NOTHING unites Malaysians quite like our local food.
In a show of solidarity for our beloved "nasi lemak", Malaysians on Twitter wasted no time in defending the dish when a version of it was ridiculed by a UK-based journalist.
It is unclear where she was flying from, but Katie Morley who was on a British Airways (BA) flight, shared a photo of what she was served on board the aircraft, expressing her disgust with the dish.
The food she was served looked a lot like nasi lemak; white rice, what looked like "ayam masak merah" (chicken cooked with red chillies and tomato), a slice of boiled egg and fried anchovies.
However, according to Morley, it was listed as "chicken curry with rice".
Together with the photo, Morley vented her frustration: " In the name of public interest, am sharing this wickedly bad meal British Airways treated me to during a 13-hour flight. Behold: chicken curry served with anaemic boiled egg, topped with smelly, slimy anchovies. ANCHOVIES. I quite like plane food usually, and this was a 0/10."
It is clear from her tweet that Morley has no idea what nasi lemak is, much less what it would look like.
An equally confused non-Malaysian replied to Morley, asking, "Why on earth would anyone pair chicken with anchovies? And I am so confused by the random egg... What a disaster."
(Clearly they have not been introduced to the many delicious versions of Nasi Lemak Ayam we have in this country.)
It does appear though that Morley was just a passenger who found herself face-to-face with a dish she thought of as "wickedly bad".
That however did not stop Malaysians from berating her for putting down our "national" dish, despite it most likely being unintentional.
One Twitter user replied to Morley's tweet in Malay, calling her "bodoh" (stupid). The user went on to berate her in Malay.
The user told her to stick to her "tasteless dishes" and told her not to try Asian food.
The user brought up an argument that one usually could select what to eat in-flight.
"Sendiri yg pilih nasi lemak, lepas tu sentap duk kutuk makanan kita pulak," @IniAlannnLah wrote. (You opted for the nasi lemak meal, and then you want to insult our food.)
User @deanzail was more calm, and told Morley what the dish was, "Nasi Lemak is my people's heritage, and whoever cooked this was not doing it justice."
Perhaps after being bombarded by the replies, some of them in the Malay language, Morley took the criticism levelled at her in stride and posted: "Many Malaysians have got in touch to say the meal I tweeted about yesterday is a popular national dish. I'd not come across it before and meant no offence. As many have pointed out, I was clearly served a very poor version by BA. Sure it can be lovely and hope to try the real thing one day!"
Now remember the Englishman who flew thousands of miles just to get a taste of nasi lemak? All it took was a photo of the dish that crossed his Instagram feed and Darren Cronian bought a plane ticket from Athens, Greece and flew to Malaysia. His spontaneity was celebrated by many Malaysians as he shared his journey on social media.
Cronian replied to Morley's tweet, saying, "Katie, the Malaysians are very passionate about the local food.
"I mean I flew 6,000 miles for it," he said, sharing the YouTube link to his nasi lemak adventure with Morley.
Additional info: Cronian replied to a Twitter user asking him to come here again, saying he is set to make his way here at the end of February.