Ask any Malaysian what is something every Malaysian eats and you’ll get a variety of answers. But a common one would definitely be nasi lemak. A staple food for breakfast, and an easily accessible, simple meal for the hungry.
Nasi lemak is a beloved local delicacy, which is why Malaysians were angered when it didn’t get a good rating on the food site, TasteAtlas. It didn’t help that food from other Southeast Asian countries ranked higher than it.
On 7th March, TasteAtlas posted their ranking of Southeast Asian food. Nasi lemak was the only dish from Malaysia to make the list. Additionally, it was rated 3.5+ (over 5), and was casually ranked as an “ok” dish. It was beaten out by Philippines’s Lumpiang Shanghai and Tortang Talong, Indonesia’s Chicken Porridge and Satay, Vietnam’s Pho and Thailand’s Pad Thai. Needless to say, netizens weren’t happy.
Many flocked to the comments section in defense of the dish. Several declared nasi lemak as their favourite food and claimed that other Malaysians loved the dish too. Others tried to figure out why the local dish didn’t rank as high as they expected. “Maybe because it was ranked as healthy food by Time Magazine,” one observed.
However, netizens questioned who exactly had been in charge of ranking the food. TasteAtlas had noted that the rankings were done according to their audience. But it seems the explanation isn’t good enough for these netizens. Some scornfully theorised that the list was made by people who didn’t like spicy food.
“How can TasteAtlas invite (an) audience that cannot stand spicy food or have no sensitive taste buds to judge Asian food?” one scoffed. Others claimed the ratings were bland and “doesn’t make any sense”. One even opined that the votes were limited to certain countries. “Hence, (the results) will not count as valid and fair,” they stated.
A quick check of TasteAtlas website at the time of writing showed a boost in nasi lemak’s ratings. It’s currently sitting pretty at 4.0. Perhaps offended Malaysians took to the site to up the ratings in defense of the dish.
Well, we don’t need ratings to tell us what’s good. After all, “one man’s meat is another man’s poison”. If you love nasi lemak, no one is ever gonna stop you from chowing it down!
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