Hello readers! I am currently flying back to Melbourne from a glorious 9-day holiday in Malaysia.
I departed on the final day of the Paleo Challenge (unintentionally well-timed!), so I dutifully packed a chicken salad for the plane along with some almonds and carrot sticks.
I felt very proud of my diligent self, but was looking so very forward to the culinary delights awaiting me in Kuala Lumpur. When my aunty picked me up, one of the first questions she asked me was “Have you eaten?” Cue overwhelming gush of happiness. And so began the Malaysian Food Safari…
To say Malaysians love their food is an understatement.
They’re obsessed. Everywhere you look there’s food, food, food. Fancy restaurants, local open-air eateries, expansive food courts, roadside stalls, it’s all good. And the variety of dishes is incredible: you have the cuisine of the indigenous Malay people, there are Indian curries, roti, dosas and so on, plus you have all the amazing Chinese dishes.
My favourites Malay dishes are nasi lemak (coconut rice with dried anchovies, hard-boiled egg, cucumber slices, sambal chilli, often wrapped in a banana leaf and eaten for breakfast, but I like it with beef rending curry), and curry laksa, a noodle soup dish with tofu, bean shoots, cockles and other delicious morsels cooked in a rich coconut milk-based curry.
However, a new discovery for me on this trip was the Malay buffet-style lunch. I experienced this style of dining at a few places: a Malay market in the town of Kota Baru, a food court at an enormous local shopping centre (aptly named “Megamall”), and a roadside restaurant on the way to the Genting Highlands.
You are presented with a spread of bain maries filled with various curries, salads, rice dishes, grilled fish, fried chicken and random toppings like shaved coconut, herb leaves, dried fish flakes and chilli sauces. You pile your plate high and they charge you something ridiculous like 4 or 5 Aussie dollars.
I’m sad to say I can’t get this type of food back home. [Read more…]