While I’m sure all countries are proud of their cuisine, we Malaysians takes it up another notch with our fevour on dining & our food heritage. We have food at our disposal 24 hours, food is a universal language for us & there’s no better ice breaker or conversation starter than the topic of “Where to eat“, “Where to find the best xxxxx“, “Have you tried..at… ” ??
And we are more than delighted to show & share with fellow foodies on recommended places to eat & the same goes to any visiting friends or foreigner to our country.
I remembered that’s how my blog started; or any other food blogs for that matter. It usually begin as a platform to document our makan adventures & to impart our thoughts on the food we ate, or to shout out of our recent discovery of a new eatery, an awesome F&B promo or what we thought to be the best char siew/chicken rice/curry mee..etc available out there.
So when I was emailed a request to host a Ms Catherine Bell, a food journalist from New Zealand based magazine Dish, my immediate reaction was “why not“!
It would fun, & I would make sure she had a good time!
She has just departed for NZ yesterday, and there is so much I have to share as we certainly went places! So much food, so many places in just 2 days.
But it was this moment that I felt really proud about personally, this particular instant when she took her first mouthful of rice using her hands at Vishal’s in Brickfields. This was one of the highlights of her trip as it was her first time sampling banana leaf rice & her first time eating using her hands! (She said eating with her hands during her childhood doesn’t count of course!)
Catherine is an awesome guest. She’s game to try almost anything & everything. She took our sweltering heat in her stride. She’s keen to know all she can about our country (at least of the states she visited during her time here) & our cuisine. I had a ball showing her around & from her questions, I learnt things about my own country & cuisine that I myself had not bothered to find out before!
For her banana leaf experience, I chose Vishal Food & Catering @ Brickfields as I have heard much about how good it is. I have visited the one on Travers road (the air conditioned one) before & thought it was pretty decent. Since I wanted Catherine to experience the “mess” hall setting, I bought her to this one on Scott Road instead, where long tables faced each other & seats are just practical stools.
Fret not though, the whole restaurant is very clean & almost utilitarian. I always had the impression that a mess hall would be slightly grimy & a hustle – bustle of activities.
I admit that I was a bit disappointed with the lack of “atmosphere” but Catherine must have been relieved to see this place after all the mucky coffee shops I have bought her to the last few days. LOL!
A bit out of topic here but even the washrooms are very clean!
Apparent in New Zealand, food is never displayed uncovered like how it is like here in Malaysia. Everything is chilled or properly covered; whether it’s cooked or otherwise. Catherine took precautionary steps to avoid eating those too much as her digestive system may not be accustomed to it here, which is understandable; & we certainly do not want her to start having a stomach flu either, marring her culinary experience.
Below: Canisters of vegetables for the banana leaf sets.
Long beans, dry curry sweet potatoes & my favourite; the cucumber + carrots in yogurt.
A friendly staff of Vishal’s will pop by your table once you’ve got your basic banana leaf set served. His tray will be loaded with individual plates of the usual favourites of varuval chicken, mutton, bean curd, egg, fish curry,etc. that you can add on to your meal if you wish.
I added 2 orders of meat for her to try & chose the Chicken Varuval (RM 4.50). A bit oily & spicy yes, but the meat remained tender & the marination has permeated right to the bones.
Mutton Varuval (RM 6). This was just as tasty, and aromatic with all the spices.
Each basic vegetarian set is RM5.00 & as per the customary, rice & sides of vegetables are refillable to your heart’s content.
Well, this was Catherine’s “last meal” before departing for New Zealand. Rest assured that she enjoyed her time here & I did bought her to many places.
Yes yes, she tried our Nasi Lemak, Bak Kut Teh & Char Kuey Teow! More updates to follow so stay tuned!
Oh, btw the LASSI here rocks! We shared a mango lassi & a sweet lassi & it was very creamy & fresh. Perfect level of sweetness & smooth consistency. Totally recommended!
Vishal Food & Catering
22, Jalan Scott, Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur.
Tel : 03-2274 0995/1995.
Email: [email protected]
GPS: N03° 08.686′ E101° 41.31.62′
**besides Woo Lan Restaurant & opposite a temple that’s currently under construction.