Air Asia Premium Lounge on notice: Chef Wan is disgusted with your sambal

There are fewer ways to insult the integrity of a Malaysian than to hit us where it really hurts: Right in the nasi lemak. Sub-par rice? Ouch. Offensively shriveled ikan bilis? Stop. Sambal sweeter than an iced lemon tea? Enough already.

One particularly watery iteration of the beloved sambal that accompanies our country’s national dish was unappealing enough to catch the attention of Coconuts KL’s favorite local celebrity chef, Chef Wan, and he’s demanding that the parties responsible step up their game immediately.


In an Instagram post more unfiltered than a rainy season storm drain, Wan shows video of the soupy sambal sent to him by a friend flying to Bangkok. Flying out of KLIA2, the food-crimes victim made a pit stop at the Air Asia Premium Lounge, and sent a short video to Wan, who immediately posted the clip to social media along with a lengthy rant. Just how we like it.

“A chef friend of mine flew to Bangkok semalam (yesterday) for his vacation and sent me this sambal tumis for the nasi lemak at the Air Asia Premium Lounge.

“He said ‘I am so disgusted by this CW’.

“I replied: “Me too…” If I were the head chef there, I would have kicked the cook’s ass up there for good and never to enter my kitchen ever again.”

Chef Wan may mince onions, but he is never one to mince his words, taking to social media to comment on issues ranging from his daughter’s acrimonious divorce, to questionably shaped dinner plating.

Adding that he hoped young chefs had more pride than to put out such poor quality dishes, he rightly brought up that nasi lemak is Malaysia’s national dish, and deserves a better treatment than the one currently on offer for travelers at KLIA2.

He concluded: “You guys are national carrier to this country [Editor’s Note: Not quite CW — that’s MAS, but that doesn’t make the sambal any less bad that it appears to be]. We need a good image for Malaysia!” He then wrote that he was taking the matter seriously, and would raise his concerns with AirAsia Group chief executive officer, Tony Fernandes.

Malaysia, we deserve better: It’s 2019, it’s time to love ourselves better.

This article, Air Asia Premium Lounge on notice: Chef Wan is disgusted with your sambal, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. For more Coconuts stories, you can download our app, sign up for our newsletters, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.