Malaysia is a real foodies heaven where you can eat and dine all day and night. In big city such as Kuala Lumpur, you will find everything from 5 star restaurants to street stalls selling freshly cooked local delights at a low price.
The sum of many delicious parts, Malaysian cuisine’s influences include Chinese, Indian and Malay.
In some ways it’s similar to Indonesian food, with the two nations sharing many of the same dishes. (Warning: debates over dish origins can turn nasty in these parts — such is the passion of the region’s food lovers.) hahaha lol.
So a list of Malaysian food to try is bound to be unlike any other. Some dishes might not have originated from Malaysia, but they have found a home there.
1# Nasi Lemak
Nasi lemak is comprised of coconut rice, prawn sambal, fried anchovies, peanuts, cucumber slices, and ayam rendang. Depending on where you are in Malaysia, it comes with a variety of accompaniments such as hard-boiled egg, peanuts, vegetables, lamb/chicken/or beef curry, seafood and sambal (chili-based sauce).
Nasi lemak is traditionally eaten for breakfast but these days people are ordering it any time of day.
2# Curry Laksa
For noodle lovers, get yourself a bowl of Curry Laksa to tantalize your taste buds. Coconut milk and blended spices are usually cooked in a chicken or prawn based broth to obtain a flavourful curry. This is laksa for those who prefer their soups creamy. It’s the same heat, but the broth is thickened with coconut milk.
Choose from a selection of yellow noodles, flat rice noodles or vermicelli, the bowl of curry laksa also comes with hardboiled egg, tofu puffs, shredded chicken, bean sprouts, cockles, just to name a few. Some like it with fish, others prawns.
3# Fried Rice / Nasi Goreng
A filling, hearty dish of rice fried with carrots, peas, and some meat. The more indulgent versions of the dish can include egg, small anchovies, and really just about anything.
Nasi goreng has been called the most favourite dish in Malaysia, though there are many other contenders. It can be enjoyed in simple versions from a tin plate at a roadside food stall, eaten on porcelain in restaurants, or collected from the buffet tables of 5 star hotel/restaurant dinner parties.
Cendol is a refreshing snack or dessert that you’ll find all over Malaysia. In its simplest form it comes with rice flour pandan noodles, shaved ice, coconut milk and gula melaka or palm sugar syrup.
Vendors often add red beans, kidney beans or corn as well. Cendol is a surefire way to beat the Malaysian heat!
5# Mee Goreng Mamak
Mee goreng is another must try dish when you’re dining at a mamak (Indian Muslim restaurant). This Indian Muslim dish is the complete package. Yellow noodles. Beef or chicken. Shrimp. Soy sauce, veggies and eggs. A bit of chili tossed in for an irresistible jolt.
Essentially a fried noodles dish, mamak bee goreng is made up of yellow wheat noodles, vegetables, egg and is cooked with kecap manis (sweet soy sauce) and sambal. A hearty, tasty dish!
6# Apam Balik
You haven’t truly experienced Malaysian food until you thrill your taste buds with this sweet treat. Must try! Seriously..
A pancake-style snack wedded with the compact package of an omelet, apam balik is stuffed with more than a sufficient amount of sugar, peanuts and the occasional sprinkle of corn — it’s a dish that’s constantly being reinvented.
7# Banana Leaf Rice
The food served at Malaysia banana leaf restaurants is often of south Indian origin. You site down at a table with a banana leaf as your plate, and it doesn’t take long before the waiter dishs you a giant scoop of rice and a round of incredibly tasty vegetarian curries.
Banana leaf is often served vegetarian, but you can also normally order sides of meat to supplement the vegetable curries if you live.
No fork, no spoon are need to eat banana leaf, you just go in with your fingers and devour!
8# Nasi Campur
You’ll find stalls and restaurants set up all over the country where you’re given a plate of rice, and it’s your task to make sense of the assortment of dishes and scoop up whatever looks the best – and let me tell you, it’s a lot of fun!
I especially love dishes like the jackfruit curry, fish curry, omelets, and cutlets.
9# Burger “RAMLY”
The Ramly Burger is a cult classic and loved by most Malaysians. This is a street burger at its finest- saucy, messy and delicious! The Ramly Burger was created by its founder who wanted to plug a gap in the halal Western food market so burger patties are beef, chicken or lamb.
The thing to order is a ‘special’ where an egg is cracked onto the hotplate, spread out and the burger patty wrapped up in the egg together with loads of sauce. A genius way to prevent the sauce from spewing out! Ramly Burger vendors usually set up in the evenings and are open until the early hours of the morning- they operate out of the back of trucks or have standalone stalls. Don’t miss out on eating this favourite!
10# Teh Tarik
Whenever there is ‘nasi lemak’, there will be Teh Tarik (pulled tea) which is condensed milk tea. Since ‘nasi lemak’ is savoury and rather spicy (depending on the side dishes you pick), ‘teh tarik’s’ sweet and creamy taste helps to soothe the palate.
Basically it is a black tea in a bag with a bunch of condensed milk in it, but the “pulling” makes it special: the tea man will pour it back and forth between two metal cups, ostensibly to cool it, usually from some impressive distance, which also makes it frothy on top.
There you go. The top ten must-try food in Malaysia. Do not leave Malaysia without trying these awesome dishes or you will deeply regret it, believe me.