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Nasi Lemak, Roti Canai & Dim Sum: Which State Claims Which Dish As Their “All-Time Favorite Breakfast Food”?

today21 March 2021


If there’s one thing we Malaysians take seriously: it’s our food. A constant question, no matter how bad the day has been or how tired we are, is: “What to eat ah?”


After all, in the melting pot of cultures, Malaysia has an endless range of delicacies to choose from for every hour of the day. Nevertheless, there are some staples that are uniquely suited for certain times of the day. Recent findings pit three very Malaysian dishes against each other, specifically as a breakfast option, to see which one Malaysians preferred. Conducted by Oxwhite, a local lifestyle brand, the survey took into account the opinions of 500 different Malaysians from various parts of Malaysia. Their findings indicate that preferences vary across states and even, across ages! Oxwhite’s survey found that one in two Malaysians would rather opt for nasi lemak when made to choose between the dish, roti canai and dim sum.



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A post shared by MUSHROOM RENDANG ??? (@mushroom.lah)


Between Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Penang, nasi lemak fans seem to be concentrated in Selangor, with 29% of Selangorians choosing the coconut milk infused rice. Only 16 per cent of Malaysians from Kuala Lumpur chose nasi lemak while Penangites came third with 12 per cent.



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A post shared by WoonHeng ❣️? (@woon.heng)


On the flip side, over in Melaka, residents (47 per cent) would rather have roti canai for breakfast, with nasi lemak coming in at a close second (33 per cent) and dim sum falling last with 20 per cent.  The sentiment is shared over in East Malaysia, where 40 per cent of Sarawakians were more inclined towards the flatbread, then opting for dim sum (31 per cent) and finally, nasi lemak (29 per cent).



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A post shared by TC.Goh (@goh_teik_chuan)

Another interesting find is that preferences changed according to age. Likely to be attributed to the physiological changes that occur with ageing (changes to the digestive system, changes to the sense of smell, taste and vision and a decreased need for energy). The results of the survey indicated that the liking for nasi lemak fell as the age of the survey groups increased: 21-30 (40 per cent), 31-40 (37 per cent), 41-50 (13 per cent) and those aged 51 and above (11 per cent). Oxwhite founder CK Chang said of this:


“This may be an indication that as we advance in age, we get more health-conscious and seek out other breakfast options,”


Interesting, innit? Which of the three would you eat for breakfast for the rest of your life, if given the option of having only one?


*Cover image credits: @mushroom.lah / Photo by Tara B on Unsplash / El Mundo Eats


Written by: Marissa Anne

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