I don't know about you but in terms of varieties and tastiness I think Malaysian food should be ranked numero uno in the world owing to the diversification of race, and culture.
Among others, here are the 3 iconic Malaysian food I love to eat. They are not only cheap but yummy too.
Nasi LemakNasi Lemak , a typical Malay food, is a rice dish cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaves served with fried peanuts, boiled eggs, sliced raw cucumbers, chili paste, anchovies, sambal and various side dishes. The Malays call it nasi lemak biasa (literally means normal nasi lemak) if it is served without side dishes and it's cheap.
How cheap is nasi lemak biasa? You can get it as cheap as RM1.30 (S$0.46 or US$0.35 based on currency exchange rates as of Jun 20, 2015) a packet even in cities like Kuala Lumpur or Petaling Jaya sold by some hawkers.
This is how it looks like after you unpack it and put it on a plate.
Well, for that kind of price, they do cut corners. As you can see, there ain't cucumber, chili paste and anchovies; only a few peanuts and 1/6 of an egg.
As a comparison, nasi lemak biasa (Malaysian celebrity chef, Chef Wan called it "naked"nasi lemak) served on Malaysia Airline to passengers flying in economy class say, from Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok, what you get is about the same except you get half an boiled egg instead of 1/6.
What about those served in a cafe or restaurant? They look something like this:
Now, this is a "full-fledged " nasi lemak that comes with an egg, 2 pieces of curry chicken, sambal, 2 slices of cucumber and acar.
Like I say, this is Malay food but ironically, the Ministry of Tourism Malaysia recommended the nasi lemak of Sakura Cafe, which is run by a Chinese woman called Madam Kuan, as the best in Malaysia. The price of a plate of nasi lemak as pictured above in Sakura Cafe cost RM16.9 two years ago. I won't say it's very expensive since it's a famous, cozy, full-serviced cafe located at the Golden Triangle of Kuala Lumpur.
Char Kway Teow
It's a very popular Chinese food that you can find in many hawker centers or coffee shops. Basically it's flat rice noodles (or mixed with noodles) stir-fried with bean sprouts, fish cakes, prawns, cockles, dark soy sauce, chilli. Used to be fried using lard but not anymore since many years ago for health reason. You just need to pay RM5.50 for the one pictured below in a coffee shop or a hawker center. You won't find this in a restaurant, okay?
Another favorite food that most Malaysians enjoy eating is roti canai. It's an Indian pancake served with dhal (lentil cury) or any kind of curry; usually with fillings such as either onions,eggs, or sardine.
You can find this food in all mamak (Indian Muslim) stalls, coffee shops or restaurants. The price starts from RM1.50 for a plain roti canai, i.e. without fillings, in a coffee shop.