There is a huge variety of dishes in Malaysia. One thing they have in common is the exuberant use of sauces. Another common aspect is the huge amount of sugar that is being used for cooking.
I have never experienced another cuisine where sugar is added to nearly everything. Supposedly to balance the hotness of the other spices – but for me, personally, it’s just too much.
Look at a few of our dishes here:
This was dinner in a Chinese-Malaysian restaurant. Clockwise from upper left: Sambal squid (too much sugar in the chillie mixture), pork offals (heavy sauce with loads of sugar), Hainan style noodles (only little sugar) and clams (spicy sauce with too much sugar).
Dinner in a Malaysian-Thai (hehe) restaurant in Kampung Baru:
Excellent quail with nice “stinky beans” but a heavy, fatty sauce
Clams in a heavy, sugary sauce that killed the whole dish…
First class Malaysian food at a very upmarket restaurant with Yavor and his lady: many sauces and a principally fabulous “Nasi Lemak” (“Rich Rice”). Unfortunately, by that time I had already developed a “sugar phobia” and could not enjoy the food as much any more as I wanted to.
I felt very sorry for Yavor and his girlfriend Joan. They put so much effort into introducing me to all facets of their cuisine. And there I was – afraid of the sugar…
I sure will recover from this phobia – but I am afraid that Malaysian cuisine won’t make it to the top of my favourites list.
The people in Malaysia certainly love their sugar with everything. They are also famous for their chocolate-covered fruits (!). Unfortunately, this reflects on the figures of mainly the ladies. There is a high percentage of “well built” Malaysian women around…and in restaurants I saw quite frequently women that ate considerably more than their men
Another astonishing observation was to see some special kinds of dishes available in restaurants that all had the name “Maggi” in their description, for example here:
I cannot blame only the Malaysians for this, as Nestle with its Maggi has conquered all of Asia and the use of their products is widespread everywhere. But to see a Maggi-dish advertised in a restaurant like something “traditional” was new for me