I’ve never been to Malaysia before but judging from Malaysians’ passionate relationship with food, I think I’d fit right in. Malaysia’s love of food was clearly evident at the launch of the Flavours of Malaysia buffet at The Grace Hotel, where there was an incredible spread of Malaysian food created by three Malaysian chefs who were specially flown in for the event.
Here’s a taste of what was on offer:
The cold section held a number of salads, including a DIY Rojak (mixed fruit salad with a prawn paste sauce) and Pasembor (mixed vegetable salad with peanut sauce). There were also a few salads that I’d never seen before, like a glass noodle salad with coconut and prawn, and a tripe salad.
It seems as though queueing at new restaurants is the thing to do nowadays. PappaRich has been open in Chatswood for a couple of months now, but it seems as though the queues still haven’t subsided and there’s still a good forty-minute-or-so wait until you can get a table. Is it the novelty factor or is the food actually that good? A few friends and I decided to join the queue and find out…
PappaRich has a wide range of drinks that spans about 6 pages of the menu! We started with a Milo Dinosaur (definitely something for the Milo lovers out there), some soy milks and barley drinks, as well as a few iced teh tariks.
Seeing as the drinks menu along is 6 pages, it shouldn’t be a surprise that the rest of the menu is also quite extensive. Luckily, we were able to peruse the menu while we waited for a seat so that by the time we got a table, we were ready to order. Ordering is done by filling out a form that tells them the dish you want and the quantities, which is then handed over to one of the waitstaff when you are ready.
October is one of my favourite months. Not only because it seems to be full of birthdays, and is only 2 months away from Christmas, but because every year in October the Crave Sydney International Food Festival (SIFF) is on and it’s a month of eating, eating and more eating. This year, SIFF kicked off with a series of BBQ madness events, where themed BBQ events were held all around Sydney to celebrate the barbecue grill. I was up early on Saturday morning to go to the Malaysia Kitchen BBQ Madness event, held in Church St Mall, Parramatta.
The event began at 9am and was an early start for me on a Saturday morning, but Malaysia Kitchen’s ambassador, Wanitha Tanasingam (aka the “Love Goddess”), was there to wake everyone up with her enthusiasm and sheer passion for Malaysian food. Apart from expounding the wonders of sambal belacan, she also demonstrated two dishes with the help of Sara from Belly Rumbles and Lorraine Wearne, the Lord Mayor of Parramatta.
Wanitha cooked up some sotong bakar, a marinated and barbecued squid, and ayam panggang, a spicy grilled chicken. Some samples of the squid were passed around and this was the perfect thing to wake up my stomach, with the sweet, tender squid being barbecued to a nice char on the outside, and a spicy flavour coming through from the marinade.
Next up in the demonstration kitchen was the ever delightful Florence Tan, who travelled from Malaysia to attend this event. I’ve seen her on Poh’s Kitchen before and she is just as a lively and bubbly in real life as she is on TV.
Sometimes all you need is a teh tarik to put you in your happy place.
We were wandering around the vicinity of our accommodation in Melbourne trying to find a cheap but not-too-dodgy place for dinner that also wasn’t full or booked out. After searching until our stomachs were crying out for food, we stumble upon Old Town Kopitiam in Melbourne’s Chinatown. We ask if they have a table for 8 and soon we’re sitting down sipping on refreshing drinks like teh tarik and ice lemon tea, and all our frustrations dissipate.
The menu is varied with a range of noodle and rice dishes as well as main menu items like bak kut teh, curries and vegetable dishes. There is also a small section of snack-sized dishes including roti canai and kaya toast, and of course Malaysian desserts like ais kacang, cendol and pulut hitam.