By RIO ROSE RIBAYA
As the original was published on 9 January 2018
Malaysia has a food and beverage scene that is as rich as its culture. It’s so competitive that there’s bound to be something new to entice Malaysian foodies with almost every month. We lined up for Australian freak shakes, Japanese cheesecakes and salted egg chips last year. And nothing could stop us from doing the same for the new food trends dominating Kuala Lumpur in 2018.
But what particular food trends, you ask? We have quite a few ideas. In 2017, BBC Good Food observed trends that reflect changing attitudes towards health, community, and the environment. The same rang true for food lovers who saw a bigger boom in cafes that serve all-day breakfast, buddha bowls, and avocado toasts. This year, let’s just say that some of tasty new products that will be flooding KL restaurants will make vegans and vegetarians very happy.
The rise of organic farming in Malaysia seems to encourage a healthy food trend for the months ahead. But the growing number of health-conscious young executives are inspiring an even more adventurous veggie and vegan cuisine. This promises to make our 2018 resolutions to live a healthier and more active lifestyle easier to keep.
From pickled veggies to plant-based burgers and non-alcoholic drinks, we take a glimpse of the healthy food trends to look forward to savouring in 2018.
Pickled and fermented food has enjoyed a steady rise in the mainstream. This, according to BBC, is a good indicator that 2018 will all be about gut health. While some vegetables can indeed make the stomach bloat, food rich in probiotics like kimchi, miso, and kefir as well as prebiotics like onions and garlic that underwent the process of fermentation and pickling can actually aid in digestion.
In 2016, Momofuku Nishi restaurant served a meatless burger in in New York. It had patties that are entirely made from plants by tech food start-up Impossible Foods. This is all thanks to heme — a molecule that gives meat pink colour, flavour, and even the bloodiness of a meat cooked rare. As food tech scientists in the West look into developing faux chicken, fish, even eggs, local vegans and vegetarians could only hope for these wicked burger swaps to arrive on Malaysian shores soon.
With the continuous rise of herbal and green tea consumption at home, we wouldn’t be surprised to see more tea houses or bars to open up in the high street this year. More and more people are actually holding tea in the same regard they have for coffees. In fact, 2018 might just be the year it overtakes roasted or ground beans in terms of popularity.
The rise of tea’s popularity also signals the growing interest in non-alcoholic specialty drinks. But BBC columnist Tony Naylor thinks this trend will also spill over to booze-free cocktails, saying that gym-going and salad-eating millennials are consuming less alcohol. There’s also a growing trend wherein bars like Atlas spend more time whipping up non-alcohol cocktails. Even spirits innovation company Distill Ventures noted that this is most exciting drinks trend as early as 2017.
2017 was a big year for Hawaiian food. And you can only expect it and its speciality dishes like poké bowls to grow even more popular in 2018. Sans elaborate presentation, they are essentially sushi in bowl forms. The fact that anyone can customise its well-rounded ingredients of raw, marinated fish cubes with a wide array of veggies, rice, and more could encourage more restauranteurs to open more healthy grab-and-go shops like Kurin In Kuala Lumpur.
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