We recently caught up with Sarah Lian about her recent projects, being sorta Chinese, and of course, food. Heading over to Malaysia this summer? A foodie herself, we asked Sarah for her favourite places to eat at when she’s back in Kuala Lumpur.
1. Nasi Lemak at Jalan 222
It is near impossible to visit Malaysia and not order Nasi Lemak. A traditional Malay classic, and perhaps your ideal introductory dish to Malaysian cuisine, it consists of rice cooked in creamy coconut milk and pandan leaves with fried anchovies, toasted peanuts, cucumber, and often a hard boiled egg and some spicy sambal.
2. Asam Laksa in Bangsar’s Sunday Night Market
A popular neighbourhood, Bangsar attracts both locals and tourists with its food and entertainment. Need a pick-me-up? At their weekly Sunday market, you’ll be able to find yourself a delicious bowl of Asam Laksa after a long day of shopping—thick rice noodles served in a tangy tamarind and fish-based broth, garnished with sliced veggies, such as onions and refreshing cucumbers, and—of course—shrimp paste.
3. Chicken Rice at New Restaurant Ipoh Chicken Rice
The well-loved Hainanese chicken rice has made its mark on Malaysia, too. A Malay variant of this dish, New Restaurant Ipoh Chicken Rice has been serving this delight to locals and tourists alike since 1977. Here, you’ll find yourself with a plate of succulent steamed chicken and rice served with crunchy bean sprouts and soup.
4. Ulam Fried Rice at Fat Spoon
The Fat Spoon is a cozy café in Kuala Lumpur that serves up traditional dishes with a modern twist. Sarah recommends their Ulam Fried Rice: fried rice with sambal (a spicy condiment made with chilli peppers) and herbs, served with fried chicken, belacan long beans, and papadum (a type of Indian flatbread). The ultimate hangover dish? We think so.
5. Curry Chicken Wantan Mee at S11 in Desa Sri Hartamas
Serving up delicious and inexpensive Malaysian Chinese cuisine, their Curry Chicken Wantan Mee combines two Malay favourites: thin egg noodles with pork wontons served with curry chicken. Enjoy this match made in heaven hawker style at S11, like a true Southeast Asian.
6. Pandan Kaya Ice Cream at The Last Polka
Is there any way to get through hot weather without ice cream? Satisfy your sweet tooth at The Last Polka. Known for mixing their homemade French-style ice cream with local Asian flavours (and 100% natural ingredients!), Sarah recommends their pandan kaya flavour—a delicious blend of the unique, floral sweetness of pandan and the rich coconut aroma of kaya.
7. Durians, durians, and durians – everywhere!
It’s durian season, so now is the best time to enjoy this “king of fruits,” well-known for its distinctively strong smell. You’ll have some potent breath afterwards, but your taste-buds will thank you for it. Check out any local fruit stall for a taste.