When Malaysian Cuisine Meets Wine-Part 2

Happy Malaysia Day!

What is more auspicious to celebrate Malaysia than to do another round of Malaysia Food Pairing with wine?

This time we are pairing wines with some of the most popular food option in Malaysia.

Sarawak Laksa (SALTED, Mutiara Damansara)

I have not had any Sarawak Laksa, at least good ones but upon inhaling the aroma of the Laksa, I know it is going to be a scrumptious one and boy was I right, guess they are not touted as one of the best Sarawak Laksa for nothing! I'm especially fond of the rice noodle and egg covered with thick spicy gravy

Recommended wines

  1. Alsace Riesling (France) –The lime and spicy gravy/soup will complement this fresh and dry white
  2. Alsace Gewürztraminer (France)-For some reason, the spiciness of the gravy reminds of the same aftertaste of this French wine, however do need to serve it super chill though to get the cooling sensation
  3. Pinot Grigio(Italy) –This will go well with the saltiness of the food at the same time the acidity won’t go against the yummy gravy

Wines to avoid

Medium Sweet or Dessert Wines, as this Sarawak Laksa is not that hot but flavourful hence having it with a sweet wine would definitely cover the nuance flavour of the dish


Sarawak KOLO Mee (SALTED, Mutiara Damansara)

This is of course a HALAL version of the famous Sarawak Kolo Mee and this version comes with chicken, mushroom and fried onions. It comes with a flavourful soup with a hint of sweetness. I’m especially fond with the fresh egg noodle as it has the exact chewiness that I look for in a noodle and I find the fried onions compliment the noodles perfectly.

Recommended wines

  1. Dry sparkling wine-it’s just like having a soft drink with the dish only this time is with alcohol
  2. Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand) - Noodles at the end of the day, can be filling due to the starch hence having a crisp wine like this would help in preventing cloying.
  3. German Riesling (Sweet)- The sweetness of the Riesling would match back the hint of sweetness from the soup and especially true if you are like me who like to add soup onto the Kolo Mee before consuming.

Wines to avoid

Red wine especially those which are full-bodied wine, exception would be for medium sweet red as it would go well with the Kolo Mee if you are having the noodle with chili.

 Lam Mee (Restoran O&S, Paramount)

I usually have this version of Lam Mee with mixture of mee and beehoon but the norm would definitely be mee only. However, generally Lam Mee has dark soy sauce gravy, shredded chicken as well as prawn wanton. To me, Lam Mee has always been a combination of prawn mee and loh mee as it has the prawn fragrance and the texture of somewhat like Loh Mee.

Recommended wines

  1. Chardonnay –this wine would go well especially to compliment the prawn wanton and if you like to have your Lam Mee with the chili paste
  2. Provence Rosé (France)-Lam Mee is consider a flavourful and full bodied type of noodle dish hence a rosé would be able to match back its body, provides the acidity that gives the palate a refreshing taste.

Wines to avoid

Sparkling wines as it would make the Lam Mee tasteless and tannin from red wine would make the Lam Mee broth taste somewhat unpleasent


Yong Tao Foo (Restoran O&S, Paramount)

Yong Tao Foo is a kind of hakka dish that marry fish meat filling with vegetables and as the name Yong Tao Foo implied this dish is actually a combination fish filling with tofu. Yong Tao Foo is usually deep fried and comes with the option of eating it with soup or not. There are of course different variation of filling, some with fish only, some with fish and pork combine and I even had one version with the combination of fish and prawn filling. Depending on personal preference, it is eaten with sweet sauce, chili or the combination of both.

Recommended wines

  1. Muscadet Sur Lie (France)–As the main ingredient is fish, and soup broth is usually from fish bones hence this wine would be able to bring out the freshness of the sea from the fish at the same time match back in terms of the saltiness of the fish meat filling.
  2. Alsace Gewürztraminer (France)- This wine is highly recommended especially if you like to have your Yong Tao Foo with sauce and chili as wine would be able to cool down the hotness of the chili as well as providing a hint of spice
  3. Pinot Grigio (Italy) -Good with Yong Tao Foo that comes in its own sauce which can be salty and tangy. This wine would be able to compliment the saltiness as well as enhancing the overall flavour of the dish.

Wines to avoid

Bold red wines as tannin will make the fish taste metallic and sweet wine like dessert wine or moscato which is more suitable to go with food that is sweet in nature.


Nasi Kerabu (Binjai, Kota Damansara)

Nasi Kerabu is the signature blue rice often served with salted egg, vegetables, and fried coconut flakes and it usually comes with spiced fried chicken. This version is slightly sweeter, probably from the fried coconut flakes or the spiced fried chicken.

Recommended wines

  1. Mateaus Rosé (Portugal)- This slightly fizzy and sweet rosé wine is an ideal wine especially if you are having the Nasi Kerabu with chili
  2. Sémillon (Australia)- The unique taste of Sémillon with is low acidity is the key to compliment this dish especially with the rice and fried coconut flakes
  3. Merlot (France)- I once tasted a merlot with a hint of sweetness and this would go well with the spiced fried chicken

Wines to avoid

Somehow the combination of Chilean Sauvignon Blanc and the Nasi Kerabu made the rice dish taste bitter. To avoid red wine in general unless the red wine has a hint of sweetness and not full bodied, a Beaujolais and Pinot Noir would be the red to go for.


Salted Chicken (SS2 Night Market)

This is the type of chicken that is famous in Ipoh, some version has even Chinese herbs being infused while generally the scrumptiousness of the chicken relies on the salt that is being fried and infused in the paper wrap chicken. The final product is a chicken that is tender yet fragrance in salt infusion.

Recommended wines

  1. Pinot Grigio (Italy)-match perfectly with the saltiness of the chicken that is not infused with Chinese herbs
  2. Riesling (Dry) –the oiliness of Riesling would be able to match with the chicken due to the seal in chicken fat from the chicken skin
  3. Sparkling Wine/ Champagne-A little bubbly would go a long way in cutting through the chicken fats as well as enhance the saltiness of the chicken

Wines to Avoid

Sweet wine likes Ice Wine or Moscato d Asti would be too sweet to match with the saltiness of the chicken, unless you would like to experience two separate extreme flavours from the wine and another from the chicken, you can always give this wine pairing a try.


Penang Assam Laksa (SS2 Night Market)


I have a soft spot for Assam Laksa but it tough to get a really good, I find either it is too hot, too sweet or too sour for me. For me, my go to Assam Laksa has always been about the fish broth and it need to be balanced out by the shredded pineapples and chew-able fish bits.

Recommended wines

  1. Medium Sweet Red –The Assam Laksa I had was hot and sour at the same time hence a medium sweet wine would be able to balance out the hot and spicy sensation of my tongue.
  2. Loire Valley Sancerre (France)-You must be wondering why must it be a Sancerre, can’t it be a Sauvignon Blanc? Here is why, I have recently tasted a very lime driven Sancerre and it was a refreshing yet does not cover the taste of the fish broth.

Wines to Avoid

Shiraz and Pinotage in particular as both of this wine would not combine well with the fish broth as it would make the broth taste “fishy”


Banana Leaf Rice (Kanna Curry House, Section 17)

You can love them or hate them, I for a long time been patronizing Kanna for its Banana Leaf Rice and have given others a try when Kanna could no longer satisfy me for the longest time until recently I decided to go back and  to give it another try and it was great to know that they managed to get back the delicious taste that I once craved for. Their normal serving would come with 3 types of vegetables, papadom, rassam and I usually have mine with fried fish

Recommended wines

  1. Pinot Grigio (Italy) –The wine acidity and saltiness would match well with the spiced curry and it is very flavourful to go with the fried fish
  2. Bourgogne Blanc (France)-as this dish is a rich and flavourful one, Chardonnay with a slightly oaked would match back the richness of banana leaf gravy. Bear in mind, the Chardonnay must be from a cool climate region and not hot region though.
  3. Alsace Gewürztraminer (France)-What I like about this wine is that is has a refreshing lychee aroma which is just perfect with this dish (Think about having a fruit juice with banana leave rice) you get the idea.   

Wines to Avoid

Sparkling wine as it would make the banana leave rice even hotter and spicier, unless that is what you are looking for, be my guest.


Hokkien Mee (Kam Lian Kee, Midvalley)

This version of Hokkien Mee is salty, has the “char” element and sweet because there was actually a handful of Cabbage. I had version that were slightly on the sweet side before as well but I do know the epitome of Hokkien Mee is the pork lard and boy , this version I had, was filled with it and the lard taste had  definitely been infused into the noodle.

Recommended wines

  1. Bordeaux Blanc (France)-As the version of Hokkien Mee I’m having is salty and smoky, I would highly recommend it with a Bordeaux Blanc as it have the element of freshness from the Sauvignon Blanc and at the same there is Semillon that can withstand the “char” or smokiness element and it is also suitable when you like your noodle hot and spicy with chilies.
  2. Mendoza Malbec (Argentina)- There are those version of Hokkien Mee where it is charcoal fried and hence there is a prominent “Char” character that would blend well with the slightly peppery and oaky Malbec.
  3. Oaked Chardonnay- There is also version whereby a raw egg is added and this changes the texture of the Hokkien Mee to creamy and by having a oaky Chardonnay would be able to match back the fullness of the noodle

Wines to Avoid

Sweet white or red wine be it Moscato, Riesling or medium sweet red wine as it would be too sweet to go with a salty noodle dish like this as well as Pinot Noir as it would be too light to match back the body of the noodle


Wanton Mee (Restoran O&S, Paramount)

This is my ultimate comfort food and I like mine with wanton, barbeque pork and al-dente wanton noodle. This version is not as salty but has a hint of sweetness and the barbeque pork is tender and well prepared


Recommended wines

  1. Luberon (France)-The acidity and the freshness of the wine compliment the springy noodle and goes well with the fermented green chilies
  2. Provence Rosé (France)-Due to the dark soy sauce, Wanton Mee is a medium bodied noodle dish but it would be tough to go with red wine due to tannin but a rosé would have the freshness needed from the white wine without the tannin


Wines to Avoid

Bold reds like Malbec, Barolo or Rioja due to the oak element and firm tannins which may make the noodle taste unpleasantly bitter


If you like this piece on Malaysian Food and Wine pairing and would like to see more of this type of pairing, please feel free to suggest the type of Malaysian cuisine you would like us to dig in!

Cheer! And Have A winederful Malaysia Day!















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