Here are our NINE favourite meals of 2021.
Due to the prolonged national lockdown, we didn’t get to dine out as much as we liked this year. Nevertheless, there were enough memorable meals to make this list.
For 2021, we include any restaurants/food that we simply enjoy – regardless of when they opened.
We also include meals we enjoyed at home given that we spent a large part of the year in our abode.
For this list – you’ll find home bakers, some of our regular favorites (SS2 pan mee and Penang duck koay teow th’ng), and a fine-dining experience that blew our mind with their concept and use of local produce.
As with all lists, our choices are entirely subjective as we take into consideration the food, service, and overall personal experience. A recurring name is just a testament to its maintenance of quality.
We have excluded cafes from this list (we’ll publish a separate one). This list is not in any order of preference.
Without further ado, here we go!
1. Myat and Potatoes, Petaling Jaya [Non-halal]
We love a good story behind a good meal. Myat & Potatoes provides that, as well as a gateway to Burmese cuisine without needing to travel to Yangon.
Operated by the ex-staff of Oriental Cravings in One Utama shopping centre, Petaling Jaya – we enjoyed the Mohinga and Nan Gyi Thoke.
If you’re craving (pun intended) for Oriental Cravings’ Claypot Loh Shi Fun – you’ll be pleased that they offer it here too. Read our full review here.
2. Bowls of Steel x Kadei, Petaling Jaya [Pork-free]
For one weekend only at Tiffin at the Yard, noodle bar Bowls of Steel teamed up with banana leaf rice outfit Kadei by Manchula to offer the Lamb Curry Noods!
Hand-pulled flat noodles (think dry chilli pan mee) served in mutton curry reduction, with lamb shoulder roulade, torched lamb marrow, crispy lamb bits, and fresh herbs salad – this was one the best noodle dishes we had this year!
Due to its popularity, Bowls of Steel decided to offer this dish in their restaurant after the collab. Read our full article here.
3. Gēn 根, Penang [Non-halal]
One of only three Malaysian restaurants to feature on Asia’s Top 100 Restaurants, gēn 根 showcases local quality produce to recreate nostalgic flavours using innovative cooking methods.
Our lunch menu showcased Bengali roti, Sarawak peppercorns and dabai, sardine rendang, and pineapple tart served with Penang dark soy sauce.
However, the highlights had to be the Semporna abalones (braised for 8 hours and served with sea grapes, and wild honey-chilli oil gravy) and local Kaluga Amur caviar served with cured prawns, and bunga kantan sorbet.
Excellent food with attentive and personable service. Read our full article here.
4. Nasi Dalca Khalis, Penang [Halal]
Our first stop in Penang this year was this Nasi Dalca stall in Bayan Lepas. This dish is best enjoyed with the Nasi Minyak drenched with all the gravies and curries, and generously topped with its free bawang goreng.
We recommend getting the dalca ayam kampung and ayam masak hitam. Both are superbly tender and flavourful. Memang surr! Read our full write-up here.
5. She Bakes, Petaling Jaya [Pork-free]
If you like fudgy brownies, these Sea Salt Brownies from She Bakes are mouthwateringly delicious.
All the requisite qualities are there – beautiful flaky crust with insides that are decadently dark, moist and gooey. The gooey chocolate is soft and velvety (lovely mouthfeel), with dark bittersweet notes.
The sprinkle of Maldon sea salt flakes on top is a piquant touch – providing a hint of textured crunch, and mild briny flavour.
6. Pan Mee at Restoran Hock Thai, SS2 [Non-halal]
Our favourite pan mee soup can be found at Restoran Hock Thai, SS2. The hand-pulled noodles are always smooth and thin, with a nice bite to it that is not too doughy or chewy. We also find the clear soup to be perfectly balanced with enough umami from the dried anchovies, and sweetness from the sayur manis.
The pan mee remained consistently good when we last visited it in May. Click here for the full article.
7. Apple Strudel from Fruity Bakery, Klang [Pork-free]
Fruity uses an original recipe from Perth, which is also home to the famous apple strudel from Corica Pastries. We loved this – light and flaky puff pastry with apple bits that retained its crunch and crispiness. Read our full review here.
8. Afghan Cookies from The Cake Time Story, Petaling Jaya [Muslim-owned]
Without fail, we would order the Afghan Cookies from The Cake Time Story for Raya (and sometimes CNY) every year.
Their cookies are the best we’ve ever had due to the crunchy texture (thanks to the cornflakes) which is never crumbly. The Nutella provides a very subtle hint of hazelnut to the biscuit. Also, the pecans are always crunchy. Read the full article here.
9. Loh Kei duck koay teow th’ng, Penang [Non-halal]
This made it on our list again this year because this is just so good! A year after we first tried it, the dish remained consistently excellent during our repeat visit earlier this month.
The koay teow is silky smooth, and the soup is so rich and flavourful. The sliced duck meat is tender, flavourful and not gamey. This is our must-eat whenever in Penang. Read our article here.
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Best Meals of 2020 and 2019
Check out our favourite nine meals of 2020 in the link below.
Stay tuned for our favourite recipes and cafes of 2021.