If you’ve ever gone abroad to study or work, you’d be more than familiar with the feeling of craving for a plate of nasi lemak when homesickness hits. With the nearest mamak situated thousands of miles away, it’s often a struggle to find a taste of home in another country, but globalisation and the numerous entrepreneurs who’ve ventured out of the country are playing a part in bringing familiar dishes to countries where it was previously difficult to find good Malaysian food. In the spirit of our nation’s upcoming celebration of 60 years of independence, we’ve compiled a list of restaurants who are serving up tasty Malaysian fare to be proud of in foreign lands.
Malaychan satu, Tokyo
If you’ve had your fill of shoyu ramen and are just craving a hot bowl of assam laksa instead, this Malaysian set-up in the heart of Tokyo will satisfy your needs. Food in Japan is known for its immaculate presentation, and its no surprise that this restaurant puts extra effort into incorporating carefully shaped servings of rice and noodle bowls with intricate garnishes into their menu.
No sauerkraut or German sausages to be seen at this joint. Known for their authentic take on Hainanese chicken rice, this restaurant located in the heart of Frankfurt also serves handmade dim sum and other Malaysian favourites like yong tau foo.
Langkawi is whipping up everything from beef rendang to a whole selection of kuih-muih to ensure your meal in the City of Lights is a true-blue Malaysian experience from start to finish. It’s a sweet, comforting escapade from the potentially daunting prospect of trying out the local delicacies like escargots or cow tongue (unless you’re a sup lidah kinda person).
Ah, Seoul. The city where we can breathe the same air as our favourite Korean-pop idols and live out our K-drama fantasies. Now we can do it all while savouring a taste of home in the busy metropolis. Right smack in the middle of Myeongdong — Seoul’s premier shopping destination — is Kampungku, a Malaysian-owned eatery serving up our favourite local dishes. Hey, you might even meet some random handsome K-dude who’ll save you from your Cinderella predicament.
From the looks of it, it seems like the restaurant has taken a cue from its surroundings and incorporated deep-fried chicken (which Korea is famous for) into their nasi lemak.
Their food also comes in nifty compartmentalised takeaway boxes, so whether you’re on the go or just want something other than gimbap for a picnic, your options are sorted.
While this particular mamak is a far cry from the ones we’re used to at home (in terms of its architecture and interior, that is), it offers the same menu that you would find at any Malaysian mamak establishment, from the nation’s favourite breakfast nasi lemak, to roti canai and Penang prawn mee.
The state of Texas is known for its chili – a combination of beef and chili paste simmered for several hours over a low heat. While the dish is wholesome enough on its own, it can’t quite compare to a plate of roti canai with a bowl of kuah that has just the right amount of warm spice for your tastebuds.
So the next time you’re far away from home, just look around the corner and you might find a Malaysian eatery in the most unexpected of places. Malaysians and their food are taking themselves on a worldwide expedition, and it won’t be long before you can get nasi lemak (no burgers, please) almost anywhere around the globe. Good for us ’cause our food and cuisine are the best in the world according to foreigners who have visited Malaysia, well, save for the acquired taste of durian.
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