To say that one is spoilt for food choices in Malaysia is an understatement as there is such diversity of local cuisine. Every state in Malaysia has its own specialty. Having been to several Penang cafes/restaurants in the Klang Valley, I can safely say that nothing compares to what you can get in Penang itself so since my last disastrous outing at a Penang café in a shopping mall, I have given up on anything but the Real McCoy.
However some hotels can do authentic Penang or other state’s food very well especially if the chefs are from the particular state being promoted. I was to the launch of WarnaRasa Malaysia, a monthly food fest at Royale Chulan Damansara last weekend and to kick off the event, Pahang food was featured.
The Pahang Food Fest which took place at the Royale Café from 11-17 April 2014 was officiated by the Chairman of the Pahang Tourism and Culture Committee, YB Dato’ Haji Mohd Sharkar B. Haji Shamsudin. He also launched the brochure “Pahang Food – Endless Tastes & Flavours” published by the Pahang Tourism Office. The brochure introduces 8 types of traditional and popular Pahang food and details of Pahang restaurants are available inside.
Doesn’t this dish look so appetizing? Just a few spoonfuls of this rice can be quite filling as it is like eating glutinous rice although not as sticky. This is a special dish from Kuala Lipis, cooked with coconut oil and mixed with chicken or lamb. Must-have ingredients in this dish are raisins, onions, cloves and lemon grass so the dish is very aromatic/fragrant and a real delight to the senses.
There were relatively big portions of “ikan patin” in what I believe is a tempoyak (fermented durian paste) sauce wrapped in tin foil. The fish has already been cooked but prior to serving, the chef will place the portions on a grill so it’s warm when you eat it with rice. The tempoyak wasn’t very strong. This isn’t a taste I am that used to but I will say it was palatable.
Now I have to say I am quite adventurous when it comes to food but this one was really out of my comfort zone as it’s definitely an acquires taste as far as I am concerned. The round green vegetables look like peas but are actually Solanum torvum (Turkey Berry), a bushy, erect and spiny perennial plant used horticulturally as a rootstock for eggplant.
Not sure if this can be classified as a Pahang dish but it was nice and creamy even if the prawns were a bit small.
Opor Daging is a traditional Pahang dish usually served at Malay weddings and festivals. It can be beef, mutton or lamb. The meat was a little tough but had the right amount of spiciness.
My favourite dish from the buffet, I had 2 bowls of this and almost didn’t have one but for the person behind the laksa counter offering me a bowl. Divine! Everything came together so beautifully in this small bowl. One of the best laksa I have ever had, so mouth-watering that I need another one right now!
For more details on Royale Chulan Damansara’s WarnaRasa Malaysia, please have a look at the hotel’s promotional schedule.