"Medium-rare perfection and meltingly tender"
Ayers Rock Butchery and Grill is situated quite deep in the heart of Bukit Jelutong, where I reside. As a meat lover, my interest was piqued when it opened. It is a small unit, occupying one shop-lot. At first glance it seems rather out of place, but this could be because it’s in the middle of a housing area, and its neighbors are a mamak shop, a laundry and a 7-11. As the name suggests, it sells meat for customers to take home, and also grills it for you there, should you choose to buy and eat-in, which was what I did.
The first thing that caught my eye when I walked in was the meat cases. I have to say you don’t get a lot of choice, but it was a small joy to see whole sides of rib eye, striploin and a few full-length tenderloins lying in the chillers. There was also a side of Wagyu sirloin, which made me smile even more. The restaurant itself is clean and simple, with heavy use of red and wooden furniture. The décor evokes an Outback cowboy life, with hats and replica guns hanging on the wall. It was quite busy the night I came. Rather cutely, each table is adorned with a salt and peppershaker in the shape of hugging friends, and a bottle each of tomato sauce, chili sauce, mint sauce, Tabasco sauce and HP sauce.
I sat myself down and was handed a menu by a gentleman in casual attire. This is probably the simplest, most straightforward menu I’ve ever seen. No fancy descriptions, and just about two half-pages long. It simply lists the types of steak (rib-eye, striploin, tenderloin, t-bone, ‘aussie’ which is rump; and there are different varieties such as grain-fed and even Wagyu), lamb items, a few seafood items and some burgers. All of them came with a side of salad and fries or potato salad. Best of all, the steaks were VERY affordable compared to the bigger steakhouses. As a point of reference, Ayers Rock rib eye is a relative bargain at RM35 compared to RM50 at a place like TGIF.
It is the 15th century. The place is the royal palace of Melaka, a strategic port and center of a great trading empire that bears the same name as the city.
By all accounts it is a rich place, with goods from all over the known world available in its markets. And the wealth is reflected in the prosperity of the people, not least embodied… More »
"I've been converted from a tenggiri hater to lover"
A relative of mine mentioned that another distant relative had opened up a banana leaf restaurant. Well it made sense that since I work in the food line I just had to go give it a try. I went with an open mind trying not to be biased. I even looked up some reviews online to get a good feel of the place before setting off for lunch. Every single review recommended the fried tenggiri (which didn't matter to me as I don't even like fried tenggiri).
Moorthy Mathai's sits right on the busy Tun Sambanthan stretch of Brickfields. As you drive past you'll notice that it is one of the newer spots along the row of makan joints and fabric stores. It is both clean and air-conditioned, which is lovely in our hot and humid weather.
We immediately place our orders to appease our ravenous rumbling tummies. Along with the usual vegetarian set, my friends each ordered the fried tenggiri (none for me, thanks!), and we got a fried chicken, and two fish cutlets to share.
Now I suppose I should explain my aversion to fried tenggiri. I have never had an enjoyable experience with it; it's either very fishy tasting, overcooked and stringy, or it has soaked up so much grease that you're basically chomping on a fishy grease sponge. When the fish arrived at our table however, I decided to give it a nibble just to be able to write about it. I was not prepared to like it or even enjoy it, and I sure as heck was not expecting to be frantically waving down a waiter to place one more order for it. The fried tenggiri here is extremely fresh, the flesh is soft and flaky with a hint of sweetness, and the spice coating is packed with flavour. To ensure that it is freshly-cooked, the tenggiri is prepared in small batches throughout the day. Moorthy's Mathai has completely changed my view of the humble tenggiri.
A year ago, I bumped into a series of flag designs created out of food for Australian Food Festival. The idea was simple, each flag was composed with traditional food elements that related with each country. And then me and Honey thought, what would it be if it were a Malaysian flag? Would it be made out of nasi lemak? Or chicken curry?
Jalur Gemilang was designed by Mohamed Hamzah in 1947 for the Malaysian flag design competition. The first design was a green flag with blue kris in the middle, surrounded by 15 white stars. The second design, which was among the three finalists, was similar to the current flag but with a five-pointed star. He borrowed major elements from the American flag, by using stripes as the idea to represent the 14 states.
Anyway, Malaysia just celebrated their independence day yesterday, so as scheduled this week would be Merdeka week in FC headquarters. Everyone has their own project and contribution for website content. And I have my own project too!
Hence this is a tribute to my adopted country, a Malaysian flag made out of Nasi Lemak- rice, sambal, ikan bilis, boiled egg and peanuts on top of banana leaf. An edible Jalur Gemilang.
Happy Independence, Malaysia! Continue reading »
"It's like food Russian roulette..."
Brad Farmerie, the Executive Chef of Double Crown was in a good mood. They were opened in the morning because of the world cup and both US and England just won their matches. That day when we there talking about his last trip to South East Asia he fed us soft, starchy pau's filled with shredded duck, a refreshing watermelon rind pickle and Shishito peppers. These are addictive, just seared on a flame until they blister and pucker up releasing their natural sugars, then salted. This is the ultimate bar snack. "I love them, in every ten you get one that's super hot, it's like food Russian roulette," Brad grins.
Double Crown is one of those places that has a little of that ambience of a time when people had a g&t before tea, wore bush hats and took their rifles to the local watering hole. High ceilings, exposed brick wall, deco collected from all over South East Asia and a menu inspired from former colonies. I suppose the closest term is Anglo-Asian. Ever so often Brad and Chef de Cuisine Christopher Rendell travels down our way, trawling through markets and street-side eateries bringing back copious new ideas and ingredients for their menu.
And what a menu. Incredibly interesting to read and almost tactile in the ideas of flavours it evokes in your mind. Dishes like Miso-glazed bone marrow with orange-olive marmalade, Chinese five spice foie gras, halibut jungle curry and a Singapore style lobster, baked in the shell with chillies. Fusion in the finest way.
So don't expect authentic dishes here folks, instead you can sip a delicate Coconut Laksa from porcelain cups. Not hardly hot enough for me (I ordered a side of chilli paste) but subtle and fragrant. On Sundays he lays out a Nyonya Dinner borrowing liberally from the Strait States.
This book inspires you to cook traditional Malay style dishes with the large beautiful glossy photos of simple and delicious food. Every recipe has you drooling, and we even had a bit of trouble narrowing it down to four to attempt at the FC kitchen.
The first part of the book shares a bit of history on the past four Prime Ministers. We… More »
Join Alex as she shows you the easiest way to cut a pineapple.