10 Malaysian Sweets & Desserts You Should Try

Sugar, spice and everything nice!

The sweetmeats and desserts of Malaysia, also known as kuih-muih or manisan locally, cater to the craziest taste buds in Asia, hence they are absolutely unique. Malaysians are extremely thrifty, yet have high expectations of their desserts. Through this almost impossible-to-meet criteria, we have seen a unique craftsmanship that has resulted in affordable and tasty treats. Here’s an eclectic list of kuih-muih and manisan from the melting pot of ethnicities that is Malaysia.

Ais Kacang, literally meaning “ice beans”, also commonly known as ABC (Air Batu Campur, meaning “mixed ice”), incorporates a variety of ingredients over shaved ice and drenched in copious amounts of evaporated milk and a traditional sweetener called Gula Melaka or coconut sugar. Traditionally the dish is served with roasted peanuts, other local legumes, buttered or creamed corn and grass jelly (cincau).

screen-shot-2016-09-23-at-12-18-59-pmAis Batu Campur

However, some local vendors have upped the ante by throwing in nata de coco cubes, adzuki beans, fresh fruit bites, pickled mango slices and even a dollop of ice cream. ABC is a godsend to those who can’t bear the boiling Malaysian weather. If you fancy this mouth-watering dish, check out Uncle Weng Kee’s 55-year-old beverage stall in Petaling Jaya for one of the best servings in Malaysia.

Malaysia is truly a sweet tooth’s paradise. We have some of the most sinfully sweet and colourful desserts. Kuih Lapis is probably one of the most iconic desserts in Malaysia as is impossible to dislike. This rice flour pudding comes in so many tantalising colours, shapes and sizes. The pudding comprises of stacks of sweet multi-coloured layers that have a gooey texture that melts in the mouth. This dessert is so popular that almost any vendor will give you high quality servings across Malaysia.

screen-shot-2016-09-23-at-12-20-36-pmKuih Lapis

Pisang Goreng is a traditional banana fritter that is to die for. Best served piping hot, the fried banana dessert is deceptively unappealing in appearance but is bursting with flavour. Made from fresh bananas coated in flour batter, it is fried for a couple of minutes and ready to serve. The sweet and savoury taste with a crunchy exterior and soft mushy interior can bring on unstoppable cases of the munchies. You can’t stop at just one, so be sure to order a couple on the go. Pisang Goreng is really popular all over Malaysia and can be found in any of the night markets and bazaars in any local township.

pisang-gorengPisang Goreng

Ondeh Ondeh is a quintessential local Malay delight that takes the cake (no pun intended) for being the funkiest looking pastry around. Made from either glutinous rice flour or sweet potatoes, the balls are coated with coconut kernel (santan) and hide a sugary brown Gula Melaka surprise right in the middle. Take a bite into one of these and expect the delightful juices inside to squirt out all over the place. Wearing fancy clothes while eating this is not recommended.

ondeh-ondehOndeh Ondeh

The hearts of Malaysians are not easy to win over when it comes to food. But mention Cendol and everyone will melt instantaneously. Cendol is made out of a frenzied mix of shaved ice, palm sugar, Gula Melaka, coconut milk and kidney beans that is sweet and blends mushy and crunchy textures in a heavenly balance. This sweet dessert is a close cousin of Air Batu Campur and can sometimes be found at vendors who sell desserts under the Ais Kacang (shaved ice) family. The best Cendol (highly contested among all vendors) is probably at Penang Road Teochew Chendul, which has been in operation since 1936.


Apam Balik is a folded pancake with creamed corn and chopped peanuts. In between is anything thin and crunchy or thick and fluffy. These snacks are the perfect dessert if you need something filling and tasty. Imagine a crisper version of a crumpet with a crunchy interior.

screen-shot-2016-09-23-at-12-24-28-pmApam Balik

Putu Mayam is a rice flour dessert served with palm sugar and coconut milk. The best vendors usually cycle around residential areas in makeshift mobile food stalls. This is one traditional South Indian dessert that has been “Malaysianised” and is best had with a spot of chai.

putu-mayamPutu Mayam

Leng Chee Kang will melt away your worries. This traditional dish is served with longan fruits, lotus seeds, dried persimmons, malva nuts and sometimes quail eggs submerged in a beautiful boiled rock sugar broth. The dish can be served hot or chilled with ice cubes and is especially refreshing on a scorching hot day.

leng-chee-kangLeng Chee Kang

Bubur Cha Cha is like Cha Cha Mambo in your mouth … explosive! It is a Malaccan Nyonya sago porridge served with sweet potato chunks and coconut milk. The clever mix of local ingredients transports you to the simple lifestyles of the local Nyonya people in their traditional kampung abodes.

babur-cha-chaBubur Cha Cha

Last, but not least on our list is Ang Ku Kueh. It is the gooiest of gooey desserts that melts in your mouth to reveal a beautifully compacted sweet mung bean and peanut. The glutinous rice flour casing usually comes with intricate traditional Chinese designs that are amazingly detailed.

screen-shot-2016-09-23-at-12-27-18-pmAng Ku Kueh


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Restaurant Kampung Melayu @ Low Yat Plaza

November 7, 2012 during 4:29 pm

It is common for travellers to representation a internal cuisine whenever they transport to a unfamiliar land. With a appearance of blurb tourism, however, it has turn utterly a plea to locate an eatery that serves authentic internal cuisine as against to food served to tourists. So where would one be means to find a grill portion affordable nonetheless authentic Malay cuisine in Kuala Lumpur?

Restaurant Kampung Melayu, an affordable and authentic Malay grill right in a heart of KL

The answer is Restaurant Kampung Melayu, conveniently located during a belligerent building of Low Yat Plaza, in a heart of Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur’s selling district. we had cooking there recently, pleasantness of Moola, a initial ever homegrown Cash-Back Lifestyle programme by ICT Utopia. Joining me on that day was Emily Tang of Sunrise Emily blog and all of us had a superb time and good laughs too, interjection to one sold dish. More on that later, though for now we can check out what Emily suspicion of Restaurant Kampung Melayu on her blog!

Some of a elementary though hearthy Malay dishes accessible during Restaurant Kampung Melayu

Why is affordable authentic Malay food that ambience good rather tough to find? Simply since of modernization and a change it brings with it, and maybe a time and bid taken to ready good Malay dishes. So we could suppose my pleasure to find myself face to face with some Malaysian favourites that evening.

The Mutton Biryani Rice

The Chicken Biryani Rice

Rice is an critical prejudiced of Malay cuisine, and served in many ways during Restaurant Kampung Melayu. We had a Mutton Claypot Biryani Rice, a Chicken Claypot Biryani and a Nasi Goreng Kampung, or encampment styled boiled rice. The biryani rice originates from a Indian subcontinent, and is a organisation favourite among Malaysians due to a incense and formidable reduction of tastes. Restaurant Kampung Melayu’s biryani tastes good though being overwhelmingly oily. The mutton was tender, while a duck was only right. Both were spicy, so those who are inexperienced to a feverishness should be aware of a sharp curry. The boiled rice was great, though once again counsel should be taken if we are not prejudiced to sharp food as this has manly chili padi influenced into a rice.

The sharp though tasty Nasi Goreng Kampung

Simple lovely unfeeling dishes that accompany a Biryani

The churned preserved vegetables or Acar

The rice dishes were accompanied by several unfeeling side dishes, including stir boiled cabbage, curry eggplant and churned preserved vegetables. These unfeeling dishes are customarily served with many Malay rice dishes and move a light and lovely ambience in contrariety to a abounding and flavorful rice dishes. The churned preserved vegetables, famous as acar, is really common and elementary plate to prepare, done with proposal cucumber, pineapple, onion and red chili preserved in vinegar. While sourish in taste, a plate is light and really refreshing.

The Daging Masak Merah

The Ikan Pari Bakar

We were also served with 3 categorical dishes – Daging Masak Merah, a sharp beef dish; Ikan Pari Bakar, sharp grilled ray; and Kailan Ikan Masin, stir boiled kalian with pickled fish. These dishes are meant to be taken with rice, customarily plain white rice, that is a tack for many Malaysians. The beef was tender, and had a sharp aftertaste, while a grilled ray was truly sharp and good grilled. The kalian was an engaging dish, a pickled fish providing a lot of flavour.

Stir Fried Kailan with Salted Fish

The Thai desirous Tom Yam Soup

We also had dual opposite soups – a Tom Yam Soup, that is indeed a Thai dish, and a Sup Lidah, or Cow’s Tongue Soup. The Tom Yam is a favourite among Malaysians, and is a common underline during many Malay and Chinese eateries. The Cow’s Tongue Soup might sound rather daunting, due to a prejudiced of beef that it features, though is indeed rather of a sweetmeat in Malaysia. The soup is a transparent soup incorporating an collection of ingredients, including spices. It is amiable compared to any Tom Yam as it does not use chilli in a preparation. we have to acknowledge that we customarily drive transparent of offal and that a Cow’s Tongue Soup was left alone by a cooking celebration for a incomparable prejudiced of a evening. That is until one of a braver souls ventured for a bite, and to a surprise, rated it really favourably. That sparked everyone’s interest, and before we knew it, we finished adult dogmatic that a Cow’s Tongue Soup was one of a nicest surprises of a evening!

The evening’s astonishing highlight, a Sup Lidah

Restaurant Kampung Melayu also offers standard Malaysian favourites like Satay and Otak-Otak. Satay, we consider would need no genuine introduction, being utterly good famous via a world. A elementary beef dish, satay is cooking grilled beef skewers served with peanut salsa accompanied with cucumber and onion slices. Otak-otak is sharp fish pulp wrapped in leaves that are afterwards grilled over an open fire. The Satay and Otak-otak served during Restaurant Kampung Melayu were tasty and are a good introduction to Malay cuisine.

The Satay and Otak-Otak

Roti Tissue

The Making of Roti Tissue

During a visit, we also had a ambience of Roti Tissue, a honeyed movement of a Roti Canai, an Indian bread. The Roti Tissue is a paper skinny roti canai that is flavoured with sugarine and precipitated milk. Different restaurants offer a roti hankie in opposite ways, Restaurant Kampung Melayu serves theirs in a cone shape. Finally, to hang adult a evening, we had some lovely honeyed lassi and mango lassi, as good as internal shaved ice desserts famous as ABC or Ais Batu Campur, and a fruity variant, a ABC Mango.

The Sweet Lassi and a Mango Lassi

The ABC Mango

The Original ABC

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