Malaysia in January – Food Journey


This is not a recipe post. I was in Malaysia from the 13th to the 27th of January of this year, for my brother’s wedding reception. This is a food journey of those 2 weeks while I was there – rather incomplete since I didn’t exactly take pictures of everything I ate while I was there but I tried my best.
Malaysia is heaven for food. I truly miss it – the easy access to good quality and affordable food. I mean, I had thosai (recipe to come!) at 4am while I was in Kuala Lumpur, and it was an experience all in itself! So, here comes pictures of some of the wonderful, tasty food that I had while I was home.
Banana Leaf Rice / Nasi Daun Pisang
Banana Leaf Rice: This dish is a simple yet very tasty vegetarian (if you don’t order meat or have meat-based curry sauces) meal. It is as the name states. rice served on a banana leaf, with condiments like fried bittergourd, cucumber salad, a choice of sauteed vegetables like cabbage or long green beans, and curry and dhall and acar pickles. It costs RM8 (less than 2 euros at current exchange rates) for the basic meal (which is unlimited!), and you pay for the additional side dishes, and the choice is endless – you can get fried chicken or fish, and all the curried meats you can think of. I had this at Sri Nirwana Maju in Bangsar (opposite one of the Bangsar Village malls), and we even had to queue for a table, it is such a popular place. Highly recommended if you are ever in the Bangsar area.
Lontong Sayur Lodeh with Chicken Rendang
And more Lontong.
Lontong: I had this with my Dad at Chawan, a café also located in Bangsar. Lontong is a type of rice cake/compressed rice cooked in banana leaves. I had lontong in a coconut-based spicy soup with vegetables and condiments like fried tofu and tempeh, known generally as Sayur Lodeh. But when you are in Malaysia and you say ‘Lontong’, you more or less mean the dish that you see in the pictures above. Its super yummy and spicy, and this is one dish that I have no idea how to make and I am quite keen to attempt it some day in the near future.
Strawberry Macaron: I had this when I was having a manicure/pedicure at Boudoir by Soong Ai Ling (also in Bangsar!) Read about it here! (coming soon.)

Dancing Fish: Dancing Fish is a restaurant (well, 2 of them now) in Kuala Lumpur and its specialty is its namesake, the ‘Dancing Fish’. Fish is cut in a way that when it is fried to a crisp, it will stand up and look like its dancing. We did order the dish when we had lunch at the Bangsar (again!) outlet, but I forgot to take a picture of it – too busy eating.

I managed to take pictures of other dishes that arrived before we attacked the food and ate to our hearts content. The food here is superb! Highly recommended.

Emping – Fried Melinjo Nuts with Sambal.
Fried Tofu and Tempeh, and Kerabu Pucuk Paku (Vegetable Fern Salad)
Fried Tofu and Tempeh
Kerabu Pucuk Paku (Vegetable Fern Salad)

Laksa Johor: After a walk with my Mom at a beautiful jungly and wild park at TTDI one fine morning, she took me to a café nearby called Santai Cafe and they serve very very good Laksa Johor (only during the weekends). Laksa Johor is a delicacy from the south of the Peninsular, and it has wheat noodles (spaghetti!) eaten in a spicy and coconut based fish broth, garnished with crunchy vegetables and herbs. I will have to make this while I am here in Athens while the weather is still cold.

Lai Po Heen is a very good Cantonese (Chinese) restaurant. They serve wonderful Peking Duck, and I have been told that their Dim Sum is superb.
Its coming up to Chinese New Year, and for us in Malaysia and Singapore, it is the time for Yee Sang!
Good luck chocolate Fish – Happy Chinese New Year! Gong Xi Fa Cai!

What is Yee Sang, you say? Well, it’s a raw fish tossed salad that is also known as the ‘Prosperity Toss’. I have a video of the toss, and once I have edited it I will add it here! In the meantime, enjoy the teaser video (from instagram) of the Yee Sang!

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Yee Sang! #bigprofitbigprofit #gongxifacai

A post shared by Airinie H Azhar (@airinie) on

This is steamed seabass (I think). Or was it cod? I can’t remember. But this was steamed with candied garlic, ginger and light soy sauce – which is a Chef’s specialty.

This is the dessert that I love so very very much – its almond beancurd pudding. It is traditionally not soy based, but its texture is reminiscent to soft tofu, and thats why it is also known as Almond Tofu, or Almond Jelly. It doesn’t really contain any almonds, its flavour comes from apricot kernel.

Matcha Cappucino, KLCC: The name says it all. Look at the pretty bright green drink? I love green tea, and I adore matcha in all its forms.

Mosaic at Mandarin Oriental:

I ate so much that day! It was my last day in Kuala Lumpur, and I was flying out that very night. We had a buffet lunch over at Mosaic with my parents and my cousin Kak Rozi. The food was international cuisine, and I had my fair share of dimsum, sushi, sashimi, tempura and other types of Indian, Chinese, Malay dishes and even the ‘Arabesque’ pizza (which in my opinion is rather Greek with the feta cheese and the aubergines).

Fresh seafood (oysters!) and tuna sashimi
Dim Sum
The dessert below is really rather cute. It is a sweet made of lotus paste, shaped into a goldfish and its filling is red bean. It was just so cute and I will be looking for that fish mold (or something similar) so I can make fish-shaped sweets!
Lotus & Redbean Fish!
And just a few choices from the HUGE dessert section of the buffet.

Salted Gula Melaka ice cream, at the Bee:
I will have to say that this was a surprising find for me. Gorgeously smooth and subtly flavoured. It helped that my tastebuds were clean since I haven’t had anything to eat for a few hours. It was late at night and I didn’t expect to have ice cream after 10pm. I suppose this is a salted caramel ice cream, but the caramel is made using gula melaka. Salted Gula Melaka Caramel.. watch this space! I will be attempting that soon enough!

Little Penang Cafe, The Curve, Damansara:
I had dinner with a friend of mine from school (from elementary school, whut!), and we had Seafood Char Kuey Teow and Pai Tee!
Seafood Char Kuey Teow
Pai Tee

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