Best Bites from Singapore, Bangkok, and Kuala Lumpur

I love southeast Asia. It’s always inexpensive and full of wonderful food wherever you go. On my recent trip to Singapore, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur I must have had at least 6 meals a day.

Here are some of the “best bites” in no particular order…

Singapore

  • Popiah

This mini burrito/moo-shoo like thing was light and delicious. Filled with turnips, boiled eggs, bean sprouts, lettuce, chili, hoisin sauce and peanuts. Salty, sweet, spicy and a bit of crunch in every bite.

2. Chwee Kueh

THIS. Looks like an unappealing greasy mess, but my god was this delicious. Probably the best thing I ate throughout the trip. It’s rice cake topped with preserved radish and chili. Not sure if I tasted ground pork but nevertheless give me a bowl of rice with that topping and I’ll be eating it for days. Sadly, it’s an “old” dish that’s dying with each generation.

3. Teh Tarik

Teh Tarik or “Pulled Tea”. It’s a milk tea made with black tea and condensed milk that is made by “pulling” the tea (the act of pouring it from one canister to another at a long distance); it’s pretty cool if you get to see it. Reminds me of a lighter version of the Hong Kong Milk tea which has a more pronounced tea flavor.

4. Fresh Sugar Cane Juice

Can’t pass up on freshly pressed sugar cane juice. Sweet, light and refreshing. Perfect for the hot and humid climate of Southeast Asia.

Bangkok

  • Soft serve with honeycomb

First time having ice cream with honey, and certainly not the last. The soft serve was creamy and very milky in flavor. Was great by itself but add the sweet floral bites of honey…yum. My friend Winston, devoured his portion faster than I could finish putting up the picture on Instagram.

2. Pad Thai

Obligatory post. Can’t go to Thailand without trying authentic pad thai from a street vendor with crickets and ants crawling all over the food. Topped with basil, crushed peanuts and crispy wanton strips it was everything a pad thai should be — a perfect balance of sweet, salt and sour. Bonus — I didn’t find any bugs in it!

3. Mango Sticky Rice

The Mango. So ripe. So soft. So sweet. So delicious. Topped with coconut milk and bits of crispy rice over a bed of sticky rice. You’ll never be able to have such a ripe and delicious mango back in the states.

Kuala Lumpur

  • Nesi Lemak

Nesi Lemak. Coconut rice served with sambal (the red chili sauce looking stuff), fried anchovies, peanuts, boiled egg and fried chicken. Reminds me of Korean banchan with all the little sides. My favorite part of this dish is the sambal which is a chili like type of sauce with a bit of funk like shrimp paste. Combine that with the fishy goodness of the fried anchovies, toasty peanuts and fragrant coconut rice and you have yourself one hearty and umami filled meal.

2. Durian Ice cream

Mhmmmm…stinky feet…I mean Durian. That’s right. Get over the smell and funk of the fruit and you’re rewarded with a sweet and creamy custard like dessert; all of which was packed into this scoop of ice cream.

3. Indian Butter Chicken & Palak Paneer

Hands down the best Indian food I’ve ever had. Honestly, I don’t remember many of the flavors in each dish but everything was perfect. The butter chicken was aromatic, full of spices and the chicken wasn’t over cooked like much of the other Indian food I’ve had. Couple that with the fresh garlic naan and Marsala tea…heaven. Plus, bonus points for authenticity with the banana leaf and eating with your hands.