Makanan [food]

Like most countries that have been colonised by every man and his dog for some period of time, Malaysia has a diverse cultural background which has filtered through to the cuisine. From Chinese and Indian to Portuguese, here is an assortment of foods we sampled on our journey.

A contender for world’s best pie.

Chinese five spice duck and shitake mushroom pie with orange salad from Kopi C at China House. Yes, I am making a big call about this world’s best pie business, seeing as though I have only visited three countries in my life. But it was sooooo gooood. If you are ever in Georgetown on the island Penang, drop into China House. Three heritage listed original Chinese houses have been renovated to accommodate 14 spaces occupied by cafes, restaurants, galleries, shops and bars. All of which (from what we gathered) may have been run by the one person? Very cool nonetheless.

Catatonic chocolate cake.

Kopi C not only whips together a brilliant pie, but also makes a cannot-leave-without-trying range of cakes. We hadn’t had a chocolate fix on Easter Sunday so we opted for this mean-looking piece of chocolate cake. Not for the faint hearted but if you are a true chocolate fan it’s a walk in the park (i.e. the park featured in the Cadbury advertisement where everything is made from chocolate).

“World Famous” Chicken rice ball.

A piece of chopped roast chicken. Five balls made from rice and stock. And a garnish of cucumber and coriander. There is a lot of hype behind this dish – it’s world famous in fact. Well, if fact is what the sign outside the chicken rice ball restaurant tells us. It’s kind of one of those things you have to just try to see what all the fuss about.

Tropical fruit heaven.

Glorious fruits. Apparently the durian is the King of Fruits here in Malaysia. But my vote would go towards the mango or the dragon fruit.

I like my food fried and presented on a stick. Thanks.

I actually didn’t try anything from the cardiac arrest menu so I have no feedback to give. But I’m sure some of it is tasty. You just need to take the risk in choosing the right ones…

Delicious chicken rendang.

This is a more traditional Malaysian curry which is served in variations across the country. We loved the version called the Golden Rice at 13 States Coffee in Melaka. They served the curry with a garnish of fresh peanuts, home made chilli paste and fried anchovies (new found fondness for anchovies began here). The place itself is pretty Westernised but they still served Malaysian food, it was cheap despite being listed in the Lonely Planet for several years, they were open all the time and the waiter had a crush on Joe because of his strawberry blonde hair colour.

Banana and sweetcorn pancakes

Sweetcorn isn’t the usual accompaniment to a pancake in Australia but it works really well. We are eating them out of plastic bags as most street food is served that way here. Especially beverages. I’m not really sure why? I think it might be ease of transporting the food and beverages but I saw drinking from a plastic bag as more of a hindrance if anything.

A few bits from Gurney Plaza

Satay at Gurney Plaza

While in Georgetown, Penang, we walked a misleading 6km to Gurney Plaza, a local haunt for food hawkers. The satay was delicious but the other meals we chose were a bit bland. The place itself though is great, we just chose the wrong things and had food envy when we saw what the people next to us were eating. First world problems.

Pineapple tarts

Delightful little shortcrust tarts with a sticky pineapple filling. You can find them all over the place in Melaka but they only really sell them in packs of eight, so you are kind of forced to be a glutton.


Found a nice little chocolate shop in Melaka. The pick of the bunch was the chocolate with caramel cheese filling.


Nothing says tropical holiday more than drinking straight from the fruit responsible for more deaths at the beach than sharks. Yep, I’m pretty chuffed with my coconut.

Can’t get enough of your nan baby.

So much delicious Indian food in Malaysia. If you are a bit of a nan fiend like myself, it is the best!