Reason for 'naked' nasi lemak

By Zora Chan

The Star/Asia News Network

Friday, Feb 14, 2014

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SEPANG - The fried anchovies and roasted peanuts from a typical Malaysia Airlines (MAS) inflight nasi lemak meal had to be removed on flights departing on Jan 29 as they were stale and contaminated, said MAS.

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Chef Wan, on an economy flight from Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok that day, commented on Instagram that he received a nasi lemak telanjang ("naked" nasi lemak) from the airline.

"What happened was that we found small stones, while the peanuts tasted rancid. To avoid food safety issues, we suspended all anchovies and peanuts from being served on all flights that day," said MAS Food and Beverage manager and executive chef Zahiddin Dris.

"We could not replace the condiments because our suppliers had closed their business to celebrate Chinese New Year," he told reporters during a tour of MAS' inflight caterer, Brahim's Airline Catering, here yesterday.

Chef Wan's nasi lemak only had half a hard boiled egg and some sambal on the side, to which he remarked that the national carrier should show some pride in showcasing what is arguably one of Malaysia's most popular dishes.

Zahiddin said fried anchovies and peanuts were normally served and packed separately from the rice.

"This is to maintain the freshness and taste of the anchovies and peanuts," he said, adding that it was not viable to serve sliced cucumbers for economy class meals in both domestic and regional flights because the vegetable would turn soggy and taste weird after being heated twice.

The crew would also not have the time to serve cucumbers separately to economy class passengers due to time constraints.

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