Exotic Food vs Traditional Food

I wouldn’t really say that I’m a foodie since I don’t hunt for food places just to try different food, but I wouldn’t mind trying out new food when I travel. I’m more adventurous when I travel. In this case, even though I only traveled within Selangor – the state that I reside in – it is my first time to try some of the more exotic features on the plate. I’ve heard of exotic food available in Selangor but never really make the effort to come here myself.

Apart from exotic food, I also tried the more traditional form of food in Sabak Bernam, where the people here are of Javanese descent and the food are Javanese influenced.

Here are my thoughts between the Exotic Food vs Traditional Food in Sabak Bernam, Selangor.

Exotic Food at Restoran Lembah Bernam

Restoran Lembah Bernam

When I was told that we were going to try out exotic food at Restoran Lembah Bernam, I wonder if I could stomach porcupine meat, among others. But never one to say no to something new, I told myself that I should try the porcupine meat and anything else that comes in front of me – as long as they’re Halal. So, there I was with other media friends at the restaurant waiting for our food to arrive when, one by one they were presented in front of us.

Makanan Eksotik
9 o’clock : Porcupine Rendang. 5 o’clock : Black Pepper Venison

Glancing at the food in front of us, it didn’t seem so scary. Maybe because the Porcupine (Landak) meat was cooked as a Rendang, which happens to be one of my favourite dish. There’s also venison meat cooked as Black Pepper Venison (Daging Rusa Masak Lada Hitam).

There were other more ordinary dishes accompanying our exotic dishes which were Giant River Prawns (Udang Galah), Fried Chicken (Ayam Kampung Goreng), Catfish (Ikan Baung Masak Lemak), salted fish and some fresh vegetables (ulam).

Other exotic dishes includes Rabbit (Arnab), Eel (Belut), Quail (Burung Puyuh) and Catfish (Ikan Keli).

So how was my first experience eating the porcupine meat? It was slightly tough for my preference. I had to chew many times before swallowing it. I was told that if the porcupine meat was cooked with soy sauce (masak kicap), it would’ve been better instead of cooked as Rendang.

The venison on the other hand, is soft and very much to my liking. I helped myself to a second helping with the venison. And everything was made more delicious when the rice is added with some belacan or shrimp paste.

Honestly, I wouldn’t mind coming here again for another set of exotic food. Rest assured that these meat are all Halal.

Have you ever tried exotic food before?

Javanese Influenced Traditional Food

Nasi Ambeng/ Ambang

Nasi Ambeng

Nasi Ambeng is not unfamiliar to me. I am a Johorian and Johor is one of the states where Nasi Ambeng can be found easily. However, Nasi Ambeng is of the Javanese origin. Since there are many Javanese descendant in Johor and Selangor, the Nasi Ambeng can be found easily in these two states.

What makes Nasi Ambeng unique is that it is a mixture of a few type of food in one plate. Do you think noodles and rice can’t mix together? Not with Nasi Ambeng though.

Nasi Ambeng is a mixture of plain rice, fried noodles, salted fish, fried coconut floss, vegetables and chicken cooked in soy sauce. Traditionally, all these are served on a big tray lined with banana leaf. Another great thing about Nasi Ambeng is that it is to be eaten together from the same tray. Depending on the size of the tray, you can eat together with a group of minimum of two people up to six or eight people at once.

Eating Nasi Ambeng

I find eating together from the same tray – using your hands, no less – is a great way to bond with one another, even if you’re strangers. We had a lot of fun eating, talking and laughing on that day.



At Sungai Sireh Homestay, Selangor, we had a mini “Masterchef” contest and one of the food that we had to make was Rempeyek. Rempeyek is a type of deep-fried crackers that is made of a mixture of rice flour, eggs, coconut milk, water, seasoned salt, coriander, peanuts (sometimes people use corn or anchovies) and anise.

What makes Rempeyek delicious is the right mixture of ingredients and the small fire you use so that the crackers and peanuts are not over-cooked or under-cooked. I’ve never made my own Rempeyek before but I have eaten this on many occasions. Luckily though, the Rempeyek my partners and I did on that day was said to taste very good.

Wadai Kepeng

Wadai Kepeng

Have you heard of Wadai Kepeng before? At Sungai Sireh Homestay, we were introduced to this delicious dish. From the looks of it, it looked similar to Bubur Puteri Berendam. The ingredients and preparation are similar too except that the Wadai Kepeng is a dessert usually made by the Banjar people.

The gravy is made of coconut palm sugar, coconut milk, pandan leaves, sugar and salt whereas the glutinous dessert is made of glutinous rice flour, a pinch of salt, water (mix it to sticky-like dough) and colouring (if you want). This dessert is best served hot where you can eat just as it is or with bread.

Have you tried the Wadai Kepeng before?


ETW Selangor

This event was made possible by Gaya Travel Magazine in conjunction with Eat.Travel.Write Selangor Culinary Adventure.

Written by 

LizzaBella is a part-time traveler, amateur photographer and videographer and writer. Connect with LizzaBella through her social medias today!

50 thoughts on “Exotic Food vs Traditional Food

  1. wanna to eat that! but the nasi ambeng look look so variety. My all time favourite is rempeyek.

    1. Yup, the Nasi Ambeng is a mix of a few types of food in one tray. And very filling too.

  2. Not someone who would purposely go for exotic food. Would prefer safe food, especially when on the move.

    1. LOL! I wouldn’t mind trying out new food when I travel. But gotta make sure bring some medications, just in case. πŸ˜›

  3. everything looks delicious. Need travel there to try some day, will have this in the travel list.

  4. I nak makan Nasi Ambeng…where can I find it in Johor…I’m new to Johor though~

    1. Which part of Johor are you at? There’s one roadside stall that is quite popular, along Jalan Padi Ria Bandar Baru Uda. But then, gotta see where your location is to find a closer one near you.

  5. I never try Nasi Ambeng before but it looks delicious. Should try it one day.

  6. errr porcupine seems too exotic for me… hahah i think i will just stick to the nasi ambeng πŸ™‚

    1. I thought it was exotic for me too but at least now I’ve tried it, I’m not curious anymore. πŸ˜›

  7. Such ashamed that even though been living in Malaysia for so many years, but all these are still very new to me. Your post made me wanna plan a road + foodie trip soon! lol.

    1. I know right? Even though these places are in the same state where I live in, I don’t know that they exist until I went there the other day. Need to travel more (in country). πŸ˜€

  8. Wah, really very exotic food ley! The porcupine rendang must be very interesting

    1. Couldn’t really taste the porcupine, probably because the rendang overpowered the taste. If you want to try them, maybe you should order “masak kicap” instead.

    1. I suka ulam too. Ayam goreng kampung, ikan masin, and even the venison is delicious. Cuma porcupine tu kurang untuk I. Mungkin sebab lauknya.

    1. Yup, and you get so full just from eating the ones in your dulang. What a mixture of flavours! πŸ™‚

  9. No wayyy porcupine meat?! A little wasted that it’s cooked rendang style since you can’t really taste the original taste anymore but very interesting…

    1. Yup, porcupine meat! At least now I can say I’ve tasted it but don’t think I’ll be searching for it though. LOL!

  10. The food you trying is really something different what we have always eat now. Very nice food adventure, hahaha!

    1. Yeah it was. Maybe I should start being more adventurous and try other food too. πŸ˜›

  11. I have not try the nasi ambeng before πŸ™‚ Wanna try it in the future if got chance πŸ™‚ Cheers, siennylovesdrawing

  12. Interesting food discovery! Personally I love traditional food, as it always contains the story πŸ™‚

    1. Yes, that’s true. It comes from generation to generation and also has a history to it.

  13. Betty Liew says:

    Nasi Ambeng looks delicious. Malaysia really full of variety food and did not try all of it.

    1. Yes, because of our diversity in races, there are many types of food too. Some fusion and some the really traditional type.

  14. You are one gutsy gal.
    I would never eat anything exotic.
    I do not eat catfish because it looks like a snake, more ever to eat porcupine.

    1. But let’s just say you don’t know what it is, I’m sure you’ll just eat it right? I think, the key is not to think too much about it. As long as dah pasti Halal, mulakan dengan Bismillah. Hehehe..

  15. you’re so adventurous! Porcupine meat, exotic.. for me, i had these cod sperms last week, and could barely get it down my throat. lol!

    1. Cod sperms? You mean you eat the sperms of the fish? Kesiannya all the babies that could’ve come from those sperms. πŸ˜› Okay, maybe I’d be slightly queasy to eat those too. Haha

  16. All these foods look wonderful to me, will try it whenever I have the opportunity πŸ™‚

    1. And they taste wonderful too. Hope you’ll have a chance to try them soon. πŸ˜‰

  17. Love all the food you introduce! I love malay traditional food too!

    1. Have you tried them all? Some of the traditional food are just so filling and delicious!

  18. i do not mind to eat exotic food, we Sarawakians just eat anything

    1. Hahaha really? What exotic food have you tried before? I think Sarawak food are more ‘colourful’ in certain aspects. Hehe

  19. First you mentioned exotic, things that come to my mind was like crocodile or something. HAHA! I wouldn’t mind trying those too. It looks tasty. And as a Javanese, I miss Nasi Ambeng!

    1. If only crocodile meat is halal, I wouldn’t mind trying it. Haha! But alas, gotta take care of what I eat. But as a Javanese, I’m sure you can make the “authentic” Nasi Ambeng whenever you want.. πŸ™‚

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *