When visiting a new city, one of the best ways to immerse yourself in the culture that surrounds you is by trying as many local foods as you can. From Ice Kacang to Durian, these are some of the novel foods that you will come across in Kuala Lumpur, each of which is well worth trying.
Malaysia is an incredibly humid country, meaning that locals are always looking for ways in which they can cool down. Ice Kacang, which literally translates into English as “Ice with Nuts,” is about as refreshing as street snacks come, and is basically a snow cone that has been drizzled with evaporated milk and palm sugar before being topped with a range of toppings, most commonly corn, crushed peanuts, kidney beans, and various jellies, each of which add varying levels of texture and sweetness.
Malaysia is home to a mouthwatering selection of tropical fruits, and whether you order them at a restaurant or snack on them from a stall at the side of the road, there are some that you simply have to try. The durian is one of these, because while it may emit a seriously strong, rotting smell, which puts many people off, the creamy flesh within tastes sweet and rich at the same time. Mangosteen is another popular fruit, especially since it brings with it so many health benefits thanks to its high antioxidant content, while the hairy rambutan is incredibly sweet and juicy. The rose apple is another fruit that you are likely to come across, and this one resembles its sister fruit, the guava. With its crisp texture and briny flavor, this is a fruit that is often used in a local fruit salad dish.
Nasi Ulam is a popular Malay dish, and consists of steamed rice that has been mixed with a selection of herbs, spices, and vegetables, and is accompanied by a range of side dishes. The herbs used are quite unique, which makes this dish a must-try, as the traditional Malay versions feature ingredients such as cashew leaf shoots and wild pepper leaves. If you are able to find a restaurant that serves up food from north west Peninsula Malaysia, keep an eye out for Nasi Kerabu, which is similar to Nasi Ulam except for the fact that the rice has been dyed a striking shade of blue.
Since Nasi Lemak is the national dish of Malaysia, this is a food that you simply have to try. Translated as Fatty Rice in English, this dish features rice that has been cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaves, and is traditionally served wrapped up tight in a banana leaf, along with dried anchovies, a boiled egg, roasted peanuts, a spicy sauce, and some refreshing slices of cucumber to cool everything down.
Kuala Lumpur is known for being quite the foodie city, as there are many novel dishes here, each with their own local twist, that you will not find elsewhere. From the bright blue Nasi Kerabu to the icy, savory, sweet Ice Kacang, make sure that you do not miss out on any of these foods the next time you are in Kuala Lumpur.