There is comfort food that, well, comforts.
There is comfort food that soothes a pissed off mood.
And then there is comfort food that I usually reach for.. the sort that induces a sort of semi-conscious delirium not unlike that of which a drugged out junkie feels on A grade chemicals.
Nyonya Baba food, when done just right, and accompanied by nothing more than a huge plate of steamy rice, is my druggy comfort food of choice.
And at Lima Blas, over a hot plate of rice, a couple of beers, and the right company, I’m feeling pretty high on life.
And we have the Peranakan folk to thank for their unique cuisine of course.. a fusion of Malay and Chinese cooking technique, that we call Nyonya food today.
That’s right.. I’m almost on my knees with thankfulness as I gobble up my Cincaluk Omelet in two seconds flat. The cincaluk, or fermented baby shrimp main ingredient is the geragau.. little tiny shrimps found off the west coast of Malaysia. You can spot their tiny, beady eyes, in the pink paste of the cincaluk if you look closely. Fermented with salt, water, and sugar, cincaluk is an acquired taste even to many Malaysians. Many find that it has an unpalatable pong.
I, on the other hand, love the stink of the cincaluk.. a tint of the saltiness and pungent characteristic smell. Rice is all you need to make this experience complete.
Chicken Pong Teh
Much like the Cincaluk Omelet, Chicken Pongteh is another iconic Nyonya dish. Made with chicken, potato and flavored with taucheo (fermented soy bean sauce) and gula Melaka (palm sugar), ayam pongteh is as comfortable as comfort food gets. A big, worn out arm-chair, a handmade blanket, a favourite jumpsuit on a cold night – tucking into Chicken Pongteh should evoke all these great feelings.. and then some.
Kangkung masak lemak – rice and coconutty.. a real treat for the stomach
Sambal Petai with Prawn – plenty of chopped up prawns, dried baby shrimps, shallots, and the right balance of spicy, sour, salty, and a tint of sweetness.. followed by another intoxicating favorite.. a pong from the stink bean petai! Hard to describe, if you have not tried it. Amazingly delicious.
The smell will be in your mouth for hours later. Also in your pee. You have been warned.
Fried sambal fish – not the best I have had. This one was overcooked.
Sambal Brinjal (eggplant or aubergine) – really appetizing.. that point where moist, tender flesh and chewy skin meet!
Ah, but yes.. I do consider myself lucky. My favourite comfort food now warm in my stomach, great friends from afar, now seated inches away from me, sharing a meal, and a couple of beers on ice (one in hand).. oh, what can I tell ya.. Happy days!Follow me on Instagram : @agentcikay
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15 Jalan Mesui, Off Jalan Nagasari
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia