FOUSs (not ROUSs): Fruits of Unusual Size

If wild goose chasing were a sporting event, Josh and I could easily be world champions. We chased a lot of geese on Penang island, but luckily the ones we caught laid golden eggs. Penang Days 3 and 4 consisted of a lot of hunting proverbial wild waterfowl. First we seek what we both heard…

Ikan bilis = ikan bliss

Ikan bilis, the magical little dried fishes of my dreams. Ikan bilis is one of the best things about eating in Malaysia. The Malays add ikan bilis to nearly everything here, adding salt, crunch and some fine briney umami to the dish. At lunch on weekdays, the local row of hawker stalls has a buffet,…

Lost and Found in KL

I left my camera in a restaurant the other day. Because I like to take photos of good food, I had it out and on the seat next to me. My purse was there also and when we got up to leave, I took my bag assuming the camera was inside. I realized it after…

Our First Malaysian Road Trip!

We just got back from a 4d/3n road trip–our first ever in Malaysia. Renting a car was easy and about the same price as in Europe, but a little more than in North America. The total price including the rental of a GPS came to about $45–50 per day. We got a local car called…

Feeling Bitter (A Fling with Bitter Gourd)

Oh what we would do for a regular supply of luscious IPA or hoppy pils here in Malaysia! But look at the bright side. We have—bitter melon! Bear with me a moment. This is going somewhere. Bitter things are not for the timid of tongue. That holds true for hops, which could be why many…

Kampung Baru Night Market

Having a couple of free hours and looking for something interesting to do, we took a walk to the Petronas Towers, got on the subway and went one stop, to the other side of the freeway. That’s a bold step you understand. Within the freeway ring of downtown are towers, malls, expats, and all manner…

Banana Blossom!

Our hawker down the street offers a full table of raw herbs and vegetables (collectively referred to as ulam) as condiments.  On most days the ulam array includes banana flower, simply steamed and left to cool. They have usually oxidized by the time they make it to the table for lunch, and some petals have…

My Makan Malay Part I: Tempeh

Chances are if you know what tempeh is, you think it’s something vegans and health nuts eat. Well OK they might, but California is not where tempeh originates. Tempeh is a traditional and humble ingredient in Indonesian and Malaysian food. And like all good things in life, tempeh is fermented. It’s started by a lactic…

Move over chai!

Do you like chai? Then you’ll love teh tarik. Even you’re “meh” on chai like I am, you might still like teh tarik. Literally “pulled tea,” teh tarik strongly resembles non-masala Indian chai although there is a version with ginger (teh tarik halia). It’s milky and sweet like chai but the tea is “pulled” from…

Al-Amar

In the mood for high caliber Lebanese food in KL? You might wanna go to Al-Amar, in the Pavillion shopping plaza in Bukit Bintang. We went during off hours but the only other patrons in there were speaking Arabic. One family was having a shisha session, mom included but not child. The atmosphere is upscale…