The harmonious co-existence of Malay, Chinese and Indian culture form the foundation and weave the social fabric of Malaysia.
Over 13 episodes, audiences join Martin as he crisscrosses both the Malaysian peninsula and Borneo (East Malaysia), scales mountain peaks, and dive into the South China Sea. They feast with him in historical Penang, the world capital of street food and visit Malacca and the Cameron Highlands.
A taste of Malaysia is complex, it’s multi-layered, nuanced, and in the end, it’s most memorable, as is our new series Taste of Malaysia with Martin Yan.
The series premieres on KQED 9 on Wednesday, October 24 at 7:30PM.
Taste of Malaysia with Martin Yan will begin airing on public television stations across the country starting on October 12, 2018. Check your local station for listings.
Episode 1: The Many Faces of Malacca
Martin explores the many cultural layers of historical Malacca, a UNESCO World Heritage City, embarking on a river cruise to retrace the voyages of early Portuguese, Chinese, Dutch and English settlers. On shore he admires their houses of worship: temples, churches and mosques, all located on the world famous ‘Harmony Street’. For his edible adventures Martin explores Jonker Street, a culinary hot bed of Chinese, Portuguese and Malay delicacies.
Episode 2: Peranakan Perfection
Malaysia’s Peranakan culture is the main focus for Martin’s continual exploration of Malacca. For a brief history lesson Martin stops by the Baba Nyonya museum, and several traditional arts and crafts shops on Jonker Street to admire the intricate details of classical Peranakan designs and visits with local families whose lifestyle exemplifies the Peranakan culture past and present.
Episode 3: Island Wonders
Martin explores life on the picturesque Pangkor Island and its neighboring sister island Pangkor Laut – home to a world famous private resort. In Pangkor Martin goes anchovy fishing on a local fishing vessel, visits a seaweed farm and discovers all of the health benefits of seaweed. At the exclusive Pangkor Laut private resort Martin lives the life of the rich and famous, sharing the best dishes with the talented chefs on staff.
Episode 4: Loyal Friends in Setiawan
Many of today’s Who’s Who in Malaysia grew up in small, humble towns such as Setiawan. Martin spends a day with a network of old friends in their hometown, visiting with a local baker and a noodle maker discussing their strong community spirit, then Martin gets an invite to the famous fish head banquet.
Episode 5: The Land of Grace
With international fashion and lifestyle icon Julie Song as his guide, Martin gets a close up look at the graceful and artistic side of historical Ipoh. Martin explores the unique blending of Ipoh’s colonial past with the contemporary Chinese, Indian and Malay culture at the heart of the cities architectural landscape, interior design and cross-culture culinary offerings.
Episode 6: Country Hideaway
Martin wanders into the natural beauty of Perek by visiting the Banjaran Resort, one of its premier destinations. For a bit of food culture he visits with a local lady chef whose specialty is a traditional wedding favorite; Rendang Tok. Martin also visits his good friend Chef Ringo; the two chefs explore the region’s beautiful hiking trails and drop by a special fish farm for sturgeons.
Episode 7: A Southern Gem
Martin ventures south to the rich and diverse state of Johor seeking culinary hotspots in Johr Bahru, like a 100 year old family bakery where traditional recipes are passed down from one generation to the next. Then Martin drops by the UK Farm, where he samples their organically grown fruits and vegetables, followed by a visit to a most unique goat farm.
Episode 8: Tangkak- A Southern Gateway
The state of Johor is full of small culinary gems. Martin explores the area around Tangkak, sampling many local favorites on ‘Hungry Street’ such as the famous flying roti and freshly made wonton noodles. Nearby he’s shown the many healthy food products derived from brown rice then to a palm oil plantation, and finally shares a cooking lesson with a local chef.
Episode 9: Eight Million Cups of Tea
Martin travels to the scenic Cameron Highlands for some farm-fresh fruits and vegetables, learns a colonial history lesson and discovers the best cup of tea in Malaysia, at the Boh Tea Plantation. Martin also visits the famous Smoke House Hotel, where he learns about tea cultivation which keeps the region connected to its colonial past. Then, Martin gets ready for an overnight stay in a Tree House.
Episode 10: Life on the Pahang River
Martin travels along the banks of the Pahang River, meeting with local folks and sharing their life stories and recipes where he discovers a local delicacy, the patin fish. Then, Martin and friend, Chef Wan, and swaps war stories and a recipe or two. Martin also experiences Musang King Durian- The TSA forbidden fruit, best known for its terrible smell and the most expensive fishin the world, Empurau Fish.
Episode 11: From Mountain to Sea
Martin traverses the great state of Pahang, going from its sky-reaching peaks to the pristine sandy seashore. In the city Sungai Lembing Martin learns about the region’s rich history in mining and shares an afternoon pig roast with locals followed by a lesson in batik painting.
Episode 12: East Coast Essence
Martin admires the elegant state of Terengganu, with its world-famous Floating and Crystal Mosques. He visits a century old Hai Peng Café in Kemaman, a local historical landmark as well as a food hotspot. At Kuala Terengganu Martin ventures into the region’s Chinatown by sheer chance. The surprise visit turns into an educational adventure and culinary treat when Martin meets up with local legend Madame Bee at her restaurant.
Episode 13: Cradle of Malaysia
Martin is charmed by the grace and essence of Kelantan on this episode. He starts the day by visiting the colorful Siti Khatijad market, afterwards he pays tribute to the giant reclining Buddha. Kite making and shadow puppetry are famous in this area, as is weaving songket and batik. They all catch Martin’s artistic eye, but also art of a culinary nature: the famous cat fish fry, budu and belacan sauces.
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