MALAYSIA NIGHT 2014
This time last week, the beautiful Trafalgar Square in London was transformed for its yearly Malaysia Night in association with Malaysia Kitchen, a celebration of all things Malaysian – which basically means FOOD. I can’t explain just how excited I was to go. As most of you know, I am half Chinese, and so much of my childhood was spent overseas in Malaysia, my mum’s home country. It’s such an important place to me. After a really horrible, tough year for us both press wise and with the great losses of life in two major plane crashes, it was so wonderful to see Malaysian culture being celebrated again. Throughout the night, Trafalgar Square was packed with those both familiar with and new to Malaysian cuisine enjoying highlights from our huge foodie culture.
As part of the celebrations, Malaysian chef Norman Musa was offering the crowd free cookery classes. Along with my beautiful food-blogger friend Rachel Phipps, Callum and I went along to a press preview class to learn how to make a few traditional dishes from the UK’s top Malaysian chef.
Above: roti canai, one of my favourite dishes. It’s the first thing I ask for when we land in Malaysia! A light, fluffy savoury pancake-type bread, we eat it dipped in curry for breakfast and as a late evening snack. Yum! And below is another roti variant, roti jala.
After the cooking (and eating – we couldn’t make all that beautiful food and just leave it now, could we?) – we were free to explore the rest of the festival. Unfortunately we didn’t get that many pictures of what was going on (Callum and I were a bit too busy, um … eating … again), but that just means you’ll have to try and make it next year to see it in action for yourself! Just make sure to come in something loose and maybe don’t eat for a few days before, because you’ll want to have space to have at least one try of everything 😉
It was so, so good to see everyone’s enthusiasm for our Malaysian food and culture, and I hope that the event encouraged each person who attended it just to think about Malaysia the next time they’re planning a trip. Because of work it’s been a while since I’ve been back. The celebrations last week reminded me just how much I love it out there, and I’m hoping I can make time for a visit next year. My roti canai was pretty good, but there’s nothing like having it freshly made at the roadside by one of the skilled food-stall owners with a nice hot glass of teh tarik. Ahh … x