Saturday, 17 January 2009

Food For Thought V

This time's really food for thought.

So, Turkish and I were in Malaysia for 3 weeks. Plus-minus exactly for 19 days total. All the days we were in KL, I ate Pan-mee soup every morning while he had 2 Telur, 2 Roti Bakar (half-boiled eggs and toast). EVERY morning. Pan-mee has been my breakfast for the past 2-3 years and Turkish prefers the old fashion starters of the day.

Without fail! ;)

Everywhere we went, my relatives brought us to restaurants. Whenever we are sitting (at home or in a vehicle), they would suggest a feast or drive us somewhere to stuff us with more food. Turkish is not a big eater, he eats light and when he's full, he would just have a taste of a dish he's never tried. Not always, but sometimes he turns it down if the look doesn't appeal to him.

Seriously, Malaysians and food are inseparable.

Food trips.

Food blogs.

Food talks.

Food, food, food.

Shopkeepers aren't joking with this sign LOL

Our family friend, Sylvia took us to Hai Boey (southern-most end of Penang island) for a sumptious, heavy seafood dinner one evening. My tummy was the size of a hot air balloon to go around the world in 80 days, when this conversation took place..

Sylvia : We can go to Gurney Drive to have rojak. Want?

Me : Nahhhh, we are really full. Thanks.

Michael (her husband) : We can go to Tanjung Bungah for a walk.

Sylvia : There's nothing to eat there, let me see..

Me : Uhhhmmm.. we really don't want to eat anymore.

Sylvia : Ooohhh, Tanjung Bungah is actually nice, full of tourists. There's an Indian restaurant there and they serve delicious Lassi drink. You want to try or not?

Malaysia has a great deal of local cuisine, with a wide range of selection from Malay, Chinese, Indian, Baba Nyonya, Western/International, not forgetting kopitiam and mamak (Indian-muslim) stalls, all those hawker foods, the list goes on and on. It IS our culture to be gastronomically adventurous especially when we have so much to choose from.

Oooohhhhhh.. I heart food.

Wantan Noodles

Kueh Tiow Th'ng/ Kueh Tiow Soup

My 3rd aunt, Sah sim whipped up these main dishes

We heard one said, "Malaysians live to eat" while the other, "Malaysians do only 2 things- shopping and eating". I don't know if I can agree on these statements but are we really so sinful?

I was always worried when Turkish turned down offers to eat here and there. I don't wish my relatives think of him as a rude visitor. Otherwise, he politely accepted and ate more than he could. So did I. I'm not complaining about anyone's generosity, in fact, very grateful about it. It's just that, after declining for like 4-5 times in a row, it kinda gets annoying.

Come to think of it, in Malaysia, apart from food and shopping (movies included).. what else do majority of the people really do? My take is that, our hot climate limits most of us from many outdoor activities. One don't casually say, "Let's take a walk at the park".

Even so, wait a minute.. where park?

Claypot of herbal Bak Kut Teh

Bangsar Nirvana's Banana Leaf rice

9 out of 10 Malaysians will answer "We have lots of good food" when asked about our country. The 10th would prolly say, "You should try the King of Fruits, the Durian!".

Turkish said he was told "Penang food is awesome" when talking to my friend, but after the trip, he was quite surprised that no one mentioned about Kek Lok Si or the Snake Temple. I laughed though I wasn't quite sure I found it funny or naive.

Many years ago, I remember an ang-moh friend was mortified when I told him we have 24-hour eating outlets. I proudly said we could have Maggi goreng at 2 o'clock in the morning at the mamak stall. The foreigner (who has never visited Malaysia) then asked in disbelief, "Why would you want to eat at 2 o'clock in the morning?".

Turkish waiting for his RamlyBurger at slightly past midnight

I don't know.

It's a lifestyle only we will understand, I guess.


Anonymous said...

ya, so true bout the food

walk in the park ? the reply u'll get is.."chi sin ar??!"

Gorgeous Ol' Eve Loves Vanilla. You? said...

My friends complain that their make up will melt. You saylahhh LOL

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