Nasi lemak craving: Englishman spontaneously travels 9,600km from Athens to KL to eat national dish

Milad Hassandarvish
YouTuber Darren Cronian fell in love with Malaysia and its food ever since he visited the country back in 2015. — Picture via YouTube/remotedarren

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 7 — How far are you willing to travel to satisfy your cravings?

A 45-year-old Englishman’s craving for Malaysia’s favourite and one of its national dishes took him on a long journey from Greece to here – just to taste a plate of nasi lemak.

Online entrepreneur and YouTuber Darren Cronian was all set to spend the rest of the winter in Greece until a photo of a delicious nasi lemak dish appeared on his Instagram feed and changed his plans.

Next, Cronian booked himself a flight from Athens and was on his way to Kuala Lumpur for a tasty Malaysian treat.

Cronian also filmed his journey from Greece to Malaysia and uploaded it on his YouTube channel.

“I flew from Athens to Singapore, which took around 11 hours, and then after a six-hour stopover in Singapore, I flew to Kuala Lumpur,” he told Malay Mail.

Shortly after Cronian landed in Kuala Lumpur, he indulged in a plate of nasi lemak with fried chicken.

Despite the long journey and jet lag, he said the trip was totally worth it.

Cronian’s love for nasi lemak goes back to five years ago when he first visited Malaysia and got to taste the dish.

Darren Cronian indulges in a plate of nasi lemak shortly after he arrives in Kuala Lumpur. — Picture via YouTube/remotedarren

“It was literally the first Malaysian dish that I’d tasted on my first visit to Kuala Lumpur, and like a typical British guy, I ate each item on the plate individually.

“After watching a local eat nasi lemak with his fingers, and mixing up all of the ingredients, it made me want to do the same,” he added.

Cronian, who has a palate for spicy food, admitted that when he tried it in true Malaysian fashion by mixing up the anchovies, peanuts, rice and the sambal, he fell in love with the dish.

He has also tried other local dishes and has a number of favourites, including Sarawak laksa, mee goreng mamak, kolo mee as well as Indian delicacies from Little India in Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur.

Apart from food, Cronian said he loves Malaysia’s multi-cultural diversity, and the people’s hospitality here makes him feel right at home whenever he visits the country.

“After spending a week in Kuala Lumpur and Penang during my first visit, I felt welcomed and safe.

“What makes it feel like my second home is the people, the food and the multi-cultural aspect of the country,” he added.

Five years on, Cronian said he still comes back here a few times a year for a month or two.

“I’ve never known a country in my five years of travelling where the locals are so passionate about their home and culture,” he added.

Cronian plans to stay here for another four weeks and spend more time in Kuala Lumpur before revisiting Penang, while also heading to Sibu and Kuala Terengganu for the first time.

Cronian began his stint as online entrepreneur and YouTuber in 2014 when he decided to quit his good paying full-time information technology role after 24 years to pursue his dream of travelling around the world, while working remotely either as a freelancer or contractor.

Earlier this year, he launched a community website called Hivevine.com to help people who wish to work remotely, whether from home or while travelling.

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