We all know that Asians are very big into their food, and Malaysians are no exception.
One of the first questions we get asked whenever meeting a local is “Have you eaten yet?” – or variations of that phrase. It is put out in the same way that we would say “Good morning, how are you?”.
So conversations with complete strangers will more often than not revolve around food, what have we tried and those that we must try.
Even as a small child my focus was on food…my mother tells me she could not understand why I was not eating at meal times and that she was basically force feeding me until she found out I was eating 6 meals a day because I was going outside to the amahs (Malay household help) and eating (rice mostly) with them before each family meal. My photos reflect this – little buddha that I was.
I still maintain that I am happiest sitting at a table with some good food and the ability to watch the world go by. And plain boiled rice remains a favourite food. With food being so plentiful and cheap in Asia, eating out is more the norm than the exception. So right from arrival we set off on an eating binge….
Simultaneously I was the introduction to a Facebook page called Eats and Bleats, specifically for posting reviews about eating spots in Johor Bahru…. and before long I was famous. I have been credited with singlehandedly reviving that particular FB page, I have received multiple comments on the pages asking “had we won the lottery?” and I was approached one evening by a complete stranger (we have since become friends) who asked “Are you the Eats and Bleats lady?”
Malaysia as a country, is a mixture of Malays, Chinese and Indians as the 3 majority population groups, along with minority groups from Thailand and Indonesia. And the food styles reflect this. Malay foods are generally very sweet and mostly deep fried. Chinese has all sorts of foreign looking items swimming in gravy. Indian food has become a firm favourite with the widest choices of vegetarian dishes available. Closely followed by Thai with its clean spicy dishes. Western dishes remain either badly done or stupidly expensive, or both.
As for desserts and cakes. These are the vast majority of items on display and for sale in every other store.
Sadly the complete change of diet and the quality of food on the whole, has proven to be not so great….loads of fried foods and lots of sweet dishes have taken their toll.
Forced exercise looms……