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    Feb 18, 2014

    'Naked' nasi lemak riles chef


    MALAYSIA Airlines (MAS) recently removed fried anchovies and roasted peanuts from its nasi lemak meal as they were stale and contaminated, it said in response to a complaint by a well-known chef.

    On an economy flight from Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok on Jan 29, Chef Wan commented that he received nasi lemak telanjang ("naked" nasi lemak).

    The nasi lemak had only half a hard-boiled egg and some sambal on the side, and the chef remarked that the national carrier should take some pride in showcasing what is arguably one of Malaysia's most popular dishes.

    To present it on an international flight without the proper cucumber, peanuts and anchovies made the Malaysian breakfast look really poor, he said.

    MAS food-and-beverage manager and executive chef Zahiddin Dris said: "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."

    He told reporters during a tour of MAS' in-flight caterer, Brahim's Airline Catering, that "we could not replace the (items) because our suppliers had closed their businesses to celebrate Chinese New Year".

    Mr 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 during domestic and regional flights.