We've just come back from a day out in Manchester, but for a moment it felt like we'd had a day out in Kuala Lumpur.
In the Arndale Market, situated in a corner of the Arndale Centre, is a food court. But it's not one of those food courts which are packed out with fast food chains. Here there are independent outlets offering a range of Chinese, Greek, Indian and Mexican food and more.
The Chinese outlet is called Wings and will look familiar to anyone who has eaten in the hawker centres of South-East Asia. Fast service at the counter behind which stand steaming pots of rice and stock, and hanging up behind a glass shield are whole roast ducks and hugs slabs of roast pork. It looks so inviting, and the long queue suggests that this is the place to eat.
And it is. That's not to say that the other places aren't good. I'm sure they are, but we couldn't resist a taste of out travels. I had roast duck and char sui on rice, the missus had roast duck and roast pork ramen. The meat was excellent, succulent and authentically tasty. The ramen broth was equally good. I'd go back in a shot, but next time I'd leave with a whole roast duck, a bargain at £11.
Instead, this time we came home with a kilo of mussels from the fish stall (£3.50) and a little pot of fire (habanero salsa) from the Mexican stall. If the rest of the Mexican food is of the same standard, then we'll have to go and eat there as well. Though I think I'll choose something a bit milder than the salsa - it would be insane to eat too much of anything that is that hot!
As we left we walked through the grocery area where durian fruit was on sale. It's sickly-sweet smell hangs thickly in the air around Bukit Bintang, the area where we spent much of our time when we were in KL. That smell, together with our Asian lunch and the table of noisy, chattering chinese behind us when we ate transported us right back to Malaysia. The feet are getting itchy again.