KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia's gastronomic delights have charmed both locals and foreigners at a festival held here at the popular food street of Jalan Alor.
Billed as Fabulous Food 1Malaysia - Malaysia International Gourmet Festival, it features everyday favourites such as popiah, sup tulang and seafood dishes.
"The first thing I tried was a curry puff. I thought it was delicious," said Iiris Saarenpaa, 21, who is a student from Finland.
She was astounded by the variety of food available, saying that she wanted to savour as much as she could at the festival.
The street food festival, which marks its fourth edition this year, is also held concurrently in 13 states at 18 different locations.
Organised by the Tourism and Culture Ministry in collaboration with hawkers associations, the festival will take place throughout this month.
About 250 hawker centres and food courts with about 15,000 hawker stalls throughout Malaysia are taking part in the event.
Ahmad Farouki Saleem, 24, a tourist from Dubai, said he stumbled upon the festival by chance as he was shopping at a mall near Bukit Bintang with his family.
"I am looking forward to trying the nasi kerabu and some Malaysian desserts," he said.
Tourism and Culture Ministry deputy secretary-general Rashidi Abdullah said the festival presented more than just the best of Malaysia's street food but also encouraged hawkers to upgrade their food safety standards.
The festival, he said, was aimed at addressing issues ranging from good service, hygiene in food preparation as well as proper facilities like clean washrooms and surroundings.