While the rest of my fellow bloggers are planning for their own adventure in Kuala Lumpur, I already knew what would be the thinks that I’ll be doing in KL… discover foodie places, take photos and eat eat eat!
Any self-described foodie is probably familiar with some of the most famous Malaysian dishes. Malaysia is a cultural mix of people, many with roots in China, India, Thailand, Indonesia, and even Pakistan and parts of the Middle East.
The blend of these cuisines can be seen in Malaysian cuisine in such dishes like Nasi Briyani, a spiced rice dish that can contain vegetables or be served with meat, which Indian food lovers with recognize as having Indian roots. Or satay dishes similar to the Thai. Or Char Kuay Teow, a stir fried flat noodle dish with egg, green onion, chilis, vegetables, and often prawns or meat, which resembles Chinese or Thai dishes. Roti canai is a Malaysian flatbread, not dissimilar to Indian Roti, with herbs, spices, and anything else thrown in the dough.
Char Kuay Teow
But the world of Malaysian cuisine is vast and complex, even among street food vendors and hawkers. Malaysia hosts all kinds of foodie delights, from Korean BBQ to Tandoori grills. From the simple and ubiquitous Nasi Lemak, a coconut milk rice, to the many variations on Chicken Rice, to cendol, a traditional dessert drink made with coconut milk and green colored, rice flour jelly, anyone interested in a food adventure should try the many tastes of Malaysian cuisine available in Malacca.
Malacca City, or Melaka in Malay, is about 150km north of Kuala Lumpur, on the coast of the Malacca Strait. The position of this city on the water means that the seafood is as fresh as it can be. Chicken rice balls are not to be missed, and can be found all across the city. Barbequed pork satay is mouthwateringly delicious. And Malacca is known for having an especially delicious rang of rendang dishes.
Rendang is popular across Southeast Asia, from the Philippines to Thailand to Singapore, to Brunei, and of course in Malaysia. Rendang can be described as a caramelized beef curry, rich with spices ground into a paste. Usually this dish includes ginger, lemon grass, garlic, chilies, and turmeric leaves. This blend is called Pemasak in Malay. Rendang is traditionally cooked for about four hours, a slow cook with the Pemasak and coconut milk, until the meat is soft, tender, and has absorbed the spices and flavors. Is your mouth watering yet?
Bak Kut Teh
Another excellent way to experience the flavors of Malaysian cuisine in Malacca is to try a range of different Laksa dishes. Laksa is a tradidtional spicy noodle dish that is often served as a soup, but not always. The soup is a curry-based soup, so sometimes it is less soup-like, and more like a curry. Either way, if you enjoy a bit of spice, noodles, and your choice of meat, seafood, or even tofu for vegetarians, Laksa is a great meal for experiencing the variety and cultural blends of Malaysian cuisine.
And for dessert, try the Malaysian version of shaved ice with all kinds of exotic toppings: Ais kacang. You may see it dubbed “ABC” in food courts, hawker centers, and even coffee shops.
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