[FOOD] Flash Back to The Past @ Malaya HainanThursday, January 22, 2015
Hey merry goers how's the week been treating you? The fast paced modern world has always kept us on our feet and it is surely a bustling life for most of us. Well today I am going to bring you back to the past where things were much more slow paced and those were the times where people took time to appreciate the things around them.
I had the chance to travel back in time to the 60's and 70's at Malaya Hainan situated at Jalan Panggung, KL. It is located just 5 minutes walk away from the ever busy Petaling Street and some may remember it as the old Post Office back in those days. *sound so old don't I *
Anyway, no more is the old post office and instead here stands Malaya Hainan, the next best place to savour good olden Malay and Nyonya cuisines. After refurnishing the old post office, Malaya Hainan has brought back new life into the building.
There are still plenty of the old elements which you are able to capture as you enter the premise. The walls are kept as they used to be with just a good new paint job and you can see several elements from the post office like the doors and the signage.
There is also a huge 80 cents stamp welcoming you as you enter the building. Not only that there are loads of antique furniture decorating the whole restaurant like this old bicycle, the television, a typewriter and many more.
As you step into the restaurant I am sure that you will feel the same way as I did... like I was transported back in time and I felt like I was no longer in the centre of the busy KL town. The furniture and windows also brings the memories of the olden days with the huge mirror painting on the wall.
Now let's move on to the highlight of the visit which is their food. I would firstly recommend you order their Hainan Coffee as the aroma of the coffee is really captivating and would bring a coffee lover to the heavens and back. The aroma from the coffee is really rich and captivates those who catch the scent of it. Another drink to try would be their Lemongrass Mocktail which is a refreshing drink to accompany your meal.
Here comes the appetiser... the unique Roti Jala with Chicken Curry. The uniqueness of this dish comes from the chef using pandan leaf extract in the roti jala batter instead of the usual tumeric powder batter. This pandan leaf batter gives the Roti Jala a pleasant green colour and not to worry my dear merry goers as Malaya Hainan uses natural pandan leaves extract to make this dish so the colour you see is natural and healthy. I would really recommend ordering this dish as not only for the pandan batter but the Roti Jala was made in utter perfection. Each strand of the Roti Jala was really loose and light that it felt really light at each bite. Compared to the Roti Jala you eat outside which may be really thick and in a clump this Roti Jala was loose could absorb the curry really well. Even without the curry you could eat this on its own!
The next appetiser to open up your palates would be the Mango Kerabu. Staying at Kelantan for a few years have made me quite the critic of Kerabu so I hoped this dish would not disappoint me and well it didn't. Firstly the presentation of the dish was really appetizing. The dish was full of colour from the different ingredients like chilli, onion, green mango, lemongrass and other vegetables.
This dish which consisted of so many ingredients definitely blowed my mind away. Every bite was filled with string flavours of sweet, salty and sour that it made me kept grabbing for more. The mango used was fresh and there were chicken meat and shrimp meat in the Kerabu as well. This savoury dish definitely left a memorable taste on my taste buds. I really liked how the Kerabu was not too spicy and the sourness of the green mango was just right. The balance of taste in this dish really made me crave for more.
Just for a side note, this dish is not listed in the menu as this was specially prepared by the chef. However there is a Kerabu Bee Hoon in the menu which is equally as tasty and if you really would like to try out this dish you can specially request it from the kitchen.
The next dish which I really liked as well was their Nyonya Fried Rice. This fried rice is really a sight to be expected. Served on a rattan dish and banana leaf this unique dish was cooked with more than 15 ingredients. At each bite your taste buds would be attacked by so many unique flavours. The fragrance from Lemongrass and bunga kantan was really amazing. The chef was really generous with the shrimps as well. Pair it with their belacan and it was heaven in your mouth. I have nothing but praises for this dish. It was definitely a dish that you wouldn't be able to taste elsewhere.
After being served with that colourful dish, we were then served with the Yam Fried Rice. Yes you heard that right.. it was Yam Fried Rice. Most of the time we would have eaten the traditional Yam Rice which is cooked in a rice cooker but how many of you would have tried a Yam Fried Rice? Compared to its traditional counterpart this fried rice was drier and each grain of rice held the fragrance from the dried shrimp and yam. The Yam Fried rice at Malaya Hainan uses both mashed yam as well as yam pieces to give the rice more texture. This would be at good comfort food to yam lovers out there. Ever eaten yam which was hard and tasteless? Well you will not face it here at Malaya Hainan as the chef has a secret method to ensure that the yam would be cooked to perfection each time. Don't believe me? Come down to Malaya Hainan and try this dish.
Enough of all the rice dishes and let's see what other dishes does Malaya Hainan has to offer. Presenting the Roti Ayam the chicken version of the famous Roti Babi in Penang. This dish uses the traditional round toast which sandwiches the filling of chicken, onions and other condiments. This dish is best paired with pickled mango and papaya dipped in the special sauce the chef created specifically for this dish. Each sauce has been made specially for different dishes and no two sauces are the same. I have not tried the famous Roti Babi before but I must say that this Roti Ayam was really tasty. Do let me know what you think if you try this dish.
Now let's finish off this meal with a bowl of good hearty Asam Laksa. Most would associate the best bowl of Asam Laksa to be the one at Penang but let me tell you this! This bowl of Asam Laksa was incredibly thick and tasty that you will definitely come back for more. The broth of the soup was really creamy and you will be able to taste the rich taste from the fish used in the soup. Besides that, instead of using Asam keping which will cause the fish meat to be tough, the chef used a lot of Asam jawa to give it that characteristic taste.
We finished the meal of that night feeling really satisfied and full! It was definitely worth every bite. According to the chef all the recipes were passed down over three generations and have been perfected. The recipes were exactly like what he cooked at home for his family so you can definitely taste tender loving home cooked food at Malaya Hainan.
For more details on Malaya Hainan you can check their Facebook page at Malaya Hainan. Do check out on their Lunch Menu Set as well.
P/s: Before signing off just want to share with you that Malaya Hainan is having a Instagram contest where you upload any photo of the food you eat at Malaya Hainan and hashtag #malayahainan to stand a chance to win a iPad .