I should say that I used to be a great fan of Malaysian/Indonesian food.
In 1976 I started a business on the European Options Exchange in Amsterdam. This required me to be in Amsterdam at least every other week for a few days. And one thing that I always ate while being there was Indonesian “Rijsttafel”, a medley of Indonesian/Malayan dishes. This was about the most exotic food that you could find in Europe at that time – and for me the most delicious one. The only alternative were Chinese joints but they were horrible already then
The “Rijsttafel” introduced me to peanut sauces, coconut dishes and so on. It always contained at least 10 different dishes (in small portions) – but I was a very healthy eater back then
Of course, in those days my horizon was limited. I had not sampled and fallen in love with Japanese and Thai cuisine yet, not to speak about Laos and the more exotic fares… The “Rijsttafel” was the incarnation of delicious, unique, exotic food for me. And I adored it. I don’t remember if they used that much sugar already back then. But then, this is entirely possible.
Since then my taste buts have been captivated by the Thai cuisine. It’s fiery passion with its clear taste lines is my yardstick. This is the food that I can eat day in, day out. I can also enjoy a Malaysian dish very much – but not in succession. It’s nothing I can control -it is my personal “evolution – and I hope that my KL friendswon’t hold this against me.
I am sure if I would never have been in touch with the “other” stuff I would still love Malaysian food as much as 37 years ago!