Malaysian Culinary Experiences

Because of the country's diverse nature, food and drink are one of the highlights when visiting Malaysia, and KL in particular. Many types of food can be found in KL, with the most popular being Malaysian, Chinese, and Indian. If given the chance, attend a Malaysian Dinner and Dancing event. While touristy, these restaurants provide a large variety (often buffet) of Malaysian food, accompanied by a dancing show featuring traditional Malaysian, Chinese, and Indian dancing and costumes. If looking to enjoy some authentic Malaysian food, meat-lovers should order satay. Referred to by many as "meat on a stick", satay contains small pieces of barbequed meat marinated in garlic, cumin, and other spices and placed on a skewer. For vegetarians, dishes containing bean curd, a variety of vegetables, rice and vegetarian sauces, including peanut sauce and several types of curry, are easily found in Malaysia. One note to vegetarians, even if something is said to be vegetarian, make sure to ask specifically what the dish or product contains. In Asia, it is common for dishes or foods to be labeled as vegetarian simply because they contain no red meat. Another item not to be missed while dining in Malaysia is a cup of Malaysian coffee. A little known fact about the country is that it is considered by coffeehouses worldwide to have literally the best coffee in the world. One important note on eating and drinking in Malaysia - most westerners cannot digest the bacteria in Malaysia's water very easily. Tourists should avoid tap water, ice, fresh vegetables, and most fresh fruits (pineapples and bananas are generally safe) unless they have peeled and cut the food themselves. Bottled water is safe to drink, but make sure it is opened in front of you. When eating in a well-established hotel, all of the food is generally safe to eat, but it is best to use caution none the less.