Today I have something or rather someone special in the house. May I present you to Happy Days' first ever guest writer, Marta Velez! Yay!
Marta is a girl from Lisbon working in Kuala Lumpur. She has been living here for some months now and she loves it. Marta loves to travel, play guitar, meet new people and cultures and most of all food. She loves knowing other cultures and her love for the local gastronomy, lifestyle and culture was what led her to Happy Days Ahead.
More than that, Marta also has a passion for writing and in her own words, wants to share her experience with our Malaysian food since her arrival here. So without further ado, here's what Marta has to say.
Hello! I am a European expat in Kuala Lumpur for a few months now and I love it! I love the culture, the lifestyle, the locals, even the weather is perfect for me but most of all I love… THE FOOD! I have to admit I 'live to Eat', not the other way around, and especially when I travel one of my main priorities is to try the local gastronomy (a lot of times if necessary!).
When I arrived to Kuala Lumpur, I did not know what to expect from the food: I googled some things, read some articles, saw some TV shows. In the bottom line I knew that I liked rice and noodles, Indian and Thai so I would be okay.
I will never forget the first thing I ate in Kuala Lumpur: roti chilli for breakfast. I have to confess that for someone who is not that used to spicy it was, to say at least, an interesting experience. From that moment on it only got better. Better and different.
Coffee tastes different. In Europe I am used to the Italian Expresso: the strong black coffee shots, no milk and most of the times no sugar. Here, I have to say that I learned how to love the “3 in 1” coffee: the sweet, tasty and mug filling coffee mix.
Indian food tastes different. Europe is filled with Indian restaurants, specially the UK. I always liked Indian food back there and here, I like it even more as it is spicier (but in a tolerable way). Back in Europe, things such as Naan (my all-time favorite) or roti are super rare to find (if it is even possible).
Fruit. I love fruit and vegetables and here the fruit is amazing! While I don’t get to eat my usual apples or peaches (I am used to eat those on daily basis), I get the chance to try this exotic, super tasty fruits like Dragon Fruit or Mangostan that are considered exotic in Europe and besides being hard to find when you do, you pay a high price for it.
Bread. This subject is a two way street: while I had the opportunity to try Naan (addicted!) or Chapati, I really miss the bread that I am used to: shaped in loaves (fluffy loaves) with a different taste that is hard to describe. It is a bit like the coffee, although I miss it I learned to love what I have here.
Methods of Cooking. In terms of methods of cooking, I can definitely point it out as the most negative point concerning food here. Fries are the kings: you can find the fried version of everything. Fried rice, fried chicken, fried noodles even fried durian! In here most of the local restaurants serve fried dishes (and maybe some steamed) while in Europe, especially the Mediterranean areas, the food is usually grilled, boiled or roast. Fried food is more associated to fast food chains and besides the typical 'French fries' (Fun fact: that is actually from Belgium), it is not that common (healthy points for Europe here!)
These are the main differences I can point out although I could definitely find more and I still have a lot of restaurants and types of food to try around here, for sure! I have to admit I am restaurant addicted and although I love to cook I rarely have time (or sometimes patience) to do it. I am constantly looking for new restaurants in Facebook groups and I plan to keep up my discovery of Asian cuisine.
It is true that I miss a lot about the food in Europe but as I said, I learned how to love it here! (The difficult challenge now is when I go back!!)
*Content and photos belong to Marta.
And there you have it, ladies and gentlemen. The musing of an international visitor about our glorious food. If you have any recommendations for Marta, just drop it in the comments below and I'll send it to her.
Have a happy week ahead!