Gastrology was recently invited by the Consulate General of Malaysia, Trade Section (MATRADE Melbourne), to attend an Appreciation Dinner, in conjunction with the Malaysian Kitchen Program 2014 at the Marriott Hotel.
The event was 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.
Crispy school prawns with fried shallots, chillies, coriander leaves, cucumber and soy
At the event, guests who were mainly institutional buyers, major importers and distributors of Malaysian products, restaurateurs, and members of the media were treated to an array of Malaysian favourites and Malaysian-inspired fusion cuisine.
Chicken and lamb satay
This included Mamak mee goreng and Roti Canai, which was prepared using Malaysian paste and ingredients available in retail stores in Melbourne and Victoria.
A total of 12 Malaysian dishes and desserts as well as 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.
We loved the roti canai, 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.
Grilled fish with chilli sambal
Mee Goreng Mamak
The mee goreng was 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.
Roast turkey breast rendang
Sago gula melaka
Nata de Coco (coconut jelly)
Desserts featured refreshing Nata de coco (a Malaysian chewy coconut jelly) lovely creamy sago and a modern version of fruit rojak.
With its melting pot of flavours, Malaysian cuisine is also known as '3 cultures in 1 spoonful'.
Consul General, Dato' Dr. Mohamad Rameez Yahaya shared some promising statistics with us at the dinner. 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.
It was an amazing privilege to be a part of the Appreciation dinner.