A Truly Asian Melting Pot!

Malaysia’s attraction to her visitors lies in the alluring potpourri of colourful cultures, languages, religions and of course, cuisine. Indeed, the multi-ethnicity of the country is a great source of fascination to everyone, worldwide. The inspiring integration between the many races comprising of Malays, Chinese, Indians, Eurasian, Kadazan, Dusun, Ibans and other ethnic communities have created a melting pot that is truly amazing.

This multi-ethnicity is also well-presented in the diverse gastronomy which is undeniably unrivalled. Out of the exciting differences in the cultural and social structure of this multi-hued society, has emerged a cuisine which is individualist, yet Malaysian. Some of the principal dishes which feature in our menus are described below.



Nasi Lemak - rice cooked in coconut milk (santan) served with sliced boiled egg, peanuts, cucumber and sambal sauce. Regarded as the national dish by all Malaysians.

Char Koay Teow - fresh rice noodles fried with prawns, egg and bean sprouts. A favourite dish of all Malaysians.

Rendang - a meat or chicken dish prepared with chillies, onions and other condiments, sweetened with coconut milk. There are dry and wet versions. A Festival dish.

San Chou Bau - minced chicken with spring onions, ginger, red pepper, water chestnut rolled up in a lettuce leaf.

Roti Jala - made from a batter mixture, seasoned with tumeric and poured using a special cup to make a lacy pancake effect.

Sambal - chilli paste mixed with shallots, garlic and added to prawns and other ingredients eg anchovies (ikan bilis).

Dhall curry - a vegetarian curry made from dhall (lentils), vegetables, tumeric and chillies.

Gula Melaka - palm sugar obtained from the sap of coconut palms, boiled until it crystallizes then moulded into cylindrical cakes.

Lesung batu - stone mortar and pestle

Kukur Niyur - coconut scraper

Wok or Kuali - steel or brass pot for stir frying

 
 



A hallmark of Southeast Asian cuisine, the Lemon Grass, with its distinctive lemony fragrance is related to citronella. Lemon Grass, together with Pandan Leaves, are commonly found in most kitchen gardens in Malaysia. The coarse, long flat leaves are usually discarded and only the bulbous base is used. It can be added whole to curry dishes or sliced and made into paste. They can be trimmed and made into excellent skewers for prawns or seafood satay.

 

Long blade-like leaves that give a distinctive flavour and aroma to dishes A leaf or two is usually added to rice before cooking for fragrance. It also gives colour and flavour to desserts and cakes. The fragrance is usually realised by raking the leaves with a fork or pounded to extract green juice.

   
 


The curry leaf tree, a native to India, is cultivated in Malaysia. Sprigs from the curry leaf contain small leaves which have a distinctive fragrance, especially when fried.

 


The chilli is very important to Malaysian cooking. There are more than two thousand varieties found in Southeast Asia. The most common are the finger-length chillies which have only medium intensity and the small Cili Padi which is hot. Chillies come in green and red colours and their fragrance differs slightly. Dried dark reddish brown chillies are commonly used in Malaysian dishes as they add a deep red colour to the dish.

 


The small round fruits of asam gelugor, which does not have an English name, are very sour and not eaten fresh. They are usually sliced thinly and dried until shrivelled and brownish black. It is used primarily in fish curries.

 


The tamarind tree is very tall and graceful with sprays of fine leaves. The long pods of the fruit contain a number of pulp covered seeds.  Juice is made from the pulp of the fruit by adding water and is used in a lot of Malaysian dishes to add a fragrant, fruity sourness to dishes.

 


It is a member of the ginger family and is cultivated for its flavour and vivid yellow colour. In Southeast Asia, the fresh rhizome is usually preferred. Being rather intense, it is used in small quantities and if not careful, fresh turmeric can stain clothes and utensils.

 


This member of the ginger family has a pungency and tang which is unlike the common ginger. Too spicy to be eaten raw, the Galangal is used in slices, chunks or pounded to a paste for curries and side dishes.