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Posts Tagged ‘Wild Serai’

  1. Wild Serai’s Malay St. Food

    April 12, 2012 by Dini

    Malaysian Brunch Feast

    9th April 2012

    My Easter Monday’s, are usually a lazy day, for recovering from Easter eggs’ excess and watching a James Bond or Ben Hur repeat on the telly. This year, I found myself making a trek to New Malden, in high winds and rain, all in the name of street food.  I knew Yolanda (our Wild Serai supperclub host) would pull out the stops, as she’d co-hosted a previous supperclub, with Goz (Plus-Six-Five), also a diner at the brunch.

    Wild Serai Table
    Wild Serai Table

    The table was set simply, with batik floral printed cloths and fresh flowers. Giant Keropok (shrimp crackers) were piled high on our tables, which I found irrestitable, a bit of a school girl error, to start filling up on such trifles, when so much was to follow…

    Shrimp crackers

    Shrimp crackers

    Sharif (Yolanda’s boyfriend) earnt his brownie points that day, as he barbecued our meat in the adverse weather conditions, for the starters. The chicken and beef skewers were tender and so much better having been charcoal barbecued, as opposed to just being griddled. The satay sauce was delicious, a crunchy consistency, balanced with freshness from red onion and cucumber chunks.

    Meat skewers

    Meat skewers

    Satay Sauce

    Satay Sauce

     

    The Mee Goreng Mamak, was executed really well. The noodles were plump and were coated well, in the spicy sauce, without any greasy residue. There was a lovely balance of seafood, with juicy tiger prawns, sliced fish balls and cake and decorated with fried onions.

    Mee Goreng Mamak

    Mee Goreng Mamak

    Next up was the Penang Rojak. I visited Penang (Malaysia), a few years ago and it is known as a ‘Hawker’s Paradise’. I tried the Rojak there as I was told it was a speciality of the area. I recalled that there was a variety of fresh and deep fried items that could be selected (like a pick-a-mix) and the thick treacle like, sticky sauce was ladled on, hence it’s translation ‘mixture’. Wild Serai’s version was a heady mix of pineapple, turnip (which was not my favourite, a little hard), deep-fried tofu (deliciously porous, soaking up the sauce) and fresh cucumber. This was a lighter sweet and sour sauce, using prawn paste and tamarind. The plate was garnished with nuts and rice-crackers.

    Penang Rojak

    Penang Rojak

    Roti Jala, was a new dish on me, I’m more akin to Roti Canai (a cross between a paratha and roti) for soaking up my curry sauce. Roti Jala was a thin and latticed pancake. The Jala referring to a ladle with five holes, thereby creating the patterned pancake.  The roti was accompanied with a tender Malay lamb curry, which had been tenderly cooked on the bone. It was medium in chilli heat, cooked in coconut milk, making it rich and creamy.

    Roti Jala & Lamb Curry

    Roti Jala & Lamb Curry

    Nasi Lemak and at (60 sen) referring to the Malaysian price you can pick this street food breakfast staple up for. Normally sold on road-sides parcelled up beautifully in banana leaf pyramids. From afar, the street carts selling them look like topiary displays. Likewise, our plates were ‘cleaned’ by the placing of a fresh banana leaf, to eat from. Dainty, heart scooped coconut rice piles were decorated with boiled quails eggs, ikan bilis in Grandma’s special sauce and Nyonya fried chicken. I am such a fan of ikan bilis (dried anchovies), that I love it in anything, whether it be curry, sambals, omlettes and even salad garnishes. This was real soul food, again the textures were so wonderful together, even something as simple as the fried chicken, had been marinated for 48 hours in curry leaves, shrimp paste, lemongrass and blue ginger, making it really crispy and tasty.

    Nasi Lemak 60 sen

    Nasi Lemak 60 sen

    Dessert came in the form of an adapted version of Ais Kacang. Beautiful shaved ice, drizzled with evaporated milk, rose and palm sugar syrup, sweet corn kernels, tapioca pearls, red beans, sea coconuts (a cross in texture and taste between rambuttan and lychee) and jelly (mango and honey-dew melon).

    Ais Kacang

    Ais Kacang

    Every stir, uncovered new assortment of sweet jewels, bursting with flavour, I absolutely loved the combinations.

    Ais Kacang stirred

    Ais Kacang stirred

    A much needed caffeine pick-me up came with Teh tarik (pulled tea), still frothy from being poured at height between two metal tumblers or jugs. Sweet, Malaysian tea, made with black tea and a combination of evaporated and condensed milk.

    Pulled Tea

    Pulled Tea

    Not that I needed it, as I was so full of food and contentment, by this point. However, how could I resist just one small banana fritter?  This for me, was a true hark back to my childhood, as it was a typical tea-time treat that my Mother would make, using up any over-ripened bananas.

    Banana fritters

    Banana fritters

    I hugely enjoyed the Wild Serai Seafood Feast and this was indeed a great contender to it, showcasing some great street food. For the vast quantity and selection dishes, £25 is a bargain. Yes, ok in Malaysia this street food is a pittance in £ terms, however this pricing needs to be compared to a ‘dining out’ experience in London and it fares extremely well on value, execution and consideration of diners.

    New Malden, normally famed for it’s ‘Little Korea’ (a collection of Korean take-aways, eateries and supermarkets), handy for stocking up, getting your fill of Kimchee or taking a peek as I did through the windows. Alas, I was full on my return to the station, but a little Sushi lady vendor (I know, Japanese not Korean – before you say it), right in the station’s entrance, caught me eye. With a steely look, she meant business and I’m sure could take on any trouble with her sushi roll-mat. Something, for another visit, but how I’ll be able to resist the beckon of Wild Serai’s Malaysian food, I’m not sure…

    To find out about more Wild Serai events check on the  Read more about Malaysian Street Food Brunch on Edible Experiences site or sign up to their mailing list here.


  2. +65 Singaporean Supper Club

    December 23, 2011 by Dini

    Mountain of Chilli Crabs

    Seafood Feast, starring: Chilli Crab

    16th October 2011

    This Singaporean seafood odessy was hosted by PlusSixFive’s Host – Goz. He shared his cooking duties with: Malaysian co-horts Yolanda and Sharif (Wild Serai) and Singaporean, WenLin (Edible Experiences).

    I had tried for a while to go to a PlusSixFive Singaporean supper club, however with a lot of these supper clubs, space is a premium (as held in the hosts’ homes), they always sell-out very quickly. I had also heard various friends’ accounts from their experiences and was keen to book. When I saw that Goz was having a sea-food night with chilli-crab, I instantly booked and succeeded in getting a prized seat.

    I’ve been to Singapore twice and extravagantly dined out on all manners of cuisine, from hawker fayre to fine-dining. What I really enjoy about Singaporean food, is that it’s a bubbling mish-mash of ethnic cuisines coming together. Therein, it’s quite fitting that this meal was a combination of the best of Malay and Singaporean dishes.

    Goz’s apartment in the heart of Angel, was beautifully colourful and showcased some awesome art. I loved the fact he had commissioned a board (pictured) for his Supper Club, in prime location of the dining room. He also had his monitor on, with a +65 screensaver and his twitter feed running, all reminders of the fact this was a social media saavy host, who used the medium to invite and engage with food-lovers.

    ***

    Starter:

    Pork Belly Satay

    I’m so glad that this was pork for a change, rather than the usual chicken. A sticky peanut satay enveloped the pork belly strips, served with cleansing cucumber and red onion.

    ***

    Fish Course:

    Chef’s Surprise Scallop

    Not quite sure what the surprise was, thankfully it was delicious. A fiery butter sauce, with crispy curry leaves, chilli and garlic, drizzled over the scallop and coral.

    ***

    Mains:

    Sambal Prawns

    This was an old family recipe of Yolanda’s using Petai (stinky beans) and Belachan (shrimp paste from Bintulu, Sarawak, Malaysia). The sauce was sticky and fiery hot, which is the best combination for prawns. This was a dish that went pretty quickly as you can see from the empty plate.

    Stir-fried “Lala”

    Thankfully, a milder dish where the ‘LaLa’ (the Malay term for mussels), was cooked in a yellow bean, garlic, ginger and Chinese rice wine broth. I used the broth from this to sprinkle over my rice, as it was cooling compared to the other prawn/crab.

    Kang Kong Sambal

    This was another soothing dish of stir-fried morning glory, with garlic, chilli and belachan, I especially love the irony taste of these greens.

    Chilli Crab – (The Main Event)

    Almost like the curried style I am used to in Sri-Lankan cooking, in fact I believe they were Sri Lankan crabs used. I was glad that it was this style of dish and not the black pepper crab method I’d tried in Singapore. That indeed is hot, but doesn’t have the variety of spices and flavour that are used in this method. This was finger- licking food at it’s best. Thankfully, copious amounts of wet wipes were on hand. Nut-crackers were doled out but, the best way to get in there, was with fingers and sucking the blighters claws off!

    ***

    Desserts:

    Chendol

    I loved the fact that Goz got us involved, helping to shave the ice, with his cool ice-shaving gadget. I’ve seen larger versions of this at Dishoom, for when they make their Gola Ices. The dish was shaved coconut milk ice with gula melaka (palm sugar), green noodle pieces and sweet red beans. It was simple and extinguished the fire in my mouth from the red-hot mains. I’m showing myself to be a feeble diner (as a Sri Lankan, I’m bowing my head in shame).

    Kueh Ubi Bingka and Kueh Lapis

    Goz got out a huge Japanese knife, this worried me, I thought someone had refused to pay…

    Thankfully, this wasn’t the case and he then started to carve the Kueh Lapis, this was fascinating to watch with the intricate layers being spliced.  These were tapioca and coconut milk based cakey sweets. The colourful one is poured in layers, the vibrant colours achieved through natural flavourings (green from pandan). Served up with rich coffee, these were a sweet digestif, quite rich, but I still managed to gobble a few.

    ***

     

    That was that, I had contentedly eaten so much, that I practically needed to be rolled out. Unfortunately, I had to be snappy so that I could run and catch the last tube home. I can’t recommend this supper club enough, for £40 (BYO), you are fed more than handsomely and welcomed with such care and attention. I attended alone, but was tended to by the hosts and met some great food loving attendees that night, who were very inclusive. This dinner not only transported me back to great memories of my food adventures in Singapore, but reassured me that I could find authentic dishes here in London too, thanks to Goz, Yolanda & WenLin.

     
    To book onto one of Goz’s supperclubs or to find out more click below:
    +(65) / plusixfive A Singaporean Supperclub in London and
    Wild Serai – For Malaysian Supperclub and Recipe suggestions
     
     


    Edible Experiences