Culinary Arts / Family / Travel

Singapore & Malaysia – What Should I Eat? (*Trip Reflection)

The #tywAmazingRace has been fulfilling and memorable thus far. Part 2 of the race is coming to a close very soon and as I look back on the past 3 weeks, I am trying to figure out the best way to recap  the highlights of each country and my experiences there. I’ll start off with a summary of each city (Singapore & Malaysia), then dive into the delicatessens of each!

Singapore: Following a Wong family tradition (since I was born), we had our Annual Wong Family Vacation in Singapore. This was actually a bonus trip on top of our Hong Kong trip, and we retreated away to the multilingual/multicultural city of Singapore, where 3 languages are pre-dominantly used: English, Malay-Chinese, and Tamil. The highlights of my trip were not sightseeing at the Merlion, nor visiting the Sands Hotel, Universal Studios, and Sentosa Island, but learning to navigate the city on my own and with my family. Actually, a huge shout out to one of my best girl friends, Michelle M. Pham, for meeting up with me and showing my family around the city and the National University of Singapore campus. This was my second time in Singapore and this trip made me feel more like a local. (Plus, my gf from Canada, Roshni, was also on exchange there!) I remembered the city very well and adapted to it very easily. I am so happy my parents got to meet my best friend and got to see where I spent my 20th birthday!! That, and the eating fest we had was phenomenal! (My dad loves to eat. In fact, our whole family does!)

Food in Singapore: One of the key places for “dining” in Singapore are the hawker stalls. Located in the heart of downtown near the financial/business district, is Lau Pak Sa, one of the cleaner hawker centres. There are various hawker centres throughout the city; another very famous one being just outside of VivoCity, where we ventured to by bus. Some dishes you should not miss include (Thanks to Melissa M for some of these suggestions!):

  • Char Kuay Teoh
  • Satay
  • Tian Tian Chicken Rice
  • Pepper Crab
  • Carrot Cake
  • Roti canai
  • Blue Ginger for Nyonya food
  • Cendol
  • Laksa
  • Banana fritters
  • Calamansi Juice
  • Nasi Lemak
  • Bah Kut Teh
  • Curried Fish Head
  • Keropok with Ajah
  • Kaya Toast
  • Tarik

Malaysia: For my mother’s birthday this year, I bought her a return trip to Malaysia. (It was cheaper than a return trip from YEG to YYZ!) It was a very special trip for the both of us, because not only was it a gift from me to her, but she got to meet the Manohar family. This is the family that took me in, in 2009, and treated me just as their own daughter. I immersed myself into the Malay-Indian culture and developed a very unique and special relationship with a family half way across the world. I now have 3 younger brothers and a younger sister that I am still extremely close to. A couple of trip highlights: visiting the Petronas Towers (aka. Twin Towers) in the evening, going to Jalan Petaling Street (Chinatown) and having tou fu fa, drinking fresh coconut juice, attending a chamber music concert at KLCC (Malaysian Symphony Orchestra performers), Cameron Highlands, and spending time with my younger brothers! Most memorable is probably watching the DVD of my piano recital with the family and having my Aunty-mum and Uncle-dad add commentary along the way! Lishia, we missed you!!

Food in Malaysia: My Uncle-Dad has always been huge on ensuring I get to eat all of the local Malaysian foods. This time with mum there, he gave her a similar experience I had. After living in Malaysia for over a month back 2009, I became accustomed to the local foods there. That said, I lived off a “naan” diet for about 3 weeks and lost a lot of weight back then. Then I had a crazy food fest for 2 weeks and gained it all back. Nevertheless, I KNOW MY MALAYSIAN FOOD. Be sure to check out these:

  • Tom Yum Soup (*extremely spicy)
  • Laksa
  • Satay (with peanut sauce)
  • Dosa
  • Roti Canai
  • Roti Pisang (banana filling)
  • Roti Telo (egg filling)
  • Naan/Garlic Naan
  • Tandoori Chicken
  • Won Mee / Mee
  • Mi Goreng
  • Nasi Goreng (fried rice)
  • Nasi Lemak
  • Kuay (tea time snacks – usually fried and sold in side streets)
  • DRIED GUAVA. (*my all time favorite)
  • Pandan Cake
  • Teh Tarik (from Boh tea, a locally grown tea)
  • Bak Kut Teh = pork bone soup + rice (from Cameron Highlands is best!)
  • Limao ice
  • Kopi (coffee) – very strong and flavorful taste!

I sorta (ok, I did) eat all of the above. Delicious and all at a very low cost!

A huge thanks to my friends and family for making these trips so memorable and fulfilling. I wish my readers all the best in their travels and hope that this post gives you some insight and tips on some great foods you’ll venture off to try in two of Southeast Asia’s countries for foodies!

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3 thoughts on “Singapore & Malaysia – What Should I Eat? (*Trip Reflection)

  1. What a fabulous food fiesta, so many of these foods remind of the endless dishes we filled ourselves with in India, I love the how different cultures share and adapt these foods from one environment to the next! From one satiated friend to another, cheers!

  2. Pingback: Zhu Hai & Pan Yu: What You Won’t Learn in Business School « tyw lifestyle blog

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