's Top 5 Fusion Dishes In Malaysia

14 August 2015

Ask anyone on the street about what they love about Malaysia and you’ll get a similar answer each time: our local food is amazing! As a country that’s most profoundly known as a melting pot of cultures, we can’t stray too far from the flurry of different food that comes with each ethnicity. With dishes such as nasi lemak, roti canai and char kueh teow being perennial favourites for umpteen years, it was only a matter of time before our local flavours became creatively infused with something different to produce an exciting new invention altogether. We’ve picked out five amazing fusion dishes that have successfully given our classic icons a fresh, contemporary twist.

5. Dry-Tossed Sambal Linguine, Delicious

Dry-Tossed Sambal Linguine, Delicious

Dry-Tossed Sambal Linguine, Delicious


Sambal, an integral part in most Malay dishes, gets a different twist by Delicious Café, one of the country’s most popular chain of restaurants. Traditionally, sambal is a paste used to complement main dishes such as rice, noodles, soup and meat. To put it into better perspective, sambal is equivalent to hot sauce – it is a chili-based sauce used to give dishes an added flavour for a spicy kick.

Delicious has shared their latest recipe with, an exciting addition to the menu which will give this spicy local delight an Italian twist. Introducing the Dry-Tossed Sambal Linguine with Fishballs, Calamari and Tiger Prawns – a dish that presents our local hot sauce in a different setup altogether. Not just that, it also comes with a robust bowl of fish stock-based soup to complement the flavours of the sambal while an assortment of seafood wrap the dish up beautifully. Forget your usual bolognaise and pestos – dive into this this humble mix of flavours for a simple, hearty lunch instead.

Dry-Tossed Sambal Linguine, price unavailable

Delicious, Lot GF-1, Ground Floor, Bangsar Village 2,
Jalan Telawi, 59100 Kuala Lumpur.
+603 2287 1554
(many other outlets available)
ore about the Delicious Café here.


4. ‘Durian Lamington’, Swich

Durian Lamington, Swich Café

Durian Lamington, Swich Café

We bet you’ve heard of the durian – it’s a big, thorny, and all-round green fruit that can easily double as a self-defence weapon. If this is an unfamiliar description, read on. Dubbed the ‘King of Fruits’ in South East Asia, the durian has drawn two main types of responses: love it or hate it. With an overpowering scent that has been described one too often as ‘dirty socks’ and ‘rotting garbage’, the taste of the fruit on its own differs as it possesses a unique blend of creamy sweetness like no other.

If you’re able to get past the initial knee-jerk reaction of running away, the durian lamington at Swich is one worth lining up for. Swich, a fine food café featuring gourmet dishes made with self-developed recipes, are master experimenters as they often play with a myriad of flavours and textures to create unique masterpieces at reasonable prices. The team has found that the taste of durian goes extremely well with chocolate and coconut, a discovery that eventually gave birth to the café’s signature durian lamington.

Swich’s take on the lamington features a durian sponge and high-quality chocolate which makes up the ganache mixture. To up the durian quotient for die-hard durian fans, Swich also does a version of the lamington using Musing King durian cream (a higher durian grade) on a special order basis.

 Durian Lamington with Durian Cream, RM6.90 – RM7.90

(Musang King version, RM8.90 – RM9.90, on special order basis)

Swich Café
Mezzanine Floor, HP Towers
12 Jalan Gelenggang, Bukit Damansara, Kuala Lumpur
+6018 5995152


3. ‘Foie Gras Satay’, Cantaloupe

Foie Gras Satay, Cantaloupe photographed by The Yum List

Foie Gras Satay, Cantaloupe photographed by The Yum List

Satay is a popular Malay cuisine featuring grilled cubes of meat, all skewed onto a stick and served with a rich, peanut-based sauce. More often than not, a plate of ketupat (rice cake), red onions and cucumbers will be served together to complement the dish.

At Cantaloupe, one of KL’s latest multi-concept dining experiences, Executive Chef of Troika Sky Dining Christian Bauer has introduced their version of the satay by using quality foie gras instead of the usual beef and chicken meat. He explained to that it is one of the restaurant’s “madder choices”, a term that describing the constant favourable responses by loyal customers to the fine food restaurant.

Some of the main ingredients disclosed to us were grilled cubes of foie gras, cinnamon incense, pandan rice crispies, candied cucumber and sweet-sour red onions. Christian notes that people shouldn’t expect the usual peanut sauce, hinting that a pleasant surprise is in check for first-timers wanting to experience the beauty of this dish. And as a little something ‘extra’, the grilled foie gras cubes are skewed onto an edible pasta twig instead of the usual wooden stick. How cute!

Foie Gras Satay, RM95.00++

Cantaloupe, Troika Sky Dining
Level 23A, Tower B, The Troika
19, Persiaran KLCC, 50450 Kuala Lumpur
+6 03 2162 0886
More about Cantaloupe, Troika Sky Dining here.  


 2. ‘P7 – The Urban Legend’, Cristang (non-halal)

P7 – The Urban Legend, Cristang Restaurant

P7 – The Urban Legend, Cristang Restaurant


Among some iconic local food include petai, a locally-grown bean known for its robust, pungent flavour as well as sambal belacan, a full-bodied paste made with chili and shrimp paste. At first whiff, these smells are sure to turn unconditioned noses away, but like the popular durian fruit, these prove to be an acquired taste – one that is absolute heaven when cooked the right way.

Cristang Restaurant, a quaint little hideaway offering Malaccan Portugese cuisine alongside local and western dishes, has given these two ingredients a western treatment to create the ‘P7 – The Urban Legend’. Also known as the ‘Petai Pork Burger with Bacon and Minced Pork Petai Sambal Belacan’ (what a mouthful!), the Urban Legend is everything metropolitan in look and feel with a blend of typical Malaysian flavours.

Intricately and heartily made, it can take up to an hour putting the patty mix together. The recipe is a special secret only exclusive to the restaurant, but here’s what they’ve revealed to 13 different ingredients make up the patty mix, one of which includes high-quality pork. The best part is, the burger was created on a lark and only made it to the menu after a year. After being made official, by word-of-mouth it soon became one of Cristang’s star items with customers flipping through the menu to look for the elusive ‘petai burger’. With that in mind, the burger was given the name ‘Urban Legend’, a dish the owner dubs his ‘Maserati dish’ as it moves fast, is completely unmatched and undoubtedly unique.

P7 – The Urban Legend, RM30.65

Cristang Restaurant
Unit B-G-19, Pusat Perniagaan 8 Avenue,
Jalan Sungei Jerneh (8/1), 46050 Petaling Jaya
More about Cristang Restaurant here.


1. Nasi Lemak Gelato, Cielo Dolci

Nasi Lemak Gelato, Cielo Dolci

Nasi Lemak Gelato, Cielo Dolci

A gelato that’s centred on the savoury, spicy flavours of our favourite nasi lemak? Yes! Cielo Dolci, an Italian frozen desserts specialist, has taken on this challenge by recreating one of the most popular breakfast choices across the country. Traditionally, nasi lemak is made up of santan-infused rice, sambal, roasted peanuts, fried anchovies and cucumbers. More often than not, this dish is served hot. Now imagine this as a freezing gelato – piques your interest, doesn’t it?

At Cielo Dolci, this unique masterpiece is made like how another person would prepare nasi lemak, by which it features rice, coconut milk, sambal, peanuts and anchovies (among others) but are tied with a secret twist to maintain the perfect texture and taste. As said earlier, nasi lemak is generally served warm – a real challenge to the talents behind Cielo Dolci as they intend to serve it at a -15⁰C temperature.

Having tackled the challenge flawlessly, the nasi lemak gelato is truly a winning invention that has garnered quite a bit of buzz since its debut. While this successful infusion has established the team as true dessert professionals, the invention wishes to do more than just that: it aims to represent Malaysia as the limited edition flavour celebrates its first year anniversary on Merdeka Day, 31st August 2013.

Nasi Lemak Gelato, RM6.80 onwards

Cielo Dolci
Paradigm Mall - LG 50, 47301 Petaling Jaya
More about Cielo Dolci here.


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