Why all food tastes good in Malaysia

No more negative talk! Today, I shall talk about Singapore’s favourite topic: FOOD!

Yeah! Doesn’t that make you happy? =)

When I was filming in KL, we didn’t always get to eat at popular food places. Because of our tight filming schedule, we had to eat at nearest available places.

But that’s alright because EVERYTHING TASTES GOOD IN MALAYSIA.

One night, I asked everyone, “How is it that you can walk into any random coffeeshop in Malaysia and order anything and it will taste better than its Singapore counterpart?”

I was talking about normal, everyday local favourites like chicken rice, roti prata, mee goreng, prawn noodles, ban mian, and so on.

Dean, our Malaysian host (cum actor cum camera assistant cum chauffeur cum gofer cum court jester), said, “The ingredients in Malaysia are fresher (since they’re all locally grown) so food tastes better.”


I always thought that the quality of food is mainly dependent on the skill of the cook.

Divine mixed vegetables (above)!! I relegated the poor black pepper steak to the background (even though it was good, too) because the vegetables really killed me, being buttery and impossibly fragrant.

All the dishes pictured above are from a food centre two minutes’ walk away from Istana Hotel. We ordered about 10 dishes between us and they were all good.

(I think I’m going to be taxed for using the word “good” so often.)

I’m not saying that Singapore doesn’t have good food. I’m saying that Malaysia does not seem to have substandard food.

Or maybe I just need to visit Malaysia more often to get a more accurate sampling.

I took quite a bit of food photos while in KL, the first one being my squashed Gardenia bun.

I bought it at a petrol station during our drive up to KL and it got forgotten and squashed by my luggage.

Okay, that was a joke photo.

Here’s something I want to recommend. This coffeeshop in KL boasts bland-looking but very delicious dim sum.

Maybe Dean was right about the ingredients. The dim sum just tasted fresh.

Here are some pictorial clues where this place is. Sorry, I don’t know the full address.

The road sign says: Jalan Merak.

I love the free-flow sauces!

Did I mention I’m a sauce addict? Sometimes I eat more sauce than the main food itself.

Mix the garlic chilli with the sweet sauce. Heavenly!!

We also ate at Old Town White Coffee. (There’s an outlet in Singapore, at the newly renovated Big Splash, but I haven’t tried it so I don’t know if the quality is the same.)

I ordered the asam laksa. I had to, even though the other dishes were so tempting, becasue asam laksa is so hard to find in Singapore. And the ones I’ve found aren’t really worth the calories.

The curry noodles and nasi lemak are apparently killer, too.

This makes me want to visit the Singapore outlet!! Soon!!

I have a couple more food things to talk about but they belong to Ipoh and Penang so I shall save them for another day!

For now, please share your views. Does food generally taste better in Malaysia? If yes, why do you think that is?

20 thoughts on “Why all food tastes good in Malaysia

  1. Avatar

    Yeah. Food in Malaysia definitely taste better, and access to fresher ingredients is just one of the reasons. Think Ipoh and their silky Hor Fun and fat & crunchy bean sprouts.

    Others include traditional cooking methods e.g. using charcoal instead of gas to cook, dirty environment (haven’t you wonder why the food at those stalls rated B and C for hygiene by MOH always taste better than those rated A?)

    Ok. I was just kidding about the last one – Heh!

  2. Avatar

    is it fair to say Malaysian food has more flavour to it? sg food seems to lack in salt, kicap, sugar or whatever that adds flavour to the food.

  3. Avatar

    @Sheylara: Wah, that piece of chicken SO succulent and tempting! Great pics!:) Anyway, for me, food in Malaysia tastes better simply because I don’t have a problem finding food that I can eat there anywhere, if you get my meaning*winks*

  4. Avatar

    Food in malaysia generally taste better because most of them are family businesses passed on through several generations. In that way, the uniqueness is kept and skills/art has a continuity.

    Singapore used to be like them too in the 50s, 60s even up to the 70s. But during the 80s, things started to change in Singapore.

    We became developed nation where more people are getting educated hence lesser offsprings of hawkers to maintain the continuity.

    Then we had a gahment that are obsessed with upgrading. There is nothing wrong with upgrading food centers, making it a better eating environment for us. But a lot of hawkers took the chance to receive compensated packages and retire instead, bring with them the art of cooking and in a large scale of this culture, slowly our food’s quality suffered.

    You still have the odd blokes opening up a stall selling fish ball noodles or chicken rice but to make it real nice and delicious is an art and art needs to be mastered. It is a lost art in Singapore.

    Then you have those clever and educated people who go into any food business motivated by other factors. Outlet like old chang kee and take5 are basically selling you frozen food.

    The times when we have a makeshift stall selling home made poh pia roll or prawn cracker roll is truly a thing of the past. We have lost out food identity. In 10 years, I predict most of our kopitiam will have pasta, pizza, sushi instead of what we see now. Globalisation is evitable but in an environment like singapore, it just mean it happen faster.

  5. Avatar

    Most food outlets here have little pride in their product. Churn out some crap that’s passed off as food, charge a bomb for it and expect ppl to be dumb enough to come back a second time.

    Gone are the days when ah kong cooked with pride and would rather close shop for the day if the ingredients are not up to his expectations.

  6. Avatar

    even normal Ramli burger…it taste better when in Malaysiai agreed with HFB, the way e food was prepared makes a lot of difference. cooking with charcoal def better than gas…

  7. Avatar

    Food tastes better because you are away from home. Everything taste better when you are away from home.
    I take it you don’t travel much. Judging from your blog, you biggest gig is XBOX Xpert in Singapore. You need to get out more.

  8. Avatar

    It seems that my campaign to ban this sort of wanton gastronomical obscenity is still not having an effect. I will be considering my options.

  9. Avatar

    Malaysia food is much better but you must also go to the best ones. Singapore food is very standard, every foodcourt you go to the taste is about the same. Malaysia – you can get the really good ones which are super super yummy and you can also get the really lousy ones. But generally food taste better in Malaysia, I have to agree.

  10. Avatar

    Seldom go Malaysia, so I can’t comment on the food there. For me, Taiwanese food is the best so far.

    Smelly beancurd, 官东煮, mee sua, XXL fried chicken chop, all the ice desserts….

    Been there 3 years in a row. Never grow tired of going there. Nice food, friendly people, great customer service. Singapore got a long way to go to catch up to the culture there.

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    Agree. Just across our causeway. The alley behind the shophouses near the 1st petrol station behind JB Custom lies hawkers which sell a variety of great food. Only thing is no NEA grading of A, B, C or D lor. But nobody minds anyway :P

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    QY the chilli really damn good hor!! My GM often to Msia to buy the chilli and I really luv it! Goes well with almost every food and certainly make my lunch enjoyable..

    You making me very the hungry!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. Avatar

    I am lucky to live in KL ^_^
    I remember recommending you Old Town for free WiFi. It is so good that Old Town has a lot of clones.

    KL food is better compare to Singapore? Maybe…. I use to hear people (such as shadowfoxx) saying Sg food taste badder than Msia (tats his opinion btw).

    Maybe Sg learned to make food from Msia…. that’s why? Original is better?

    next time if u come to KL, let’s go yum cha :P

  14. Avatar

    Damn, ya make me hungry… and Im stuck with burgers and tacos :/ US food sucks, Im half european and thats one of the things I miss most… as for Malysia, I eat chinese food in NYC a lot, but thac as far as my asian expirience ever went, looks awsome on the photos through :]

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