WHEN it comes to local cuisine, in Malaysia we are all too familiar about where to head to enjoy a plate of fried kuay teow with the freshest cockles, that perfectly stewed kari laksa, or the nasi lemak ayam with the best fried chicken in the universe (or so we may claim).
Malaysians who are living or studying abroad, however, may not have quite the same luxury. Some find it hard to find authentic Malaysian cuisine, while others may have trouble finding one that serves any sort of the cuisine at all.
“I miss the unique flavours in Malaysian food,” says Amira Samsudin who is currently studying in Dubai. “I’d pick Malaysian food over fine dining any day.”
According to Gayathri Nair, who moved to UK over nine months ago, Malaysian food is scarce where she is living. “Instead, I look up recipes and cook them at home more often,” she says.
Food plays an integral role in the Malaysian lifestyle. For Malaysians living abroad, it becomes even more sought after, as the familiar tastes and aromas of Malaysian dining becomes a source of familiarity and comfort of what once used to be.
For this reason, The Star Online has launched the Malaysian Food Awards – Outside of Malaysia on May 1. The contest invites all Malaysians abroad to share and nominate their favourite Malaysian cuisine according to five dishes- Mee Goreng, Nasi Lemak, Laksa, Roti Canai, Satay.
If you’re a Malaysian living abroad, this is an excellent opportunity for you to do the typical Malaysian past time of food-tripping to the nominated list of restaurants and trying out these dishes from home.
If you think they are vote-worthy, then head over to the official Malaysian Food Awards website to cast your vote, or better yet, join many other Malaysians stationed abroad in nominating your favourite Malaysian restaurant or dish.
“I’ve nominated Fast Wok as the food here has served many Malaysians justice with its truly authentic flavour, fresh ingredients and reasonable prices,” said David Chen, 53, who has been living in Gold Coast, Australia for the past six years.
The restaurant that I nominated, Sedap (located in London), was recommended to me by a friend,” said Gayathri. “If a Malaysian recommends a restaurant abroad, my thoughts would be that it has to be good and I was right.”
Amira, on the other hand, nominated what she felt was the only authentic Malaysian cuisine in the whole of Dubai.
“Rasa Sayang’s staff are all friendly, and the food that they serve tastes delicious! My personal favorites are the kuay teow goreng, masak lemak, kari ikan and nasi goreng kampung,” she added.
Do you have any favourite restaurant that you wish to see in the list of nominations? Then head over to http://malaysianfoodawards.thestar.com.my/ and submit your nominations for your favourite Mee Goreng, Nasi Lemak, Laksa, Roti Canai, Satay in your region.