Facts from a Savvy Foodie: Surprising Must-Knows About Malaysian Cuisine

It’s somewhat shocking why Malaysian foods aren’t as revered as those of other countries, yet they are probably the most delicious all over Asia. But did you know that most of the latter-day Malay foods are drawn from countries adjacent to this beautiful Asian country?

·      It’s in Malaysia that you can get to taste authentic foods from over five neighbouring countries

Malay foods, whether served at a street-side food stall in Kuala Lumpur or a high-end Malaysian restaurant in London, have the same distinct flavour. And much of the traction these dishes enjoy is from the fact that traditional Malay cuisines are a conglomerate of ancient Thai, Chinese, Indonesian and Indian foods.

Combining all the culinary traditions, therefore, means you get to taste perhaps the most tantalising fusion of flavours. On top of the four main ethnic groups, Baba-Nyonya, or Peranakan food that draw its inspiration from the ancient Chinese and Malay culinary practices are a huge delicacy. You will also find some foods that also share shared history with the main Singaporean foods.

1.     Need an ultimate foodie adventure in Malaysia? Don’t choose Kuala Lumpur

It’s understandable to suddenly feel immersed in the authentic food adventure after your land in Kuala Lumpur. But head out until you arrive in the food capital of Penang where all this country’s hidden food treasures are found. It is on the streets of this historic city that you duly feel right at the heart of traditional foods as the smells, sounds, and buzz fills your nostrils.

You just order whatever you’d like to taste directly off the food cart, sit back and devour. And it isn’t just the foods that you get to delight in. As you sit down at the makeshift food parlour, another vendor will pull by with an incredible choice of local drinks. I’m told these carefree vendors and their rustic and artisanal demeanour is just okay, though you’ll need to watch out lest the low sanitary and hygiene levels make you fall sick!

·      On the selection of foods, there’s everything for everyone

Thanks to the various cultures that form the Malaysian food industry, you can’t step out of Malaysia without falling in love with at least one type of food. Whether it is the generally spicy Indian ones or the delicious Chinese and Thai ones, you will just love the vastness. Locals are always at hand, ready to help guide you through the finest choices and the most affordable spots.

·      About the drinks – which juices to water down your bite?

If you don’t like drinking fresh fruit drinks and juice, the warm outdoorsy feel will most certainly force you to grab one from the many vendors. And be ready for all blends, including the tasty ones such as prune juice or barley juice and the weird combinations such as dragon fruit and lemon juice. A drink that you must gulp down, however, is amber juice. But all in all, Malay juices are refreshing and unique.

Malaysia is vegan-friendly, and English is predominantly spoken everywhere. All foods sold outside the high-end restaurants are budget-friendly, though you should head out to the streets with a local.


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