Nasi lemak, a fragrant coconut milk rice dish served with various side dishes, is widely regarded as one of the best dishes in Malaysia and Singapore. It is in fact, Malaysia's national dish.
It is a staple breakfast for many people, who enjoy it with sambal, anchovies, peanuts, cucumber, egg, and sometimes chicken, beef, or seafood.
However, a new restaurant in Kuala Lumpur has created a buzz on social media by offering a controversial twist on the classic dish: nasi lemak with durian.
The restaurant, called In Between X Briyani Mak, features a variety of dishes, including nasi lemak, ayam masak merah (chicken in red sauce), ayam masak masala (chicken in masala sauce), and briyani rice.
However, what caught the attention of social media users was the option to add durian, the king of fruits, to their nasi lemak.
Customers can choose from different types of durians, such as the famous Musang King, Blackthorn, and others.
Netizens confused by dish
Featured on KLFoodie, a popular food blog, the post quickly went viral and garnered mixed reactions from netizens.
Some were curious and intrigued by the combination, while others were appalled and disgusted by it.
Some questioned the need to modify such a simple and beloved dish and criticised the weird addition to the country’s national dish.
One user, @pnggil_aku_hasnol, lamented, "Our dishes are being even ruined even more now."
Another, @Najhan, asked the poignant question, "I have one question, why???"
For many purists, this fusion appeared to be a departure from the essence of Nasi Lemak, prompting @DineshJoy752 to comment, "Lol. Defeats the purpose of Nasi Lemak."
It was a sentiment echoed by @XXXI, who humorously quipped, "This is not even fusion. This is confusion."
The word "confusion" seems to be at the heart of the criticism, as traditionalists grapple with the idea of blending two ingredients that seem, on the surface, to be entirely incompatible.
And then there are those who simply cannot fathom the thought of durian and Nasi Lemak sharing the same plate. "So weird eating with durian, I can’t even!" expressed @ariefaimman.
The strong aroma and divisive taste of durian have always made it a polarising fruit, even among Malaysians.
But it doesn't stop restaurants from shoving them into various dishes, such as the Durian Ramen from MenyaShishido from earlier this year.
However, one can definitely agree that combining it with Nasi Lemak is a culinary experiment that pushes the boundaries of gastronomy.
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