Malaysia is the supposed foodie paradise in South East Asia and George Town its capital. I am not sure if that is the truth, because I do love my Vietnamese food, but overall I can agree. What makes Malaysia so special is the influence from many different countries. Chinese, Indians and Indonesians as well as countless other nations settled here and left their mark in the kitchen.
Let’s start with desert here, my favorite dish of any meal. When I arrived at the hotel the first thing I noticed was a small basket filled with colorful gooey squares. Not sure what it was, I tried it of course. This little bite of heaven waited every evening for me in my room and I always ate it right away. Kuih Lapis is probably the best known dessert in Malaysia. The colors can be a bit off-putting at first, but once you overcome your aversion, it’s pure bliss. This a rice flour pudding tasted great wherever I bought it after. Because there is one problem, you do get hooked on it.
So once I found out that sweet things taste good in Malaysia, I had to try something else. For this I went to a coffee house right around the corner from Chea Kongsi. And it was so not worth it. The ice coffee was mostly water and tasteless and the red rose, made from ganache, beautiful but so rich that I manged to eat only a third. Unfortunately it was also the price of three dinners.
Dinner in George Town was mostly a simple affair. Right next to my hotel, The Blue Mansion, is the Red Garden Night Market. Here I spent my evenings, listening to weird but entertaining live music and ordered from different stalls. The markets work like this: you check out what you want to eat, choose a table and remember the number, order by telling the stall which table number you have, sit down and order your drink of choice with the waiter. Then you pay each person separately once they bring what you ordered. Very smart concept!
So the first evening I had an oyster omelette with extra oyster. Call me gutsy to do so in such a hot climate. But my stomach made no troubles and the dish was delicious.
Lunch was a simple affair of minced meat, more omelette and some veggies. Best of all was the AC in the coffee house.
The next evening I tried Penang Hokkien Mee. The Penang version of this dish known as Hokkien Mee consists of a strong broth, flavored with prawns and pork ribs. That the chili sauce came extra was probably due to my white face. This soup comes originally from the Hokkien Chinese settlers.
While on my tour of the Penang hills I sampled the local food market and got some fried noodles. Very simple dish but really tasty. The old lady, who cooked it, knew her seasoning well.
In Langkawi the night market tours around the island and I only managed to have dinner there once. Of course I got some Kuih Lapsis, but first I ate some meat. chicken satay and a fried chicken leg, plus a roti with vegetables.
And let’s not forget, Laksa is a dish you definitely have to try while in Malaysia. I didn’t have time for it in George Town, but managed to grab a bowl while waiting for the Langkawi Sky Cab. You should never waste a pause.
Believe it or not, but I also had some Syrian food in Malaysia. It had really good reviews online, so I decided to go for it. After my experience with this kind of food in the Lebanon, I was all for it. And so I went for hummus with meat and fattoush salad. Since the restaurant served no beer I had some Ayran.
So except for the one dessert where the price alone should have warned me, I had excellent food on this trip. If you are into trying something new and spicy, Malaysia is your country. Yours, Pollybert