Saturday, Nov 20

Savour These 10 Must-Try Foods in Malaysia Now!

By Joel Teh

Why spend leisure time with your peers stressing about life when you could just sit back and talk about food?

Known as one of the top countries in Asia for its best food, Malaysia has attracted numerous tourists for food culture, travel attractions, and diversity values that one can hardly find in other countries. While it’s brilliant that the people of her nation are passionate about food, having too many options on the list as a result of the vast cuisines may cause indecision when choosing the no-regret nourishment as well. It doesn’t only happen to the visitors, but even the locals also suffer from this dilemma occasionally.

With that, we are presenting the Top-10 must-try Malaysian foods that will satisfy your taste buds in this article. Be still, our beating hearts. Here they are!

1. Char Koay Teow

Ah~ here comes the King of foods, especially in Penang, Malaysia. Many locals cross states and drive far to Penang for a plate of Char Koay Teow (flat rice noodles). So no one should ever leave this beautiful place without devouring Char Koay Teow. Different places might have different ways of cooking it- some stove it with charcoal, some with gas, and some even fried with runny sensations. Typically, it’s served with sausages, blood cockles, bean sprouts, eggs, and chives. With the ingredients, it’s no surprise that Penang Char Koay Teow always has a place in people’s hearts.

Some places to get this food in Penang include Sister’s Char Koay Teow, Siam Road Char Koay Teow, Duck Egg Char Koay Teow, and more.

2. Bak Kut Teh

(Image credit: Bak Kut Teh Klang Yip Yong)


Another food that is popular in Malaysia goes to Bak Kut Teh, which translates as “Meat Bone Tea” in English. It’s a cuisine by the Chinese Teo Chew that is usually stewed with ingredients such as pork meats, eggs, tofus, garlic, cinnamons, mushrooms, and more. Some Chinese prefer to eat it along with the Yau Char Kwai (fried dough) and rice/ noodles. It can be eaten in fried style or soup. Whichever way it’s cooked, Bak Kut Teh is definitely a food that you shouldn’t miss, especially if you visit Klang, Selangor.

Some places to get this food include Bak Kut Teh Klang Yip Yong (Kuala Lumpur), Khoon Klang Bak Kut Teh (Penang), and more.

3. Nasi Lemak

(Image Credit: Nasi Lemak Kukus Kak Ann)


Nasi Lemak, or also known as “fat rice” in English, is a Malay dish made of coconut rice mixed with prawn sambal, fried salted fish or sardines, peanuts, eggs, cucumber, and rendang chicken. It can be found almost everywhere- from indoor food courts to roadside food stalls. Not only that it tastes really good, but the price is also very cheap! You could grab a pack for yourself as economical as RM1 in the early morning and still filling satisfied after the meal. It’s definitely worth a try if you’re travelling from a foreign country and want cheap authentic food for yourself.

Some places to get this food include Hameediyah Restaurant (Penang), Nasi Lemak Antarabangsa (Kuala Lumpur), Nasi Lemak Kukus Kak Ann (Sabah) and more.

4. Asam Laksa

(Image credit: Wendy Kit Wan)


Another mouth-watering food that deserves your attention is Asam Laksa. Speaking of the famous Peranakan food in Malaysia, people always find satisfaction by just getting a bite of this spicy rice noodle soup in local stalls. With its fusion mixture of traditional Chinese and Malay cuisine cultures, Asam Laksa is served with ingredients such as satin fish, asam jawa, chili paste, and belacan. This delicacy is accessible everywhere in Malaysia, especially Penang and Melaka.

Some places to get this food include Penang Zarie Laksa House (Penang), Penang Road Famous Laksa (Penang), Jonker 88 (Melaka), and more.

5. Beef Rendang

(Image credit: Ivy Nyonya’s Cuisine)


This Malaysian-Indonesian delicacy came with the taste of spices and coconut milk is one of the best cuisines people normally crave when they visit Malaysia. Slow-cooked and carefully stewed in the rendang sauce, Rendang is normally served with recipes such as garlic, ginger, chilies, shallots, potatoes, white lemongrass, and boneless meats. Although it’s more popular to be served with beef, foodies can also choose to eat Rendang with chickens or lambs. It’s the reason your food adventure in this country rewarding than ever.

Some places to get this food include Old China Cafe (Kuala Lumpur), Ivy’s Nyonya Cuisine (Penang), Restaurant Nyonya Makko (Melaka), and more.

6. Nasi Kandar

(Image credit: Khoo Kah Lee)


Now we’re heading to the well-known food in the northern region of Malaysia. Originated from Penang, Nasi Kandar is a steamed fragrant rice mixed with an array of curries and side dishes on a plate. Customers usually line up in the queue just to choose the right dishes that suit their taste preferences. Among all the dishes, some popular ones include fried chicken, eggplant, cubed beef, fried bitter gourd, and more. It’s available almost in all Mamak restaurants.

Some places to get this food include Restoran DEEN (Penang), Nasi Kandar Imigresen (Penang), Restoran Nasi Kandar Haji Ramli (Kedah), and more.

7. Roti Canai

(Image credit: Alaudin Abdul Hamid Din)


Speaking of the flatbread, there’s always a simple food people crave when visiting Mamak restaurants, if nasi kandar sounds too heavy for a meal- Roti Canai it is! This Mamak staple dish is usually accompanied by dahl (lentil curry) or sometimes sugar. Originated by the Muslims Tamil immigrants in Malaysia back in many years ago, Roti Canai is often referred to by the Indians as the Indian pancake and it becomes a staple food for many Tamils until today. If you would like to add some taste to your Roti Canai, there are always other options such as Roti Telur, Roti Tissue, Roti Cheese, Roti Bom, Roti Pisang, and more.

Some places to get this food include Kanna Curry House (Selangor), Abu Mamak (Penang), Bukit Chagar Roti Canai (Johor), and more.

8. Satay

Thinking about the barbeque meats that are normally served with peanut gravy, sliced cucumber, and onions? Satay is a non-stranger food to all of us. Not only that it’s accessible in most of the roadside food stalls and food courts, but foodies can also choose to eat their satay in the flavour chicken, mutton, or beef. If you haven’t tried this charcoal-grilled meat before, now is the time to visit a stall and grab a few sticks for yourself.

Some places to get this food include Sate Atok (Kuala Lumpur), Warung Satay Pak Malau (Melaka), Ah Basri Satay Restaurant (Penang), and more.

9. Otak-otak

It’s not unfamiliar to Malaysians that otak-otak serves as another famous food in this country, and the best options are mostly centralized in Muar, Johor. Significantly, the name was derived from the word ‘otak’ in Malay which means brain to portray its grilled soft fish cake. There are a few factors that made the otak-otak in Muar more famous than the others. Not only that it tastes different with the aroma that you can’t find anywhere else, but it also comes with different mixtures- some cook it with Char Koay Teow, and some even mixed with coconut milk which would arouse tourists’ curiosity.

Some places to get this food in Johor include Otak-otak Cheng Boi, Otak-otak Char Koay Teow, and more.

10. Ais Kacang

(Image credit: Mei Tan)


Last but not least, we’ve got a famous Malaysian dessert to calm your digestion after a heavy meal. Ais Kacang/ Ice Kacang is a shaved ice dessert that’s full of colourful ingredients and toppings such as syrup, jelly, red beans, corns, and ice cream. If you have enough of the coconut milk across different foods you’ve tasted in this country, some sell their ais kacang with Gula Melaka. It’s definitely a dessert you should try out, especially in the hot weather. Ais kacang is generally available everywhere in Malaysia, so there’s no excuse for you to skip a mountain bowl of shaved ice after meals.

Some places to get this food include Mamak Thamby Abdullah (Melaka), Kek Seng Ice Kacang (Penang), Si San Ice Stall (Perak), and more.

Ten items aren’t enough to cover all the good foods in Malaysia. For instance, Hokkien Mee, Wan Ton Noodles, Nasi Kerabu, Curry Mee, and Cendol are some of the foods that are scrumptious but didn’t appear on the list. While being so, there’s no hierarchy as to which food option is better than which. We just came out with a list of things that are common and will be accepted by almost everyone, and most importantly, they are the authentic cuisines in Malaysia. We hope that this article will benefit you when hunting down the right nourishment for yourself. Bon Apetit!

Travelling during the National Recovery Plan (NPR)

Meanwhile, be sure to check out the latest SOPs before travelling.

  • The tourism bubble is only eligible for fully vaccinated individuals, except those living in the EMCO areas.
  • Children below 18 without vaccinations are allowed to travel with fully vaccinated parents.
  • Tourists must present their digital certificate of COVID-19 vaccination whenever asked by the authorities.
  • Tourists must bring along the receipts and booking confirmation as evidence that they are visiting for vacation.
  • Tourists are allowed to travel by flight and land. However, they are instructed to book the transportations through a tour agency if they journey by land.
  • Most travel activities are allowed to resume, such as nature parks, aquariums, zoos, museums, galleries, theme parks, and other activities such as watersports, jungle trekking, hiking, camping, island hopping, and more.
  • Hotel facilities and amenities such as swimming pools, gyms, and lounges can resume their operations as usual.
  • Everyone still requires to follow the SOPs to minimize the risk of virus outbreak despite the relaxation applied.
  • Swab test is essential prior to departure.

About Tourplus

Tourplus, a personalized travel platform, is an online travel agency (OTA) that provides a digital local travel guide (certified driver guides and customizable itineraries with reviews available to ease tourists’ user experience) to tourists.

Itineraries such as flights, F&B outlets, shopping malls, hospitality and accommodations, tourist attractions, and more are inevitable items on a trip. Hence, Tourplus came in handy by collating merchants into the list of choices for users to browse through before making decisions.

Currently, Tourplus is moving towards becoming a social travel app that doesn’t only serve as a catalog for users to browse through recommended places, but also a place for social networking among travellers, which makes it more interesting to be acquired, and it’s manufactured in Malaysia. We hope you enjoy using Tourplus for your travel discovery in this multiracial country.

1 Comment

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Tourplus is an online travel platform that helps travellers connect directly with their own driver-guide. With professional and certified local driver-guides, tourists do not need to worry about safety issues and language barriers.

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