Skip to main content

Ramadan fine dining

Guest blogger Jehan Mohd had her first taste of Malay fine dining at a berbuka puasa (breaking of the fast at sunset) event hosted by Commercial Radio Malaysia. Ibunda, the venue for the evening, offers a delicious mix of traditional Malay cooking dressed up in the trappings of the gastronomic equivalent of haute couture. Here are her thoughts on her experience.

Our starter served in four bowls -- there was (from the left) lemang (glutinous rice soaked in coconut milk and cooked in bamboo over a slow fire) and rendang (stewed beef in coconut milk), rojak mamak (Indian Muslim style salad with peanut sauce), some really nice fish in unidentified yummy sauce and bubur lambuk (savoury rice porridge).The rendang had a strange aftertaste but the fish and bubur were lovely! Also in the picture are my first air sirap bandung (a concoction of rose syrup water and evaporated milk) for the year, a vintage glass bottle of ice-cream soda (!) and dates dished up in a boat-like porcelein plate.

Our main course -- this dish is enough for three (hence three of everything) -- fried fish on the left, fried chicken at the bottom, keropok (fish crackers) and prawn curry. All round, these taste good, the prawn was so big, I ended up having to peel the shell off with a knife rather than the usual spoon.

The rice portion of the main course comprises nasi kerabu (a traditional rice dish from the northern states of the peninsula), keropok (fish cracker), curried mussel and a scoop of lentil and okra. I avoid mussels so mine ended up going to someone else but the rest of the fare is what you might expect from a high-brow restaurant, not the type you would eat at mum's.

Traditional Malay kuih (sweet cakes) dressed up like pastries from a high-end bakery in Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur. Taste-wise, it's what you would expect from these desserts normally. I still prefer to get my sweets from the roadside vendors (not sure if they are legit) in any Malay area such as Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Kuala Lumpur.

The interior of Ibunda is homey, reminiscent of a traditional Malay house -- only high-end with air-con.

The quintessential berbuka puasa (breaking of the fast) drink much loved by all Malaysians -- air sirup bandung (a concoction of rose syrup water and evaporated milk) and a vintage bottle of ice-cream soda (another local favourite). I love this combination of sweet stuff when breaking fast!

Comments

Popular Posts

Why Shamsul Amri dislikes Facebook

Professor Shamsul Amri Baharuddin People who do not use Facebook fall into three broad categories. The first group is completely indifferent to it, the second finds it mildly irritating and the third dislikes it intensely. Malaysia's prominent sociologist Professor Shamsul Amri Baharuddin is of the last type. I made the mistake of asking Shamsul, who is director of the Institute of Ethnic Studies at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, if he was on Facebook, the social network which was hatched up in the dormitories of Harvard six years ago. "I have a face and I keep thousands of books. Why do I need Facebook?" How do you react to that reply? I didn't. I meekly invited him to elaborate on his reasons. "Facebook will take away my soul and I won't allow that to happen because I am a believer," says Shamsul fiercely, who launched into a tirade of accusations against Facebook. Ninety per cent of the things you read on Facebook are either p

Buah Tarap: A chance encounter

You learn something new everyday. My friend Alina is very fond of repeating this. And I agree with her. Today I tasted the Buah Tarap (Tarap Fruit) which is said to be unique to Sabah/Borneo. My colleagues and I arrived in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah this afternoon; we are here for the RHB New Straits Times Spell-It-Right Challenge which will take place at the Suria Mall over the weekend. After checking into the Beverly Hotel we walked to a nearby eatery for a spot of tea. It was then that I chanced upon the Buah Tarap and began snapping away. My colleague, who had eaten the fruit in Bandung, Indonesia, was excited to see it. He bought one for us to try. The stall vendor split the fruit into two and we bit into its flesh. Everyone liked it but describing its flavour remains a challenge. The fruit, which looks like nangka (jackfruit) or chempedak,  has an unusual combination of tastes: it is sweet but not as sweet as the jackfruit nor as chunky. Words fail me. It feels so light t

Who am I?

Malaysian artist Jeganathan Ramachandram will be exhibiting his paintings in Singapore if a deal with a company to display Human Watching: A Visual Poetry on the Science of Human Watching in the island republic is successful. The intuitive artist told Survey that the move is still under negotiation. Human watching made its debut at Galeri Petronas in March, 2009 and was well received by both art critics and art lovers. Fourteen portraits representing females and males born on each of the seven days in a week were put on view. The depictions (acrylic on canvas) were based on his observations of human behaviour for the past 14 years. Images of seven females and seven males inform viewers through symbols of their strengths and weaknesses and their relationships with other people. Those who have seen Human Watching identified with their profiles almost immediately. Admit it: you are curious about yourself! Males, who were born on Sunday ( bottom picture ), were pleasantly surprised t