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A palate for economy food in Miri

ECONOMY rice? Fast meal? Mixed Rice?
It’s all a question of language or even dialect, according to Linda Tan.
The busy kindergarten teacher has very little time to cook an afternoon meal for her two kids. So once a week, for a change, she would bring them for a quick and ‘economy’ meal in Miri town.
The other four days she prepares a simple packed lunch for her children to bring to school before six in the morning.
What would be the best name for this kind of food business that emerged in the 1970s?
Fast food which comes with a very expensive price tag, would not exactly cut it since it mostly refers to western fast food chains.
Rather, economy rice is the name usually used by Chinese food hawkers to describe their offers of an array of ready cooked dishes to accompany a plate of rice.
One can get two vegetables and one meat or two meats and two vegetables on top of the rice. Some outlets offer more than 12 different dishes, while others up to 24.
Most economy rice outlets occupy a small part of a coffeeshop to save operation costs. And many can be found in the once popular open air markets.
Thus, the Chinese term for ‘economy’ is exactly what the word means — reasonably cheap and affordable.
Some locals prefer the names

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