Food is synonymous with the Malaysian way of life. Aside from being one of Malaysia’s best offerings, it is also Malaysia’s favourite pastime – both the preparing and the consuming. A medley of different cultures creates a variety of local cuisines – from authentic traditional dishes to contemporary fusion delights – with Indian, Chinese and Malay food forming the bulk of the local offerings, representing the three major ethnic groups in Malaysia. Rice is the country’s staple food, forming an essential part of the Malaysian cuisine; most local dishes are either accompanied by rice or use rice as a main ingredient.
Both wholesome and flavourful, Malaysia's gastronomic delights are internationally well-known, with some achieving cult status worldwide, such as the Malay’s ‘satay’ and ‘nasi lemak’, the Indian’s ‘banana leaf rice’ and ‘nasi kandar’, and the Chinese’s ‘chicken rice’ and ‘char koay teow’. The best way to sample some authentic local cuisine is through the many hawker stalls that can be found scattered all over the country, especially in Kuala Lumpur. Cheap and plentiful, these eateries offer a taste of Malaysia not just in its edible offerings, but also in the atmosphere it provides.