14 Malaysian Food Photos – Are You Ready to Drool?

By Mark Wiens 84 Comments
Nasi Lemak
1. Malaysian Nasi Lemak

I’ve been told by multiple Malaysians that when they leave their country, it’s the food they miss more than anything else.

And once you’ve spent some time in Malaysia eating, it’s entirely understandable.

You’re about to see some dangerously close-up photos from one of the best food countries in the world.

This is just a quick sampling of my recent trip to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. In the coming weeks I’ll be publishing many more articles (and videos too), about the extraordinary Malaysian cuisine I was able to eat.

1. Nasi Lemak

You haven’t been to Malaysia unless you’ve eaten nasi lemak, and it’s so good, it’s worth traveling across the world to eat. Coconut creamy steamed rice paired with a variety of toppings is something I could probably eat everyday for the rest of my life (and be happy).

Nasi Lemak
2. Nasi Lemak #2

2. Nasi Lemak #2

Nasi Lemak #2 was even BETTER.

Jalan Alor
3. Kam Heong Crab

3. Kam Heong Crab

Choi Kheng is a restaurant on the famous Jalan Alor street serving Chinese Malaysian street food that’s popular with local chef’s after they finish their shifts.

Nate and Phillipa from Yomadic, and I, licked this plate of luscious crab clean. We also devoured a delicious plate of marmite fried frog!

Mutton Murtabak
4. Mutton Murtabak

4. Mutton Murtabak

Along with Mei from ccfoodtravel.com we hit up a food court in an area known as Petaling Jaya. Among the many dishes we ate was this incredible murtabak (similar to a roti or chapati but stuffed), packed full of mutton and dipped in curry sauce.

Malaysian nasi campur
5. Nasi Campur

5. Nasi Campur

Nasi campur is everyday normal Malaysian food, and I just can’t get enough of it. Set up buffet style, you get a plate of rice and pile on whatever you like. Fish and jackfruit curry and sambal chili fried eggplant is about as good as it gets.

Malaysian food photos
6. Penang Rojak

6. Penang Rojak

Pudu Wai Sek Kai is one of the last remaining traditional hawker streets in Kuala Lumpur.

David Jr and myself headed there for a few outstanding dishes including this Penang style Rojak – a combination of dried squid, cuttlefish, tofu and shrimp fritters all roasted and anointed with sweet sticky shrimp paste dressing.

Malaysian style mutton biryani
7. Nasi Biryani

7. Nasi Biryani

As a lover of biryani from around the world, I couldn’t resist south Indian style mutton biryani. The flesh of the meat slid off the bone effortlessly and melted in my mouth.

Grilled stingray
8. Ikan Pari Bakar

8. Ikan Pari Bakar

Among the many food adventures I took in Kuala Lumpur, one of them led me to Medan Ikan Bakar – a series of jaw dropping grilled seafood restaurants. The grilled stingray marinated in chili sauce was pure heaven.

Grilled shrimp in sambal chili sacue
9. Shrimp Bakar

9. Shrimp Bakar

At the same restaurant as the stingray, when the cooks saw me shooting a self video, they brought me a plate of grilled shrimp… for free!

Malaysian pig intestines soup
10. Pig Intestines Soup

10. Pig Intestines Soup

It reminded me of Thai kuay jab nam sai, a soothing porky peppery soup. Don’t be scared by the intestines, they were tender and full of flavor. The  chunks of tofu and chili dipping sauce made it even better.

Malaysian fried noodles
11. Fried Hokkien Mee

11. Fried Hokkien Mee

Noodles flash fried on high heat in just the right amount of oil (0r lard) and coated in dark soy sauce is a truly comforting recipe – and this plate of fried Chinese style noodles was marvelous.

Nasi kerabu
12. Nasi Kerabu

12. Nasi Kerabu

I’ve been to Malaysia a number of times, but this was my frist time to try Nasi Kerabu, a rice mixture popular on the east coast and northern Malaysia.

It’s similar to Thai khao yam, and is a combination or nearly all flavors one could possibly dream of on a single plate. I’m still not sure why the rice is blue… but it sure tastes good.

Malaysian food photos
13. Roti Canai / Teh O Ais Limau

13. Roti Canai / Teh O Ais Limau

Just like biryani, roti is one of those foods that has spread around the world far and wide. In Malaysia you get a roti canai (almost identical to a Sri Lankan paratha bread), a flaky crispy oily flatbread served with a side of dipping curry sauce.

My choice of beverage with my Malaysian food is teh o ais limau, sweetened iced tea with lime.

Chettinad Cuisine in Kuala Lumpur
14. Chettinad Cuisine

14. Chettinad Cuisine

After thoroughly enjoying Sri Lankan food, I knew I’d love south Indian food. Malaysia has a multitude of authentic south Indian Chettinad restaurants.

It was some of the best food I’ve had in my life… so good in fact that I returned three days in a row.

Malaysian food photos
Let me serve you some Malaysian food!

On more than one occasion, I was served snacks straight out of the oil and into my mouth!

The photo on the right is one my favorites of the trip – and despite his stone face, he’s the the one that asked me to take his photo haha! He also slipped me a free piece of chicken, which was unbelievably tasty.

Look out, lots more Malaysian food articles, photos and videos coming soon!

84 comments. I'd love to hear from you!

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  • Homegrown

    3 years ago

    Unajuwa hii lugha? Napendaga prog yako bro. Ng’ara kama nyota. Ya malaysia no favourite yangu. Mungu akubariki.

  • Kiara Collagen Serum

    3 years ago

    Great post! We are linking to this particularly great post on our site.

    Keep up the good writing.

  • zouina

    4 years ago

    hello
    je suis française et je vis en haute savoie près d’ alberville j’ aime beaucoup vos vidéos sur YouTube tous vos voyages me font rêver et comme vous j’ aime beaucoup la bonne nourriture merci de partager à nous et de nous faire rêver

  • Vivian

    5 years ago

    Hi,
    Great article. You should visit Malaysia during Ramadan month and cover the food that they sell at Ramadan Bazaar. They are also great food at the pasar malam around Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya. The best of Malaysian street food!

    • Mark Wiens

      5 years ago

      Thank you very much Vivian, I’m really hoping to visit during Ramadan in the future!

  • Jesse

    5 years ago

    Hey, where is the food cart in petaling jaya that has the mutton murtabok? Thanks!

  • Gigi

    5 years ago

    How dare you do this to me, Mark? Or I shouldn’t have read your blog at this time, when it is night, I am stuck with assignments, and weather is freezing cold. It is 9.02pm here in Australia, and I have been away from home for 3 months, 6 months till I reunion with these great food, and I have been living without any of those that you posted for the past 3 months. I miss them *cry*

    • Mark Wiens

      5 years ago

      Hi Gigi, haha, sorry about that! When will you go back home to eat!?

      • Gigi

        5 years ago

        The earliest would be late November of this year, ages till then and my stomach is calling them in already 🙁

  • Carol

    5 years ago

    Hi Mark,

    Thank you for this lovely post, it just makes my mouth watering thinking which one should I eat first when I am back to Malaysia (and I’ve decided to eat ALL of them in a day :D)! A relocation to other part of the world make me realize how lucky was I to have all these wonderful (and cheap) food in this country T.T and now I have to pay triple the price for a sub-standard meal.

    And yes, I missed the food much more than my family. Not joking.

    • Mark Wiens

      5 years ago

      Hey Carol, thank you very much for reading this post, haha that’s a good idea to eat everything in a single day!

  • Ken

    5 years ago

    Mark,

    Fantastic stuff both here and in Thailand. I am currently in KL and was searching for things to eat for dinner and I am heading out to to your Nasi Lemak #2 place shortly. Looking forward to it ! Thanks again for all the ‘hard work’…..:)

    • Mark Wiens

      5 years ago

      Hey Ken, you’re welcome, and thank you very much for your support. Hope you enjoyed the nasi lemak and that you’re enjoying your time in Malaysia.

  • hariesh

    6 years ago

    hi mark

    i am travelling to malasia hoping to taste the malasian food. i just wanted to thank you for your blog. however i would welcome you to our little state in india kerala. hope we can meet very soon.

    • Mark Wiens

      6 years ago

      Hi Hariesh, glad that you’ll be going to Malaysia soon, hope you enjoy the food. I have been wanted to visit Kerala for a long time, I really hope to visit in the future. Very nice to hear you’re from Kerala!

  • Faris

    6 years ago

    Nasi KeRabu is also known as Rice ToWednesday 🙂

  • Aini Adilah Mohd Sah

    6 years ago

    Hi Mark, just to share with you, the blue colour of the nasi kerabu came from a flower called ‘kembang telang’ or its scientific name is Clitoria ternatea 🙂

  • Susan

    6 years ago

    If you’re ever in Irvine, CA and you’re looking for some authentic Malaysian cuisine and when I say authentic, I mean true Malaysian Straits cooking… you send me a message and I will have the person cook for you 🙂

    • Mark Wiens

      6 years ago

      Thank you very much Susan, that sounds fantastic. I will remember if I get to Irvine.

  • MalaysianinKenya

    7 years ago

    Nice. In addition to the bak kut teh recommendation above, might I also recommend a few other items you may or may not have tried:

    1) Yong Tau Foo (Ampang or otherwise)
    2) Claypot Chicken Rice
    3) Otak-otak
    4) Satay
    5) Oatmeal Prawns
    6) Kangkong Belacan
    7) Hotplate Tofu
    8) Teochew Porridge
    9) Fish Head Curry
    10) Ice Kacang
    11) Cendol
    12) Onde Onde (Malay kuih with gula melaka)
    13) Apam Balik/Jin Loong Bau aka Peanut Pancake
    14) Putu Mayam
    15) Pisang Goreng (Fried banana fritters)
    16) Vadeh

    • Mark Wiens

      7 years ago

      Awesome list here, thanks so much for sharing!

  • Yong

    7 years ago

    Mark,

    Please try the bak kut teh with yu char kueh the next time you come to KL Malaysia. A herbal pork meat soup.

  • Alex

    7 years ago

    great photos , what camera / lensedo I shoot with

    • Alex

      7 years ago

      do you shoot with i meant

    • Mark Wiens

      7 years ago

      Hey Alex, I use a Canon DSLR 550d with either a 50 mm lens or a 18 – 135 mm. Thanks!

  • mun

    7 years ago

    Hello Mark!

    Are you recently visiting Malaysia?Is this your 3rd,4th or 5th time coming here? hahaha. Seems like you enjoy your time here. I just found out your video eating delicious Malaysian food. I noticed that you like to have tempe in your dishes. Is it right? Because I am a huge fan of tempe too! *drooling* And have you had the chance trying durian again this time? I recommend you to try some of durian dishes since you love durian so much (like me) XP . Some of my favourite : Bubur durian, Pulut (sticky rice) durian, and in dishes also they use durian called tempoyak. Have you try any one of those? I am sure you will love it! And good job that you are successfully found those good places to eat that I don’t even been before. I will definitely try that RA Nasi Lemak. And oh roti canai is my addiction! 😀

    • Mark Wiens

      7 years ago

      Hey Mun, yes you’re right, I’ve been to Malaysia about 3 or 4 times now, I love the food so much. Other than the fruit plain, I haven’t had many durian dishes. I’ve had it with sticky rice many times in Thailand but I would love to try tempoyak and bubur as well – next time. Yes I also like tempe, it goes so well with rice. Thanks for reading this and leaving a comment!

  • David @ Malaysia Asia

    8 years ago

    Mark, most awesome pictures! You did a fantastic job on this post. Next time around, I will take you to some really outstanding local foods here.

    • Mark Wiens

      8 years ago

      Thank you David, would love to come back for another food visit!

  • Noel

    8 years ago

    Great mouthwatering photos! Can’t agree more! The 8 years travelling, I would have done anything for a taste of authentic Malaysian food. These are what will be waiting for your taste bud on your next trip here: Sarawak Laksa, Kolok Mee, Umai, Kompia, etc. 😛

    • Mark Wiens

      8 years ago

      Ohh, my mouth is watering, I’m tempted to take a flight to Sarawak right now!!!

      • Noel

        8 years ago

        Come! You won’t regret it :). It’s also fruits season right now. There are some fruits that can only be found in this part of Malaysia.

  • EarthDrifter

    8 years ago

    Oh my! This is taking it to the extreme, some inspirational photography. Malaysia is a food adventurer’s paradise. There are at least two Malaysian restaurants in Boston’s Chinatown. They have nothing like what these photos show but it’s still amazingly exotic for New England.

    • Mark Wiens

      8 years ago

      Thank you very much for checking this out. Malaysian food is just so beautiful and tasty at the same time!

  • Ayngelina

    8 years ago

    I think one of the hardest parts is that it is really difficult to get good Malaysian food outside the country. Even in Toronto where we have a thriving Asian population and you can get lots of great, authentic food from a number of countries, Malaysian seems to fall a bit flat for some reason.

    • Mark Wiens

      8 years ago

      I agree, even in Thailand, right next to Malaysia, it’s hard to get Malaysian food! Hopefully it will catch on to more places soon – because it really is one of the best cuisines in the world!

  • Juan

    8 years ago

    Hi Mark, i’m using your Nasi Lemak picture for my blog post entry, i hope you ok with that… 🙂

    • Mark Wiens

      8 years ago

      Hey Juan, thanks, please give a link back for attribution though, thank you!

  • Juan

    8 years ago

    u make me proud to be a Malaysian, I’m nasi lemak lover tooo, hehehehe

  • Marco

    8 years ago

    Great resource, Mark and very thorough compilation of the great cuisines of Malaysia. Not sure which I would begin with first but I can definitely say I’ll be printing this post off for the trip!

    • Mark Wiens

      8 years ago

      Cool to hear that Marco, thanks for taking a look. Hope you have a great visit and get to eat all these wonderful foods!

  • Micamyx|Senyorita

    8 years ago

    Nice foodie compilation! I’m planning to visit Malaysia again (concentrating on Melaka and Penang). I’ll take note of everything you mentioned here 😀

    • Mark Wiens

      8 years ago

      Great! Penang and Melaka both have a wondrous selection of food, you’ll have an awesome time eating!

      • gamep01nt

        8 years ago

        if u want the best of nasi kerabu & malay foods, go to terengganu =))

        • Mark Wiens

          8 years ago

          Excellent, thank you for the suggestion. I hope to visit sometime!

          • saya

            8 years ago

            beside terengganu, u should go to kelantan too, both have best selection of malay foods. i am malaysian kelantanese. =))

          • Mark Wiens

            8 years ago

            Great to hear that Saya, I would love to visit and eat in Kelantan someday!

      • Z

        4 years ago

        Try Chapati with mutton curry and Asam Pedas.

  • Audrey | That Backpacker

    8 years ago

    Nice touch going with the X-Large photos. You just enhanced the food experience for me. 😉

  • Maria

    8 years ago

    Hadn’t gotten past the TITLE and I was wiping my chin. Doh!

  • Paige AllOvertheMap

    8 years ago

    Wow. Yesterday I stumbled across a Malaysia tourism fair in London, last night I saw that a huge group of family travel bloggers had gathered in Penang, and now I see this. There is no way we are NOT going to Malaysia on out RTW trip!

    • Mark Wiens

      8 years ago

      Haha Paige, looks like Malaysia is calling your name! Hope you can visit soon and enjoy the wonderful food!

  • Steph (@ 20 Years Hence)

    8 years ago

    Oh goodness, all of the food looks heavenly! I have never tried Malaysian food before—it doesn’t seem to have really made it to North America, does it?—and I just can’t wait! It looks so aromatic and packed with flavor.

    • Mark Wiens

      8 years ago

      Hey Steph, yah, I can’t say I’ve really seen much Malaysian food outside of Malaysia, and though it’s a small country, their food should be everywhere. It’s so packed with flavor!

  • Ali

    8 years ago

    Hi Mark, great work and thanks for sharing this amazing photos and info with us. We going to KL next month for a week can’t wait :).
    Can you tell us the place you had the nasi lemak, the 2 pix look amazing.

    • Mark Wiens

      8 years ago

      Hey Ali, great to hear you are going to KL soon! It is from “RA Nasi Lemak” a stall near Dang Wangi LRT station. I’ll be posting a more in-depth article about it soon!

  • Andi

    8 years ago

    Absolutely gorgeous photos and I AM drooling! I can’t pick a favorite!

  • Kwong

    8 years ago

    Fantastic article Mark. I’ve never been to Malaysia but it is on my list. But I have tried some of the foods you wrote about and can’t wait to try them in their homeland. One thing you missed that is on my list is Laksa.

    • Mark Wiens

      8 years ago

      Hey Kwong, thank you very much, hope you can get to Malaysian soon. Yes, Laksa is also incredible. This time I actually didn’t even get to have laksa, but I’ve had it before in Malaysia and it’s unbelievable too!

  • Lilian

    8 years ago

    Awesome list. I cannot wait to go back home. When it comes to hawker food, I still prefer Malaysian food.

    • Mark Wiens

      8 years ago

      Thank you Lilian, Malaysian hawker food can’t be beat!

  • paul | walkflypinoy

    8 years ago

    i want to have them all! haha. but that rojak looks the most appealing. full of crunchy goodness, i bet. damn.

    • Mark Wiens

      8 years ago

      Man, that unique combination of contrasting flavors is so good!

  • sully86

    8 years ago

    mark: its a symphony and pictures after pictures of good food mark.

  • ciki

    8 years ago

    BOW BOW!! Well done Mark! haha… I spotted the ones we had yo! Happy to have had the chance to take you makan2 at some of the cool places in KL! See you again soon we hope:)

    • Mark Wiens

      8 years ago

      Thanks Ciki, it was excellent to meet and eat with you in KL! I’m still dreaming about that mutton murtabak… and everything else we ate!

  • Kenji Cheow

    8 years ago

    Gotta agree with this quote,
    “I’ve been told by multiple Malaysians that when they leave their country, it’s the food they miss more than anything else.”

    I miss the food more than my family….
    Not joking…

    ~CHEERS~
    Kenji

    • Mark Wiens

      8 years ago

      You’re are one of the locals that told me that haha!!! I used that beautiful quote in a video coming soon too!