Weekend bazaars and art markets are always interesting affairs – you get to check out cool merchandise, indulge in delicious food, and support small businesses in the process!
The Hubs and I went to one recently called KLove Market at KLoe Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, and although it was small, it did not disappoint.
The market was held on the first floor, where the swimming pool is. There were about 20 vendors in total, mostly selling food and drinks.
One of the first vendors we checked out was Mysybaritas, which imports high quality Spanish products including wines, oils, canned goods, salts, and cured meats. Founder and director Aida Perez Palau introduced us to Palacio de Los Olivos, a premium extra virgin olive oil, which we tried with pieces of bread. It was slightly bitter and had low acidity – the mark of good olive oil. But since I don’t consume olive oil frequently, I went for some Jamon Iberico instead (RM35).
Just next to Mybaritas, we struck up a conversation with Nicholas Grisse and Jonathan Sebastian. The pair are known for their highly successful farm-to-table supper club – Super Secret Social – which is hosted from their home and which has a months-long waiting list.
The duo’s presence at KLove was to introduce their other venture, nicpicks, where Nicholas picks (punny!) his favourite selection of wines from small producers around the world.
On Nic’s recommendation, the Hubs tried the La Senda, El Aqueronte 2020, a Spanish red with a light body. Fun tidbit: apparently the wine maker is a big fan of metal music. Keeping to this theme, he makes only 1666 bottles of this batch!
Next, we dropped by the Pichaeats booth. Pichaeats is a fusion food catering company that works with refugee and underserved communities in Malaysia from Syria, Pakistan, Myanmar, Palestine, Afghanistan, and Iraq. The model serves to empower chefs in these communities, putting food on their table as they put food on ours.
Here, we tried some Middle Eastern desserts, which I believe are called kunafa. The pastry shell is spun into thin, crunchy strands that coil to form a birds-nest shape, and the centre features cream and pistachio. A lovely, delicate dessert with a variety of textures and a great balance between salty and sweet.
We also got some panipuri – deep fried Indian flatbread with a hollow centre that is filled with chutney, potato mash, onions, masala, and chilli powder – to snack on. These were wonderfully crunchy on the outside, and the ingredients blended together in the mouth to provide an explosion of spices and flavour; sweet, spicy, salty, and savoury.
There were many interesting vendors on site, including Mossybola, which sells kokedama – a Japanese ornamental plant grown from a ball of soil covered in moss; D’Artisan Cheese, which offers a range of unique cheeses, as well as The Honey Hearts, carrying a range of healthy and delicious honey.
We tried some samples, and I was surprised at how different they tasted. I always thought of honey as being just ‘sweet’, but there was a clear distinction between them. The Excelsior Class Honey (harvested from the Excelsa Tree, the tallest tree in Asia, by jungle bees called Apis Dorsata), for example, was light with just a hint of tanginess(?) to it. Meanwhile, the Superior Class Honey, which is wild jungle honey from East Malaysia, was deep, rounded, and potent.
There were beautiful cakes, pastries, baked goods, and ice cream for sale as well, but we didn’t have enough budget or space to try them all unfortunately. 😦
My spoils: Jamon Iberico! I am obsessed. It’s rich, salty, and fatty, but not to the point of being overwhelming or greasy. The pork flavour is quite pronounced, and it has a rich, earthy flavour to it.
The Hubs has a sweet tooth, so he got some chocolates from Alba, a local, award-winning chocolatier. Their chocolates are crafted from cocoa beans sourced from Venezuela, as well as locally.
Overall, we really enjoyed our time at KLove Market! It was great checking out the different vendors, learning about their stories and products, and trying some out for ourselves. The next edition will be running from 5 to 6 November 2022 with a whole new set of vendors, so make sure to check it out!