Thanks to Slow Food Dublin for an educational, entertaining and delicious evening at last night’s Malaysian food cookery demonstration and dinner. With four trips to visit my family in Malaysia over the past five years, I’ve enjoyed every opportunity to sample the foods on offer and Mee Goring, Roti Canai, Teh Tarik, Kaya and Murtabak are just a few of the things that I love to eat while travelling there. While there may not have been any Teh Tarik or Roti on offer last night, chefs Rama and Mat Ju cooked up a storm in front of the crowd – yummy Mee Goring, morish Onion Bhajis, a well-flavoured Vegetable Curry, and Dosai – fermented lentil and rice pancakes – with Coconut Chutney. After the demonstration, we feasted on a buffet which also included slow-cooked Beef Rendang, Nasi Lemak or Coconut Rice, and a few savoury additions – crispy ikan billis (dried anchovies), hard boiled eggs, chutney, peanuts and fresh cucumber.
Although the food was very good, eating it in Fallon & Byrne‘s comfortable upstairs function room meant that the experience lacked a certain roadside charm that only comes from sitting on rickety stools by a food stall somewhere in Malaysia, hot, sweaty and starving, our dusty feet sticking out into the sunshine as we await plastic platefuls of whatever we’ve ordered, while drinking the refreshing juice from a hacked-open coconut. You’ll only get that experience in Malaysia itself but the taste memories that flooded back last night when I ate a combination of Nasi Lemak, ikan billis and egg brought many a Malaysian breakfast to mind.
The next Slow Food get together in the Dublin region is a spit roast feast at The Church in Macreddin Village by Brooklodge Hotel in Wicklow. Local Wicklow foods – Three Wells Farmhouse Ice Cream, organic vegetables and salads from Gold River farm, Old MacDonnell’s Farm soft goat’s cheese and yoghurts, Sweetbank Farm seasonal fruits – will be served alongside slow spit roasted Wicklow lamb together with mackerel and vegetables cooked on the barbeque. That event takes place on Sunday 22 July and there’s more information available at Slow Food Ireland.