Friday, June 24, 2011

The Last Polka Ice Cream: First Class

Tuan-tuan dan Puan-Puan, Ladies & Gentlemen. It fills me with pure joy to say that quality Malaysian-made ice cream is now widely available in the Klang Valley. My heart skipped a beat just typing that. Alright alright, I know that I'm not the first to rave on about The Last Polka who've been in business since 2009 but it is exciting how KL has received this very now food trend towards artisanal ice cream.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Vishal's for Banana Leaf and a trip down memory lane

I have a real soft spot for banana leaf rice. Fluffy rice with a rainbow of curries, chutneys, fried meat and fish to choose from, all adorning a bright green banana leaf. Vishal's is famed for their version of this Southern Indian speciality and situated in Brickfields: a neighborhood in KL also known as Little India because of the high population of Indian residents and businesses. Malaysian Indians are largely from Southern India, brought by the British all that time ago to work on the rubber plantations which for a long time was a main export of Malaysia. Aside from banana leaf rice being absolutely delicious, I think my soft spot stems from having grown up around the Indian community here. My old high school is just round the corner from Vishal's and I haven't been back to these parts for ages.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Segambut: Where the streets have no name

Any resident or visitor to KL will know this isn't the best signposted city. Many locals navigate solely by landmark and not by street name, which is just as well given that sometimes there just isn't one.

For a little Selangor girl like me, Segambut is one of those suburbs that seem awfully far away. It's not really, Malaysians often have a false sense of distance because the city isn't well mapped out as mentioned above. Call me snooty but it's not somewhere one would visit out of no reason, I would need a really good one. And on this occasion I would say I was given four.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Having your cake and eating it at the Cinnamon Coffee House buffet

Ah, the Malaysian hotel buffet experience. If one has stayed at any of the leading hotels in the Klang Valley or Malaysia for this matter, you'll understand how truly diverse and almost life-changing a buffet can be.  Hotel kitchens go to town with classic selections across Malaysian and International cuisines. Some of the most elaborate are the breakfast spreads. One could go from Chinese rice congee to freshly made omelettes to a full English Breakfast in the space of a metre.

I met with 5 other Malaysian food bloggers to try out Cinnamon Coffee House's dinner buffet. Cinnamon is part of the One World Hotel, one of the more reputable hotels in Selangor. Having lived away for the best part of 13 years, I'd forgotten how overwhelming this can be.

Ain't no one going hungry in this corridor of food.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Huck's Cafe, a KL supperclub. Could we go deeper undergound?

In London, underground supperclub dining used to be a solely secretive dining experience. Amongst the longest running ones are Ms Marmite Lover, Fernandez & Leluu and the Saltoun Supper Club, who after humble beginnings are now enjoying being booked out and celeb status in foodie circles. There is now a teeming community of supperclubs across the UK's capital, many with impressive and unique menus.

This trend is also popular in the States, Australia and more recently in Hong Kong. Starting your own supperclub is simple, at least in the UK where there are no regulations to serve food in your house and invite (often) complete strangers to dine. Practically all are BYO and will suggest a minimum donation to at least cover costs. For discretion and hinted exclusivity most clubs only send out the address the day before dining and most don't disclose the menu till the night itself. The idea is to delight in the surprise and be adventurous with other like-minded foodies.

I was thrilled to find Huck's Cafe in KL, happy thinking that we had embraced clandestine dining like the rest of the world. How would a Malaysian interpret the concept and what would the menu be like? Quite different from my expectations and from what I had experienced of supperclubs as it turned out.