Malaysia’s cuisine is a beautiful mix of many cultures like Indian, Chinese and Malay. But it doesn’t mean that you will be getting the exact kind of cuisine found in these three cultures. The mix of the three creates something new and unique which will excite your taste buds for sure. But before creating a list of dishes which you should try, here’s some dining customs you should follow while in Malaysia:
Know that it falls within custom that the host will be the one to order all the dishes if you are eating in a restaurant.
Keep in mind that Malaysians use their right hand for eating so don’t use your left hand.
Don’t leave food on your plate as it is considered to be rude.
When it comes to drinking, Malaysians drink only after they are done with everything which is one the plate.
Drinking etiquettes in Malaysia
It’s important to know the local customs when it comes to drinking. This is because Malaysian Muslims aren’t allowed to drink alcohol. In states like Terengganu and Kelatan, alcohol is fully banned. Along with this there are some more facts to consider before you indulge in alcohol here:
Know that in Malaysia the drinking age has been raised from 18 to 21.
Malaysia has the third highest tax on alcohol in the whole world.
There are also very strict rules when it comes to driving while being intoxicated. You can get arrested, have to pay heavy fines and can even stay in jail for many months.
Also keep in mind that there are many restaurants which don’t serve alcohol so it’s better for you to be aware of your surroundings.
You might wonder if Malaysia is a strict place where there’s no freedom for people. But there’s a lot which can do here, like engage in Sports Betting Malaysia, go for paragliding, go scuba diving and more. There’s no dearth of amazing and adventurous things which can be done in Malaysia.
Can you still find and drink alcohol?
You will be able to get alcohol in most convenience stores in Malaysia. They sell drinks like wine, beer and other liquor too. The chances of finding alcohol increases in cities which attracts tourists the most. So finding alcohol in urban areas won’t be an issue. But in rural areas it will get hard since around 60% and even more of the population is Muslim. In such places you will be able to purchase alcohol from Malaysian Chinese owned restaurants and stores. Here’s a little tip: Be respectful when in rural communities regarding things like alcohol.
In terms of drinks what you should try out is a drink called Tuak. This liquor is generally served on festivals and holidays like Gawai Dayak and Christmas. Tuak is a fermented rice drink which gets sweetened with honey, sugar and other kinds of flavours. The alcoholic potency of this drink depends on the time it has been aged for. For example: a strong Tuak will be aged for around two months and will have an alcoholic content of around 20%.
What dishes to try in Malaysia?
Now that we are done with the drinks and drinking rules and regulations, here are the food which you should try while in Malaysia:
Mee goreng mamak: This a full package dish which contains yellow noodles along with shrimp and chicken or beef. Also soy sauce, eggs and veggies are also added in to make the dish more delicious. You will be able to find it in any food hawker’s stall there for sure.
Apam balik: This is a sweet compact Malaysian pancake which is filled with an omelet. But that’s not all you are going to get in this. This things is stuffed up with sugar, peanuts and corn too. So it’s a dish which experiences reinvention a lot.
Nasi lemak: Nasi Lenak is sometimes known as the unofficial Malaysian national dish. But everyone agrees that it’s delicious. Basically the dish is rice which gets cooked in coconut milk. It’s the sides here which matter the most actually. You can get side dishes ranging from peanuts, hard boiled egg, chicken, vegetable, beef curry, lamb, sambal and seafood. This is generally taken to be a breakfast food but many order it anytime nowadays.
Roti john: No one is really sure who or what John was, but he was a person of taste for sure. Roti John is basically a sandwich which has been made with egg and minced meat. Of course, there’s a lot of condiments which are put in it. Some examples include ketchup, mayonnaise, chili sauce etc.
Nasi kerabu: Don’t be afraid of the blue rice, let it spark your curiosity instead. Or if that doesn’t do it then maybe the huge lines of people waiting to buy it everyday will. It originated in the northern peninsular Malaysia’ state Kelantan and it gets its colour from the telang flowers. These telang flowers get crushed and then are mixed with then mixed in. The dish is then topped with fried coconut, bean sprouts and more. At the end the dish gets drenched in ladles of spicy budu which is a fermented fish sauce.
Ayam percik: It’s basically barbecued chicken, which then gets drenched in spicy chilli, ginger and garlic sauce which is mixed with coconut milk. This dish can and does give many multinational chicken corporations a run for their money.
Rendang: First thing which you should know about it is that it isn’t a curry even though it is called so. While the dish is indeed a combo of meat in coconut milk and spices but Malaysians are adamant that it isn’t a curry at all. The difference lies in its method of preparation. Rendang is slowly simmered so as to let the meat absorb all the spices and also to allow the liquid to completely disappear. Rendang is a common staple across festivals.