Unique, weird Malaysian food combos for the truly adventurous

(From left) Petai ice-cream, nasi lemak cake, and Cendol McFlurry. Photos: Frozen Artisan, Eat Cake Today and McDonald’s Malaysia
(From left) Petai ice-cream, nasi lemak cake, and Cendol McFlurry. Photos: Frozen Artisan, Eat Cake Today and McDonald’s Malaysia

Malaysia may be known to many as a country where all food is delicious, flavorful, and exciting. But we also have our strange sides, like turning stinky beans into ice cream or turning sambal into marmalade.  

Perhaps it’s human nature to be intrigued by the unusual. Either that or our taste buds just want to explore something new. But whatever that fascination may be, we’ve picked out some of the truly unique food options in Malaysia that may appeal to the freaks in all of us if not the adventurous and brave souls.

Don’t worry, we’ve also included a couple of tame choices for those who choose to err on the side of caution. Who knows, maybe you’ll even like it.

Petai ice cream

Petai ice-cream by Frozen. Photo: Frozen Artisans
Petai ice-cream by Frozen. Photo: Frozen Artisans

While petai is usually cooked with prawn and sambal belacan (chilli paste), one artisan ice-creamery has taken the popular beans one step further to the dark side with their petai-flavored ice cream. 

The guys from Frozen make the unconventional dessert out of freshly-chopped petai and vanilla ice-cream. We don’t recommend having these pungent beans, otherwise known as “stinky beans,” on your first date. But if an adventurous date is what you’re after, this dessert will certainly tick all the boxes!

Petai ice-cream is available at all Frozen outlets in Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya. Order a 600ml tub of petai ice-cream online.

Strawberry Sambal

Serving suggestions for strawberry sambal by Abang Strawberry. Photo: Abang Strawberry /Instagram
Serving suggestions for strawberry sambal by Abang Strawberry. Photo: Abang Strawberry /Instagram

Tucked in the cool mountains of Cameron Highlands, Pahang is a farm and restaurant that specialises in all things strawberry, like jam, cordial, tea and wait for it… strawberry sambal. 

Abang Strawberry serves up a pretty unique jar of dried chillies, salted fish, onions, and strawberries. Perhaps you’ll want to taste the spicy, tangy, sweet, and savory explosion of flavors with your next nasi lemak meal.

Drive up to Abang Strawberry in Cameron Highlands this weekend or order your portion of strawberry sambal online.

Nasi lemak sushi

Nasi lemak sushi (second from top), paired with other sushi sets. Photo: Ruyi & Lyn
Nasi lemak sushi (second from top), paired with other sushi sets. Photo: Ruyi & Lyn

You’ve probably tried our nasi lemak before, which is a combination of fluffy coconut rice with hard-boiled egg, cucumbers, anchovies, peanuts and sambal. But have you eaten it, sushi-style?

Ruyi & Lyn, a contemporary Chinese restaurant in Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur, serves up this intriguing fusion of Malaysian and Japanese cuisine. 

The restaurant serves the sushi with little eggs, peanuts, sambal, and anchovies perched on some coconut milk rice, all wrapped up in thin slices of cucumber.

Nasi lemak sushi is available at Ruyi & Lyn in Bangsar, KL.

Cendol McFlurry

Cendol McFlurry. Photo: McDonald’s Malaysia
Cendol McFlurry. Photo: McDonald’s Malaysia

If you’re not too adventurous with your food options (it’s OK, we don’t judge!), McDonald’s Cendol McFlurry may be the uniquely Malaysia-inspired dessert you’ll want to try. 

Palm sugar syrup, coconut flakes, and green rice flour jelly are swirled into the familiar sweetness that is McFlurry’s signature vanilla soft serve. It tastes just like cendol but made with McFlurry instead of shaved ice, so if you’re a fan of both, this is the cool treat you don’t want to miss out.

Cendol McFlurry is available at all McDonald’s outlets within Malaysia for a limited time.

Nasi lemak cake

Nasi lemak… but make it cake. Photo: Eat Cake Today /Instagram
Nasi lemak… but make it cake. Photo: Eat Cake Today /Instagram

Since everything is a cake now, thanks to the cake meme that took social media by storm last month, we suppose nasi lemak cake wouldn’t be such a surprise… or would it?

Eat Cake Today, a cake delivery service in Kuala Lumpur, serves what they call a “savory” and “bizarre” nasi lemak cake made with coconut-milk infused basmati rice, with a layer of omelet in between, topped with a generous helping of sambal, prawns, anchovies, and peanuts.

Of course, it’s tied together with healthy slices of cucumber around the edges. A cake can’t get any more Malaysian than this, just ask a nasi lemak fan.

Order a nasi lemak cake online from Eat Cake Today.

Other stories to check out:

Taco Bell to open first Malaysian outlet in Petaling Jaya

Daebak! Here’s where to eat authentic Korean food in Kuala Lumpur

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