Malaysian Home Cooking Supper Club, London

5.24.2015

There is always a first time for everything, first step, first word spoken, first day at school, first kiss and first love. Well, this is my first for attending a supper club in London. Traditionally, supper club refers to a dining establishment that also functions as a social club. In the last few years or more, "supper club" have started to blossom and is enjoying a revival with slightly different meaning - generally a small underground club (location only revealed to guests); where guests eat from a set menu and fraternise with the other guests.

I was invited by Vi Vian of vi-vian.com to sample her Malaysian home cooking as she was hosting a supper club at her home. I was genuinely excited by it, I don't know much about the Malaysian cuisine as it varies hugely from the multicultural people with the vast majorities being Malay, Chinese and Indian. This resulted to the food ever so interesting in Malaysia from the symphony of exploding flavours to the intercultural use of culinary style making it highly complex and diverse.

Prawn Crackers

Prawn crackers are always the prefect nibbles to a start of an Asian feast. There is a difference between the prawn crackers from a Chinese to Southeast Asian. The former is usually white and tends to be lighter in texture and flavour. The latter has spices added to the flavour and may occurred with some heat. Either way, I like nibbling on prawn crackers.

Karipap

Karipap is a Malysian curry puff filled with curry flavour chicken, potatoes and onions. The version that we had was baked I think rather than deep fried. Crispy casing with tasty fillings, this little snack was ever so moreish making you forget there was more food coming along.

Rojak (Mamak Style)

My very first encounter with Rojak, a salad with beancurds, boiled potatoes, hard boiled eggs, bean sprouts, daikon and cucumber mixed with a sweet thick, spicy peanut sauce (thanks god I didn't have an allergic reaction to peanut this time). The sauce reminds me of a very sweet satay sauce which I love. This has totally given me a new inspiration on salad dressing. The only let down for me was it wasn't spicy at all. I think the spiciness was deliberately tuned down to accompanied the guests' taste.

Cripsy Deep Fried Chicken (Mamak Style)

Before the meal I have never heard of mamak, a word that is used to describe the fusion flavour between Indian and Malay. The fried chicken was crispy and not a inch of grease in sight, I cannot imagine the effort went into deboning the chicken wings. It wasso flavoursome with shrimp paste (?) and the kick off the heat at the end made these chicken wings so finger licking delicious.

Gulai Kambing

Give me a tasty bowl of curry with rice and a good movie to watch, it's the perfect lazy night in. Gulai Kambing is a very popular dish, especially in Sumatra and peninsular Malaysia. Thought to be the local adaptation of Indian curry. The meat was so tender, falling of the bone and the sauce was lush. It is in many ways idiomatic to the Indian korma but less creamy.

Acar

Steamed Turmeric Rice

A meal without any vegetables will drive me crazy, with my inner healthy side fighting over my outter unhealthy side. A at is a Malaysian style pickled vegetables. I have a softness for pickled vegetables, that sweet and tanginess is so refreshing. Rice was also served along side.

Selection of Nyonya Kuih

When it comes to dessert, pudding or patisserie would spring in to mind first. You will not get that if you're in Asia. Kuih / Kue / 粿 / 糕 are bite-sized snack or dessert foods in South East Asia and Southern China. They are usually made from rice or glutinous rice and are more often steamed than baked. Onde onde (or commonly refers to Klepon) are small round balls made from glutinous rice flour, filled with palm sugar syrup and rolled in grated coconut. It is similar to Chinese/Japanese mochi but less gooey/sticky/chewy, don't know how to describe that texture. Kuih kemboja/bakar pandan is a baked custard full of pandan aroma, with a layer of crispy sesame on top. In a way it taste like Chinese coconut pudding 椰汁榚, without the silky chewy texture. We also had kuih dadar/ketayap, mini crepes rolled up with a palm sugar sweetened coconut filling. 

Teh Tarik

To round off the meal, we had a cup of warming tea. Teh tarik (pulled tea) is a hot milk tea beverage made from black tea, condensed/evaporated milk. The mixture is poured back and forth repeatedly between two vessels from a height, giving it a thick frothy top. This also helps to thoroughly mix the tea with the milk and cools the temperature. It's very similar to Hong Kong style milk tea beside the foamy top, the difference is the tea leaves used. Teh Tarik has a strong Ceylonese variety aroma whereas Hong Kong style milk tea is a mixture of puerh and ceylon. It reminds me of Hong Kong cha chaan teng a lot. 

Thank you Vivan for such a wonderful evening with so many tasty food. I was stuffed after the 6 courses meal. It really opened up my eyes to Malaysian cooking especially before I only knew dishes such as nasi lemak, beef remdang and the famous chilli sauce "sambal". The homemade "sambal" was fantastic (personally I would have it spicier), I can see myself putting a big spoonful onto my noodles or rice at home if I had a jar of it. 

Vi Vian's Malaysian Home Cooking Supper Club

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