Variety, they say, is the spice of life. How true. You certainly get that in Malaysia. In the Chinese Coffeeshops alone you’ll find Chinese, Indian, Malay food and if you’re lucky, even Western food, which are sometimes a rarity during lunch hour. In any case, you can find food to satisfy even the most discerning palate in Malaysia.
Around my college area in Taman Mayang, which is in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, there are about 13 shops (some are hawker stalls, others coffeeshops and even cafes). That’s quite a lot, considering that the area is less than 1.5 kilometres in radius. However, some of the food are not suitable for everyone, simply because of one simple word, “Halal.” This word means a lot in Malaysia.
With the main religion being Islam, there is a demand for food that are not only delicious, but meets the standards set by Jakim, the Islamic Department in Malaysia. ‘Halal’ implies that these foods meet Islamic standards. These are found quite readily but they tend to be the same kind of dishes. For non-muslims like me, sometimes we prefer non-spicy food.
Well, make that all the time for me. I can’t stand spicy food due to a bad experience when I was a kid. Besides, eating non-spicy food has given me a chance to enjoy other foods that are not so spicy and enabled me to taste them without adding anything. Some people cannot eat food without adding a ‘hint’ of spicyness to it, whether it be chillies or pepper. That destroys the experience, I believe. It’s a very sad thing.
That’s all for now about Malaysian food. Ahh… In some places they say that you eat to live, not live to eat, but with so many varieties and tastes and scents to experience, you’d be foolish to miss out! Well, unless you’re on a strict medical diet, which sorts of restricts you.