Cheap Eats

You may find it curious that I made no mention of food in my first post, but by now, you guys should know me better than that. I didn’t mention food because, of course, it deserves a post all its own! Here’s what I’ve been chowing down on here in Malaysia:

            One of our favorite places to eat has been an open-air Indian restaurant, with delicious tandoori chicken:

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            The guys who work there are very nice and very tolerant of our terrible language skills. I’m proud to say that I can now order tandoori chicken and naan, though, so that’s an improvement.

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            The naan comes with a dal (a kind of lentil curry), and a spicy herb sauce, both of which are delicious. I’m usually sweating profusely by the time I finish my meal, but it is well worth it. I’m not exactly sure how much each item costs, but a plate of chicken, one naan, and a drink costs 10 ringgit, about $3.00.

            Another place that Alex had found before I got here is Fiaz, a 24-hour restaurant with free wifi that doesn’t work (or else I would be camped out here). It’s located on a big street corner, with plenty of outdoor seating. I’ve gotten nasi ayam, or rice and chicken, both times that I’ve been there (first time, to try it; second time, because I was alone and didn’t know how to order anything else). As you may notice, chicken features prominently in the cuisine here. It makes sense, since the Indians don’t eat beef and the Muslims don’t eat pork.

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            It wasn’t spectacular, but the spicy chili sauce over the rice was pretty good. What was spectacular was the price: 4.50 ringgit, about $1.35. An ice-cold Fanta on the side brought the total up to 7 ringgit, about $2.10. As a side note, you may notice the lack of knife in the above picture. That’s because they don’t use knives here. Ever. You’re given a fork and a spoon, and are expected to cut your meat with the side of the spoon. Here I thought not having to use chopsticks would be an improvement, only to find my cutting implements taken from me. 

            We tried a new Indian restaurant last night, and it was also excellent. We started off with roti canai, which was the best that I’ve had since coming here. Other roti that we’ve had tend to be very oily; this one was light and flaky. I have no idea what the sauces were, but they were excellent.

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            Since we had never been to this place before, we didn’t really know what to order (and no menus- you sort of are supposed to know what you want). We smelled something delicious on the grill, and indicated that we would like whatever that was. Turned out to be me gorang ayam, or fried noodles with chicken. It was a stirfry with noodles, chicken, egg and vegetables. And approximately one million hot peppers, which, while tasty, was something my stomach did not appreciate.

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            In addition to meals out, we’ve also started stocking our kitchen with the basics. We went to the huge grocery store in the Aeon mall over the weekend, and bought produce (lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, bananas, pineapple, papaya), meat (boneless chicken breast), cereal (Cheerios and oatmeal) and other basics. It is almost more cost effective to eat out, but even still, groceries aren’t that expensive. As is the case anywhere, items that come from far away will obviously be more expensive than local items. I don’t even know that I’ve ever had papaya before, but it was cheap so I decided to try it. It’s nice to have access to a large grocery store, and to know that we can make a weekly trip to essentially get everything that we need.

            That’s all on the food front for now, but I promise to continue eating and photographing!

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3 thoughts on “Cheap Eats

  1. I could be satisfied w/ mostly chicken and the tandoori chicken looked delicious! Chow down; we love hearing about what other cultures eat!

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