Malaysian food history and culture is a voluptuous multitude of mixed cultures and races all of whom have brought their national dishes and foods to the coasts of Malaysia practically since the beginning of history.

More than 1500 years earlier a Malay kingdom in Bujang Valley welcomed dealers from India and China who brought with them gold and silks as well as an abundance of foodstuffs and an in-depth supply of herbs and spices which have made Malaysia what it’s now.

A thousand years after, Arab traders arrived via the Straits of Malacca and brought with them the practices, principles, and foods of the Islamic state. By the time the Europeans arrived, specifically from Portugal, they were stunned at the cosmopolitan existence and the cultural mosaic of faith, food and lifestyle. The Indian and Chinese individuals became, and still are,the two most prominent trading partners of Malaysia as it’s now. There are, nevertheless, a dizzying collection of native tribes that have held to their age-old practices which have made the Malaysians still the biggest ethnic group still inhabiting the peninsula and islands.


Traditional Malay culture still centers around the ‘kampung’ or hamlet where family life hasn’t changed substantially over time. Settlers worked greatly in the rubber sector, but slowly the people spread through the entire cities, taking with them their own foods, so much so that many thoughts were embraced into the Malaysian food culture. Chinese influence on the bigger cities, especially around Penang can frequently get one consider they’re dining out in China itself. Chinese, Indian and Malay families have intermarried over the years so an artificial set of beliefs, foods, principles and life basically created a brand new culture. This group of individuals became known as babars and nonyas and food design is frequently called ‘nonyan’ after these mixed race populations. If you add this to Malaysia’s closeness to Thailand, it is possible to add this to the rich sophistication of the food culture. The powerful spice trade between these various countries has made Malaysian cuisine the complex combination of food that it’s become.

Malaysian cuisine if frequently called ‘the first fusion food’ but some regional cuisine, especially along the shore and in the north has still stayed. Malacca, in the south, is home to the Babar Nonyan food, mentioned before and much of it’s served in quaint small cafes and miniature eateries, frequently part of somebody’s residence or historical house and very much a mixture of Malay and Chinese dishes, whereas ‘Mamak’ cuisine has a more Indian sway.


Many conventional dishes do stay within the Malaysian food arena, including satays, nasi goreng, laksas, and rendangs, although Indonesia does lay claim to a few of these recipes. The one thing which is certain is the excellent flavor and fragrance of Malaysian food with their use of strong spices like chili, cinnamon ginger, and galangal, herbs like coriander and aromatic plants including lime, tamarind, and pandan. Virtually every part of a spice or plant can be used including the stalks and leaves.

A sophisticated combination of salty, sweet and sour, joined with frequently a surprise inclusion of hot heat, makes Malaysian food a delight to savor in your taste buds.

If you want to taste the finest and genuine Malaysian Food in Brisbane, come see Satay Ria Malaysian Restaurant. Take a look at their website to see their menu or book an internet booking at Visit Satay Ria divisions at Satay Ria Cannon Hill – Shop 8 Cannon Central 1145 Wynnum Rd, Cannon Hill, QLD 4170 and Satay Ria Malaysian Restaurant Fortitude Valley – 165 Wickham Street, Fortitude Valley, QLD 4006.