Showing posts with label Rojak. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rojak. Show all posts

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Flavour of Malaysia, The Grace Hotel Sydney

Disclosure: Jackie and friend dined at the Flavours of Malaysia, Food Festival as guests of The Grace Hotel and Malaysian Kitchen Australia.

First of all, I just want to say how excited I am to be blogging about the Flavours of Malaysia, brought to you by Tourism Malaysia and The Grace Hotel, part of CRAVE Sydney International Food Festival in Sydney.

Malaysian cuisine is a melting pot of different cultures, the many regions of the country, spices and ingredients used makes it a truly a unique and amazing flavour. Yes, I am biased. I was blessed to be borne in that country and had the opportunity to live and eat there till my adulthood. Coming to Australia and years of living overseas has made me missed home, friends and families even more and more each year. I am lucky that I can fly home whenever I get homesick.


How does one describe Malaysian food to a visitor or a newcomer to the taste?  To understand the  flavours of Malaysia, you would have learned from your History lessons in school, that Malaysia was colonized by the Portuguese, Dutch and British. Then came the Asian immigrants from all over  Asia. It's ideal location, Peninsular Malaya, made it a good trading post for many things, one in particular, being the spice trade. It brought in all those beautiful aromatic spices, that you can now find in any Malaysian cuisine. And so it began, the flavours that were influenced from multi-ethnic groups. Our melting pot consists of Eurasians, Chinese, Indians, Peranakan (Chinese and Malay),  Mamak (Indian Muslims) etc. just to name a few. And we sure know how to put on a big feast ;)


The chefs for this event, Flavour of Malaysia, was specially flown in from The Federal Hotel, Kuala Lumpur. This event will showcase some of Malaysia's finest and much loved recipes ranging from famous hawker foods to authentic Nyonya dishes and more from the Northern region of Malaysia. This buffet is great opportunity for all to savour all those delightful favourite dishes among Malaysians. It is truly a gastronomic feast!

Ask any Malaysian and they will tell you that you don't say no to Malaysian food, let alone a Malaysian Buffet. I dream of Malaysian buffets every night. (True story, I really do.) I change my pillowcases often from the drooling alone. So for me, this invite was a great opportunity to get my Malaysian cravings fixed, plus to share this experience with you, my readers, about the Malaysian food campaign during the month of October for CRAVE.

Many of my regular readers will know that I live in country New South Wales, and sadly, I have to say that there are no Malaysian restaurants in the regional area. To get my fix, aside from my cooking Malay food myself, I would have to travel to the nearest cities such as Sydney, Melbourne or even Canberra.

And who doesn't love Malaysian food? Have you seen the line outside Mamak in Sydney? How about all those Malaysian restaurants in Sydney? JackieM in Concord, CintaRia, Nonya; they are always full with happy customers eating away. I'm so envious of Sydneysiders, as they have all these yumminess, right outside their doorstep.

Here are some mouth watering photos to give you an idea of what was at the buffet. If you are interested in more photos, click on this link My Flickr

I started off my lunch with an old favourite, Rose Bandung. I used to buy this at road stalls back home in my schooldays after school. It's basically rose syrup mixed with icy cold milk. Very tasty and sweet. I enjoyed the roti jala and roti canai, everyone's favourite for breakfast or snacks in Malaysia.

My all time favorite salad, Pasembur, especially ones from Penang. You add all the salads and condiments and topped it up with peanut sauce, similar to gado gado in Indonesia. Malaysian food has its similarities to Indonesia because of its close proximity and inter relations. A Malaysian pickle, also known as Achar. It is a mixed vege pickle, sweet, tangy and spicy. Great as a side dish to any mains.

Look at my plate of salad. I had the Squid Sambal, Achar, Pasembur and I tossed my own Rojak as well. Who's a clever gal?

Mixed veges; sauteed okra and eggplants on the left and Daging Masak Hitam, which basically translates to beef cooked in dark soy, heavily spiced of course, with cardamon, cumin, coriander, cinnamon and fennel and most likely to have chillies and brown sugar as well. Sort of like your Chinese Black Beef Pepper but Malay style.


This is what I had for lunch. I had the chicken rendang, mamak goreng ( noodles), chicken satays and roti jala. I love satays and could have happily live on satays alone. The was sambal prawns as well, I was a little dissapointed that there was no stinky beans (petai) with the sambal prawns. Gotta love those sambal udang with petai beans. Example on the book cover below, green petai beans.


This is my favourite snack. You grab all the fruits and mixed and tossed it with shrimp paste and topped it off with peanut crunch and sesame seeds. Crunchy and yummy. Another Penang favorites of mine. Various fruits can be used;
Green mango
Jambu air, not sure of the English translation.


These are various types of sambal sauces, aka love of my life. I could drink these. Can you tell I am from Kedah state? We sure can handle our hot chillies.

To cool your burning tongue, you can try this dessert; Ais Campur. Basically, it means to add everything to shaven ice. Also on the buffet are various nyonya kuihs like ondeh ondeh, kuih talam, kuih bingka, kuih lapis. Kuih lapis a favourite childhood teatime snack of mine. I like to eat mine by peeling them a  layer at a time by layers. How do you eat yours?



It was definitely a delicious lunch, I was amazed that I could walk back after all that food. It certainly was good to meet up with foodie friends and enjoying this wonderful spread. I could have taken many more photos of the main dishes but it wouldn't be fair to the other diners trying to get to the wonderful dishes.

Many thanks to Grace Hotel Sydney and Malaysian Kitchen Australia for this opportunity.


Grace Brasserie at the Grace Hotel
Level 2, 77 York Street, Sydney

Flavours of Malaysia
Dates: October 5-21, 2012
Times: Lunch Monday-Friday and Sunday 12pm-2pm
Dinner Friday and Saturday 6pm-9pm

Cost: Lunch Monday to Friday $38, Lunch on Sunday $48, Dinner $48
Bookings: +61 (02) 9272 6636

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Spice World

There's a new Asian grocer that opened recently in Wagga called Spice World. I discovered it quite by accident, really. It all started one Sunday after I had dropped the boy off to his "Warhammer" hobby group and decided to find some lunch for myself somewhere in town.

I was driving around aimlessly, nothing was really open on a Sunday except for cafes etc. Why I have a sudden craving for sushi on a Sunday? God only knows! Needless to say, Zen Japanese restaurant was closed on a Sunday, so I decided to head back to Sturt Mall, which was at the other side of town.

It was a bloody good thing that I did, because I spotted a group of Indian guys out a shop near the mall. Wondering to myself, "What's going on here?" There were balloons and a camera crew outside. So I parked the car and got out. By then, curiosity got the better of me, I had forgotten that I was hungry and looking for a spot for lunch.

I ran across the road and beamed a huge smile to all the boys standing outside. No "Akhbar" in sight. Sigh. Never mind.

I ran inside and assaulted the shopkeeper, with lots of questions, the main one, being "Got any muruku?" What a comical sight! I was the only Chinese person in a shop, jammed packed with Indians everywhere, and I was looking for murukus.

Let me tell you, I have this insane obsession with Indian snacks. I blamed my Auntie Jill for this. She makes the most awesome murukus and Indian food and I remember when we were growing up in Malaysia, we would visit her and family on Deepavali. Good times!

Wow, I didn't know that we have that many Indians in town. Cool! That means this shop will have regular clients and it won't close like all the other Asian grocers in the past. We had a Chinese grocer in town. They didn't last very long, wonder why? Plenty of Chinese restaurants in town that would need supplies. It was a very sad day for me when they left, as it meant driving to Canberra, ACT for my Asian heists.

I didn't have my camera on me so all these photos are taken with an iphone, with a shaking excited hand, please don't judge! LOL

And what does a good little Malaysian do with all her green mangoes bought? She makes green mango rojak at home, of course ;)

And this my friend, is what I ended up having for lunch plus I ate my murukus whilst watching my Korean dramas. Best Sunday ever! Heheh ;)

Monday, April 5, 2010

Chinatown Melbourne

Hi all, I am back in Wagga, went down to Melbourne for a shopping trip, asian grocery shopping to be exact. It was a rather successful trip, I would say.

Anyway, I believed I have lost ten years of my life on Western Ring Road, the advance lane guidance on the TOMTOM navigator is great, but the cars won't give way to me to change lanes... except for this one wonderful 4WD who slowed down to allow me to change lane to exit, he must have noted my indicator, me trying to get to the exit... oh yes, coz everybody was either blind or just plain selfish...........

When we got into inner city, I lost my way so many times even with TOMTOM....yes, it was quite funny! I dreaded the trams but found myself driving next to trams on tram lines so many times and was not the least bit afraid of it till I had to drive into a very narrow single lane into Chinatown alley lane; to get to the hotel carpark. Scary huh? I won't be doing that again too stop, Dickson...less stressful... sorry Melbournians but most of you guys drive like mad hatters and what's up with not giving way and speeding up to not let people change lanes to exit motorway? Yeah, it's real hysterical if you enjoy that kind of sport! You are so lucky this is a food blog or I would be letting out some choice expletives here!!!

Overall, I really enjoyed my Melbourne trip and I love the city life and hope to be back one day...but I will fly next time. I think I can afford the oversized baggage fees for next trip ;) The car was useful to fill up the boot with shopping stuff..

On arrival, I had lunch at Sambal Kampung in Chinatown. I was still shaking from my drive and needed something to calm me down. I was thinking vodka when I handed the keys over to the valet but the stomach was groaning in hunger. So I strolled towards Chinatown from Mercure. It's the best location for Chinatown. As you come out from the hotel, you can see David Jones on your left and Chinatown on the right. Asian Food and oriental galore by your doorstep. Fantastic!

Kung Pow chicken @ Sambal Kampung

At night, we dined at The Louden within the hotel, I was tired from the drive and wanted something small. Darren had a bowl of chips as he was tired too. I had this dish which was Asian crsipy roast duck with raw mango salad. The dressing was light and tangy. I detected mint, chilies and lime juice. It was so yummy and just the right amount to hit the spot.

The Louden Restaurant, Mercure Welcome

I found most of of what I wanted in the one Asian mart called Great Eastern Food Centre on Russell Street, actually I found more than I wanted but I did forget to look for a pressure cooker in Target at mid city mall. Hmmm..I will have to seek that online. Here are some pix of my find...

My dinner tonite at home, Fishball Tom Yum Noodles....slurp!

Dessert was rambutan from a can....ah, what great joy!

As a fellow friend would say "Happiness is a pantry full of Asian grocery!"

Sambal Kampung on Urbanspoon

Monday, January 25, 2010

Making Rojak


Any kind of fruits you like, some examples below.

  • green papaya
  • pineapple
  • green apple
  • green mango
  • jambu air
Hae ko ( shrimp paste) err, it looks black like molasses, taste of shrimp, made from concentrated shrimp. You can get this in any GOOD Asian grocer. In melbourne, try the Vietnamese grocer, bought it there once.

Grounded peanuts.

Blended or chopped up chilli padi ( baby chilli hot in Australian supermarkets )

Mix wet ingredients for dipping sauce.
Chopped up fruits.
Served and eat.

See, I have mixed up my rojak sauce to my bowl of fruits.

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