Chicken for breakfast anyone?

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day for me and when I’m travelling I like to make sure that I start out the day right with a satisfying and filling breakfast.

During my recent trip to Malaysia I was hosted by the Renaissance Hotel for  four nights in Kuala Lumpur.

Sharing my experiences of my allMy trip was sponsored by Tourism Malaysia and I was travelling with  a group of journalists attending the MEGA FAM  at KL.  Since most of my co-travellers were vegetarian  I didn’t have much of an opportunity to explore the culinary delights of Malaysia; which was a pity because Malaysia is a veritable melting pot of Asia with its Malay, Chinese and Indian ethnicities. Add to this the people of mixed descent and you get even more exotic cuisines to sample!

But  I loved going down to the breakfast buffet served at TEMPTATIONS  the restaurant in the East Wing that offers a wide array of Asian Fusion dishes.

 

The breakfast buffet at Temptations was wide and catered to every kind of palate with dishes like Dim Sum, Miso Soup, Porridge, Eggs to order, cold cuts, idli sambhar, paratha and even middle eastern delicacies on the menu.

But being a strong believer of doing in Rome as the Romans do, I went for the Malaysian Breakfast options

Loh Mai Kai

On the first day, I was intrigued by a steamer full of foil ramekins filled with rice –  Lo Mai Kai  said the label, describing it as glutinous rice with chicken. Rather tentatively, I picked up a container and tipped it over to reveal the most aromatic sweet smelling rice with pieces of chicken and mushroom at the top. This sticky rice which is normally cooked in a banana leaf is quite simply the yummiest way to start the day. It has a slightly sweet flavour of soya and the goodness of chicken which can keep you going the whole day.

Nasi Lemak

The next day I went for  the Nasi Lemak,  the traditional Malaysian breakfast dish which is  another calorie packed meal that can keep you going till dinner time. Essentially it is  rice cooked in coconut milk and served with accompaniments of spicy chicken curry and beef rengdang. Fried anchovies add  the crunch and the texture becomes intriguing with fried peanuts, finely sliced cucumber, and somecrumbled boiled egg . There’s always some sambal paste on the side to  tweak the pungency . Now if that’s not a satisfying breakfast what is?

 

Unfortunately I couldn’t take any photos of these yummy preparations so I took them off the net ( All Recipes). I haven’t yet tried any of the recipes because I’m still keeping away my stuff but I’m sure they won’t disappoint and will remind me of my Malaysian Interlude.

 

Malaysian Interlude – Looking for Indian Food

For those of you who were wondering why the long silence from my end – I was in Malaysia the past ten days. This was an all expenses paid trip that I’d won at the Malaysiajao Contest organised by Blogadda in conjunction with Tourism Malaysia.

 

Sharing my experiences of my all

 

My Malaysian food journey began with the Malaysian Food Festival at the Trident, Mumbai. It was just as well that I went for this as my trip turned out to be a bit disappointing food wise – simply because the people I traveled with landed up being unadventurous vegetarians who would rather have the tried and tested Mughlai or at best South Indian food than even attempt vegetarian Chinese or Malay  or even Continental food for that matter.

So my first meal in Malaysia was actually dinner at Nawab’s a seedy joint on Chulan Street which looked like Janpath gone bad. The pathetic decor and even more indifferent food is really nothing to write about but I thought unwary tourists should be warned about stepping into such a place. Don’t get misled by the sign that says authentic mughlai – there’s nothing authentic about the food that is liberally doused in a tomato gravy – one sauce serves all.

Actually looking for Indian food in Malaysia the way it is made in your home is worse than looking for a needle in a haystack because frankly nothing can ever compare with a good home cooked meal. To make matters worse, the milk used is generally powdered milk and that leaves the yoghurt and paneer tasting distinctly odd.

So if you are basically a true blue Indian vegetarian who can’t venture beyond daal chawal, I would strongly suggest you stay at home which is a petty because Malaysia has a rich culinary heritage and tradition that draws on different food cultures .

Malaysian food from Malaysiajao

Last week I had taken my family to the Malaysian Food Festival at the Trident because I knew I would ‘t be able to take them with me to Malaysia. Yes, earlier this year I participated in the Malaysiajao competition sponsored by  Blogadda in conjunction with the Malaysian Tourism Board which offered an all expenses paid trip to the 10 best entries. Little did I know then that I would be among the lucky winners!

This morning I was invited to the Malaysian Tourism Office to meet my co-travellers – a bunch of enthusiastic women – and will be off tomorrow night for a holiday of a life time.

We were given a brief talk on what to expect on this trip – the kind of food that we could get to eat and the places we’d get to visit.

My food adventures will begin right from the Malaysian Airways flight which offers 20 special meals for passengers with religious, medical or dietary restrictions.

Their Chef on Call is a special service for their First and Business class passengers while their MH Gourmet is a special add on to their Economy Class Menus ( for only an additional 70 RM).

Watch  this space for my adventures in Malaysian Food Land as I explore this fascinating cuisine at fine dining restaurants and street stalls and give you the low down on what to eat and what to not.

Memories are made of these : Coffee at Starbucks with strangers as friends

It was Sunday morning and I had just finished tidying up. With Diwali coming round the corner, I wanted to grab some groceries so that I could make a few sweet meats, suddenly gripped with a desire to make something festive.

So I decided to go to Palladium, the Mall at Phoenix Mills which is a great shopping destination in the heart of Mumbai. There’s enough parking space and lots to do apart from shopping , like dining out or watching movies.

Hubby Dear decided to accompany me so we set off before either of us could change our minds. The shops were still shut when we reached at 10.30 so we stepped into Starbucks for a cup of coffee, not exactly my favourite place but the only option left open to us, apart from standing outside or squatting on the steps! I decided to deviate from the tired and tested and went for a short Hazelnut latte.

Making ourselves comfortable in the huge chairs available, I waited a bit till our name was called out. I frankly hate this part of Starbucks simply because you get waited on at establishments more basic than this and for the price of a coffee you should get someone to serve!

The coffee was swirled up with a fancy design but when I took the first sip there was no hazelnut at all. Normally I would have passed this by but suddenly inspired by my friend Jo’s insistence on getting one’s money’s worth, I timidly went up to the counter which was way above my head and asked for some more hazelnut flavouring.

Being hidden from view, the server conveniently ignored me but another client standing in the queue came to the rescue. He took the cup from my hand and gave it to the server and insisted he add some more hazelnut flavouring telling me that the coffee was mine and I owed it to myself to be happy!

Since the small Starbucks was already full, the stranger approached and us and shared the table. His wife joined us and soon we began talking as though we were friends. Our coffees were over, the shops began to open and we went on our way….four perfect strangers meeting over coffee….

Thank you kind stranger for teaching me how to get the perfect coffee at Starbucks. I may just get comfortable with having my name shouted out !

 

I’m linking this blog post to WriteTribe

Memories are made of these: lazy lunches with friends and gossip on verandahs

In case any of you have been following my blog you will realise that I have been pretty erratic of late – almost negligent of writing and updating my blog. But no, I have been pretty active behind the scenes.

With my house being totally refurbished , I thought it was time to also refurbish my blog and have been spending the last few weeks trying to tweak it and upgrade it. In the meanwhile, I have continued to eat and create food memories that I’d like to share.

Last week I had the most pleasurable experience spending the day with my dear school friend N. She has the quaintest house , replete with fascinating memorabilia and keepsakes gathered over several generations and sourced from various continents. Prominent among her treasures are antiques from South East Asia where her ancestors had strong trade connections.

I had taken my grandson P with me and it was an experience he thoroughly enjoyed especially when she brought out her sons’ twenty year old dinosaurs to play with!

N’s meals are a delight with her passion for cooking and she’d cooked up a storm with chicken and meat. Her dishes are simple replete with taste, spiced every so lightly with pepper and salt, turmeric, garlic and ginger, a coconut ground finely to make up the base. P chomped away happily especially thrilled with her Lazy Susan that he spun round and round, fascinated with the dishes that sped past him.

A sweet potato salad with yoghurt and dill, melt in your mouth mutton chops with a tamarind based sauce, white chicken curry and chapati and rice…a simple meal served with a great deal of affection.

We wound up the meal and spent the rest of the afternoon lounging in her verandah, catching up with news. It was relaxed entertaining , the best kind really when host and guests enjoy each moment, relishing each story that unfolds.