A Malaysian Blog about Food, Family and Friends – by Lyrical Lemongrass
Like most double-income married couples with no kids, our Saturday mornings are spent at home, with breakfast either on the patio or in front of the TV, while the part-time maid cleans the house. Our usual argument would be about who had to stay at home. “I wanna go to the gym.” “No way, dude. Last week, I took care of the maid. It’s your turn.” “But I stayed with her for four weeks in a row last month when you said you had to work weekends at the office.” “That doesn’t count. Work’s work. Work doesn’t equal play. 3 Work weekends off = 1 Gym weekend off. I have 2 more work weekends to redeem.”
Never argue with a woman. Especially if she knows how to count with her fingers. Especially if she has all twelve of them.
Breakfast on a Saturday morning with half of the Just Heavenly duo is such a pleasure. Part of the pleasure is in escaping the responsibilities of staying at home on a sunny Saturday morning, and the other part is in hearing Nigel’s loud booming laughter reverberate through the cafe.
Chawan had just opened a few days earlier (at time of writing, it has been open for over 2 weeks), and we were curious to try this place having seen it being used as a meeting point for the last BN team campaigning for the losing candidate. I like the interior -grey walls and bare stones encased in galvanised wire netting, surrounded by steel and cement structures. Situated at a corner lot, the idea of keeping the cafe open with lots of air is a great one as it appears more welcoming. So one inhales the fumes from the passing vehicles along the busy Bangsar stretch, but at least the illusion of wind is there, albeit a manufactured one.
Food is typically Malaysian fare. The nasi lemak bungkus served before 11am is great despite its RM3 pricetag for a simple packet without any frills. The nasi kunyit served with thick chicken curry is delicious, but it would be better if they served it with more curry. Nigel doused the Ipoh koay teow in soy sauce before he ate it. Soy sauce is the boon for many types of food to make the food more palateable. It tasted fine after the special treatment, of course, but I probably wouldn’t try it the next time. The rice dishes looked a lot more tastier. I liked the keropok lekor, but it was a teensy bit too soft. Do try the mango juice….thick and pulpy. There is also an amazing variety of local coffees; the Kemaman coffee is one of their bestsellers. At the end of the day, flavours were good, but there were little deficiencies in other areas – texture, quantity, value-for-money. There were also some initial teething problems which I hope they have sorted out. Waiting half an hour for a packet of nasi lemak bungkus just doesn’t cut it. Judging by the crowds that throng this place, I suppose they’ve improved. Having said that, I thought the staff who served us were great. They were all friendly, courteous and knowledgeable, and these traits go a long way. Would I go to Chawan again? Without a doubt.
As for my Saturday mornings in the near future, I shall be putting in my share of work when the hubby goes off to Austria for the Euro 2008 finals while I’m stuck at home taking care of the maid. It’s a fair world after all.
Also see masak-masak.
Chawan (at the former Devi’s Corner), Jalan Telawi 3, Bangsar (opposite Bangsar Village). Open daily from 8am till late.
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.