This post was in draft for the longest time.. ahem..and finally getting it posted, as I got lots more coming..besides it would be a good diversion from the KL and Penang food of which I had blogged about.
It all started with call; from my friend Marcus, bearing news that one of our close friends Ajit (an ex-colleague) is getting engaged!
Apparently, an engagement party for the groom is a normal practice for a Punjabi wedding and Ajit’s is to be held on Saturday.
With me already set for Langkawi on Saturday night, it was tight to slot in a trip to Seremban. But hey, a friend’s getting engaged and one must do what one has to do right?
Plus, after all that hype of the Seremban Hakka Mee and Siew Pow, how can I resist? ;p
As it was a day trip and the engagement party is a luncheon, I figured that I will have to make do with whatever time we have.
Warning: Random musings ahead: skip if bored ;p
I realized as we grow older, we have pre-set notions of how and what things should be like. It never fails to amaze me how if one could just keep an open mind and never be afraid to try new things, how much there is to feel, see and experience in life.
Indeed it was an eye-opener for me to attend a Punjabi engagement party. I mean, it’s a luncheon. Typical right? Guests mingles around, congratulating the groom, eat and then leave, correct? All dressed in maybe ..err..white? Hushed tones of conversation, relaxed atmosphere, food,free flow of cordials.. Like I said, pre-set notion. So which part of the picture differs?
For starters, I found out no self -respecting Punjabi will throw a party without liquor. Afternoon, broad daylight, engagement party, it doesn’t matter.
There were actually more choices of liquor; from Chivas, JD to gin and god knows how many crates of beer available than ordinary drinks. The groom’s cousin had a hard time to find me a glass of plain water!
Atmosphere was jovial, loud and the energy high. Absolutely no hush-hush, polite pasted smiles and stifled laughter.
Guest were in bright Punjabi traditional wear. Food were served promptly. No guest was without a liquor in hand. My glass of plain water was probably mistaken for gin, and thankfully too. I didn’t want to explain again and again why I can’t drink!
Not long after, loud music blared and the women immediately took to the dance floor. It was such a cheerful sight!
Throughout the luncheon, no glass was allowed to go empty. Family members were on hand going around welcoming everyone and greeting guests and yup, making sure your glass is filled.
I asked the caterer and she told me the food served is authentic Punjabi food. I took a picture of each of the dishes..
Darn good spice-infused chicken..
Punjabis or North Indian cuisine tend to have more vegetarian dishes (or so I was told) so hence the assortment of veg dishes available. While that might give one a perception of a healthy cuisine, I can’t quite agree as most of the food is cooked in ghee, dessert are extremely sweet and curries cooked are in heavy coconut milk.
Brinjals, slightly sweet and spicy simultaneously, nice..
Dhall, a must-have..this one was substantially loaded with mung beans and potatoes.. unlike the watery version..
With the ever-popular chappati..
The GM of the Golf club where the party was held had had many experiences with Punjabi parties and weddings. She shared that on one occasion, guest of 70 finished 35 bottles of liquor and 6 barrels of beer in mere 3 hours!
I was sorry that I didn’t managed to try the Seremban Hakka mee but I will definitely be making another trip for that soon.
Got to live up to my moniker of thenomadgourmand right? Haha..
Obviously my recommendation didn’t disappoint, for these 2 guys couldn’t even make it to the car before they start chomping down the siew pows!
The moment they left the cashier counter they started biting into them, with the bags still hanging off their arms. It was fresh HOT out of the oven.. cannot resist!
So we had a picnic at the back of the boot..In the end, they ate a portion of the their family’s share as well *laugh*.
I like this too, because I like salted egg! Surrounded by lotus paste. And flaky pastry. Hmmmm…
I read somewhere that the Seremban Siew Pau here is different as it is baked in a special 22 years old clay oven and etc..but I only spied this (yeahh…I lurked around at the back of the kitchen spying for the infamous oven ;p)
Besides the famed siew pau, the seafood restaurant here boasted to be the only place for the Ebi Kirin prawn noodles.
Couldn’t pass up the chance to staple some, but got to ta-pau (pack) as I was the only one who wanted to try this.
Never mind, better than not being able to try it at all right? Simultaneously, I would be able to feed the craving I had for Penang style Hokkien Mee since eons ago!
So, 1 hour later at home..
It came with 5 big juicy (and i do mean really sweet and juicy) prawns, very fresh, obvious from its springy and crunchy flesh. Other than the prawns, it was loaded with water convolvulus, an egg, & slices of fish cakes, orange in colour, not sure why… All for RM10. The real prawny stock was as close as what you get in Penang. It was really satisfying slurping up the soup. Too bad pork was missing from the equation. If only there were pork ribs!!