Are you leaving the country soon and have no idea on what Malaysian souvenirs to get your friends or family who live abroad? Checkout our list of curated items that represent not only what Malaysia has to offer, but all the good stuff we take for granted that makes our home the cultural pot that it is. We’ve got everything from traditional items to eccentric edibles that any Malaysian palate would be familiar with. In other words, introduce your foreign friends to our nation’s best…
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1. Old Town White Coffee
A properly crafted blend of Arabica, Robusta and Liberica beans make Ipoh’s popular white coffee a favourite instant-coffee amongst locals for its full-bodied and creamy flavour. Thanks to all the various Old Town White Coffee food chains around the capital city, you don’t have to visit Ipoh to get these little coffee packets anymore. It’s like bringing over a kopitiam in the form of a portable sachet.
2. A1 Bak Kut Teh Spices
Don’t be deceived by the picture and the big “bak kut teh” plastered on the packet in Chinese characters. The A1 soup spices sachet is certified halal and can be used to make chicken herbal soup. It’s a simple way to prepare a staple Malaysian comfort food especially if you’re living abroad with little to no experience in cooking.
3. Regalien Durian Butter Spread
Known as the King of Fruits in Southeast Asia, it is best eaten in its true form. However strict rules in most public places forbid the presence of durians due to what some might consider its pungent scent, which is why Regalien Durian Butter Spread exists. It is easy to bring around, best serve with bread, can be used as dip, and even as an ingredient in daily cooking. This is a unique must-buy item in local markets for friends overseas. Made from real Malaysia durian meat, it’s also halal but unlike raw durian, it is deodorised for checked-in luggage.
4. MyKuali Penang White Curry Instant Noodles
For something that takes three minutes to cook, this packet of hearty meal tastes neat and does the job. Rated 5 out of 5 stars by The Ramen Rater, MyKuali Penang White Curry Instant Noodle is an easy DIY meal straight from Penang island to wherever you are. All you have to do is rip the packet open, follow the given instructions, and add on some vegetables for a quick but tasty dish.
Not limited to just batik print on silk or cotton fabric, the intricately handcrafted prints can be incorporated into household decorations, accessories, and ready-to-wear clothes like skirts and scarves. If you’re not into generic batik prints, feel free to design your own original piece at the Kuala Lumpur Craft Complex.
6. Pewter Goods
Add a touch of Malaysia in your home with pewter kitchenware for that homely kampung vibe. Pure pewter goods are slightly expensive, but there are definitely cheaper, non-pure versions that you can go for. They can be used as decoration but we recommend using them the ways locals do, by serving some good ol’ masala chai.
7. Tongkat Ali
This herb has a reputation as a “natural viagra” but its effects are more than just that. Besides being a male health booster, it helps relieve high blood pressure, and increases metabolism. Feel free to get it in its original herb form or try other varieties that include Tongkat Ali tea or coffee. You can even make your own Tongkat Ali cocktail by soaking the herb in alcohol for three months.
8. Bird’s Nest
These are the equivalent of gems thanks to its value, since grade A birds’ nests can go up to thousands. If you don’t mind splurging on pricey health food, then this tonic is it. With a price point so high, the benefits are endless and is safe for children and senior citizens. It makes for a great gift for women, as birds’ nests are traditionally used as beauty food to enhance skin elasticity.
9. Hand-woven Crafts
We’re a unique nation that makes creative use of nature’s gifts like pandan leaves, bamboo, rattan and more to create hand-woven items like rucksacks to collect tea leaves, as well as dainty purses to carry your everyday belongings. They may not serve the same purpose anymore but hand-woven crafts are definitely something that’s uniquely Malaysian to foreign friends and family.
Preserve the traditions of local Malay culture by having a congkak at sight in your abode. An average congkak involves a wooden board with two rows filled with holes that can be filled with either wood seeds, pebbles or marbles, although we’d recommend marbles for the aesthetic value. It’s not only a fun game, but a nice way of balancing tradition with today’s modern lifestyle.
Follow Regalien Durian Butter Spread here for information on the product, and where to buy it.