Eating In Malaysia: Ultimate Guide For Malaysia Eating In 2018/2019

The country of Malaysia is of diverse culture. Contrary to what is often thought that most of the population is limited only conservative Muslim belief. It’s near many other countries and religions which has a large impact on Malaysia eating options.  Malaysian cuisine is also diverse and shows the different taste, texture, food composition and food presentation depending on the country. The typical Asian spiciness represents the Asian countries around Malaysia that contributed to its history like India, Chinese, Thai and Singapore dishes. But generally eating in Malaysia and its cuisine does not limit only to Asian cuisine, there are also Malaysian dish that came from other continents that was infused to local dish.


Things To Remember When Eating In Malaysia

We listed some main things you should remember when you are dining in a restaurant in Malaysia, that might make your experience better when you go about eating in Malaysia.


You can choose your dining options

There are restaurants in Malaysia that offer fine dining, regular self-service, and buffet. But it is more exciting if you explore eating on food stalls, and food booths which you can choose from different selection of food array. This way you get the best experience of Malaysian eating.


Speak clearly when you order

Although, there are quite few who speaks English; generally in Malaysian language is a bit tricky. The “O” which means in local as “with” and when you say “no” may be interpreted as the prior; waiter might misinterpret you might want your order “with”. So to be sure, visibly point your order directly to the waiter to lessen chances of misunderstanding. And also politely ask to recall your order in front of you so there’s no mistakes with eating in Malaysia.


You can pay in different ways

Payment options in Malaysian restaurants is also quite convenient, with which has the same process in all parts of the world. Cash, credit card, or cash card depending if the restaurants have other payment options other than cash.

For fine dining, the waiter will have to bring the bill-out receipt upon your request for payment, and you only have to wait. Or you can also pay directly on cashier station. Food booths and street food carts needs payment as you order the item.


Be reminded of that spicy food in Malaysia is common

If you are not a fan of hot and chilies, make sure you never forget to give special instruction to waiters to tone down the spiciness (or none at all) of your order. You do not want to ruin your meal because you are not able to eat the food your ordered.


Dining utensils are provided depending on the dish

  • Spoon and fork: Basically, this is a standard eating tool that most people in Malaysia use.
  • Chopsticks: Most local dishes in Malaysia used chopstick for eating like for noodles, sushi, and more. But if the dishes have soup, you are expected to slurp it up or use a small soup spoon provided together with the chopstick.
  • Bare hands eating: Yes, in Malaysia (and some parts of Asia), waiting with your hands is allowed. It is not gross because you may wash your hands thoroughly before eating.


It is not common to tip in Malaysian restaurant

For restaurants that includes service charge, tip is not expected. Although you may leave an extra amount of money as a complimentary to good service of the waiter and staff but this is not really expected from you. Service charge is enough and this is common for eating in Malaysia. But if your heart’s willing to give more, a 10% tip or more from your total order amount can be of good idea.


Always bring your own table napkins

Restaurants in Malaysia seldom provided table tissues, unless you seat in a business lass or high-end fine dining restaurant. You may request for one if you needed to but waiters does not automatically give you one. To be sure, you can bring your own table handkerchief, if in case you needed it for spills or cleaning your mouth.


Clean up your table

Even in fine dining restaurant, you are still expected to leave the table clean. But of course, you may leave your plate and other dishes on the table. Just keep it clean when Malaysia eating. For dining in food courts and booths, you must throw your trash by yourself. This is taking part in doing your responsibility in the community.



10 Malaysian Foods you should try

Upon visiting Malaysia, you must also try to eat distinct taste of local food. Generally, Malay cuisine is a blend of Indian, Thai, Singaporean and Indonesian dishes; countries which that surrounds around Malaysia. Most dishes are flavored with either chili sauce and coconut milk.


Appetizers, Rice, Main dishes

Char Kway Teow

It is stir-fried noodle rice strips that is so flavorful topped with Chinese sausage, prawns or cockles. There are dish variations in cooking this dish, depending on the region in Malaysia.



This is a meat cooked in spicy sauce which what used to be an original Indonesian dish from Minangkabau. This is a dish that is served to honor guests.



Ketupat is also called in many ways such as Tipat, or Kipat in some regions in Malaysia. The sticky rice is placed inside a weaved-palm leaves. There are also similar versions in the Philippines, Brunei, Singapore and in Indonesia; but varies in food taste reparation and flavor of rice dumplings.


Malaysian Chicken Curry

Originally, Chicken Curry is an Indian dish that is composed of chicken meat mixed with coconut milk, curry powder, and chili spices.


Nase Lemak

This is known as the national dish in Malaysia where most locals often serve this. The food consists of sweet smelling rice because of the coconut milk and pandan leaves cooked with it.



The Sate or Satay is a kebab meat on sticks marinated in a special well-seasoned sauce.




Apam Balik

It is a sweet pancake rolled in to half, flavored in honey, peanut, salt and sweet corn. It is often sold in streets and often considered as ll time favorite dessert snack of most Malaysian household.


Kuih Lapis

Often, this sweet delectable dessert is best served during tea and coffee breaks. The dessert is steamed mixture of rice and tapioca flour, sugar, and pandan leaves extract dissolved and thickened in coconut milk under a slow fire. Green pandan extract is layered alternately on tapioca mixture.



Noodles and Soups


This is a spicy noodle soup dish that is considered as a comfy food because of that has an aromatic flavor of chilies cooked with chicken, fish (or sometime with prawn), curry and coconut milk.


Sayur Lodeh

An original Indonesian and Javanese dish of special vegetable hotpot soup in coconut milk.


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