I had a really busy week this week so I didn’t actually get to try this food but I still found a restaurant that serves up unique food. Penang is located on Atherton street but they conveniently deliver. There is also a wider variety of items on the menu and they are at a good deal!
Malaysian cuisine is a combination of Malays, Chinese, Indian, Indonesian with some European influence. Soy sauce is essential to many Malaysian dishes and comes in many different varieties. Another essential food to Malaysian cuisine is belacan. It is a type of shrimp paste which is then pressed into a block and sun-fried. Lemongrass, tofu and palm sugar (called gula melaka and made from coconut palms).
Similar to other Asian cuisines, rice is a staple food in Malaysian cuisine. 70% of the rice eaten in Malaysia is made there and the rest is imported. Typically white rice is served as a side dish to the meat entree. The national dish of Malaysia is nasi lemak. This is rice steamed with coconut milk and pandan leaves giving it a rich fragrance. It is then topped with a variety of foods from peanuts to eggs giving it distinct flavors. Originally nasi lemak was a breakfast food but has been adjusted to be able to be served at different meals. Another popular Malaysian dish is congee (a type of rice porridge). It is primarily eaten as a breakfast food or supper and is so popular it is a constant staple on the Malaysian McDonald’s menu.
Kuih are bitesize foods produced in Malaysia which are typically cookies, cakes, confections, pastries and sweat meats. Kuih dishes are often steamed or fried and then baked and are rice based giving them a very distinct texture.
The style of dining in restaurants is much different than the style here in America. Rice is viewed as the center piece and then there is a buffet style of dishes. This type of dining is referred to as nasi campur.