Have you ever been told there’s no such thing as a free lunch?
Well, think again because when I was contacted by the Malaysian Kitchen Insiders, and the lovely team at Ogilvy and Mather, I discovered there is. Kind of.
You see the Malaysian Kitchen just treated me to another Malaysian meal on the condition that I write about it. Since I’m passionate about eating and writing as well as travel it seemed like a sweet deal.
I love writing and I happily do it for nothing but the joy of writing but, as a professional writer I do essentially write for food. So this seemed like a great way to cut out the middle men (banks, supermarkets, cooking etc) and get straight to the fun part – eating the yummy food.
So recently the Candy family set off to A Taste of Spice, a Malaysian restaurant close to where I live. It’s not a posh restaurant which was perfect as it meant I could take the kids. It’s just a tiny place which is always full in the summer and popular for takeaways.
The Candy kids love eating out. Every meal is a free one for them so they don’t appreciate that part, but they love being allowed to choose from a menu and being waited on hand and hoof.
I like to think that maybe, just maybe, they even enjoy being to chat and spend more time eating than we usually do.
But that’s probably nonsense. It’s mostly about the food.
A Taste of Spice keeps it simple – no starters, deserts or alcohol – so, after finding a little table outside under the gas heater, we ordered five main courses.
Most people would think five big main courses for two adults and three children would be too much to eat. So did I but not the kids. They polished it all off.
I had the most famous and popular Malaysian dish ever: Laksa. Seafood laksa in this case, with prawns, fish and squid all stewed in a delicious spicy coconut milk soup with coriander, chilli, lime and oodles of noodles. So tasty and rich it filled me up for days.
The Mucho Man ordered Beef Rendang – probably the second most popular Malaysian dish. Beef rendang is a curry flavored with tamarind that gives it a lovely acidic hit.
Sadly I couldn’t try it as I don’t eat beef but the Mucho Man raved about it. Sometimes I think he loves beef and curry more than he loves me.
Luke aged 13 went for Malaysian Curry Chicken. It’s a nice, mild coconutty curry spiced with star anise, cinnamon stick and cloves. Not that any of us got to try it. Luke wolfed it down all by himself in a flash.
Max aged 10 tried the Penang Char Kway Teow at my suggestion because I loved it last time we ate Malaysian food. He’s a good boy our Max and he loved it too – heaps of noodles and meat all cooked in soy sauce what’s not to like? It’s a tasty but mild dish, the perfect winter warmer or comfort food.
Kiara aged six had lime chicken which was a vast plate of crispy fried chicken covered in tangy lime sauce. I can’t say this is true Malaysian fare but if she’s happy we’re happy. Kiara tucked into that leaving us all free to enjoy of authentic Malaysian dishes. Brilliant.
I think even A Taste of Spice owners Anil and Chamoli where impressed when, just a few nanoseconds after they served us, they came out to see if we were enjoying our meals only to find that we’d already finished the lot.
Not a drop of curry or even a grain of rice remained.
So you see there is such a thing as a free lunch. Or supper in this case. It tastes delicious.
Do you like the Malaysian flavors of lime, coconut, chilli and coriander?