Recently, the folks at HiHo Kids uploaded a new video entry featuring four of their cute stars eating Malaysian food.
The kids – Clara, Crystal, Austin and JayQue – were given plates of nasi lemak, roti canai, laksa and apam balik. Overall, the kids liked most of the dishes, though they did not care for the spiciness of some items like the sambal in the nasi lemak or the dahl served with the roti canai.
If you’ve seen any other food-related video from HiHo Kids, a YouTube channel based in the United States that focuses on making videos for children, you would know that sometimes, the (adult) producers don’t get things right.
This was the case for the Kids Try Malaysian Food video.
In the clip, the kids are introduced to nasi lemak as a breakfast item, while roti canai is a lunch meal. While the statements are not entirely wrong, many of us would argue that both items can be eaten at any time of the day. In fact, a few of the comments by apparent Malaysians say that we “do not” eat roti canai for lunch as many shops don’t make them at that time of the day.
In the video, Crystal and an off-screen adult pronounce roti canai as “roe-tee ka-nai”, which annoy many people. Though they aren’t necessarily upset that it is pronounced wrongly, they do think that the producers should have at least tried to Google, “how do you pronounce roti canai”.
To top it off, the producer called the sambal in the nasi lemak, “chilli sauce”.
The laksa, which many say is more like curry noodles, uses flat rice noodles or kuay teow, and has big pieces of chicken in it. The apam balik looks like a fluffy pancake and is served with peanut butter and chocolate chips.
A quick scan through the comments show just how irritated some Malaysians are at how little care was put into making the dishes. In the details section of the video, a “Chef Zachary” is credited; one can surmise that this is the chef responsible for making the meals.
Zachary Pacleb and his brother Seth are co-owners of a catering service in Seattle, Washington in the US, called Brothers & Co. Zachary has been featured before in another popular HiHo Kids video called Kids Try Molecular Gastronomy, in case you want to check out what he looks like.
Numerous comments defending the new video state that perhaps the meals were made that way because some ingredients may be difficult to obtain in Seattle, or that maybe the chef tried to do things “his way”.
“Ko ingat senang nak cari bahan kat amareka (sic). haha. definitely not authentic laaa. real authentic laksa requires genuine asian herbs and ingredients which are not cheap or easily available in the States,” said one user in the comments section.
Another viewer noted: “Well, i would appreciate if the producers would do more research about the food they are presenting to the kids.”
Watch the video and tell us what you think. If you live in the US (or anywhere else other than in South-East Asia), let us know if “authentic” Malaysian food is easily available to you.