Malaysian-style Indian and Chinese Food

With Voon serving as my personal Malaysian food guide, we headed over to her local Indian restaurant and had some breakfast. Before coming to Malaysia, I hadn’t really tried much Indian food before as I’m not a huge fan of curry. But, I figured, “when in Rome (or in this case KL) . . .” So, why not?

Voon ordered tosai, roti canai with sambal, neslo and teh tarik. Here’s a brief description of each with my impressions:

Tosai: It’s crunchy and thin like a crêpe and served with mild and spicy curries and a lentil/coconut/basil sauce. I really enjoyed the curries as they weren’t too spicy and the lentil/coconut/basil dip helped to cool down your mouth if things got a bit too hot.

Roti Canai with Sambal: This dish is served with soft pieces of crepe-like bread with a side of mild and hot curries mixed together. When you dipped your roti canai into the sauce, you got a taste of both curries at once. It was also nice and the curries weren’t extremely hot.

Neslo: This cold drink is a mixture of Nescafe and Milo (similar to Nesquik chocolate mix for Americans) so it tasted like a watered-down iced mocha. I enjoyed this because the heat and humidity were upon us again and the drink helped to cool you down.

Teh Tarik: This is hot tea with milk, and although I’m not a coffee or tea drinker, it tasted good. The tea taste wasn’t too strong, in my opinion, which made it all the better for me. The only off-putting thing was that it’s a hot drink served in a hot climate. I will never understand how people can consume things like this. Perhaps the heat from the drink matches the heat from the environment so you don’t feel it anymore? To me, it just doubles the heat and everything becomes doubly unbearable.

If all of that weren’t enough, we gorged at dinner as well. For dinner we got chicken and beef satay and chee cheong fun.

Chicken and Beef Satay: In this dish, grilled skewers of chicken and beef are served with a chili/peanut mixture. Yum! I’m all about the meat so this was great for me. I’ve had similar things back at home, but I guess eating this in another country took the excitement level up a notch. This dish was one of my favorites.

Chee Cheong Fun: This is a noodle dish covered in a sweet shoyu sauce. The noodles are round instead of long and stringy. After a quick Wikipedia-ing, I can compare chee cheong fun to what I know as look fun back at home. In my version of this, the rice noodle is big and flat like a tortilla and you roll up shrimp or pork pieces within the noodle. It’s served as one long, burrito look-a-like. In the Malaysian version, there was no meat or seafood and the noodle burrito was cut up into bite-sized pieces. Because you rolled the noodle, the pieces come out looking like small round discs. Any way you serve it, it’s delicious.

I can’t recall what we had to drink with this meal. From the photo, I think I might have had sugarcane juice (the greenish liquid). It was nice and fresh with no artificial flavoring, just as I remember it being straight from the sugarcane stalk. I’m not sure what’s in Voon’s white cup. I guess that’ll have to remain a mystery.

For dessert, we ate rambutan, which I’ve seen before but never tasted. It turns out I enjoyed this as well (although I’m not sure why I’m surprised at this because I haven’t come across anything that I didn’t like yet). You peel the outer, furry layer away to get to the sweet, juicy inner fruit. The fruit looks, feels and tastes like lychee, but I found it harder to get the fruit off the seed, which made it a bit frustrating to eat. I wanted to gobble them down quickly but had to pick and pull the fruit off the seed. Oh well, maybe some things are better in small doses?

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Filed under Food, Malaysia, Travel

3 responses to “Malaysian-style Indian and Chinese Food

  1. Kris

    Malay food is yummy, but do not know if what I am eating is the true version or an Americanized one. The cooks look like they were from south east Asia, but you can never tell. Thanks.

  2. Mouthwatering reading!! Absolutely love roti canai, especially. Loads of great Indian food to be had in Malaysia!

  3. Malaysia is my first real introduction to Indian food, and I’m loving it so far.

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