Being home to people with various cultural backgrounds, Malaysia is most definitely one of Asia’s well-known cultural melting pot. While different people may have different opinions on what they feel is the best thing about living in Malaysia, the one thing that we can all agree on is most definitely is the mouth-watering food!

Thanks to the cultural diversity in the country, we all get to savour the different flavours and speciality dishes of each culture, anytime, anywhere-literally. Praise to our 24-hour ‘mamak shops that serve everything from spicy nasi lemak to soft yet crispy roti canai, a hot cup of ‘kopi-o’ or teh-tarik to help satisfy our midnight cravings.

If you can relate to our list of the most notable food culture in Malaysia, then you are one true Malaysian lah!


1. Teh-tarik or coffee is a must during meals

Be it breakfast, lunch or dinner, a cup of hot ‘teh-tarik’ or ‘kopi-tarik’ is a must for almost every Malaysian, because without it, our meal would simply be incomplete. Don’t trust us? Just try a cup and you’ll swear by it every time you’re here.

Teh tarik at a hawker stall
Image Credit: Fancy Crave | Pexels

It’s just impossible to resist the sweet, warm taste of our speciality drink.

2. Ordering food

Being a Malaysian means, you get to “rojak” your words, and nobody would judge you. When ordering food in ‘mamak’ shops or hawker stalls, all you need to say is “Boss, roti canai satu, teh-tarik satu”, and they’ll know exactly what you’re saying.

hawker stalls
Image Credit: Joshua Anand | Unsplash

While the word ‘boss’ in this context does not mean that he’s your employer or whatsoever, it’s just a word used to show respect. Just like using the word “anneh” (brother in tamil) in Indian/Mamak shops and “tauke” (boss in chinese) in hawker stalls.

3. Eating with your hands

No fork or spoon could ever make your food taste as delicious as when eating with your hands. A majority of Malaysians, especially Malays and Indians often use bare hands when eating, be it banana leaf rice, KFC chicken, mixed rice or roti canai.

eating food with bare hands
Image Credit: Avel Chuklanov | Unsplash

While it can get messy sometimes, the satisfaction you get from eating with your bare hands is simply above everything else.

4. Hawker stalls/food truck

Hawker stalls
Image Credit: Ash Edmonds | Unsplash

Believe it or not most of the food you buy from the roadside stalls or food trucks taste way better than those from the posh restaurants. What makes us a true Malaysian, is the fact that we wouldn’t even mind queuing up under the hot sun, at the stalls, for a sweet bowl of ‘cendol’, a plate of ‘rojak’ or for some stir-fried goodness.

I mean, how often can you find delicious but cheap food right?

5. Breakfast meals

Being a Malaysian meant a majority of our breakfast during school days, were nothing more than a hot cup of milo and a slice of bread. But on weekends, we grew up savouring ‘nasi lemak ” and ‘roti telur’, which gave us all the more reason to look forward to the weekends.

Nasi lemak
Image Credit: multifacetedgirl | Pixabay

Waking up early isn’t as bad when you get to enjoy some spicy sambal, with fragrant rice, crunchy peanuts, and spicy fried chicken.

6. We like it spicy

Thanks to the racial diversity in Malaysia, we get to enjoy delicious food with a mixture of various flavours and spices. No matter what eat, we somehow try to incorporate a little gravy or curry, and if that weren’t the case, then a side dish of ‘cili padi’ would do the work.

Spicy food (chicken wings)
Image Credit: RitaE | Pixabay

Isn’t your mouth-watering just talking about our delicious delicacies? So what are you waiting for? Visit Pappa Delivery or Foodpanda, to get some yummy local cuisine, or western if your taste buds crave something different! Take advantage of Pappa Delivery coupons and Foodpanda vouchers to enjoy discounts.

Remember to earn cashback, when you go through Shopback! Now let’s get eating!