Around the World in Houston: Discover Malaysia

Satay Malaysian Restaurant near the Galleria | Photo courtesy of Satay Malaysian Restaurant

With a labyrinth of cultures represented in every nook and cranny of town, Houston is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in America. To celebrate this world-class melting pot, we’ll be exploring a new region of the globe through a Houston lens each week, from annual festivals and museums to restaurants and cultural experiences. Join the journey with our Around the World in Houston series.

From restaurants offering authentic roti canai, satay and bah kut teh to a cultural association and networking groups, immerse yourself in Malaysian culture without leaving Houston.

Annual Festivals & Cultural Events

  • AsiaFest – Held in the spring, AsiaFest celebrates Asian Pacific American Heritage through community performances, fusion cuisine, creative activities, art and vendors, and cultural exhibitions.

Museums & Cultural Organizations

  • Malaysian Singaporean Association of Houston – This nonprofit celebrates the heritage and culture of Malaysia and Singapore. Join the Facebook group to follow along with events and notifications.
  • Asia Society Texas Center – The Asia Society Texas Center focuses on enriching and engaging the vast diversity of Houston through innovative, relevant programs in arts and culture, business and policy, education, and community outreach. Look out for a lineup of programs and activities, including film festivals, family days, culture camps, student programs, art exhibitions and more.
  • Asian Pacific American Heritage Association – Formed in 1992 and serving the Greater Houston area and beyond, this heritage association strives to promote awareness and increase understanding of the Asian/Pacific American culture and its diversity through education and celebration. The group focuses on May, Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, and continues with programs, events, and educational opportunities throughout the year.
  • Arts of Asia at MFAH – The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston hosts an Arts of Asia collection spanning nearly five millennia and encompassing cultures across the continent, including Southeast Asian art.

Malaysian Food & Drink


  • Banana Leaf – Get authentic Malaysian cuisine at this Chinatown staple, with offerings from roti canai, oyster omelet, and bah kut teh soup to nasi lemak, beef rendang, and sizzling bean curd.
  • Malay Malay Malaysian Restaurant – Serving the Clear Lake area for over 10 years, Malay Malay dishes out specialties like roti telur, satay beef, mee goreng, and bbq fish wrapped in banana leaf.
  • Mamak Malaysian – Head to this stylish eatery to nosh on pangan ikan whole fish, Malaysian-style tofu, prawn mee, sarang burong, satay, belacan fried rice, and fresh coconut drinks.
  • Satay Malaysian Restaurant – On Westheimer near Fountainview, this modern space offers authentic Malaysian traditions like kosong roti, tofu, chicken and beef satay, bak kut teh pot, curry laksa, and nasi lemak.

Grocery Stores

  • 99 Ranch Market – Hit any of the three Houston-area locations of this Asian to shop for everything from rice and shrimp paste to lemongrass and coconut.
  • Hong Kong Food Market – This colossal market in Chinatown’s Hong Kong City Mall spans the continent of Asia, offering tastes of China, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, Korea, and Malaysia.
  • Super H-Mart – This bustling food emporium specializes in Korean, but you’ll also find a wonderland of ingredients that span Asian cuisines. Hit it to find fresh fruits and vegetables; live, fresh and frozen seafood; quality meats; imported snacks, candies, sauces and spices; varietals of noodles and rice; and in-house baked goods. Don’t miss the food court options if you’re hungry.

Language Classes, Education Centers, Groups & Meet-Ups

Editor’s Note 5/28/18: This article was originally and inadvertently published with a photo showing people wearing traditional Filipino dress, and did not itself represent any Malaysia or Malaysian culture in Houston. We hold all of Houston influencing communities in great regard and are sorry about this mistake. We regret the error and, more importantly, any grief or confusion that it may have caused our readers. 

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Brooke Viggiano is a food and lifestyle writer residing in Houston. When she's not contributing to publications like 365 Things to Do in Houston, Thrillist Houston and the Houston Press, she's on the hunt for the coolest happenings in the city. You can follow her musings on Twitter @BrookeViggiano .