Gastrology was recently invited by the Consulate General of Malaysia, Trade Section (MATRADE Melbourne), to attend the Taste of Malaysia @ Melbourne at the Langham Hotel.
The event was held in conjunction with the Malaysian Trade and Investment Mission to Australia (9 to 15 August 2014) led by The Hon Dato Sri Mustapa, Minister of International Trade & Industry, Malaysia.
The event is one of the initiatives of the Malaysia Kitchen Programme organised by MATRADE to promote Malaysian cuisine and food products such as paste and sauces to institutional buyers, importers and distributors in Victoria.
At the event, guests who were from the food service industry, restaurant chains and institutional buyers were treated to an array of Malaysian traditional breakfast favourites.
A total of 7 Malaysian dishes and desserts including the teh tarik (or "pulled tea" which is tea and milk poured through the air between two cups until it reaches a rich, frothy texture) were served to guests.
A few Malaysian breakfast favourites on a plate: Mee Goreng Mamak, Roti Canai, DimSum, Nasi Lemak
Nasi Lemak – traditionally served at breakfast, Nasi Lemak is a fragrant rice dish cooked in coconut milk and normally served in a banana-leaf wrapping with a side of spicy sambal, anchovies, cucumber slices, roasted peanuts and hard boiled eggs.
Dim Sum – Dim Sum is usually made of wheat starch and prepared by steaming the dough. These dumplings can be filled and steamed with meat, prawn or vegetarian options.
Roti Canai - This is a form of fluffy and crispy flat bread, which is also known as Paratha. This bread is ‘tossed’ and cooked on a flat iron griddle ad often eaten together with curry or lentils.
Mee Goreng Mamak – This is a flavourful and mildly-spicy fried noodle dish. It is normally cooked with garlic, shallots, prawns or chicken, vegetables and eggs in a hot wok. Normally served as a quick meal from an all-day menu.
Malaysia’s most famous contribution to the culinary world - the legendary satay. This dish consists of small pieces of marinated meat skewered on sticks and grilled over a charcoal fire. The meat is then brushed with oil mixed with honey and spices and served with a spicy peanut dip.
The Malaysian born chef, Adam Liaw, winner of MasterChef Australia 2010, gave a talk on the origins and preparation of the various traditional Malaysian foods being served to the guests at the event.
Pizza Lamb RendangChef Adam also introduced the guests to some fusion food, such as the Pizza Lamb Rendang, which was prepared using Australian lamb and the traditional Rendang paste. Malaysian Rendang, a dish of meat stewed slowly in a rich creamy coconut milk with aromatics herbs and spices when served as a pizza topping was a delicious fusion recipe of “Pizza ala Malaysia”.
Dessert time! Left: and cocon jelly with peaches; Right: Kaya buns
The highlight of the event was the Rojak fruit dessert, which the Minister had a hand in preparing alongside Chef Adam Liaw as the final dish of the event.
With its melting pot of flavours, Malaysian cuisine is also known as '3 cultures in 1 spoonful'.
For the past five years, Malaysia's exports of food products to Australia has doubled from USD139.9 million in 2009 to USD291.4 million in 2013. Currently, there are more than 200 products lines of Malaysian food products available in Australian supermarkets such as Coles and Woolworths and independent stores such as IGA, La Manna and oriental stores.