Tuesday, 1 July 2014

DEBUT NIGHT AT THE PERANAKAN PALACE

After much admiration (and drooling) over Jason's cooking and recipe photos, I finally had a taste of his amazing amazing Nyonya food last weekend.
I previously had the opportunity of trying his yummy (rendang) balls at the Blogger Saturday event last year, and now I was ready for the full experience.
I don't often venture that far into East London, and especially not Stratford...but for this event, I was willing to make an exception (Jason, why do you live so far?!). 

We decided to make our way on foot from the station, and relying heavily on Google maps, we eventually found Jason's humble abode - according to him, the only street in Stratford with a pavement. Fancy...

Here is Jason, donning his signature Hawaiian shirt - the very same one that he was wearing when I first met him.

 

For his Peranakan Palace Debut Night, Jason had put together a meal consisting of classic Nyonya dishes that his grandmother would traditionally make for special occasions, such as during birthdays and weddings. Nyonya cuisine is basically the result of combining Chinese with Malay ingredients and cooking techniques, something which I loved eating back in my hometown, Penang.

Okay, this is not quite the most flattering photo pose...but it was the clearest one. 
Sorry Jason.


| Sambal Belacan | 

Knowing how much I love my spicy food, and how much I miss eating sambal, I strategically sat myself right next to the sambal bowl.
I used to have sambal belacan with everything back home, even spaghetti and toast.
Don't judge me, it was actually pretty awesome. Maybe I should have just sneaked out the entire jar when Jason wasn't watching.


| Achar |

Also placed on both sides of the table were jars containing Achar - Nyonya vegetable pickles with spicy paste. Great to pick and nibble on. So much better than your average pickled vegetables, and with much more flavour to them.

 

 
| Ngor Hiang |
 - Five-spice meat rolls -

Or as I call it 'Loh Bak', is made from minced pork seasoned with five-spice powder, and made into a sausage-esque roll. The meat is rolled inside a beancurd skin and then deep-fried. I excitedly nodded my head in agreement to have seconds - no need to be 'pai seh' in Jason's house, right?


| Popiah |
- Sweet braised vegetables wrapped in homemade popiah skins -

Jason even made his own popiah skins, good effort!

 

| Ox Cheek Rendang |
- Slow cooked ox cheek in spicy paste and coconut milk - 

My favourite dish of the evening. I had already seen some preparation photos from earlier in the week that Jason posted, so I knew that this was definitely going to be a great dish. Braised over 16 hours, Jason had clearly put plenty of effort into making one of the best rendang dishes that I have had in a long time. 
I would love to be able to make this myself sometime, but listening to the different stages of preparation, I think that I'll be sticking to eating for now...
Unless I find a man who is good in the kitchen to do the job for me - excellent idea.


| Babi Pongteh |
- Braised pork belly, bamboo shoots, mushrooms and potatoes in fermented bean paste -

Really soft and tender, fat and juicy meat - definitely not for those who are watching their weight...

 

| Sayur Lodeh |
- Mixed vegetables stewed in coconut gravy - 

See, we had a healthy portion of vegetables as well! In a super thick and rich coconut gravy...okay, not so healthy after all. But still very tasty! Which is what's most important...


To finish off, we were served some traditional homemade Nyonya kuih/puddings, which is a big part of Nyonya cuisine.
Kuih Dadar, or otherwise known as Kuih Katayap, is a pandan flavoured crepe filled with dessicated coconut steeped in gula melaka or Malaysian palm sugar.

The other dessert was Onde-onde (Ondeh-ondeh), which is usually made from either sweet potato or glutinous rice flour, and is best eaten when it is warm.

Both very comforting delights, especially for those who have a sweet tooth.

 



Jason had clearly missed out adding in the fine print to bring your own takeaway Tupperware (!), but I was so stuffed at the end of the meal, that more food was the last thing that I had in mind. 

Thank you Jason for a fun food-filled evening. And well done on manning both the kitchen and front-of-house on your own! Looking forward to your future supperclubs.
I will be bringing my own Tupperware box next time, or maybe even two...

The Cheekster, signing out x

Read more about Debut Night At The Peranakan Palace on Edible Experiences

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