East is East …

satay nita anggraeni goenawan unsplash

Oh, East is East and West is West, and never the twain shall meet …

… Well, Rudyard Kipling had obviously never been to Malaysia, is all I can say.

One of the things I shall miss most – OK, the one thing that I will miss the most – when I leave KL is the food.  There is everything here – not just the Malay, Chinese and Indian cuisines of the local population – but anything else you could wish for too, and East most definitely met West for me last week.

On Sunday we went to a celebrity chef’s restaurant.  Chef Ismail has a Malay restaurant in town, and there are videos of his TV programmes on a constant loop outside the dining room –

So, of course I recognised him instantly when I saw him in the dining room, and asked for a photo for my blog –

Rather excitingly, the co-owner of the restaurant is Malaysia’s first astronaut, a very handsome man who is also an orthopedic surgeon –

Disappointingly, he wasn’t at the restaurant, he was probably in orbit or saving the life of a small child in an operating theatre somewhere.

Malay food is delicious, but it’s all fried and not very healthy.  This woman is making roti jala, a sort of lacy pancake that you eat with curry –

and there’s a plate of popia – Malaysian spring rolls covered in a sweet and spicy sauce – on the table too.  We also ate the best satay I’ve had so far, and an amazing beef rendang where you could really taste the fresh lemongrass and all the other spices.

Conseqently, we had to breathe in for our photo opportunity with Chef Ismail after dinner –

And then yesterday – about 100 metres from work – I came across this …

– a Swiss restaurant serving genuine raclette – and I was very excited –

For me, Malaysia is the ultimate example of East and West living side by side in perfect culinary harmony.