Monday, 17 November 2014


During my trip to Hong Kong I also paid a visit to Malaysia for a few days to visit Shirley's family and yes, there was loads of food involved. Her sister, Libby, and her boyfriend took us around to many places and I can't thank them enough. Malaysia is an amazing country, if you like the heat. The mosquito bites are very painful so I advise you to top up on anti-mossie spray all the time and have the appropriate injections before going on your travels.
I love the food over there because there is such an eclectic mix of chinese, indian, traditional malay cuisines and so many fusions - I really was spoilt over there.

So like the Hong Kong posts, this is just photos and captions of some of the foods I tried over there:

Our first morning, Shirley's parents took us to a place a few minutes drive from their house that sells the best stir fried squid and egg dish I have ever had!
The only thing that put me off was the amount of flies that were about but it is unavoidable in a hot country and a shop that has an open eating area.

Stir fried shredded squid and egg.

Crab dumpling - very tasty!

The thing they are most famous for, Chinese Chive Dumplings - it doesn't look very appetising but it is a must eat.

Stir fried rice vermicelli - most chinese people eat this for breakfast/brunch.

The wall decor shows just how long this place has been opened for and is busy all the time.

In the afternoon we met with Shirley's uncle, who treated us to a very scrumptious lunch at his local chinese restaurant.

This place makes their own Tofu! It's not only impressive but it was probably the best tofu I have had in a long time.

Roast Duck and Chicken - the chicken skin was removed and the meat was chopped up and seasoned then the skin was put back on and then cooked. 

Bamboo Curry King Prawns - my favourite dish. So good that I ate the king prawns with their shells still on!

Fish Stew - that was kept hot over the warmer.

Sambal Stir Fried Green Beans.

Fish Laksa - Steamed fish in a laksa broth with udon-like noodles. The mint gave it a nice freshness that completes the dish.

Returning from our day out, Libby's Boyfriend swerved the car in to a tiny car park that had this little Rojak Stall. They sell skewers of fruit, veg, egg and squid that you dip in to a sweet, thick and spicy peanut sauce. It is so more-ish and you can either stand there and eat it (they count the finished skewers afterwards) or you can buy it to take away. 

This is called Apom, a coconut flavoured pancake. This is the indian style, which has crispy edges and is a light sponge in the centre. Definitely something I wouldn't mind trying to make at home!

This is another roadside stall, selling Hokkien style Man Jeen Beng, a style of pancake with many options of fillings. They also sell Apom, but his are more like a thai style of Apom, that has real coconut shreds and no crispy edges.
This man was very friendly and let me take as many photos as I wanted.

Egg style

When cooked, they are folded and put in these racks to cool so they remain folded when taken out, making it easier for people to eat on the go.

He works several rings at once!

Nasi Lemak will always hold a special place in my heart. The crunch of the small fried fish, the sweet spicy chilli sauce, coconut flavoured rice and topped with boiled egg.
This little parcel of goodness was bought at a stall next to the pancake stall and was manned by an 8 year old boy who had better math skills than most adults. I ate this as soon as I got in the car and it sure filled my stomach! 20p - I can't even get a packet of decent crisps for 20p in the UK!

Most of us know the benefits of coconut water. Just imagine having unlimited access to fresh coconuts every day - Shirley's grandparents don't need to. They have several coconut trees on their land and while we visited, they showed us how they got them down, opened them and how to eat the flesh inside. Doesn't get any fresher than that.

Seafood restaurant at the beach.
Came here for dinner one evening and yes, it was mostly seafood!
Really good seafood and very well cooked too.
Lucky for us, it started raining that night so we didn't end up having dinner in our own sweat.

Fried Mantis shrimp with salted duck egg. The yellow shreds is actually the salted duck egg whites and this was one of my favourite dishes of the evening.
Baby octopus, simply steamed and with 2 types of dips, one sweet and spicy, the other more salty and spicy.
Sizzling black pepper venison - Not my cup of tea because I thought the sauce was too strong for the venison.
Mango salad - Very very spicy but very very addictive! So tasty and so fresh.
Steamed Garlic Clams 
Thai style Ham Hock - meat falling off the bone with a sweet chilli dip to dunk in, what's not to like??
This Garoupa was the most expensive part to the meal but it is still way cheaper than what it would have cost in the UK.
Proper chicken satay skewers - great barbecued chicken with a sweet peanut sauce. This was sold separately outside the restaurant but you can buy it and bring it in to have with your meal.

Brunch in Penang
When we think of brunch here in the UK, we think of things like pancakes, french toast, and a nice pot of hot tea or coffee. 
Brunch in East Asia can be anything you like, and that is just why it is such a foodies paradise. Where we went to, was a corner unit that had tables and chairs and you buy the drinks from the people who owned that place but there are tiny food stalls - each one sold a different cuisine - surrounding it so you can take your pick of the food...

Wonton noodles - Hong Kong Wonton noodles are in a broth, in Malaysia, the noodles are coated in a sauce and the broth is on the side for you to drink. Personally, I prefer it this way. Would have preferred a couple more wontons instead of the char sui though.
Vietnamese Spring Rolls - The healthiest thing to have in asia! Wish there were more places that did vietnamese spring rolls in the UK. Yes, I am too lazy to do it myself. 
Vietnamese Roast Pork noodles - this looked amazing. You mix the ingredients in to the noodles underneath so it gets coated in the beautiful topping. 

Coffee break in China House
The area of Penang that we visited was a tourist hotspot and is where the world famous street art is located. I had major fun taking photos of them all. We then decided to have a little coffee break in a place called China House. It is quite a big property - with a beautiful open courtyard in the middle, back entrance leads to the bar/cafe that is used in the evening for live music, the front entrance leads in to the cafe that houses an art gallery. Customers are invited to draw on the large sheets of paper they lay out on the tables.
They have a huge selection of bakes on their cake table and their menu contains a loads of different food options for you to choose from.

Their cake table.
This is called the Milo Dinosaur - very popular in Malaysia and is basically an iced coffee with a Milo crumble on top. So simple but very effective!

Purple Dragon Fruit Juice
Malaysia is on of the few places where freshly pressed fruit juices don't cost the earth but taste so sweet without any added sugars.

Night Food Market
Now, this is a place that you would not want to go if you don't like cramped spaces.
The great thing about these night food markets is that again, where you sit, you must buy the drinks from whoever owns those tables and chairs but you get to choose which stall you buy your food from. This would normally be heaven for me but unfortunately I started feeling quite ill by this point of my trip and as much as I wanted to go around and get lots of food, I just couldn't. I had a little of what the others brought back and personally, I wasn't that impressed with the food. Even my brother felt a little disappointed with this market. Glad I wasn't the only one.

Spicy noodles

Baby oysters stir fried in eggs - the dish but still not as good as the oyster pancakes I had in Hong Kong.

Dry Grilled Squid - found this quite bland

Squid with a sweet spicy condiment - this was the least impressive  dish because the squid had a strange texture to it.

Grilled Fish - I had high hopes for this but this had way too many small bones in it so was a little off putting.

Malaysian Ha Meen - Prawn noodles, very spicy!

Buzzing night food market.

Lunch at Lou Wong in Ipoh
Ipoh was a very very long drive from where we were staying but they wanted us to sample the chicken with beansprouts that restaurants in Ipoh is famous for.
Me and my brother both thought, "chicken and beansprouts, really?"
But yes, REALLY. 
Probably the best tasting chicken I have tasted in a very long time. In fact, all their dishes were fantastic! They don't put any of the chicken to waste either.
Chicken and fish meatballs.


Chicken feet that has been cooked in chinese medicine herbs - this has become my favourite chicken feet dish  because it was packed full of flavour from the herbs and cooked so long that everything fell off the bones so easily, giving that melt in the mouth feel.

This chicken, so succulent and so god darn tasty!

I originally thought this was chicken liver but it turns out it was the stomach. Not tough at all and seasoned very nicely.
Last meal in Malaysia
Cooked by Shirley's Mum - what a feast it was!

All in all, my food experience in Malaysia was epic to say the least! I was always full - sometimes too full to eat much of the next meal. Yes, it was extremely hot (never sweated so much in my life!) and although I had a bad reaction to the mosquito bites, it was all worth it to sample their food and visit the places I did. I know I hadn't sampled everything they had to offer but maybe one day I will return to try out more.

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