Malaysian cuisine, Argentine rose

I once had to spend 2 weeks in the (then) charming sleepy little beachside town of Georgetown in the Penang Peninsula of Malaysia waiting for my Thai visa. I had inadvertently flown into Thailand without a visa and they would only let me stay a few days without one so off I trekked with my traveling companion to the nearest Thai consulate, which just happened to be across the southern border of Thailand in Malaysia. There wasn’t much to do at the time but lay on the beach and eat. Every night we looked forward to the night market. After a long hard day lazing around the beach, it was the only thing that could refresh us for the next day’s beach tanning session. I loved those Asian night markets and the night markets of Georgetown were culinary Alice in Wonderland type scenarios. Various strange fishes and rice and noodle concoctions. Malaysian cuisine is a melange of Malay, Chinese, Indian, Thai, and Eurasian influences.  Mee Goreng, fish in spicy chili, sweet and sour crab legs, so many variations of veggies, noodles, rice, fish and meat. That was probably some of the best eating of my life but sadly after that experience, I never really had the chance to eat Malaysian food again. Until the other night. Rushing down Holland Park Rd, I was late for the launch of the Malaysian Kitchen passport at Kiasu (a restaurant in Bayswater) which translated means “afraid to be second best.” They strive to be as authentic as possible, making everything from scratch each day and sourcing their ingredients as freshly as possible, even going so far as to import what they can’t source here. Let me tell you, the food is incredibly spicy and tasty. A fantastic meal! I missed some of the starters but what I did have was very authentic. Malay chicken satay, special fried calamari – not rubbery at all, and stir fried radish cakes were some of the starters I was able to sample....

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