Thursday, August 25, 2011
Aseana Food Village, Randwick
As the Malaysia Kitchen Bloggers Summit draws to a close this week, I’d like to thank Greg and the team for asking me to be involved in this month-long discovery of Malaysian food. I loved trying lots of new dishes at lots of new restaurants, each one doing some dishes particularly well, and I’d be hard pressed to choose a favourite. You can’t go past the roti at Mamak, while the amazing Beef Rendang was a great surprise at Kopitiam. I loved the Hainanese Chicken Rice and Pandan Crepe at Malacca Straits, and during this week’s visit to Aseana Food Village in Randwick, it was the Rojak that stole my heart.
Also, there’s still time to vote by liking this post on the Malaysia Kitchen Bloggers Summit website, and I could win a foodie’s adventure in Malaysia!
Karen and I had planned a Tuesday night catch up, and much gossip ensued as we trekked out to Randwick. The menu is a rather interesting mix of traditional Malaysian, Singaporean and Burmese dishes, and though we stuck to the Malaysian side of things for the purposes of this visit, I’d love to go back and try some of the other dishes in the future.
I just couldn’t go past the Milo Godzilla ($5.50) on the drinks menu, I mean could you? A heap of undissolved Milo sat over a scoop of vanilla ice cream, which was floating atop a glass of ice cold Milo. It was a wicked concoction, but one that soon defeated me as I could only finish half of it, it was almost like a meal in itself! Karen ordered a Teh Ais, which was one of the best I’ve had. The tea flavour was strong yet it was still nice and sweet.
A good Rojak is apparently quite hard to find in Sydney. Aseana’s rojak ($8.90) was very different to the one at Mamak, but much more of a traditional rendition with freshly cut fruit and crispy Chinese doughnuts, covered in a semi-sweet sauce and topped with roasted peanuts. It was so good, definitely a highlight of the whole month of Malaysian eating and will be ordered on every return visit to Aseana for sure! We also ordered the Achar-Achar, (pictured in the back - $5.00) lightly pickled vegetables covered in ground peanuts.
We also tried the Traditional Nasi Lemak, with coconut rice and all the traditional accompaniments ($7) and the addition of Beef Rendang, (+$4) which was delicious, though the chicken curry also looked amazing and I wish we had ordered that as well!
I was really looking forward to trying the Bak Kut Teh ($12.90) which is a popular dish in Malaysia and Singapore. The name translates to “meat bone tea” - pork ribs brewed for hours with herbs and spices (such as cinnamon, cloves, star anise etc) and served in the dark coloured soup. It was served with rice, delicious fried dipping sticks, and a chilli and garlic sauce. I really liked it, and the pork meat was nice and tender but I was expecting the soup to be a little more flavoursome considering all of the delicious spices that go into it.
We also tried the Asam Fish ($13.90) – fish and vegetables gently stewed in tamarind juice. I’m glad that there wasn’t a strong fishy taste to the dish, but I think it must have been too heavy on the tamarind because it was very, very tangy and this dish was left largely untouched.
Kaya toast ($3) is a hugely popular snack in Malaysia, but there aren’t many restaurants in Sydney that serve it (much to the dismay of Malaysian food bloggers!) Kaya is a golden-coloured spread made from eggs, sugar, coconut milk and flavoured with pandan, which is usually served on toast with lots of butter. It’s often served with soft-boiled eggs and a cup of tea or coffee, which is also available at Aseana. I totally loved it and decided I’ll have to try Steph’s recipe for homemade kaya one of these days!
Of course we had to order an Ais Kacang ($5.00) as we have every week of the Bloggers Summit. This one was quite heavy on the rose syrup, but I liked it. The ice was finely shaved and interestingly the corn was in kernels rather than creamed. I love how refreshing this dessert always is at the end of a meal!
Aseana is a relatively new restaurant – just over a year old – and a great discovery for some hard-to-find dishes like the Rojak and Kaya Toast in Sydney, and they do both really really well. Karen commented that the red plastic plates bring back memories of Malaysia. Service is a little hard to track down at times when the restaurant fills up, but the food and drinks are served quickly. I can’t wait to return to try some of the Burmese specialties!
Spicyicecream dined as a guest of Malaysia Kitchen
Aseana Food Village – Shop 1/149 Alison Rd, Randwick (02) 9399 7010
Aseana Food Village, Randwick