The Position and Meaning of Tom Yam Restaurants in Malaysia

Suttiporn Bunmak




This article examines the position and meaning of Tom Yam restaurants as a Thai Halal food in peninsula Malaysian society. Tom Yam restaurants have operated in Malaysia since the early 1970s to serve mostly Malaysian Muslim consumers. These businesses, run by Oghae Nayu, Malay speaking Muslims from lower southern Thailand, sell Thai national identities in Malaysian society. Nowadays, Tom Yam restaurants are a part of Malaysian society and have become a representative food for eating out for Malaysian society. Malaysian Muslims can easily access Thai dishes which represent ethnic food as exotic and cheap food in Malaysia. The expansion of the Tom Yam restaurant business is a part of the process of globalization in the border crossing of Thai food culture.


(Published in Rian Thai: International Journal of Thai Studies, Volume 5/2012, Page 227-248)


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