Since half of our to-do list was comprised of what we wanted to eat (on a budget), I will begin my Malaysia report with a round-up of our gastronomical adventures during our visit a couple of weeks ago. Not in not in any particular order, the following is just a list of the food that H and I truly enjoyed.
Before I continue, there’s one thing you need to know… A lifetime ago, I worked as a TV director for Astro, the biggest satelite TV network in Malaysia at the time. So this trip was really a sort of homecoming for me, too. Having said that, it didn’t diminish my excitement in any way. If anything, I was even more excited to see, feel and eat Malaysia all over again. So here goes…
1. Traditional Malay Food
Spicy, colorful, and mostly… spicy, traditional Malaysian food can be had anytime, anywhere. Your best bets are the buffet-style restaurants/stalls along roadsides and night markets. Curried chicken and spicy beef top our list.
Nasi goreng (fried rice) is a must, so is beef rendang and well, anything rendang. Order with a glass of iced teh tarik or cola.
2. Char Kway Teow
I am kicking myself as I type this. How could I have not taken a picture of my sumptuous fried kway teow topped with prawns which I immensely enjoyed and would undoubtedly go back for? I have declared my undying love for this dish ever since I first tasted it 14 years ago. Only a few dishes cause my endorphin levels to shoot up and this is one of them.
How can freshly made white flat noodles vigorously stir-fried with fresh crunchy bean sprouts, pork, chicken or seafood, and tossed in that special gravy only the Chinese can concoct not make you happy? It’s heaven on a plate! Available in hawker stalls but can be quite enjoyable under the stars in one of KL’s pasar malam or night markets.
3. Nando’s Peri-Peri Chicken
Originally Portuguese but born in Africa, Nando’s Peri-Peri Chicken is one of the best roast chicken we’ve had so far. And this, coming from roast chicken foodies, is a big compliment.
Roasted to perfection, it comes in 4 flavors: Extra Hot, Hot, Mild and Lemon and Herb.
To complement your delicious roast, eat it with one (or all) of the four sauces.
A cute little toothpick flag reminds you of how macho or sissy you are, depending on the flavor you ordered. Cute. But not when it’s calling you a wimp, it isn’t! Judgemental little toothprick.
Nothing spells comfort food more than a bowl of hot porridge with everything on it.
Served with fried bread but can also be enjoyed with a plate of raw fish tossed in sesame oil.
This stall calls itself ‘Hon Kee Famous Porridge”. And for good reason, too. Available in Chinatown.
India’s contribution to Malaysian cuisine, Roti is like french crepe, only firmer. Well, okay, more like mexican tortilla. It’s actually unleavened flatbread made from flour. Most people eat it with vegetables or dipped in curry sauce.
I prefer my roti ala roti bom, that is, cooked with butter and sugar, and served with a hot cup of teh tarik. More pleasurable while having a conversation with your Indian roti chef.
NExt: Eating Malaysia Part 2