Two weeks ago, a chicken rice stall in Singapore became the first hawker stall to be awarded a Michelin star. While it’s not the first budget eatery to be awarded a star, it’s safe to say that it’s the cheapest Michelin-starred one in the world.
Born in Malaysia, the humble stall’s chef said that he’ll continue to serve the best chicken rice to his customers. We, as Malaysians, can’t help but feel proud of his achievements.
It has been agreed that Malaysian cuisine is one of the tastiest in the world. World-renowned food critic and former Saveur editor, James Oseland, even stated that Malaysia is the “most important food destination” in the world, with Penang cuisine being at the top.
Hence, our hawker stalls should be getting a Michelin star as well! Here are some stalls that we think deserve the star.
We can confirm this roadside stall serves the best roti canai in Malaysia. If you’re a fan of roti banjir, this is the place to be. Crispy, fresh-made roti canai served with hot curry, and a huge chicken thigh.
Every Malaysian loves good banana leaf rice. Our favourite is the one in Sri Ganapathi Mess, a restaurant famous for its amazing crab rasam and tender mutton varuval.
The most important element in a good bak kut teh is the soup. You should be able to taste the herbs, and at the same time, it shouldn’t be too strong. The meat should also be tender and tasty, requiring hours of cooking.
Good char kway teow is one of the things that students will miss after months of studying abroad. We highly recommend the char kway teow cooked by the lady who sets up her stall outside Heng Huat café in Georgetown. We especially love that she uses lots of pork lard when cooking this dish.
This is another dish that we will crave after spending time away from our beloved country. It’s the one dish that you can eat as a breakfast, lunch, tea, dinner, and supper. Nothing looks better than a plate of steaming hot nasi lemak served with a sunny side up egg.
This is our version of barbecued skewered meat, served with peanut sauce instead of the Western sweet barbecue sauce. A comfort food and must-have whenever you’re with friends or family at a typical Malaysian open-house.
Ikan bakar, or grilled fish, is a local favourite. Most will opt for the grilled stingray which is served with the delectable sambal sauce.
Some call it Indian rojak, but Pasembur differs by not having fruits in it. Pasembur is savoury whereas rojak is usually sweeter. It’s a dish made up of vegetables, beancurd, prawn fritters and is served with spicy peanut sauce which is similar to the satay sauce.
#9 Ramly Burger @ A&Z Burger, Petaling Jaya Cheeseburger? Nah. Our Ramly burger is the ultimate sin and a beautiful, delicious mess. We’ll always have a ‘double special with cheese’, because after all, there’s no better way to have it.
#10 Nasi Kandar @ Nasi Ganja Yong Suan, Ipoh Nasi kandar is served with various sauces, such as curry and sambal. This particular restaurant in Ipoh has many customers queuing up for hours just to have a plate of this spicy goodness!
#11 Satay Celup @ Ban Lee Siang, Melaka This dish is like the lovechild between the lok-lok and satay. It is a meal where skewered meat is cooked in boiling hot peanut sauce.
* * *
Words by Esther Chung
Hungry but looking for a healthier option? Click here for 5 awesome organic restaurants and cafés in KL for your body’s benefits.