What’s your favourite Malaysian dish? Are you a chilli pan mee connoisseur, a nasi kandar enthusiast, or simply just anything lah?
Reddit user u/foodsamaritan created a website showcasing our most popular dishes, included with descriptive information like their origin, method of preparation, and pretty much anything you need to know about it.
The Sabahan website creator currently lives in Australia and was prompted to start learning and writing more about Malaysian food after watching Netflix’s documentary series, Street Food: Asia.
“I was shocked and upset that Malaysia wasn’t featured, while many neighbouring countries were. Thinking that maybe we haven’t done enough to promote our own food, I started compiling a list of food that we have.”
He quickly realised that he hasn’t tried most of the local delicacies we have, even the ones from his hometown, and usually sticks to what he’s familiar with when he comes home.
“I realised that I have been living in my own bubble, and that others might be too.”
Since December 2020, he started his journey in researching, writing, and posting online about Malaysian food. Since then, foodsamaritan has written about over 70 dishes and plans to try the dishes he’s missed out on the next time he comes home.
“Through this, not only do I appreciate the food more, but I also learn more about our country’s unique history and culture.”
The website’s masthead, ‘The Ambitious Salted Fish’ is based on a quote from the creator’s favourite movie; Shaolin Soccer by Stephen Chow, “If a man doesn’t have ambition, what is the difference between the man and a salted fish?”
As for credibility, foodsamaritan pulls from news sources and blogs, which is where his true Malaysian side comes out when his trilingualism is proudly put to use while sourcing from English, Malay and Chinese references.
However, he finds the real challenge in finding out about lesser known dishes.
“For example, a dish in Sabah is said to originate from a tribe that migrated from Philippines ages ago. With that clue, I do more research on the dish in Philippines to uncover more.”
The website also features other sections about self improvement and personal finance tips. The food enthusiast expresses that he’s always wanted his own website to host his thought and practice writing.
The Reddit post garnered several heartwarming comments about the nostalgic affect the website has on some viewers, as well as some welcomed suggestions to be made to the site.
He currently has no plans for how website could grow, but is considering to turn it into a place where people can visit to learn more about our huge repertoire of culinary delights.
“It truly warms my heart whenever people comment that it’s their first time hearing about a dish, and it made them want to travel to other states to explore.”
He would like to note that the website is currently still a work in progress and he does not do restaurant reviews.
“I’m not doing this to criticise any dish. Every food is someone’s favourite food, and I want to capture that.”
Well said. Check out the website here to keep up with the updates!