A Taste of Spice - Malaysian Food

Flavour of the Month: Malaysian

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.

Malaysian Food

Seafood Laksa

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.

Malaysian Food

Beef Rendang

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.

Malaysian Food

Penang Char Kway Teow

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?

Author: Annabel Candy

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Cherry Hanz October 1, 2011 at 1:00 pm

Great food pics!

Reply

Annabel Candy October 1, 2011 at 7:58 pm

Hi Cherry, thanks! It’s incredibly hard to get a good food pic, that’s one thing I’ve learned from this – along with the fact that Malaysian food is yummy:)

Reply

Miss Footloose | Life in the Expat Lane October 1, 2011 at 3:56 pm

I love the food in South East Asia in all its variations! I lived in Indonesia and visited many of the other countries in the area. Yes, I love the flavors of lime, coconut, chili, coriander and let’s not forget ginger!

Beef Rendang is an Indonesian dish too, mostly from the island of Sumatra, I believe. Very spicy and delicious.

Lucky you have a place nearby where you can take the kids and expose them to an interesting cuisine.

Reply

Annabel Candy October 1, 2011 at 8:00 pm

Hi Miss F, oh yes, they are all my fave flavors too. Malaysian cuisine has influences from Indonesia, China, Thailand, India and probably more too so that explains that. It was handy to have a kid friendly Malaysian place to visit – they were very welcoming!

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Cate October 2, 2011 at 8:41 am

Hmm… I lo-o-o-ve spicy food, and, although I don’t think I’ve tried Malaysian specifically, I believe a lot of the flavours you mention are used in different combinations across a lot of SE Asia. I do have a Malaysian friend whose cooking I adore, but her background is Indian and so her recipes tend to be Indian in origin.
Sadly, these days I have to look after a lot of my own cooking (thank goodness for my other half, who loves to cook almost as much as I love to eat) because I have to watch out for gluten and so many commercially produced foods have wheat flour (hidden) in the ingredients. Doesn’t stop us from experimenting at home though.

Cate

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Sonia Marsh/Gutsy Living October 2, 2011 at 8:42 am

You’re lucky your children will eat spicy foods and different foods. I remember when my kids were little they preferred the usual, pizza, macaroni and cheese, hamburgers. Fortunately they outgrew that. I can’t eat too spicy, only mild stuff, but I love trying new dishes. The photos look great.

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mythmystic October 4, 2011 at 5:34 am

Hi there,
I’m from malaysia … so glad that you and family enjoy most of the food.
:)

Reply

Sherrie October 21, 2011 at 11:59 pm

We just left Malaysia 2 weeks ago to cross over into Thailand. We had no intentions of going there and were shocked by how wonderful of a country it is! We fell in love with food and the scenery! Penang is now one of my favorite places to eat in the world!

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