"Your spicy fix in Melbourne"
"You've come during the lunch rush," said the cheerful owner. She waved us to a table with lots of light, "so I can't talk but please enjoy the food." Little Malaysia is small, cosy and pretty packed for lunch. You can't tell much from the street, just a door and one long window which doesn't show much since the eatery curves downwards. It's very much like the small Chinese eateries I used to eat in Chinatown London. No fuss, bustling and good food. Most of the people eating here are local Aussies.
Australia we discovered, does know a thing or two about Malaysian food by virtue of being closer to Southeast Asia and the insane influx of Malaysian students into their cities. Restaurants such as Little Malaysia have been operating successfully for many years. And though other countries know satay, rendang and perhaps even nasi lemak, in Australia, it's the laksa they can't get enough of.
The seafood laksa here is tasty enough with big prawns and chunky squid. The gravy is fragrant without being too spicy. The only jarring thing was to find broccoli in my laksa- strange but doesn't distract you too much.
Building a city out of cookies is not a new idea. In fact, many people have done it before, be it by stacking cookies to imitate the city, or by simply making a cake that is in the shape of a building. This makes a great analogy between cooking and architecture, where both can be seen as lofty art or simply as a humble craft.
I was talking to a friend who's working on some construction projects when this came to mind. When he talks about materials related to construct a building, I think of the juxtaposition from a food perspective. And a simple one that I came up with was cookies. These are like the bricks/cement
The raw ingredients used to make cookies can be deemed similar to the materials used to build buildings. We have flour as the cement that is known as the principle structure builder. We use eggs to glue the base. We have salt to make the cookies harder and steadier. We have sugar to act as a tenderizing agent by absorbing water. Not only that, when sugar caramelizes with heat, it provides baked cookies with a pleasing color and aroma. We also have baking powder that helps the dough rise at a faster and more consistent rate. Working together, these ingredients function… Continue reading »
The World Cup is drawing near and many have been eagerly waiting for this moment since it last took place four years ago. This is a time where hardcore fans forgo sleep and all talk revolves around goals and idiotic referee calls. This is the best time for you to throw a world cup party to gather all your football crazy friends together in support of… More »
I guess that I can start this blog by saying that the city of Melbourne takes their coffee very seriously. Afterall, this is the city that Starbucks had to shut all but two
of their stores citing 'under-performance' issues with no other international markets that needs to be 'addressed in that way'. FriedChillies was in Melbourne for the Food and Wine Festival 2010
recently and were wonderfully amazed at the bustling coffee scene. With an all day coffee high for a week, here is the lowdown on Melbourne's bean scene.
There is a cute little lane called Degraves Street in the heart of Melbourne CBD. This is packed with tiny little cafes and it is a nice quick walk down a beautiful and lively laneways. The tiny, cobblestone alley of Degraves Street knows how to jam a lot in to a small space; and it Continue reading »
The concept here is a bit different from the typical restaurant experience. As you walk in you are ushered to a long buffet-like counter where all the delicious food is spread out. While there are menus to order from it’s more fun to walk along this counter and pick and choose your meal as you would from a menu. You can’t help but salivate the minute you walk in and see the rows of tasty dishes. Once you’ve picked them it’s sent to the kitchen to heat up and they will bring it right to your table.
I spy a huge pot of rendang that has my name on it and we also pick a few other specialties. Back at the table they take our drink orders and we decide to try a cendol and an orange coconut juice. The cendol was generous with gula Melaka and made with fresh santan. The orange coconut juice was a mix of the two with pieces of the sweet coconut flesh. Extremely refreshing.
Our meal arrives shortly after we place our order and we immediately tuck in to the steaming nasi liwet, which is much like nasi lemak but with a stronger fragrance of ginger and santan and a sprinkle of ikan teri a smaller type of ikan bilis. This is so freaking good!
I know, I should have blogged about meeting Martha Stewart sooner but I just felt that I should wait. I know that she was excited to be here in Malaysia so when she tweeted
that she was going blog about her travels, maybe it's best to wait until she finished blogging about it first on her blog coz it kinda feels like I am stealing her punchline if I blogged first. At FriedChillies, we are such huge fans of her work and are really very excited that she is here.
Anyway, when the local papers broke news early last month that Martha Stewart will be visiting Malaysia, I got questions from everywhere asking me whether we would be taking her around for a food crawl? My answer was "I dunno" because I haven't got a clue how to meet her. I knew that she was planning a trip to Asia because weeks before that, we got a heads up from some of our friends in the US. And then when several Malaysian government agencies started emailing us with questions on recommended makan places suitable for "a big VIP" coming sometime in May, we knew she was coming. For sure!
She had always wanted to visit Borneo (ever since she was small if I am not mistaken), to see the orang utan's and rainforest. Our 6 degrees thing with Martha is through Zak Pelaccio the owner of Fatty Crab New… Continue reading »
Shiva from Indian Kitchen shares with us his knowledge about the different types of chillies used in Indian cuisine. Each chilli serves a different function in a dish.