5 dishes you must eat while in Malaysia and where to get them in New York!
Hello lovelies! I am Hazirah Izzati, for short, Zeyra from Malaysia, which is located in Southeast Asia. We are very well known for our tropical rainforest and it is a multicultural country which makes us the “Food Heaven” among the world’s best. Malaysia has a mix of everything – Thai, Chinese, Indian, Indonesian. Each state has it’s own famous local versions and variations, that is what made Malaysian food very special. I started my food journey just early this year as a hobby but never thought it would be this serious, I got featured on several Instagram pages and followers enjoy my reviews as they are blunt criticisms of the food. Now, I am a freelance food stylist and food reviewer who enjoys sharing easy recipes and reviews on Instagram. How exciting is that? I have became what I never thought I would become which was working with food. Twice or once every week, I would go for a food hunt because I generally love trying new food and share them on instagram or “Burpple” (food community application). What motivates me the most are my friends, families and followers because of their requested recommendations and my aim is to make them happy by finding the best places and food to enjoy with their loved ones. My current goal is to continue in posting more good food around the globe to help society’s biggest dilemma on where and what to eat!
1. Nasi Lemak Darus
Location : Restaurant Darus Salam SS15, 47500 Subang Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia
Phone : –
What to Eat/Drink : Nasi Lemak Ayam (Coconut Rice with Fried Chicken)
Cost : $
Restaurant Darus Salam is a street side restaurant that opens for 24 hours and known to be a Mamak Restaurant.The concept of “Mamak” is to serve affordable good food at any time of the day and bare in mind that, Mamak are Indian Muslims, they serve beef and chicken and not pork while Hindu restaurants serve pork and chicken but not beef. Although, Mamak is an Indian Muslim restaurant, they are known to have a magnificent blend of cultures in their variations of food, be it rice or noodles. This restaurant serves the best national dish of Malaysia which is Nasi Lemak. It is a malay dish that is often served at breakfast but it can be eaten anytime of the day, generally. It is plain white rice steamed in coconut milk and pandan leaves, serves with few condiments on the side; egg, fried anchovies, sambal (chilli sauce), sliced cucumber and fried peanuts. Nasi Lemak Darus is rich in flavor, the coconut milk and pandan leaves give out the pleasant fragrance from the rice which is sweet yet aromatic. The fried chicken is crispy, juicy and well cooked while the sambal condiment is spicy yet sweet at the same time which provide a variation of flavors for the rice. The best place to try this Malaysian national dish for people visiting New York is at “Kopitiam” on Canal Street.
2. Rojak SS15
Location : Jalan SS15/4G, SS 15, Subang Jaya, Selangor 47500
Phone : –
What to eat/drink : Rojak Mamak
Price : $
Rojak means “Mixed” and Malaysia is a country with “rojak” of cultures which is why we have many unique dishes that attract people who love to try different foods. Rojak is also known as Pasembur, there are many kind of Rojak and this is called “Mamak Rojak”; a local salad that consist of boiled eggs, fried dough, boiled potatoes, shredded sweet turnip, prawn fritter, fried tofu, cucumber and a sweet semi spicy peanut sauce to top it off. There are so many texture and flavors in this one “salad”. Each culture in Malaysia has their own version of salad and the stall Rojak SS15 is at the top of the list. Every single day people wait in line in the hottest weather to get a plate of their delicious rojak. They have been operating since the 80’s and their fans never stop growing. Who knew salad could be make people queue huh? For New Yorkers to try out this dish, Nyonya on Grand St. is where to get your fix!
3. Cendol SS15
Location : Next to Rojak Stall, Jalan SS15/4G, SS 15, Subang Jaya, Selangor 47500
Phone : –
What to eat/drink : Cendol
Price : $
What’s the best thing to have to cool off when you live in a hot, humid and tropical country? Cendol. This traditional dessert is one of the primary dishes of Peranakan (Descendents of Chinese Immigrants who came to Malay). It is a mixture of the baba and nyonya culture; chinese and malay/indonesia heritage. This particular cendol is the best selling one in town! First they would shave a block of ice with an old school hand block ice machine then loaded with coconut milk, thick palm sugar, soft green cendol strains, sweet corn and red bean. Delightful as the dessert is pleasantly creamy, sweet and aromatic. The combination of flavors and texture of this dessert has turned this stall into a landmark foodie must have. They have other daring fillings such as sticky rice, Durian, or Tapai (traditional fermented food) too. New Yorkers can try out this worthy dessert at Nyonya who happen to sell it for only $4!
4. Nasi Kandar A.K.A Marijuana Rice
Location : Mohd Yaseem Nasi Kandar Restaurant, 351, Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, Chow Kit, 50300, Kuala Lumpur.
Phone : –
What to eat/drink : White rice + mixed gravies + protein + veggies
Price : $ – $$
No. It is not Marijuana infused rice. It is the gravy that they pour on that hot steamy white rice. It is called “kuah campur” which is directly translated as, mixed gravies. The gravy is the highlight of the dish and is the reason why it is called “Marijuana Rice” as it is very addictive, savory, vibrant and aromatic. Nasi Kandar is a famous Penang Indian dish and the story behind its name is based on how it was sold before. Back then, food traders from South India would walk along the road, bearing a yoke across his shoulders to sell home style food from two huge rice containers. Slowly, these street sellers with the yokes moved on to selling through a street stall and now some have a restaurant or a chain of restaurants. Basically it is rice that is often accompanied by a lot of side dishes; honey chicken, soy chicken, fried chicken, mixed veggies and so on. My parents have been eating Nasi Kandar from this food joint since I was little and it has never disappointed us with their heavenly flavors. They have been in the business for over half a century now and still going strong. This restaurant claims to serve the best Nasi Kandar in Kuala Lumpur and based on years of tasting the dish, I agree. The chicken is perfectly lean and juicy while the omelette is fluffy and moist. I just love the combination of the gravies, it was vividly beautiful with colors and flavourful. On my instagram account, My table situation, you’ll see:
1. White rice with mixed gravies – Honey Chicken, Omelette and Fried Cuttlefish.
2. White rice with mixed gravies – Soy Chicken, Chili Coconut paste, Boiled Okra.
5. Roti Tisu or Tissue Prata
Location : Original Kayu @ 64, Jalan SS2/10, 47300, Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
Phone : –
What to eat/drink : Roti Tissue
Price : $
It may have taken a while to get it in my mouth because I have not eaten Prata in 4 years but I have made the best decision ever for this food journey. The best dessert that you can get at any time of the day, in Malaysia at least. This is an extremely light, paper thin, and crisp Indian influenced flatbread that is glazed with generous amount of butter, condensed milk, honey or syrup and sugar. Sounds extremely sweet right? Yet addictive.The crisp sound that you get from every bite and when the sugar melts in your mouth will make you grin from ear to ear. Enjoy it with your friends and family as it is meant to be share. This a traditional dessert that can be found in most Mamak restaurants in Malaysia but if you want a gorgeous 3 foot tall version, this particular restaurant has it. It has been in the industry for 20 years now and had renovate to a better and cleaner restaurant. Best part is, the flavor has not changed. Hat’s off to the best Indian dessert.