Planet’s Top-20 Ultimate Best Food – Malaysia Hawker Food “Curry Laksa” Ranks 2nd Place

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Aug 15 2018
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When come to food, Malaysia is one of the countries where tourists should seriously consider. The country that produces the best fruit, durian, in the world – “Musang King” – is also the country that has a mind-boggling diversity of food. One of the reasons is due to Malaysia being a multi-racial, multi-cultural and multi-religion country.


When you combine the culinary traditions of Malay, Chinese and Indians, you get a wonderful collision of flavours that make up Malaysian super delicious cuisine. In addition to the three major ethnic groups, you’ll also find Baba-Nyonya, or Peranakan food, a unique hybrid of Chinese and Malay culinary cultures. Penang is arguably the food capital of Malaysia.


Travel guide publisher Lonely Planet has just released its global list of best food experiences and “Curry Laksa” is ranked 2nd in its “Ultimate Eatlist”. Not bad for a hawker food. While hawker centre is rocket science in the West, Malaysia has tons of them. It’s often said the best food come from hawker stalls which have the nastiest and worst hygiene (*grin*).

Food - Curry Laksa in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Ingredients

There are actually two basic types of laksa – curry laksa and asam laksa. Here’s the difference in a nutshell – curry laksa is a coconut curry soup with noodles, while asam laksa is a sour fish soup with noodles. In the northern part of the Malaysia (Penang or Perak), curry laksa is simply called “Curry Mee” to differentiate it.


The “Ultimate Eatlist” was based on recommendations from world-renowned chefs José Andrés, Elena Arzak and Eric Ripert, as well as television food star Andrew Zimmern and BBC MasterChef judge and Chef Monica Galetti, not to mention 15 more of the world’s top chefs and food writers.


It’s not about the perfect meal at a three-Michelin star restaurant. Instead, it’s about how a dish tastes, its cultural significance and the importance of the location where it’s made and eaten. Malaysia’s curry laksa won the second best food experience based on the infamous (not so hygiene) hawker centres at Madras Lane, just off Petaling Street, Kuala Lumpur.

Food - Madras Lane, Petaling Street, Kuala Lumpur

Lonely Planet described the rich and creamy curry laksa as – “A heady mix of spices and flavours (such as fresh turmeric, galangal, chilli, candlenut and shrimp paste) go into the curry mix, which, when combined with coconut milk, creates the signature fiery orange appearance of the noodle soup.”


“Two types of noodles (thin rice and thick egg), along with shredded chicken, shrimp, cockles, tofu puffs, bean sprouts, a sprinkling of fresh chilli and mint and a squeeze of lime, make up the rest of the lip-smacking ingredients. It’s an only-in-Malaysia experience.” – concluded the “Ultimate Eatlist” on the curry laksa.


Part of the reasons why the curry laksa won was probably the experience of eating the food at Madras Lane, notorious for its narrow alleyway and limited number of plastic tables and chairs. Depending from which entrance you take, you may have to walk through a wet market that sells a variety of produce, meat, poultry and fish. So, it isn’t a nice experience for certain people.

Food - Madras Lane, Petaling Street, Kuala Lumpur - Entrance

The top of the list was Pintxos – Spanish small snacks typically eaten in bars – from the Basque coastal city of San Sebastián. Other Asian delicacies included sushi from Tokyo (third place), som tum (papaya salad) from Bangkok (5th place), bibimbap (a mixed rice dish) from Seoul (8th place), and Hong Kong’s dim sum (10th place).



{ 1 } Pintxos in San Sebastián, Spain

Food - Pintxos in San Sebastián, Spain



{ 2 } Curry Laksa in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Food - Curry Laksa in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 2



{ 3 } Sushi in Tokyo, Japan

Food - Sushi in Tokyo, Japan



{ 4 } Beef Brisket in Texas, USA

Food - Beef Brisket in Texas, USA



{ 5 } Som Tum in Bangkok, Thailand

Food - Som tum in Bangkok, Thailand



{ 6 } Smørrebrød in Copenhagen, Denmark

Food - Smørrebrød in Copenhagen, Denmark



{ 7 } Crayfish in Kaikoura, New Zealand

Food - Crayfish in Kaikoura, New Zealand



{ 8 } Bibimbap in Seoul, South Korea

Food - Bibimbap in Seoul, South Korea



{ 9 } Pizza Margherita in Naples, Italy

Food - Pizza Margherita in Naples, Italy



{ 10 } Dim Sum in Hong Kong

Food - Dim Sum in Hong Kong



{ 11 } Ceviche in Peru

{ 12 } Pastéis de nata in Lisbon, Portugal

{ 13 } Oysters in Freycinet, Australia

{ 14 } Cheese in France

{ 15 } Jerk Chicken in Jamaica

{ 16 } Lamb Tagine in Marrakech, Morocco

{ 17 } Chilli Crab in Singapore

{ 18 } Moules Frites in Brussels, Belgium

{ 19 } Peking Duck in Beijing

{ 20 } Pho on the Hau River, Vietnam


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