Food

The greatest conveyor of human love and emotion is food. No words can fit as many sentiments or memories, and no flight can transport you to a whole new country as fast as a single bite.
FoodLocale

Explore Local Food at Gurney Drive Hawker Center

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No trip to Penang is complete without a walk through Gurney Drive Hawker Center. The place is overflowing with smells and flavours that is essentially the soul of Penang – its food! Said to have the largest variety of local cuisine in one area, Gurney Drive Hawker Center is the perfect place you can mingle with the locals and try dishes you have heard about from the locals.

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What is the Gurney Drive Hawker Center

The Gurney Drive hawker center is like an open-air food mall. You pay as you order and the food is delivered to your table. Start at the juice stall and sip on the fresh juice as you pick and order from the various stalls. You’ll notice that the popular stalls usually have a wait in the queue policy while ordering, and they sell everything ranging from stir-fried noodles to assorted dumplings. The perfect end to your meal would be Ais Kachang – a dessert of shaved ice, red kidney beans and a whole variety of toppings. It’s a food court that leaves you sinfully full but positively satisfied as well, without a big hole in your wallet. 

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A food lovers paradise

A foodie’s paradise, the hawker centre attracts even locals, not just tourists. A popular area, especially during dinner time, it’s better if you reach for an early dinner, else you may end up hunting for a place to sit for a long time. With at least a hundred food stalls to explore and numerous food options to suit everyone’s taste, it’s hard to run out of food options here. The clever serving size here also ensures you can try more than a couple of dishes and experiment with whatever catches your eye or tingles your nose, as you walk around. 

The best way to get a tour of this maze-like food market is with the help of a local travel guide, and that’s where Locaguide will come to your rescue. Create an itinerary and book a guided tour of Penang with Locaguide, and get to explore places like Gurney Drive like a local!

 

 

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Food

3 famous Nyonya dishes you must try in Malacca

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The best way to explore Malaysia and its culture is through the various cuisines available in the country. Over time each cuisine has adapted to the changing times and preferences. The perfect blend of Malaysian and Chinese cuisines, Nyonya dishes are a mouthwatering mix of zing, spice and fragrances. If you are visiting Malacca, do try out some of these dishes to get a taste of authentic Nyonya food.

Laksa Nyonya

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A tantalising dish consisting of a soupy coconut curry, Laksa Nyonya can be eaten with noodles or vermicelli. As you tour the city of Malacca you will notice multiple variations of this dish, from the prefered meat they use to the ever-changing garnishes. The richness, hint of sweetness and heavily spiced coconut gravy is the perfect meal to end your day of sightseeing. Laksa Nyonya truly is food for the soul.

Ayam Pongteh

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If you want a more wholesome meal to get you through the whole day of walking around Malacca and exploring the tourist spots, then Ayam Pongteh is the dish for you. Usually prepared a day prior to help enhance the taste, Ayam Pongteh is a satisfying stew of chicken and potato in a base of thick gravy, served with a side of rice. Perfect dish to explore the food culture of Malacca.

Nyonya Cendol

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No one can end their Malaysian holiday without trying the local favourite dessert of shaved ice with red beans, green jelly-like rice noodles, creamy coconut milk and palm sugar syrup. The dish has a subtle smoky aftertaste and is not pungently sweet. This shaved ice dessert makes the weather of Malacca much more bearable and is the perfect excuse to walk around exploring more of the city as you munch on this delicious thirst quenching dessert.

The best way to get a taste of the local food in Malacca is to take a food walk with a trusted local guide who can take you to the best places to eat. Locaguide’s travel expert can take you on a guided tour around the city and help you find those hidden spots that may not be known to everyone. If a trip to Malacca is on your mind, then a Nyonya food tour is a must!

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Food

A Local Culinary Favourite – Nasi Padang

Do you love experiencing the local culture when you visit a new country? If you do, then what better way to engage with the local community than through their own food! If you have booked an Indonesia tour, you can be assured that you will have a large variety of local dishes to experience. Indonesia’s expansive food culture is why a tour through this country is often called a gastronomic journey. And Bintan Island is not left far behind in contributing to this experience. Ask your local guide for the meal everyone relishes and loves in this part of the country, and he is bound to say ‘Nasi Padang’.

This Indonesian specialty is a style of steamed rice served with an array of pre-cooked dishes. True to its origin, these side dishes can vary from meats, fish, vegetables, and spicy sambals that are eaten with plain white rice.

Nasi Padang
Nasi Padang

 

The Experience

A usual spread would comprise of around 12 dishes but you can also opt for a super lavish spread comprising of 14 dishes. Defined by spices like chillies, turmeric, garlic, shallots, lemongrass, lime leaves,  and a mix of local herbs along with vegetables, seafood and meat, Nasi Padang is one of the most flavourful and fulfilling meals of Indonesia. This is Indonesia served to you on a plate. Most of the side dishes in a Nasi Padang meal are curries but you will have the option to include boiled dishes with sambal, deep fried seafood as well as grilled sides. A Nasi Padang meal is typically eaten using one’s hands, after which you will be offered a bowl of warm water with a slice of lime to clean your hands.

Nasi Padang

What better way to experience Indonesia than through its food had with the locals while sharing stories from across the globe. If you want to enjoy an authentic Nasi Padang during your stay on Bintan island, why not ask your local guide from Locaguide to set it up for you? The unique flavor and assortment of dishes are bound to leave you craving for more!

 

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Food

Taste Malaysia’s national breakfast – Nasi Lemak

nasi lemak 1Traditional Nasi Lemak

Nasi Lemak, sometimes referred to as the national dish of Malaysia, is an aromatic rice dish cooked in a base of coconut milk and pandan leaf. Featured in the Times Magazine as one of the top 10 healthy breakfast dishes across the globe, it is a must-have when you visit Malaysia.

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Traditional Nasi Lemak

Culinary background

Nasi Lemak became popular worldwide after it was mentioned in “The Circumstances of Malay Life”, a book by Sir Winstedt. The dish gets its name from the cooking method used and translates to creamy rice. While the rice is cooked in a method common to Southeast Asia, the difference in taste and aroma are attributed to the use of Pandan leaves. The rice is cooked in coconut milk and steamed along with the knotted leaves of Pandan screwpine. The leaves are added to enhance the flavour and fragrance. Few recipes even involve the addition of spices such as ginger and herbs like lemongrass for a distinctive flavour.

Nasi Lemak , breakfast,
Nasi Lemak

How it’s served

Traditionally served with a sambal, a hot spicy sauce, the dish comes with a variety of garnishes that include cucumber slices, fried anchovies, crushed roasted peanuts and fried or boiled eggs. You can customise the dish by adding a meat of your choice from the selection of fried chicken (Ayam Goreng), fish, squid or cockles. During your city tour of Kuala Lumpur, you will come across many stalls or small restaurants that have portions of Nasi Lemak prepacked in banana leaves and ready for you to eat on the go.

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Wrapped Nasi Lemak To-Go

Sometimes the best way to explore a city is through the eyes of a local guide. Opt for a guided city tour so your local travel expert from Locaguide can take you to some of the best places that serve the most authentic Nasi Lemak in Kuala Lumpur. Order a side of Malay-style fried chicken and a glass of chilled Milo, and you’re sorted for the next few hours!

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Food

Take a food-walk through Jalan Alor

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If food is an integral part of your perfect holiday, if you are curious about local cuisines or if you love exploring a culture through its food, then multiple visits to Jalan Alor is what you have to include in your tour of Kuala Lumpur.

The food lovers paradise

Jalan Alor is a one of a kind food destination in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. As you step onto the busy street, you can sense the change in smell in the air. The modern shopping malls are replaced with hundreds of stalls and small food carts selling all kinds of local dishes. The splash of colors, vendors calling for your attention, music playing from buskers, light smoke and wok-clunking melody coming from stir-frying, barbecue and meat-grilling actions all create an atmosphere completely different from any other part of the city.

A street that starts off calm during the day and transforms into a bustling hub of activity as the sun goes down, has become a food haven for tourists and locals alike. Offering some of the best culinary delights of Malaysia, the street is filled with rows and rows of hawker stalls on either side of the road. Frequented not only by tourist but locals as well, the stalls offer unique dishes from all across the country. A food walk through this vibrant street is one of the top activities in Kuala Lumpur and a travel guide from Locaguide will be your perfect company to help you swim through this sensory overload! Ask your guide for food and restaurant recommendations depending on what you like to eat and he will be able to point you in the right direction.

Bring your appetite on your visit to Jalan Alor. Be it the succulent dumplings, dozens of varieties of noodles, grilled meats or even the local favourite, chicken satay, it’s hard to run out of options at Jalan Alor! Offering not just food but the culture of Malaysia for everyone to experience, this street shows you that diversity does not exist in just the people of Malaysia but in its food culture as well.

 

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Food

Lontong Sayur, Medan’s popular dish

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Thinking what is one dish that you must try in Medan town? Ask anyone from Medan and you’ll probably get just one answer: Lontong Sayur.

This traditional Indonesian dish is, in fact, a combination of two different dishes – Lontong and Sayur. It is so versatile that you can have it as a breakfast item, while it can also be served as your main dish for lunch or can even be treated as a snack.

What is it ?

Lontong Sayur, just like most other popular Indonesian dishes, has rice as its base. Lontong is simply a kind of rice cake that is prepared by boiling rice until it is partially cooked. It is, then, rolled tightly with banana leaves and secured with a wooden needle, made from the central rib of a coconut leaf, locally known as lidi semat. Finally, it is kept in boiled water until cooked. Once it is cooled, Lontong is cut into small pieces and served as staple food. It is a common substitute for steamed rice dishes.

Lontong is usually served with a coconut milk soup called Sayur lodeh — hence, the dish is commonly known as ‘Lontong Sayur’. Along with shredded coconut, some of the other ingredients used in Sayur include tempeh, tofu, hard-boiled egg, sambal.

Ketupat Sayur is another variant of this delectable paired dish, commonly seen in other parts of Indonesia. In Malaysia, Lontong Sayur is known by the name, ‘Nasi Himpit,’ which simply means pressed rice.

Lontong Sayur
Lontong Sayur

If you’re travelling in Medan, get a local tour guide with Locaguide to guide you through this culinary journey. The advantage of having a local guide is, he can guide you to the best food stall or restaurant serving the most authentic version of Lontong Sayur in town.

The taste, coupled with the ease of making this Indonesian delicacy in larger quantities, makes Lontong Sayur one of the favourites at wedding receptions too. So, if you’re planning a tour to Medan or nearby regions of Indonesia, don’t forget to get a taste of this lip-smacking delicacy at least once.

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Food

Babi Guling – Bali’s Iconic Local Dish

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One of the many things that differentiate a traveller or an explorer from a regular tourist is the way they approach the food of the land they travel to. If you’re a traveller on a gastronomical expedition, you shouldn’t miss out on the iconic roasted pork dish of Bali, The Babi Guling . 

Babi Guling, which translates to ‘turning pig,’ is a classic Balinese dishes and a truly unlikely find in a country with the largest Muslim population on the globe.

It used to be traditionally made as offerings to please the Balinese Hindu Gods, where the whole pig was served to signify sublimity and perfection.

As the name suggests, an entire pig is stuffed with a mix of spices including lemongrass, garlic, turmeric, and coriander seeds, and slow-roasted on an open fire or hand-turning spit roaster — giving it a unique texture and taste, unlike any pork dish you find anywhere else in the world. However, Babi Guling is not just about the meat. A good part of your serving would also be fluffy rice and good vegetables like beans and salam leaves.

Babi Guling
Babi Guling

Bali has a lot of food joints serving the Babi Guling, but some of the best ones can be found in Ubud and adjoining places. Your local guide will be able to point to the best places that serve the most authentic Babi Guling and avoid the tourist traps. If you’re lucky enough to visit the northern villages of Bali, like Kubutambahan or Bengkala, you can also witness how the Babi Guling is prepared and get to dine on an authentic Babi Guling feast.

Order a generous platter of the Babi Guling that is served with a uniquely-flavoured crispy crackling and feel it melt in your mouth into literally nothing! If you’re looking to explore Bali like a local, ask Locaguide for a fully-customisable itinerary and guided tour.

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Food

Indonesia’s most famous Salad – Gado Gado

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What if you were told Indonesia had a salad that wasn’t really a boring salad but a wholesome healthy meal found in every home, street side stall and even fine dining restaurants? We present ‘The Gado Gado’

A beautiful amalgamation of rice, veggies, boiled eggs, potatoes, tofu and peanut sauce, your very first experience of Gado Gado will show you why it deserves a place in the list of national foods of Indonesia.

The Gado Gado : What is it ?

Gado-Gado literally means a potpourri. That’s the perfect description of this dish, a mixed-vegetable salad with a nutty dressing that is served in a variety of personalized modifications all over Indonesia. This go-to meal is always served with something crunchy –  prawn crackers, fried chicken or melinjo chips, made from the hard fruit of a tropical evergreen tree.

During your Jakarta city tour, you will walk across multiple open-air eateries, locally called ‘warungs’ where you will see just how many incarnations the Gado Gado has all across Indonesia. Trust your local guide to guide you to the best food cart around and order a version of the one dish meal that you would relish.

The Gado Gado
The Gado Gado

Gado Gado is one salad that has it all – sweet-and-sour taste complementing the roasted nuts and the subtle fish aftertaste of the sparingly used shrimp paste. Add to that Indonesia’s signature peanut sauce. However, this isn’t the same as the satay peanut sauce but is equally if not more satisfying.

Your tour guide from Locaguide will be able to take you to the best local warung to satisfy your cravings for this iconic dish from the kitchens of Indonesia. The beauty of Gado Gado is in its simplicity and that it can be had any way you like it, every version being equally exquisite. Have you thought of how many versions you are going to try when you go to Indonesia next?

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Food

3 Local Desserts You Shouldn’t Miss in Bali

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Whether you’re on a gastronomical expedition to Bali or just happen to be there on a visit, you never know when a sweet tooth comes a-knockin’. That’s why we made this list of the top-rated Balinese desserts that you absolutely should not miss! Try one of these unique local desserts and treat your taste buds during your stay in Bali (and thank us later!):

1) Jaja Laklak

Rice and rice flour desserts are quite a specialty in this part of the world. The Jaja Laklak is a customary Balinese cake that looks and tastes almost like a pancake, but it is sweeter and a lot tastier. It is served with palm sugar and shredded coconut as toppings to give the confectionary its saccharine appeal. Savour it with a cup of tea to get instantly addicted!!

Desserts - jaja laklak
jaja laklak

2) Klepon

Desserts in Bali
Klepon

Also called, Onde-onde, this dessert is not only delicious but quite fun to eat too! Soft, chewy balls of glutinous rice filled with molten palm sugar bursting in your mouth, that’s Klepon for you. From local street vendors to the traditional Balinese markets, you can find Klepon almost everywhere in Bali. But watch out, they are so addictive, you’ll lose count of how many you’ve had!

3) Pisang Goreng

Desserts in Bali
Pisang Goreng

For all those who love banana fritters, this one’s for you! The lip-smacking Pisang Goreng is a banana fritter variety that you can get anywhere in Bali. To give it a whole new dimension of taste, the Balinese serve the deep-fried Pisang Goreng with honey and ice cream toppings. Now, go, get your chompers ready!

During your trip to Bali, don’t forget to try these desserts either to end a meal or simply as snacks between meals! Your tour guide from Locaguide will be able to take you to the right places, only known to the locals, so you have the most authentic experience!

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