Islands Malaysian Cuisine
This is a revamped review of Islands Malaysian Cuisine Restaurant. I visited it about a year ago when a friend was in town and I decided to revisit this eatery with the launch of my new website. Location Islands Malaysian Cuisine is located in Chinatown which is on Spring Mountain Rd. It is on the second floor of a strip mall which has a surprising array of restaurants for such a compact location. There is plenty of parking in a covered garage or the outside lot. The decor is simple and unpretentious, hallmarks of some of the best mom and pop restaurants in my book. It can be crowded on weekends but you are almost always assured of a seat without a wait. Appetizer Roti Canai: Indian inspired flatbread commonly found in Malaysia and Singapore. It is THE dish to eat in Malaysia and really any Malaysian restaurant. Universally loved and inexpensive; a complete meal in and of itself, I have yet to meet anyone Malaysian or otherwise who has not loved this. It comes with a side of chicken curry and Islands Malaysian’s homemade roti does not disappoint. It is slightly sweet, flaky and buttery-think of it as a flatbread croissant. Satay: Basically Malaysian barbecue chicken or beef on a stick. If you haven’t heard about satay, then I would suggest you venture out more! What makes Malaysian barbecue unique is the surprise seasoning that is used in the marinade-curry! It makes for a zesty dish and the accompanying peanut sauce is crunchy and delicious. Rojak: Fresh fruit salad with pineapple, mango, jicama and taopok which is puffy, deep fried tofu. The dressing is a dark tamarind and black bean concoction which is salty and sweet. Entree Fish Head Curry: Say what? Yes, fish head as in whole fish heads. This is a much enjoyed dish in Malaysia and there are restaurants which specialize in just this one dish. Islands Malaysian does a lot of dishes well but they hit it out of the ball park with this one. I come from and Indian family so I know curry and this one is so reminiscent of my mother’s-the flavor, taste and fragrance is spot on! They can prepare this dish with fish fillets if the fish heads bother you but then I would venture to say that you are merely getting a watered down version of the original! Prawn Sambal: Sambal in its most basic form is a chili based sauce. It is red and you can find it commercially here in the US, usually in plastic bottles labelled as sambal oelek. Most people will recognize it from dining at Thai or Vietnamese restaurants where diners can add sambal to vary the spiciness of their dishes. The sambal in our prawn dish is made with a pungent and salty shrimp paste called blachan. I first tasted blachan as a teenager. We never cooked with it at home because my mom couldn’t stand the smell. Imagine my delight when I tried this salty and tangy albeit pungent dish at a friend’s house! No secrets were told and I still get excited when I eat it now only because it was forbidden for so long. Indian Mee Goreng: Another street food which originated in Indian restaurants. Pan fried noodles seasoned with blachan and tomato sauce and served with shrimp, fried tofu and bean sprouts. Nasi Lemak: Must Try-Malaysia in a dish This is Malaysian multiculturalism in a dish. You get rice, chicken rendang (the most traditional Malay chicken curry), fried anchovies sambal, boiled eggs with cucumber and peanuts. Everything yummy about Malaysian cuisine served on a plate. So if you’re still unsure of what to order then please try nasi lemak. It is the national dish after all! Dessert Ais Kacang: Shaved ice served with red beans, agar agar(jelly), sweet corn and topped with condensed milk. Cendol: Shaved ice with sweet rice flour jelly and coconut milk. Islands Malaysian makes their cendol (jelly) from scratch which is no small feat! Overall Review: Islands Malaysian Cuisine is owned by the Stephen and Tess Lim. They are originally from the state of Penang-a food mecca in Malaysia. Islands Malaysian has only been around for 3 years but Stephen has been cooking for well over 20 years. The Lims started Islands Malaysian Cuisine because they wanted to share their love of Malaysian food and culture here in Las Vegas. Tess especially enjoys meeting customers and introducing them to her native cuisine. Most entrees are under $10. I highly recommend Islands Malaysian Cuisine. The wait staff is friendly and helpful, the portions are generous, the prices reasonable and the cooking is pretty darn close to what you would get at any good and local cafe in Malaysia. BONUS: The Lims are opening another location in central Chinatown this fall so be on the lookout for double the deliciousness! Related articles sambal udang petai… prawn sambal with stinky beans…euww..smellybutyummy (viekitchen.wordpress.com) Recipe of Sambal Belacan (sukasukisuma.wordpress.com) 12. “Yummy” in Malaysian: Sedap (justfoodnowords.wordpress.com) This is a revamped review of Islands Malaysian Cuisine Restaurant. I visited it about a year ago when a friend was in town and I decided to revisit this eatery with the launch of my new website. Location Islands Malaysian Cuisine is located in Chinatown which is on Spring Mountain… Islands Malaysian Cuisine Islands Malaysian Cuisine 2013-09-23 Lila Asnani Lila's Review Service Flavor Price Cleanliness 73 Definitely worth a visit. User Rating: No Ratings Yet ! 73
Bubur Cha Cha Recipe
Bubur Cha Cha is a traditional Malaysian desert which is very easy to prepare. Bubur means porridge in Malay and cha cha refers to the dance which is represented in the fun mixture of ingredients and colors in this vibrant dish. Easy, simple and fast Southeast Asian recipes adapted to the American kitchen is one of the focus of my blog. A lot of people, myself included are put off by long, tedious and multi step recipes which have traditionally represented a lot of Asian cooking. People are busy and I know that when I have down time, the last thing I want to do is to be tied down to the stove. So my focus is easy recipes which will give you big flavors in a short time. I am going to give you the Bubur Cha Cha recipe first and then provide you with tips which will make the process a lot easier and faster for you. I am fairly new to an exact recipe writing process. When I decide to make a dish at home, I usually peruse either my mom’s or other recipe troves for a general guideline and then adapt the recipe to make it my own. I don’t always use exact measurements because that’s not how I was taught. My mom would use a pinch of this and a pinch of that and Lord help you if you asked what a pinch was. “Watch and learn” was the mantra in her kitchen. She was a single mom who had been cooking for a long time by the time I came along. I am the youngest in a family of 10 children and so learning to cook by my mother’s side was a trial by fire, keep up or stay out and I was determined to keep up because what my mother did daily was magic. Great and delicious meals made in a short time for a hungry crowd with very different tastes and preferences but somehow, everyone was happy and sated at the end of the grand production. I realize that telling you to use a handful of sugar is just not going to work so producing short, easy and exact recipes can be a challenge! I finalized this recipe after 6 tries in a span of 2 weeks and my poor family has had to eat a lot of yams and sweet potatoes in the process but everyone agreed that this version is a winner. Bubur Cha Cha Recipe Time: 30 minutes Serves: 4-6 Ingredients 1 medium size yellow yam 1 medium size purple yam 1-2 sweet potato 2 cans coconut milk or refrigerated coconut milk 1 cup large sago or tapioca pearls* palm sugar (gula Melaka in Malay) or regular white sugar to taste Directions 1. Peel and cut the yam and sweet potato into small cubes. 2. Place vegetables in medium size pot. Cover with enough water and boil for ~10-15 minutes. Check doneness with a fork. Drain and set aside. 3. Fill large pot with 4 cups water and bring to boil. Add sago pearls and stir gently. Cook until sago turns transclucent~3-4 minutes. Rinse, drain and set aside in a container of cold water. 4. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in medium heat. Add sugar and let dissolve. Turn heat to medium and slowly add coconut milk and bring back to low simmer. 5. Drain the sago, and add it with the cooked vegetables to the coconut soup and let simmer for 5 minutes. Serve hot or cold. Quick Tips I am lucky to live by a large Chinatown here and if you can, I highly recommend that you try to get the ingredients at an Asian grocery store. You will have a greater selection and most definitely cheaper prices. Did you know that a can of coconut milk will usually cost 1/2 as much at the Asian store? I tried different kinds of coconut milk and the least caloric is the refrigerated coconut milk that can be found at the regular grocery store. * What are sago pearls? Sago is a starch that comes from the sago palm and for most recipes sago and tapioca are used interchangeably. Sago pearls are simply small, dried beads of sago. You can find sago pearls in different colors and I chose pink but white sago is the color that is traditionally used in Bubur Cha Cha. You will know and have tasted sago pearls if you like boba or bubble tea. The bubbles in boba tea is the large version of sago pearls. Everything except the sago pearls can be found at your regular grocery stores and you can get the sago pearls online. If you’re not a fan of sago pearls try substituting young coconut meat cut into thin strips. Any color yam or sweet potato can be used interchangeably in this recipe. Experiment and try the different colors. The important thing here is to not overcook the yam and sweet potatoes. Otherwise everything will be mushy, it will taste good but just won’t be as pretty. L-R: yam, sago pearls, gula melaka whole and cubed Bubur Cha Cha This is such an easy recipe to prepare. The end result is beautiful, impressive and delicious. Try this especially if you like southeast Asian desserts. The beauty of this recipe is that it is easily adaptable to different ingredients. Let your imagination be your guide. It is a perennial crowd pleaser especially with kids! What do you think of this recipe? Have you ever tried or made Bubur Cha Cha ? Please let me know especially if you make this. I would love to see your dish!
Blog Ambassador For Yummie Nation
I have a lot of exciting news to announce! Get ready for lots of exclamation points!! Exciting News #1: This post marks the official launch of my new website, SouthEast Asia Eats: www.seasiaeats.com. So welcome, pull up a chair and I hope you will stay and browse a while. Seasiaeats has been in development for about 3 months and it has been a huge learning and sometimes very challenging experience for me. My aim with Seasiaeats is to create the best resource and catalog of SouthEast Asian restaurants starting here in Las Vegas with an intent for expansion throughout the US and beyond! And no-there is no accompanying maniacal laugh for world domination! (I think…..) Seasiaeats is an interactive blog which will allow you to upload your reviews of Southeast Asian restaurants that you’ve visited! You can upload reviews and pictures about many things related to SouthEast Asian cuisine because easy SEAsian recipes, cooking classes and culinary tours will also be highlighted here. Exciting News#2: I was invited to be a blogger for Yummie Nation! What is Yummie Nation? It is a new Food and Entertaining website that launched this past Summer of 2014. www.yummienation.com “A dynamic online gathering of the best of the best bloggers in home cooking and entertaining. United they stand. Each with their unique take. Indivisible in their quest for the yummiest inspirations. Regular folks dishing out tips, tricks, pics and videos on how to keep the yum strumming in your life. One nation of original ideas to embolden home entertainers for inspired living.” In a nutshell; Yummie Nation is simply “.. life more yummie”. Yummie Nation is hosting the FoodFightWrite Blog Conference which will be held in Las Vegas from Nov 12-15th. This fun and unique conference is built around the World Food Championships which is just that…a live cooking competition with cash prizes for professional and amateur cooks from around the world! Exciting News #3: I applied and was chosen to be a Yummie Nation Ambassador for the FoodFightWrite blogging conference! So yes, I will get to participate in the blogging conference and have an insider’s view of this action-packed event! I am so looking forward to this opportunity to learn more about all aspects of food blogging-writing, photography, video,branding, marketing,….and probably a whole host of other topics that I have yet to discover. I am excited to network, make contacts and friends, and especially to learn, learn, learn so that I can become a better writer, blogger and resource for you! And I get to do ALL these thanks to Yummie Nation! I will be blogging stories and posting live Social Media updates during the convention and competition so please keep a lookout for that. I am so thrilled to be a blog Ambassador for Yummie Nation and consider this a fortuitous collaboration that is just the start of many good things to come for both of us! Exciting News #4: If you are a food blogger who is interested in blogging for this dynamic website, please follow the simple application process outlined here. And do me a favor? Please check out Yummie Nation and help spread the news about this fun website and resource which will make you the Hostess with the Mostest and the envy of all your social gatherings in no time! Are you going to be in Las Vegas on Nov 12th and are interested in attending the conference for FREE? Sign up for an email subscription, Like and Follow seasiaeats on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and StumbleUpon to qualify for a drawing for FREE tickets! Please leave a comment if you want additional information and everyone else, don’t forget to sign up for emails and follow me on my Social Media accounts to stay informed about seasiaeats. Thank you to all who have followed me from my old blog Foreignfeasts.com and thank you especially for being patient and sticking with me as I develop this website with my awesome web designers: Yeison Kim and Samantha Wei from Mytanfeet!