Vegan Food Quest: Veggin’ Out and About In Southeast Asia!

 

VEGGIN’ OUT AND ABOUT IN MALAYSIA!

 

 

This last leg of the Vegan food Quest has been busy, busy, busy as we left Thailand, travelled through Malaysia and made it to Bali. Our first stop in Malaysia was Georgetown, Penang, the foodie capital of Malaysia and a UNESCO World Heritage site. We filled up on Southern Indian vegan delights at Woodlands Pure Vegetarian Restaurant and hit the streets of Little India trying freshly cooked lentil vadai from the street vendors.

 

Eating Lentil Vadai in Little India

Eating Lentil Vadai in Little India

Lentil Vadal in Little India

Lentil Vadal in Little India

 

Street Vendor Making Vadai

Street Vendor Making Vadai

 

We went on a mission to find the best cendol in Penang and ate our fill of this iced treat loved by Malaysians all over the country, who all have their own favorite vendors often with well guarded family recipes. We marveled at how a desert made from pandan flavored rice noodles, palm sugar, sweet-salted coconut milk, stewed kidney beans and shaved ice could not only taste so good but become so addictive.

 

Cendol

Cendol

 

After such a food-packed stay in Penang, we boarded a bus and took on the winding road up to the Cameron Highlands, a Hill Station where the weather is sunny in the day and blissfully cool at night. There wasn’t the abundance of vegan food to be found as in Penang but people were so friendly that we managed to eat great vegan food during our time there. We are stayed in the Do-Chic Inn, a lovely home-stay run by two Chinese-Malay women who spoiled me with beautifully presented breakfasts every morning, my favorite being these fried long Chinese donuts wrapped in a wide rice noodle with homemade Cameron Highlands strawberry jam.

 

Boarding the bus to Cameron Highlands

Boarding the bus to Cameron Highlands

 

Homestay Breakfast at Cameron Highlands

Homestay Breakfast at Cameron Highlands

 

More Home-stay Breakfast

More Home-stay Breakfast

 

The Cameron Highlands is famous for strawberry farms and tea plantations, the perfect refreshment for a vegan traveller. I loved being in the lush tea plantations. The air smelled of tea and it was so peaceful; a great place to relax.

 

Tea Plantation, Cameron Highlands

Tea Plantation, Cameron Highlands

 

Tea Plantation, Cameron Highlands

Tea Plantation, Cameron Highlands

 

Our home stay hosts even told us about a place called ‘Fu Guang Restaurant’ a little vegetarian buffet-style restaurant that served tasty vegan food and was really cheap because it was a not for profit organization. We got to choose from a whole variety of dishes and they were all served in brown paper in little baskets, such a bonus find that we’d never have visited if it weren’t for our friendly home-stay hosts. It just shows that making friends with the locals pays off when it comes to getting fed well.

 

Fu Gang Restaurant, Cameron Highlands

Fu Gang Restaurant, Cameron Highlands

 

Lunch in Fu Gang Vegetarian Restaurant

Lunch in Fu Gang Vegetarian Restaurant

 

Rejuvenated by our Hill Station retreat, we got back on the bus and made our way to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s capital city where we booked to stay in two bigger city hotels; the KL Hilton and the KL Doubletree. As a vegan, I’d been well catered to in the smaller resorts, guest houses and home-stays that we’d visited.  I learned that creating relationships with the people that worked there had been key to getting plant-based food and finding recommendations for other places to eat. I wondered how these big international organizations would cope with my vegan requirements?

 

I wasn’t disappointed. The KL Doubletree in particular went out of their way to make me feel at home and make sure I was well fed. They made me vegan versions of their local food like nasi goreng, a fried rice dish popular in Malaysia but normally served with egg and meat.

 

Nasi Goreng at the Kuala Lumpur Doubletree

Nasi Goreng at the Kuala Lumpur Doubletree

 

Outside of the hotel, KL has a lot of places to find vegan food as it’s a big international city which acts as a melting pot of different cultures. There is delicious vegan Indian, Malay, Chinese, Thai and Western food all over the city, for a range of different budgets.  My favorite was a small take-out underneath the beautiful Petronas Towers that sold healthy vegetarian versions of Malaysian Cuisine. The best we tried was nasi lemak, normally made from rice cooked in coconut milk with fried anchovies, meat curry and egg, I never thought I’d get to try this typical Malaysian dish, so I was pretty excited to see a place that offered an animal free version. My vegan nasi lemak came with brown rice cooked in coconut milk, roasted peanuts, mock ‘anchovies’ made from crunchy spicy seitan pieces and some spicy vegetable curry. Delicious!

 

Nasi Lemak Vegetarian Take-out

Nasi Lemak Vegetarian Take-out

 

Nasi Lemak

Nasi Lemak

 

Petronal Towers, Kuala Lumpur

Petronal Towers, Kuala Lumpur

 

We’d had a great time in Malaysia but it was time to move on to Bali, our next destination and a new adventure for the Vegan Food Quest as we’ve never been to Indonesia. We were so eager to get there; firstly because I love anything with peanut sauce on it, secondly because I was looking forward to eating my fill of tempe (which is everywhere in Bali) and thirdly because we’d decided to use more of our loyalty points and stay at The Conrad to experience a bit of 5 star vegan luxury at the beach!

 

Read next month’s post to see how this traveling vegan gets on with an extravagant lifestyle for a bit…

 

VeganMush Caryl has recently left her beloved home in England to brave new worlds in search of adventure and exotic vegan foods throughout Southeast Asia. Join Caryl as she goes Veggin’ Out and About through Southeast Asia! Check out Caryl’s blog! 

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