What is vegan Malaysian food? For this WIAW, I ate roti canai, nasi lemak, and banana leaf all in 24 hours!
So much amazing food was consumed in the past 24 hours! We've lived in Kuala Lumpur for 6 months now (time flies!) so I knew I needed to celebrate by enjoying some of Malaysia's most popular dishes all in one day. In addition to so many others, there are three main nationalities here in Malaysia: Malaysian, Chinese and Indian. Unfortunately, I didn't end up eating any Chinese dishes this day, so I'll definitely have to repeat this themed day of eating soon. But I do have three incredible meals to share with you and I hope they give you some insight into the culture here in Kuala Lumpur! Okay, let's jump in!
To see this post in video form, click on the video below!
While I would have loved to learn how to make all of the meals I ate this day, I didn't have time for that so we ended up eating out or ordering Grab food for every meal. As you'll see below, eating out here in Malaysia can be incredibly cheap...even cheaper than eating at home! For breakfast, Brett, Harper and I walked down the street to a restaurant I have yet to visit, even thought I pass it every day on my walks. I knew what I was going to order before we arrived, because I wanted to try out a commonly eaten Malaysian breakfast: Roti Canai (pronouced with a "ch" sound). Roti Canai is a flat bread influenced by Indian cuisine and it can be found in many countries throughout southeast Asia. It's often served with some dipping sauces, such as dal or curry. This roti was amazing; so doughy and flaky all at the same time. The dal and curry sauce were also incredible and I had a hard time keeping Harper from eating my entire plate! In addition to my roti canai, I also ordered a sweet black tea. Most locals will get theirs with milk, creating a chai flavored drink. The tea is often poured from a high height into the mug to create a frothy top. YUM!
Brett ordered a masala thosai (or dosa) and it was also incredible. We will definitely be going back to this restaurant considering it 1.) tasted amazing, 2.) was walking distance from our house and 3.) cost less than $2 to fill our bellies!
If this was going to be a true Malaysian-food-themed-day, Nasi Lemak had to be on the menu! I LOVE nasi lemak, but rarely get to enjoy it as it usually contains egg, anchovies and even meat. There are a couple of vegan/vegetarian restaurants in town that serve an amazing vegan nasi lemak so we decided to order in from one of those: Sala! This was probably my favorite meal of the day, although they were all amazing. Nasi lemak starts with a base of coconut rice and is topped with a dollop of sambal a spicy chili paste --usually a fried or boiled egg, anchovies and cucumber. It can also be served with meat for a heartier meal. This vegan version came with shrimp-less sambal, spicy tempeh, mushroom "anchovies" and veggies. It looks simple, but tasted incredible. It somehow had a sweet undertone amidst all the chili. If you ever come to KL you need to eat at Sala...either for this nasi lemak dish or their other vegan tex-mex dishes. They make the most realistic mushroom carne asada.
Dinner was a family favorite that we've had quite a few time. We ended up at Matcha & Co., a popular banana leaf chain here in KL. We both ordered the vegetarian banana leaf which comes with rice, the vegetables of the day, papadam, fried gourds, yogurt, chili and whatever dal you want them to pour on top of your curry. This meal never fails to satisfy and Harper loves most of this meal as well, as long as it's not too spicy. This meal cost us less than $10 total. While it was a little more expensive than breakfast, it's still pretty cheap by our American standards. We can never finish everything they serve us either and always leave super satisfied.
Alright. That's a typical day on a Malaysian's plate! Please let me know if you enjoyed this post and whether you've visited Malaysia or tried any of these dishes.
Other Themed Days of Eating
If you want to see more themed days of eating, be sure to check out the posts below!