Kelantan Pizza With Love (or not)
Don’t get me wrong, I love eating street food when I travel. Once in awhile though, the guts need a bit of a reprieve from the constant spicy (and sometimes sketchy) onslaught and I give my innards a break by eating something a little more familiar. When traveling, this usually comes as some sort of global fast food chain where, scarily enough, the food tastes quite similar to the fare in back home in Canada. Think about that for a second, it is SCARY. This is also a little funny, since I don’t really eat fast food at home.
A day after it felt like my guts were turning inside out, I decided to go “Western” for a couple of days. What’s western in the heavily Islamic and very socially conservative city of Kota Bharu, Malaysia? Pizza Hut!
I arrived at the local Pizza Hut with Hawaiian pizza on my mind, and was quickly seated by the polite staff. Now if you were in my situation, you might not even think twice, but my experience tells me that not all will be as it is at home. I open the menu and search out Hawaiian anything, and of the 10 pizzas, 4 have Hawaiian in the name. Good odds!
Now for the rub, there is basically NO ham/bacon/porkanything in much of West Malaysia (in my experience), especially here. Pork and the Muslim faith just don’t jive. So how do you make a Hawaiian pizza (in my case #3 Hawaiian Supreme) without ham, one of the 3 critical toppings? You guessed it, CHICKEN! In this case it’s “Chicken Meat” and “Chicken Meatloaf.” Really.
I decide to splurge on this meal and go all out. Once in a while you need to spoil yourself and do away with budgets, so I order my little personal pizza, soup, salad, breadsticks, and a funky drink. Even the pizza is over the top, as the “Lava Crust” oozes cheese from the sides. In the end, it’s not too bad, with the exception of the pizza. The chicken just doesn’t do it for me, and I leave the last slice behind.
Now it’s time for the damage. The kind young lady brings me the bill and it’s RM27 with tax and service charges. Yikes, that’s about 3-4x what I typically spend on a meal.
Before you start crying for me, but after you finish sending me a little money via PayPal, know that it’s only about $8.50CDN. I’ll be ok.