10 Must-try Dishes in Malaysia

In the heart of Southeast Asia, nestles a cultural mosaic like no other—Malaysia, a thriving hub where age-old traditions meet modern customs in a vibrant medley. The harmonious coexistence of Malays, Chinese, and Indians, intertwined with the distinctive traits of Peranakans and kaleidoscopic ethnic tribes, weaves a cultural tapestry, enriching every nook and corner of this multifaceted nation.

And with such a rich cultural confluence comes the inevitable boon—a thriving gastronomical spirit, making Malaysia an irresistible temptation for culinary explorers. This land brims with the tantalising allure of aromatic spices, a riotous symphony of flavours that promises to enthral your senses at every corner.

Table of Content
  1. Nasi Lemak
  2. Char Kway Teow
  3. Rendang
  4. Cendol
  5. Roti Canai
  6. Air Batu Campur
  7. Teh Tarik
  8. Curry Laksa
  9. Satay
  10. Tropical Fruits

Malaysia top 10 food to try
10 Must-try Dishes in Malaysia

10 Must-try Dishes in Malaysia

Nasi Lemak

Get ready to savour the captivating charm of Nasi Lemak – the glittering star of Malaysia's culinary tapestry. This beloved dish begins its story with an aromatic symphony of rice steeped in creamy coconut milk and unique pandan leaves, cooked to fluffy perfection. Its delightful companions, the crunchy roasted peanuts, earthy boiled eggs, piquant anchovies, and cool cucumber slices, offer a motley symphony of textures.

Yet, the real kick comes from the sambal—the fiery, smoky chilli paste that promises a flirtatious dance on your palate. So, as you undertake your Malaysian gastronomic journey, make sure to experience this taste sensation that comfortably straddles breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even those insatiable midnight cravings.

Nasi Lemak
Nasi Lemak is a popular dish in Malaysia

Char Kway Teow

This unpretentious rice noodle stir-fry showcases tantalising elements of sweet, salty, and spicy, carefully orchestrated within generous lashings of soy sauce, eggs, cockles, crunchy bean sprouts, succulent Chinese sausage, and bountiful fresh shrimp.

While the enticement of this dish holds court at roadside stalls and breezy hawker centres across the nation, the captivating island of Penang crowned itself the Char Kway Teow insurgency.

Char Kway Teow
Char Kway Teow is a famous dish in Malaysia


This volcanic eruption of crunch and sizzle arrives in your bowl as succulent chicken or beef lathered with an intricate matrix of spices and immersed in an ocean of creamy coconut milk.

Detach your expectations of Thai or Indian red curries, because Rendang is an experience set apart. Its texture boasts a rich creaminess akin to velvety butter harmoniously melting into your mouth. The symphony of spices which constitutes this remarkable dish takes you on a sensory journey as they unleash a subtle warmth that upon tasting, unfurls discreetly, leaving a smouldering trail of layered flavours.

Rendang malaysia
Rendang is a delicious Malay dish in Malaysia


Unveil the quintessential finale to a Malaysian feast with Cendol—a soothing dessert that envelops you in the comforting embrace of icy sweetness.

Picture a hearty mound of shaved ice, luxuriously doused in the velvety splendour of coconut milk. A luscious topping of exquisite green rice flour jelly—resembling tiny emerald worms in their quirky aesthetic—imparts a delightful chewiness. The sermon on the mound is the odyssey of palm sugar syrup, cascading in velveteen rivulets, a caramel delight that kisses the concoction with its treacle-like sweetness.

Traditionalists savour Cendol in earthen bowls, revelling in its chilled resplendence spoonful by spoonful. Yet, the modern traveller might opt for a tall glass, transforming this quintessential treat into a thick, sweet brew, waiting to be sipped and savoured.

Cendol Malaysia
Cendol is a popular dessert in Malaysia

Roti Canai

This delightful flatbread, akin to a culinary ballet, pirouettes in a dance of flour, water, eggs, and the golden goodness of ghee. Thanks to the repeated folding of the dough, you're privy to a rich tapestry of textures—a soft, yielding centre caged within an audaciously crispy exterior.

The brilliance doesn't stop there. Fresh as a Malaysian sunrise, it can be teasingly pulled apart with a thumb and finger—from the same hand, no less—revealing its intriguing layers. This lightweight champion brings a gentle caress of egginess, kissed by a subtle undercurrent of buttery indulgence.

Roti Canai malaysia
Roti Canai is a popular breakfast dish in Malaysia

Air Batu Campur

Air Batu Campur, affectionately known as Ais Kacang or simply ABC, is a towering delight amidst the sweltering Malaysian heat. This irresistible dessert begins with a frosty canvas of shaved ice, drizzled generously with either Gula Melaka—the ambrosial palm sugar syrup, or whimsical ribbons of coloured syrup.

The plot thickens as a crispy crunch of roasted peanuts joins the fray, followed by a rich embrace of velvety evaporated milk. But wait, there's more! A fanciful medley of cendol, tender red beans, cheerful sweet corn, and an array of grass jelly—either sliced into alluring strands or cubed with geometric precision, cavorts atop the icy wonder. For those seeking an extra indulgence, a crowning flourish of ice cream effortlessly weaves itself into this magnificent gastronomic tapestry.

Air Batu Campur
Air Batu Campur is a local dessert in Malaysia

Teh Tarik

Far from your average cuppa, this enchanting creation draws its magical allure from condensed milk, imparting a creamy and nuanced depth of taste that defies ordinary tea conventions. Its defining charm, however, lies in the mesmerising 'pulling' process, an age-old practice wherein the steaming tea arcs gracefully between two receptacles in a dance of frothy fusion. This theatrically aerates the brew, sculpting it into a lighter, foamy concoction that elegantly opposes its dense counterparts.

Teh Tarik
Teh Tarik is loved by every Malaysian - young and old!

Curry Laksa

Malaysia's Curry Laksa is a captivating dish that's as rich in taste as it is in heritage. Imagine this: a bowl filled to the brim with a fiery and aromatic broth, a hotbed of flavours where succulent prawns, chunks of chicken, tofu puffs, and fish balls have been simmered together. They all meld together, creating a spicy ensemble that's hard to resist.

At the heart of Curry Laksa is the bed of thick rice noodles, cut short, with an easy-to-eat appeal that makes them just right for slurping up with the broth. The soup's charm lies in the harmonious marriage of coconut milk and dried shrimp, creating a deeply layered, pleasing taste we've come to love. What makes it special, though, is how the heat of the spiciness is masterfully offset by the cool and delicate sweetness of coconut milk - striking a balance between hot and cool, fiery and soothing, that shines through with every spoonful.

Curry Laksa Malaysia
Curry Laksa is Malaysia's must-try dish


Journey to the vibrant street kitchens of Malaysia and you'll find Satay—a glorious tapestry of flavours woven on the humblest of looms, the bamboo skewer. Demure yet daring, Satay captures the heart of adventure with succulent pieces of meat, each luxuriating in a bath of sweet, tantalising marinade before trading the tranquillity for the pyrotechnic frenzy of the grill.

Amidst the fierce heat, the meat transforms into a smoky delight, charred to perfection with an irresistible hint of caramelised sweetness. Yet, a Satay experience isn't complete without its accompanying troupe: crunchy, fresh slices of cucumber offering a refreshing reprieve, pillowy rice cakes echoing the satisfying chew of the meat, and a dreamy peanut dip that morphs each bite into culinary nirvana.

Satay malaysia
Satay is a must-try skewer in Malaysia

Tropical Fruits

If exotic fruits tickle your fancy, Malaysia, with its year-round tropical climate, is a treasure trove you should not miss. Notably, the country is home to the durian, affectionately dubbed the 'king of fruits,' which packs a punch with its unique taste and creamy flesh.

Aside from the durian, other exciting and juicy options abound: the rambutan with its lychee-like interior, the modestly sweet langsat, the duku that's similar to langsat but larger, the salak or snake fruit with a slight acidic crunch, and the deep purple mangosteen, known for its rich sweetness. With sun-drenched days aplenty, the fertile land of Malaysia graciously offers its native fruit bounty to every adventurous palate keen to explore unique tastes.

exotic fruits in malaysia
Try the local tropical fruits in Malaysia during your time here

And so, our tantalising narrative encompassing Malaysia’s abundant gastronomic realm draws to a close, much like the end of a heartwarming feast, wherein every morsel consumed brings a new story and a cherished memory.

Whether it's the subtle hint of spice that lingers on your lips after a fiery bowl of Laksa or the shared laughter with fellow travellers over a night of Satay skewering, the magic lies in the experience—vivid, authentic, and enriched by the local culture. Don't just satiate your hunger; feed your soul on this unique culinary expedition.

At Rolling Grace, it’s not just about ticking off dishes on your foodie bucket list; it's about savouring the journey itself, forkful by delicious forkful. Your delightful dining moments and exciting travels are ours to share. Enrich the Instagram tapestry together with us using @rollinggrace or #RollingGrace. Cheers to your future voyages!


  1. Ohh yes, luckily as Malaysian, I've tasted all 10 & love all of them, absolutely must eat in Malaysia. Cheers Siennylovesdrawing

  2. semua ni makanan feveret saya. paling gemar nasi lemak, teh tarik sarapan popular di Malaysia

  3. Wahhh semua faveret lahhhh. Rindu makanan Malaysia kan. Kita ada macam-macam.


Post a Comment

Popular Posts