Forget about Breakfast at Tiffany’s for a while. Breakfast in Malaysia serves up quite a gastronomic adventure.
Let us start with my favourite toasted bread spread with kaya and butter plus two half-boiled eggs. As a kid, this was my staple breakfast before going to school.
To enjoy the ultimate taste, try taking a slice of fresh cold butter from the fridge and spread it on the toasted bread. Here is the result: it tastes like ice cream toast! The traditional toasted bread with kaya and butter can be found in old kopitiams and cafe today.
Breakfast without mentioning nasi lemak is as bad as having no breakfast at all. This traditional meal with fragrant rice cooked in coconut milk is often wrapped in banana leaves with sambal, fried anchovies, egg and cucumber. You can also add chicken, beef, mutton or squid to the meal. Go get a packet or two from the street stall.
The making of this Indian flatbread is quite a feat and tourists often find it mesmerising. It is eaten plain or paired with curry or jam. Among the many variation of roti canai, my favourite is roti banjir in which the curry and half-boiled eggs are splashed on top of the shredded roti.
The Indian apom is made from rice flour and has crispy edges while the apom balik is served with cream corn as its fillings. I love the authentic apom cooked from a charcoal stove because the aroma is simply heavenly.
The local Chinese love dim sum for breakfast especially during the weekends. Dim sum has lots of varieties, from prawn and meat dumplings to barbecued pork buns. Today, dim sum is not all Hong Kong style as it is served with a fusion of Japanese and French styles too. My favourite dim sum moment is when a gravy-filled bite of lau sar pau (pumpkin custard dumpling) melts in my mouth!
Bah Kut Teh
Literally known as “pork bone tea”, bah kut teh is a popular herbal pork soup dish. If you think the meal is too heavy for breakfast, you are wrong. Check out the long queue of people in the bah kut teh restaurants in Klang. In fact, the dish is so popular that even some places serve it from morning to late nights. The fragrant of the soup often makes me yearn for more after one serving!
Special thanks to David Kan Yew Weng, owner of Choon Guan 1956 F&B Sdn Bhd and the World Top Gourmet Awards Team.
Text Francis Yip • Illustration Jamie Soo-Hoo