One of the highlights of a trip to South East Asia has got to be the food. Wherever you go you are subjected to an array of wonderful colours and smells (and the occasional not so wonderful smells too; see Durian below).
I’m in Kuala Lumpur as I write this and am still a little jet lagged; I have not managed to get out of bed before noon. This means that when I have got outside my favourite Roti Canai is no longer for sale 🙁 I will set the alarm clock for the morning, so as not to miss out again (and to help out with the jet lag).
There are many aspects to Malaysian cookery but three of the most frequent words you see are:
Roti = Bread
Mee = Noodles
Nasi = Rice
Mee and Nasi are often combined with other words eg. Goreng (fried), Ayam (chicken). The national dish is Nasi Lemak (coconut milk steamed rice with peanuts, egg, sambal (a chilli/fruit/fish sauce) and cucumber. Other common dishes include Nasi lontong (rice in banana leaves, cooked in bamboo shoots and doused in coconut milk, and nasi ayam (chicken rice).
Up to now I have tried Nasi Goreng with beef; Mee Goreng ayam; and spicy prawns (can’t remember the Malaysian name for them).
Away from the traditional foods, KL is junk food lovers heaven. I remember when i came here twelve years ago that the place was overloaded with McDonald’s; if anything there seems to be more nowadays. And to top it off you don’t even need to go to the store anymore, check out this advertisement in my hotel bedroom!
For an healthier option there is always the Kenny Rogers chicken, don’t forget to order from your selection of Kenny’s sides! Ah that restaurant cracks me up, I went in there a lot with Kriss when we went backpacking 12 years ago; for some reason Danny used to go to McDonalds next door; probably because it was half the price, but Kriss loved his Kenny’s sides 🙂
Away from the modern fast food the markets are the place to be for a quick chicken or fish grill, and for lots of fruits. One of Asia’s favourites is the Durian. This fruit has a very strong odour (ok, beyond strong, it is completely overpowering and is banned on public transport in many countries). Other common fruits out here are lychee and the good old mango.