How to order Nasi Padang in Malay (as a Chinese, so makciks can call me sayang)
I am Chinese who loves Malay food. I wish to order Nasi Padang in Malay like a local so I qualify for the mythical ‘Malay Price’ or get extra portion. Bonus if the Makciks will call me ‘sayang’.
Please teach me the necessary Malay phrases needed (especially white rice, beef rendang, curry vegetable, chicken cutlet, sausage, and egg). Google translate might provide a literal translation so I’m asking here.
Terima Kasih Bahasa Melayu Cikgu-Cikgu.
- Address them as kak kak instead of makcik.
- In a respectful and loving way like you’re talking to your favourite grandma, greet the makcik with “Hello cik! Saya nak nasi padang hari ni!” (Hello aunty! I want to have Nasi Padang today!)
Once the cik asks you what you want, you can list down the ingredients like the other commenters listed. Or if you don’t know the terms, just point and say “yang ni, boleh?” (this one can?) or “ni pun” (this one also).
After you paid, thank the makcik.
If the makcik calls you “sayang”, “‘yang”, “nak” (child), “adik” (younger sibling), or “dik”, you’ve succeeded.
- Here’s how you should start:
“Cik (for older auntie/uncle)/Kak (lady around your age)/Abang (guy around your age), nasi, makan”
Most Nasi Padang stall serve white rice so no need to specify when ordering. Just say “nasi, makan” will do, if you’re eating it at the food court/hawker centre. Change “makan” to “bungkus” for takeaway.
Typical gravy that the stalls serve include:
– Lemak ayam cili padi (Chicken chili padi gravy, yellow in colour. Not “yellow curry”)
– Rendang daging (Beef rendang)
– Asam pedas ikan/ayam (Spicy-sour fish/curry gravy, reddish-orange in colour)
– Sayur lodeh/Lemak sayur (vegetable gravy, yellow in colour. Usually eaten with lontong)
– Kicap ayam/ikan (Chicken/fish with sweet soy sauce – Kari ayam/ikan (Chicken/fish curry)
You may want to google some of these to have a better idea of what they look like.
For your case:
– Egg: “telur” (usually they serve sunny side up, so “telur mata lembu”. Literally means cow eye egg. Although no cow parts are in it). Sometimes they have onion omelettes, “telur bawang”.
– Chicken cutlet: “ayam” cutlet. No pronunciation change for cutlet. No need to change to Malay word. Just keep it as it is.
– Sausage: pronounce it as you would in English.
Other sides they might have:
– Nugget, seaweed chicken (“ayam” seaweed), stir fried veggies (“sayur goreng”, usually stir fried cabbages), fried potato patties (“begedil”)
I think I’ve covered the baseline. All the best!