A Malaysian Blog about Food, Family and Friends – by Lyrical Lemongrass
We all have certain food preferences, but sometimes, it is necessary to get out of our comfort zone and look beyond our malay-chinese-indian mindset to see what’s available out there. And I’m not talking about Japanese which is practically Malaysian.
Let me tell you my story. A long time ago, a certain blogger (let’s call him the Verbose Stud) dropped me a proposition. An escapade, no less. Before you taint your mind with mental illusions and delusions, let me qualify this by saying that it was to be a culinary escapade. To cut a long story short (because this is, after all, a food blog) we ended up on the shores of Hadhramawt. Well not Hadhramawt (or Hadhramaut), the region in the southern tip of the Arabian peninsular (part of Yemen), but the latest restaurant at Chulan Square. A Yemeni restaurant, to be specific, because the Verbose Stud was an expert on all things Yemeni. Or was it Hadhrami? Anyhow, he was the man-lah, and I was the eager student, drinking in all his…for a lack of a better term….verbosity (“karut” in Malay).
We must order Yemeni today, he proclaimed. Not just any middle eastern food, mind you. Yemeni. I was game, because I was a middle eastern virgin, whichever way you looked at it.
The first dish that came to our table blew me away. I wanted to say *khala’a hudoomik haalan, a’takoon sharmutati fowree in appreciation of this wonderful dish of Mendy Lamb (RM20) served on a bed of fluffy rice (much like briyani rice). The beauty about this simple dish is that one can eat this without any curries or sauces as both the rice and the meat scream out a thousand flavours of orgasm. It was that good.
Most of you will know that I resist eating greens simply because Mum says its good for me. BUT let me tell you about a wonderful dish called taboulah (RM8) - made of finely chopped parsley, tomato, mint, herbs, lemon juice and olive oil. This is such a refreshing salad and can be eaten on its own, with the rice, or as a dip. The light dressing makes this a winner in the salad department. Move over Caesar, Taboulah is here.
The fish fillet (RM25) was good, but a little salty, so I ate it with lots of rice to downplay the seasoning. I thought it was strange to serve french fries on the side, but I gamely ate it dipped in taboulah.
When I requested for desserts, the waitress kept reminding me that the desserts were very, very sweet. I must have looked that ignorant to her. Anyhow, because we wanted to show you everything on the blog, we requested for one of each dessert. The baklava (RM2), a rich sweet pastry filled with chopped walnuts and further sweetened with syrup had a nice rich texture. The key is to nibble on it. One nibble, and one gulp of tea. Another nibble, another gulp of tea. There you go.
I liked the tamriah (RM2), a dessert made with date paste. Very sweet, but with the above procedure, you’ll survive. The basboosa (RM3), was a yummy tiny bit of semolina cake with syrup. You guessed it. It was sweet too. But that’s what makes the desserts so good. What’s the point of enjoying a dessert if it isn’t sweet or cloying? Everything in moderation, I say.
To finish the wonderful meal, we had Shaahi, an arabic tea. I liked this refreshing tea brewed with mint leaves and cardamoms.
I came away learning one important lesson. How to correctly pronounce Hadhramawt. Now that, ladies and gentlemen, is something you’ll just have to ask the Verbose Stud. Coz it’ll cost you more than a piece of Mendy Lamb to bribe me to say that word.
Lot 7 & 7A, Block B, Chulan Square
92 Jalan Raja Chulan
50200 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel 03-2142 2744
The good and forgiving people of Abu Dhabi whom I adore with all my heart and soul may view the pictures HERE.
Food, for me, is a means to an end and not an end in itself.
Food, for me, represents the love of family, the fellowship of friends, and the community and communality it brings.