You know, I sometimes will watch on Youtube, how those white people tourists would come to Malaysia and sample our delicious food? I find great pleasure in seeing white people enjoying Malaysian food and sometimes having hilarious responses, even though I admit this is a somewhat narcissistic behavior.
Wait, what the hell am I talking about? Narcissistic is having an excessive or erotic interest in oneself, not one’s country. Okay, I’m not narcissistic, I’m just having a strong sense of pride for my country’s cuisine.
Anyway, when it comes to Malaysian breakfasts, the things that I see white people love yapping about all the time are the Nessie Le Mack and Rotee Ke-Nigh. Understandably so, because these 2 are sort of our most famous national dishes so obviously their local friends would recommend these.
Although seriously, why won’t those same local friends make sure to teach them the correct pronunciations greatly baffles me. Keeps me up at night sometimes.
It just so happens that a couple weekends ago, I was out early in the morning so I decided to have breakfast in the food court. Haven’t done this in quite a while, so I snapped some pictures. So here I am today, presenting you international people with a typical Malaysian breakfast that you can easily find in Chinese styled food courts or morning markets. A Malaysian breakfast that the locals eat, that isn’t nasi lemak or roti canai.
Clockwise from bottom right:
经济米粉 Economic bihun (bee-hoon) – Bihun means rice vermicelli, and economic means… well, cheap. Cheap is economical. Makes sense, right? So… cheap rice vermicelli, stir fried. How cheap, you may ask? Well, how about RM 1? The fried egg is an add on for 60 cents, so my whole plate was RM 1.60.
芋头糕 Yam cake – Well, cake made of yam? Okay, not exactly that. They basically prepare a big platter of batter made of flour and yam chunks and probably some other things, and then steam it, and then sprinkle a healthy chunk of fried shallots and spring onions on top of it, and then cut the whole thing to serve in portions with sweet sauce. RM 2 for mine here.
咖啡冰 Iced kopi (coffee) – This isn’t your Americano or Espresso or Caramel Macchiato from Starbucks. It’s local cheap coffee with condensed milk, and ice. It is sweet, and it is cheap. I think most places in KL sells this for RM 2 these days, but I’m in Penang and I got mine for RM 1.40.
RM 5 kept me well fed until early evening.
So if you’re white and you don’t like spicy food, next time you come to Malaysia, well… bookmark this blog post. Hunt for these instead. Well, don’t worry about getting the Chinese names, the aunties in the food courts might not speak a lot of English, but they’ll surely understand “economic bihun”, “yam cake” and “iced kopi”. 😉
Maybe I should do a few more alternative Malaysian breakfast post, huh?