Posts for the 'Malaysian' Category


Sedap

Nyonya use to be one of my favourite cheap-eats in London. Great food is always hard to pass up, and when combined with cheap prices, makes it even harder to beat. As a bit of an ex-regular, I couldn’t help but lament Nyonya’s closing. I suspect the exorbitant Notting Hill rental prices must have had something to do with it.

But the people behind it came back to open up Sedap (which means delicious in Malayan) in Old Street about a year ago. The location is far less glamorous than Notting Hill, but the menu prices have remained cheap. The downside is that it’s harder for me to get to and I no longer call myself a regular. So this was my first visit since it opened up as Sedap, and I must say, it was definitely worth the wait.

We started with kerabu prawns (£6.50), a fresh, crunchy salad of prawns and cucumber finished with a kerabu dressing. Loving the combination of sweet, sour and salty flavours that are a hallmark of a kerabu, we polished this off in minutes. Finely chopped peanuts and black fungus added crunchiness to the salad, and the chilli gave it a nice little kick.

Kerabu prawns

Kerabu prawns

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Champor-Champor: Are menus the new porn?

Some say cookbooks are the new porn. I personally find them quite entertaining, if, and only if, there are lots of photos, and only if the photos are all of hot and steamy dishes. Visually stimulating, they can arouse my senses and heighten my desire for that nourishing-looking morsel on the page, immediately transporting me into a heavenly world of exquisite comfort eating.

As I scanned the menu at Champor-Champor, a fixed-price affair (2 courses, £25; 3 courses £29.50), I also wondered whether menu porn could be considered the new porn too. A good menu can be a titillating promise of the tasty things to come. It can occasionally be a tease too, making you want all that is offered when all the while you know it won’t be possible. On this menu, sandwiched in between the starters and the mains were the interestingly entitled inter-courses (with a £2.80 supplement). Porn anyone?

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Asian Kitchen noodles: Kuala Lumpur International Airport

Two dodgy aeroplane meals (bland chicken curry, soggy rice, overcooked vegetables, etc) and four movies later I arrived at the International Airport at Kuala Lumpur on route to my destination, Jakarta. As I stepped off the plane, I marvelled at how one moment you could be in one country and half a day later on the other side of the world. Attached to such mobility was a certain freedom of movement that struck me as somewhat surreal.

I was starkly reminded of where I was when I visited the facilities at Kuala Lumpur’s Low Cost Carrier (KLLC) Terminal at Kuala Lumpur’s International Airport and the first cubicle I encountered was a squat toilet. Not exactly to my preference, I visited another and it amused me no end when I discovered a warning sign advising those that custom this toilet not to squat on top of the toilet seat itself.

No squatting on the loo...

No squatting on the loo...

Clearly cultural differences infiltrated even at this level of everyday life. I guess there was a risk that one could fall in which would presumably not have been too pleasant. It reminded me of the occasion when one of my Japanese girlfriends went on a tour of a Sumo Stable (sumo training house) where unsurprisingly the toilets were also proportionally sumo sized. “It was this big,” she said, drawing a full circle around her petite size six frame as far as her arms would stretch. “I was so scared of falling in, I held onto the walls for dear life”.

Anyway, with four more hours to kill before my budget airline flight to Jakarta, I decided to eat, partly to fight fatigue, partly to ward off boredom. In an airport in the UK, this might have been Garfunkel’s. Here at Kuala Lumpur’s Low Cost Carrier Terminal was Asian Kitchen, which served noodles and rice dishes. For the bargain basement price of about £1.50, I ordered soup noodles with fish balls and dried pork rind, which reconstituted back to a soft mushy form on contact with the liquid. Overall the soup was decent and a good time killer.


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