If I had to pick one thing that I love most about Malaysia, it would definitely have to be the food. So of course it was an easy decision to join the LaZat cooking class – a cooking class in KL that offers a daily Malaysian cooking class. The opportunity to learn how to cook Malay dishes at home? Heck yes!
You see, Malaysian food is a melting pot of three cultures – the Malay, the Chinese and the Indian cultures. And it is this fusion that translates to…well, excellent food. Being able to readily get authentic Malaysian food is not so easy when traveling, so to curb these cravings, I better learn how to cook it myself…right?
So of all the fun things to do in Kuala Lumpur, a Malaysian Cooking Class was high on my Southeast Asia bucket list. And ohhh am I so glad that I was able to check it off!
This cooking class in Malaysia is run from a traditional Malay style home in amongst lush jungle in Penchala Hills, an area set on the fringe of the city of Kuala Lumpur. The LaZat Cooking School has been teaching students the art of Malaysian cuisine for over 9 years. It offers classes from Monday to Saturday, and you select the day you want to join depending on the menu on offer. From classic Malay dishes to Malay-Chinese to Malay-Indian to Vegetarian Malay dishes, there is something for everyone.
But the very epitome of a LaZat cooking class is not just the love of Malaysian food, but it is the passion to bring people from around the world together to share a common language… food!
Table of Contents
Touring a Local Malaysian Market
Our morning started with a market tour at the TTDI Market. The market was filled with fresh fruits, vegetables, meat and seafood from around the country, and neighbouring countries. We were met by the lovely Laty who was our market guide – she took us around and explained to us all about the different ingredients used in Malaysian cuisine.
Laty was fabulous – she gave us a great run down of core ingredients used in Malaysian cooking. From explaining how it is used in cooking to any health benefits, the market tour was extremely informative. Did you know that underneath a Mangosteen you’ll find a ‘flower’ shape? Well the number of ‘petals’ on the ‘flower’ tells you how many slices of fruit are inside the Mangosteen. The more petals, the more fruit slices.
After the market tour, which took about 45 minuntes, Laty treated us to a traditional Malaysian style breakfast – roti canai and teh tarik. Yum, yum, and yum again. And another lesson learned – a round shaped roti canai is far better than a rectangular shaped roti canai explains Laty.
The LaZat Cooking Class
After our market tour, we make our way to the school ready to start our Lazat Cooking Class. This cooking class in Malaysia is great, because it is extremely interactive and hands on – that is exactly what I wanted because it is the best way to learn about how to cook Malaysian food. Individual work stations were set up for everyone. We received an apron to wear during the class, a take home recipe book, and all necessary ingredients and equipment needed to get our cook on. It was clean and hygienic, which was a great start to the LaZat cooking class.
To start off the class, we all meet Ana – the founder and owner of LaZat. She shares with us that she has run the school for over 9 years and continues to love sharing her passion for food with all her visitors. Ana also works around the room and introduces every student, so we all know each other. Finally, Ana introduces us to Saadiah, our head teacher for the day.
Saadiah, then proceeds to introduce herself to everyone. She’s worked as a professional chef since the late 70’s, and started her career working for several 5-star hotels around Malaysia. Today, she shares her passion for Malaysian food and cooking with students of this Malaysian cooking class. I also loved Saadiah’s sense of humour, and her bubbly personality.
On the Cooking Menu
Otay Otak – Fish marinated in herbs and spices and steamed in a banana leaf
Chicken Curry – This is one of my favorite dishes in the Malay cuisine
Roti Jala – Also know as lacy/net pancake. It is a type of pancake that is traditionally served with curry
Once Onde – This dessert is like a dumpling that is poached and is made using a dough created with glutinous rice flour and then stuffed with palm sugar.
Every student was set on their own individual cooking station, and we were given all the necessary ingredients and cooking utensils needed. We cut our own vegetables and meat, we pounded our own paste, we sautéed our own curry paste, we poached our own dessert… from start to finish, this cooking class in kuala lumpur was truly a hands-on experience.
As we worked through cooking each dish, the LaZat team worked hard to ensure the kitchen was kept clean and organised. We never had to wait to start cooking the next dish, because LaZat prepared everything in advance to ensure our time was used wisely.
The LaZat cooking class ran for around 4 hours, which also included a short break to cool down over some ‘ice kacang’ – a dessert made of shaved ice that is decorated with palm sugar syrup, coconut milk and home made pandan jelly.
At the end of the class, we all gathered upstairs in the dining room to enjoy the meal we had cooked. Of course everyone first took their ‘foodie’ photos before we started eating.
It felt like we were cooking with friends. Ana, Laty, Saadiah and the team at LaZat made everyone feel comfortable. They were friendly, patient and had a great sense of humor, which made for an enjoyable day.
If you are looking to do a Malaysian cooking class during your trip to Kuala Lumpur, then I highly recommend joining a LaZat cooking class. It is a fantastic way to learn more about the Malaysian culture, through its food. They say that any one can follow a recipe, but if the wrong techniques are used, this can change the way the dish is supposed to taste. This cooking class in Malaysia teaches you the techniques needed to cook Malay food through a very hands-on class.
The whole team at LaZat were wonderful. Our teachers for the day all spoke a high level of English that was very easy to understand. They were friendly and patient with everyone, as every student is at a different level of cooking. We even had a young 11-year-old student in our class and I felt the teachers were absolutely fantastic with her.
What a delicious way to spend the day!
To book, simply visit the LaZat website and book online. Classes start from RM290 (U$73 /A$95). This includes a morning market tour, hands-on cooking class experience, friendly hosts, a take home recipe book and all ingredients.
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No compensation was received for this review, however the LaZat Cooking School kindly offered my experience complimentary. All opinions remains my own. I only recommend products & services that I personally love and use myself.