I'm not a food blogger, but I like to rant about what I eat, once in a while.
Western food has always been a fascination of us Malaysians. Although we have never seen nor tasted the real deal, we still flock over to establishments that sell it and heap millions of praises upon it even though it costs heaps more expensive than your RM 1 home cooked nasi lemak. It doesn't taste as delicious either.
Note - I'm talking about the blue collar workers' chicken chops, fish and chips, and steak, not the fine dining grilled oysters which comes in very small portions (costs a fortune too, but it tastes great.)
Salad - Most establishments unfortunately do not know how to get salads right, perhaps due to pure ignorance or the unavailability of raw materials. I like the concept of fresh garden salad, consisting of fresh rocket, baby spinach and lettuce leaves and tomatoes tossed in a light flavours of olive oil, salt and garlic.
The establishment which I visited tonight had a pathetic mixture of frozen vegetables (peas, carrots and corn) mixed with mayonnaise. There was another popular and pricey restaurant at Crown Square, Kuching where there was an overdose of vinegar, salt and pepper in the salad. You couldn't even taste the texture and flavours of the vegetables at all because of the strong flavoring.
Chips / Potatoes - Malaysian restaurants are extremely stingy in their portions of potatoes / fries. In Melbourne, you can find fresh, large potatoes very easily. If you'd like something 'cuter', baby potatoes are easily available.
The meat portions of most establishments are relatively okay. RM 30 will get you a huge chunk of pork rib steak. You'll be relatively safe with chicken chops (you will rarely find a place which gets it wrong, but if you do, my sincere condolences to you), but finding a place with good beef and lamb is very rare / non existent. In KL, the seafood can be quite expensive, so don't expect a lot of fish varieties (eg. blue grenadier, barramundi, salmon, cod, etc).
It's not just western food in question. I think any foreign food cooked in KL by a non-native cook doesn't taste as good as the food cooked by the folks themselves. I was trying the chicken bulgogi dish at a Korean restaurant (Haeun Khon) at Amcorp Mall yesterday evening. For what it is , it is OKAY, but it lacks the lustre and 'kick' of the bulgogi which I've tasted in Melbourne which is cooked by Koreans and served by Koreans. I know there are some authentic Korean restaurants around in KL somewhere, but until I get to taste the food (as my wallet allows), I'll keep my fingers crossed.
I guess I have to accept the fact that while I'm still in Malaysia, I'll have to be content with substandard and expensive western (and foreign) food. It's pretty ironic that an Australian city allows me to savor authentic food all over the world before I've even visited the country.
Oh well, such is life.