Midnight snacking on fried frog

Imagine this scenario:

You’ve just traveled several time zones to the right. It’s nearing your normal bed time, your hotel room is dark and cozy, but the combination of a messed up body rhythm, an earlier nap, and the bustling street sounds below you are forcing you awake.

And worse? …you’re hungry!

What do you do?

You wake up your traveling companion (remind him that his duty is first and foremost to keep you entertained) and wander around to find some 24-hour restaurants serving a truly strange delight, fried frog.

As I may have mentioned before, we stayed on Jalan Bukit Bintang in Kuala Lumpur, with Jalan Alor right behind us. I’m not sure how well-known Jalan Alor is, but it’s a small stretch of road that is packed, absolutely packed with food stalls. Of course, by midnight, most are closed. There are a brave few that stay open 24 hours, catering to a more devious crowd, I would say.

I mean, just look at those creepers.

And check out the high-class decor. Like a lot of the other non-U.S. Chinese restaurants I’ve been to, this one was notably no-frills.

The Dragon View offers all sorts of Chinese food. Feeling adventurous, we ordered fried frog and bean curd casserole.

(With the necessary midnight-snack beverages and accompaniments, of course)

Mmm… I know the ingredients certainly sound off-putting. Even bean curd sounds…well…just gross. But, they turned out to be pretty tasty in the end. The frog was slathered with a thick, dark, savory sauce and, (not) surprisingly, it tasted like chicken. It came with peanuts, dried chilis and crunchy chunks of bell pepper. At first I would pick at certain pieces and try to determine which body part I was about to eat, but eventually I gave up and just dove in.

Farrell’s bean curd dish came in a heavy stone bowl that kept the dish steaming hot the entire time we were eating it. It was brimming with smooth mushrooms and moist chicken in a simmering brown gravy that reminded me of classic comfort gravy, the kind you drown your mashed potatoes in. The circular bean curd pieces had a bit of a crispy edge but were silky on the inside.

We sat around and enjoyed the last bit of night life as it was finally dying down around 3am. There were tables of teenagers, with their trendy mo-hawks and t-shirts with incomprehensible English phrases, and a surprising amount of older Chinese folks, women with plain, shapeless dresses talking in sharp tones with lots of emphatic hand gestures, or little old men reading newspapers quietly to themselves.

And there was the typical Kuala Lumpur wildlife to look out for.