backlanes
We Malaysians love hawker food (well in this world, who doesn't right?), but locally here everyone knows that the small stalls by the roadside in Kampung Baru sells the best beef porridges, the Pudu chicken noodle soup has the best chicken stock ever, and who can deny that some of the best traditional pastries can be found in Kampung Pandan...and this food list can go on.
With all the hawker food around, one would understand the unhygienic prospect that are attached with them, along with all the health risks (unfortunately, it's worth it though), From the car exhaust fume, the roadside dust about 3 inches thick and the few rodents playing hide and seek across the road.
However when eating in restaurants, we go in an automated bonafide (good faith) mode in assuming that restaurant owners would be unshakeable with their standards in terms of quality of food and hygiene.
Imagine how sore and concern it was to find that the hygiene quality in most of Kuala Lumpur's restaurants are sadly lacking.
Just like the hawker's stalls, most critic can say : although the food was good but the reataurant's standard of hygiene was deplorable!
Usually the DBKL (Kuala Lumpur City Hall) carry out frequent spot checks, where it turns out -- that most of the restaurant's backlane are downright filthy.
Just last week I saw workers preparing food merely few feet away from several large overflowing garbage bins. In addition (Im not sure whether by pure coincidence or conspiracy town planning *ok, i doubt its conspiracy*) but it is common to see that restaurants were side by side with laundry-mats and motor car workshops which discharged fuel, smoke and waste water.
Not only preparation of food are done at the backlane but also washing of dishes. Sometimes rats can be seen sniffing in greetings with the cooks and workers, well maybe not the greeting but sniffing certainly! (Talk about rattatouille close up)
Despite spot checks are being made, but cases of restaurant's filthy backlanes are becoming an increasing concern for everyone. Last month, 10 premises at the upscale part of Kuala Lumpur call Sri Hartamas, 4 were issued compounds and 3 received notices for variety of offences.
The City Hall announced in late July that they will conduct a rodent control excercise in various eateries spots in Kuala Lumpur.
What I found most amusing, was that the Health Department Director had even suggested that they would identify local community leaders and get them involved in catching rats around the neighbourhoods. Anyone for rat traps and nets weekend?
Most laudable are the local medias whom have played key roles in exposing these deplorable and shocking cases of dirty eateries in the city. Consistent reporting in the city's Metro newspapers has made the public more aware and more bold in doing some personal reporting to the city halls themselves.
Not that all Malaysian eateries are unhygienic, as upscale restaurants in malls, hotels and tourists centered area are kept at pristine and tip-top standard of food preparation.
And so far, I haven't seen 2 beady eyes and a furry nose in places that I frequent to eat. But I'm beginning to think that maybe hawker food are actually better than some restaurants...after all, at least I know all the health hazard that comes with a delicious bag of banana fritters rather than being fooled by covered backlanes of Kuala Lumpur.
Hmm, do I smell something fishy with this fried noodles?
More news on Kuala Lumpur City Hall plans here.