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There's No Taste Like Home

Posted on 3.08.2015

Nasi Lemak, Rendang, Mamak-Style MAGGI® Goreng – these are just some of the local favourites Malaysians living abroad yearn for. Although there are many restaurants all around the globe that serve these dishes, sometimes, they don’t make the cut. Most often, the dish might be missing an ingredient or two or the preparation method may differ from how it’s done back home. Hence, we do not get the taste of the authentic local flavours. 

So, in conjunction with Merdeka month, we decided to ask Malaysians abroad what local delicacies they miss the most. After listening to what they had to say, we truly believe that the adage “absence makes the heart grow fonder” does hold true.

 

Name: Timothy Law 

Lives In: Perth, Australia 

Been Away For: 6 Years

Definitely a good plate of ‘Char Kway Teow’. Its smoky flavour and taste just makes me want to come back and eat it all day long. Seriously, if it was cooked properly, it would be the best dish you could have ever tasted. 

 

Name: Elishea Harris 

Lives In: Doha, Qatar 

Been Away For: 2 Years

What I miss the most from my mom’s kitchen in Malaysia would be ‘Sambal Ikan Bilis’, sometimes, ‘Nangka Masak Lemak’. To me, there’s nothing more comforting than having a plate of rice with just sambal. I’ve tried these recipes here in Doha but you can’t get all the ingredients that are needed to make something this authentic. Furthermore, there’s nothing like cooking in the comfort of your own kitchen. 

 

Name: Teh Poh Choo

Lives In: Soest, Netherlands 

Been Away For: More Than 20 Years

Whenever I feel a craving for something delicious, it will always be ‘Char Kway Teow’. The dark colour of the soy sauce, cockles, bean sprouts, fresh ‘kway teow’ and finally, the beautiful fragrance just makes my mouth water. Living in the Netherlands for more than 20 years, this is one of the dish I missed the most. Search for this dish have not been successful and that’s mostly due to the ingredients and most importantly, I found only in Klang can they produce a delicious plate of ‘Char Kway Teow’. 

 

Name: Sarah 

Lives In: Rome, Italy 

Been Away For: 10 Months

It’s got to be ‘Nasi Lemak’ and MAGGI® Kari. I get my MAGGI® instant noodles once in a while when my friends return from KL but the ‘Nasi Lemak’, it’s impossible to satisfy that craving. There’s nothing like the comforting smell of rice cooked with ‘santan’. I usually start missing it in the middle of winter when the temperature gets to a really depressing state like -2°C. 

I’ve never tried making ‘Nasi Lemak’ here in Rome because it’s not easy to get fresh coconut milk and banana leaves – it would be a miracle if I can actually find them in the Asian stores. Due to that, I’ve never attempted it because it just won’t make the cut without these ingredients. Oh, and the sambal – it needs ‘belacan’. If I was to ever toast it to get my sambal done, I’m going to send my Italian neighbours scrambling out of the building for obvious reasons. 

 

Name: Ong Kar Peng 

Lives In: London, United Kingdom 

Been Away For: 41 Years

I miss my Beef Tripe Soup Noodles from Ipoh the most. It reminds me of the good ol’ days and brings back tons of great memories from my hometown. It’s something I eat every time I come home. 

 

Name: Indrani Kopal,  

Lives In: New York City, United States of America

Been Away For: 3 Years

I sometimes crave for ‘Nasi Lemak bungkus’ - especially the tiny humble packs that you find at any regular Malay or ‘mamak’ stalls. I’m craving for them because they have fond memories associated with them - the taste, flavours and textures, it’s strange how you can never forget them – so, when I miss and crave for a certain food, I crave for more than just the dish. ‘Nasi lemak bungkus’ brings back many beautiful childhood memories.

 

Name: Joy Lee

Lives In: Kanagawa, Japan

Been Away For: 3 ½ Years

‘Asam Laksa’ has got to be it! I miss the ones you get at the ‘pasar malam’ that are loaded with lots of fish, prawn paste, pineapple; I’m salivating already. Personally, there’s nothing quite like a bowl of Asam Laksa loaded with the sweet, sour, spicy tangy goodness that makes my ear burn. Then, there are those cucumber bits that makes the dish so refreshing. How I wish it would miraculously appear right in front of my eyes now! 

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