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Old 04-18-2014, 08:42 PM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
9,781 posts, read 16,235,411 times
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Especially in the US, but also say in the UK. Despite there not being a lot of Thai-Americans it seems Thai restaurants are common in the US, at least the West coast and larger cities. In comparison it seems Malaysian/Indonesian/Singaporean restaurants are rarer than hen's teeth.

The latter are common here, largely due to the many people from those countries and Australians familiarity with those countries. Malaysia was also a British colony and quite a few Malaysians go to the UK, although the cuisine isn't common there.

It's often considered THE best in Asia (although it's partly subjective) and Singapore, Penang.etc often hailed as the ultimate destination for foodies, so it's esteemed unlike say the Philippines. Thai is definitely delicious too, of course.

A fair number of Brits still visit Malaysia, about half a million a year, which is about half those who visit Thailand.

I wonder why it never achieved even small prominence in most of the US? I mean there are some people from these countries over there, but most Americans have never even tried dishes like nasi goreng, laksa, chicken rice, roti, nyonya chicken curry, murtabak.etc.
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Old 04-18-2014, 08:47 PM
 
Location: East coast
613 posts, read 892,280 times
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Well there is very little immigration from Malaysia or Indonesia to the United States, so that partially explains it.

But that doesn't explain why Thai cuisine does so well in the US despite little immigration from there either?

Possibly the influence of the Vietnam war? Thai cuisine being more similar to East Asian cuisines that Americans are already familiar with? Like Chinese?

This Wikipedia article suggests that Thais went out of their way and tried to get their cuisine recognized globally.

"The Thaksin administration of Thailand (2001-2006) launched the "Kitchen of the World" campaign to promote Thai cuisine internationally, with a yearly budget of 500 million baht. It provided loans and training for restaurateurs seeking to establish Thai restaurants overseas; established the "Thai Select" certification program which encouraged the use of ingredients imported from Thailand; and promoted integration between Thai investors, Thai Airways, and the Tourism Authority of Thailand with Thai restaurants overseas.[16]"

Thai cuisine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 04-18-2014, 08:55 PM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
9,781 posts, read 16,235,411 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markovian process View Post
Well there is very little immigration from Malaysia or Indonesia to the United States, so that partially explains it.

But that doesn't explain why Thai cuisine does so well in the US despite little immigration from there either?

Possibly the influence of the Vietnam war? Thai cuisine being more similar to East Asian cuisines that Americans are already familiar with? Like Chinese?

This Wikipedia article suggests that Thais went out of their way and tried to get their cuisine recognized globally.

"The Thaksin administration of Thailand (2001-2006) launched the "Kitchen of the World" campaign to promote Thai cuisine internationally, with a yearly budget of 500 million baht. It provided loans and training for restaurateurs seeking to establish Thai restaurants overseas; established the "Thai Select" certification program which encouraged the use of ingredients imported from Thailand; and promoted integration between Thai investors, Thai Airways, and the Tourism Authority of Thailand with Thai restaurants overseas.[16]"

Thai cuisine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Two good possible explanations. Thai immigration to Australia is larger than expected, with about 100,000 Australian residents of Thai ancestry. Japanese immigration to Australia is not that huge (though still more than most) yet Japanese is super popular. Hell it seems more than Thai OR Malaysian here now.

I guess not that many Americans visit Malaysia as a percentage, so it would make a smaller dint.
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Old 04-19-2014, 12:05 AM
 
Location: West Jakarta + Tangerang
376 posts, read 742,607 times
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The simple answer is the Indonesians rarely stay in the country beyond, making our food less well known there & Maybe one less any promotion of our food *-*
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Old 04-19-2014, 05:28 AM
 
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Although there aren't that many of them, the simple answer is there are still more Thais in the US than there are Malaysians/Indonesians. There's actually a Thai Town in Los Angeles, in the East Hollywood district.

The other thing to consider is The Postman tends to grossly overrate anything from Malaysia. Penang is fine, but to call it the best or whatever in terms of its food scene is in my opinion exaggerated. I would never rank Penang higher than Hong Kong as a foodie destination. Malaysian food is fine with me, but I know people who actually dislike them. Personally, I grow tired eating Malaysian food after two days. Malaysia itself is also very segregated, almost everyone who eats at those Chinese Malaysian restaurants are Chinese with almost no Muslims, and the Chinese do not eat at the Malay restaurants. About the only more common restaurants you can see more ethnic groups are in places like KFC. Chinese Malaysians avoid beef, while Malays being Muslims will not eat pork; so they tend not to eat at the same places. Indonesians are a bit more mixed in this area. One of my favorite Indonesian dishes is rendang, and that is something one cannot find in Chinese Malaysian restaurants.
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Old 04-19-2014, 05:37 AM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenTiger View Post
Although there aren't that many of them, the simple answer is there are still more Thais in the US than there are Malaysians/Indonesians. There's actually a Thai Town in Los Angeles, in the East Hollywood district.

The other thing to consider is The Postman tends to grossly overrate anything from Malaysia. Penang is fine, but to call it the best or whatever in terms of its food scene is in my opinion exaggerated. I would never rank Penang higher than Hong Kong as a foodie destination. Malaysian food is fine with me, but I know people who actually dislike them. Personally, I grow tired eating Malaysian food after two days. Malaysia itself is also very segregated, almost everyone who eats at those Chinese Malaysian restaurants are Chinese with almost no Muslims, and the Chinese do not eat at the Malay restaurants. About the only more common restaurants you can see more ethnic groups are in places like KFC. Chinese Malaysians avoid beef, while Malays being Muslims will not eat pork; so they tend not to eat at the same places. Indonesians are a bit more mixed in this area. One of my favorite Indonesian dishes is rendang, and that is something one cannot find in Chinese Malaysian restaurants.
You obviously don't know much about Malaysia if you believe all those generalisations. Grossly overrate? Well many food critics, experts, and Anthony Bourdain himself have mentioned how they think Singapore/Malaysia has the best food scene in Asia. Give me Penang, KL anyday over Hong Kong. Hong Kong is mostly Cantonese, Malaysia is so much more diverse.

Certainly not true. Malays enjoy Chinese food (there ARE quite a few halal Chinese restaurants), and Chinese Malaysians also often enjoy Malay food. Both also frequent Indian places. My dad is Malaysian and I've been many times, living there as the locals do, not just a tourist. Some Chinese might avoid beef but a ton eat it, and at most Chinese restaurants there beef has been on the menu. Cannot find in Chinese Malaysian restaurants? You certainly can, even if it's more a Malay dish. It's common in all types of Malaysian restaurants. There are also Peranakan/Baba-Nyonya restaurants (often halal even if they traditionally did eat pork) which are popular with Malays of all ethnicities.
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Old 04-19-2014, 05:44 AM
 
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia
1,022 posts, read 3,144,960 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenTiger View Post
Although there aren't that many of them, the simple answer is there are still more Thais in the US than there are Malaysians/Indonesians. There's actually a Thai Town in Los Angeles, in the East Hollywood district.

The other thing to consider is The Postman tends to grossly overrate anything from Malaysia. Penang is fine, but to call it the best or whatever in terms of its food scene is in my opinion exaggerated. I would never rank Penang higher than Hong Kong as a foodie destination. Malaysian food is fine with me, but I know people who actually dislike them. Personally, I grow tired eating Malaysian food after two days. Malaysia itself is also very segregated, almost everyone who eats at those Chinese Malaysian restaurants are Chinese with almost no Muslims, and the Chinese do not eat at the Malay restaurants. About the only more common restaurants you can see more ethnic groups are in places like KFC. Chinese Malaysians avoid beef, while Malays being Muslims will not eat pork; so they tend not to eat at the same places. Indonesians are a bit more mixed in this area. One of my favorite Indonesian dishes is rendang, and that is something one cannot find in Chinese Malaysian restaurants.
Well you might find it surprising that in here pork are sold next to halal food, a phenomena which is impossible in Malaysia because of the sharia law. As for rendang you can actually get it from the Malay restaurant there, but personally the rendang back home is waaay better, Malaysian dish had too much coconut milk.
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Old 04-19-2014, 05:47 AM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goshio22 View Post
Well you might find it surprising that in here pork are sold next to halal food, a phenomena which is impossible in Malaysia because of the sharia law. As for rendang you can actually get it from the Malay restaurant there, but personally the rendang back home is waaay better, Malaysian dish had too much coconut milk.
You haven't tried some of the good rendang cooked by some of the Malay aunties...in fact I had a home cooked meal that included rendang, cooked by a Malay lady, and it was the best I've ever had, better than in any restaurant I've had.

I guess the fact you can't disprove what I've said shows your initial points were untrue.
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Old 04-19-2014, 05:50 AM
 
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Postman View Post
You haven't tried some of the good rendang cooked by some of the Malay aunties...in fact I had a home cooked meal that included rendang, cooked by a Malay lady, and it was the best I've ever had, better than in any restaurant I've had.

I guess the fact you can't disprove what I've said shows your initial points were untrue.
Well i think i've been to quiet a lot of Malay restaurants, and ordered rendang few times to see the difference and how good it is, and the conclusion is still better back home. And plus you don't have to find "aunties" here, just hop into any padang restaurants and there are tonnes of them here, most will be good.
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Old 04-19-2014, 05:53 AM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goshio22 View Post
Well i think i've been to quiet a lot of Malay restaurants, and ordered rendang few times to see the difference and how good it is, and the conclusion is still better back home. And plus you don't have to find "aunties" here, just hop into any padang restaurants and there are tonnes of them here, most will be good.
Well yes, a lot are in the kitchen in a lot of restaurants in Malaysia too. Rendang there is just as good as Indo. Both countries have really good food. Malaysia probably wins because it has more Chinese Malaysian and Indian Malaysian, as well as more pure Chinese and Indian as well as Malay. Plus more western food in Malaysia too.
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