I was literally in the middle of writing a post about all the food I’d eat once this whole quarantine thing is over when our Prime Minister announced that the Movement Control Order would be extended by another 2 weeks… to 14 April. While I understand that it’s necessary, I also understand that I am speaking from a place of privilege in that I do not have to worry about the immediate problem of feeding myself and my family members. There are many others out there who are not as lucky, and the government cannot take care of everyone. It is at this time that we should do our part as responsible citizens – spare whatever donations we can to front liners, look out for our neighbours (especially if you have elderly or disabled neighbours – even something as simple as buying their groceries for them), and most importantly, help by staying at home. The sooner this thing goes away, the sooner we can get back to some normalcy.
The impact of the coronavirus is massive, and may reverberate for years to come. I have several friends who have already been laid off because their companies cannot afford to keep them. I still have my job but with the travel industry bleeding (haemorrhaging, more like), I might join the ranks of unemployment very soon.
It’s hard not to get sucked into worry and negativity. But I also feel it’s important to keep up hope, so I’m going ahead with this post – I’ll still be looking forward to eating these things once this is all over. When this is all over.
PS: If you’re wondering why they’re mostly high-calorie food, it’s because my mom hasn’t been allowing us to eat anything fried or unhealthy because she’s worried we might fall sick. She also hasn’t allowed us to call Grabfood or anything for fear of contamination. There is literally no junk food in the house other than instant noodles, which is reserved for emergencies only. My lunch and dinners have mostly been rice with steamed/boiled _____, and vegetables. I think she can be a stricter trainer than Jillian Michaels. THE CRAVING IS REAL
MOZZARELLA CHEESE STICKS @ BOOKMARK COFFEE PJ
This was actually a recent discovery. It’s such a pity I only managed to eat it once before the MCO took place. I first visited Bookmark Coffee PJ after one of our contributors at the magazine suggested it (review here) for their really cute latte art. The coffee is good, but the food items that I’ve tried are also great – especially their smoked duck rice which comes in generous portions. The mozzarella cheese sticks they serve are perfectly fried to order, with a crunchy golden exterior and gooey insides.
SHIMEJI KARAAGE @ SUSHI ZANMAI
I have pretty weird eating habits in that when I find something that I like at a shop, I literally order the same thing every time. Whenever I go to the Sushi Zanmai near my office, the order is always the same – white rice, shimeji karaage, and chuka idaako (marinated baby octopus). I order it so often that the waiter recognises me and will literally ask me if it’s the usual, lol. But there’s just something addictive about these lightly battered and seasoned fried shrooms – and it pairs so well with rice!
Come on guys. You can’t call yourself a Malaysian and not crave this. There might be different ways of preparing it, but ultimately, you gotta have that fluffy Santan (coconut milk) infused rice, paired with crunchy peanuts, anchovies, spicy sambal and fried chicken. My favourite is actually the one from Jalan Peel, Cheras, sold by a Chinese auntie who has put her own spin onto this traditional Malay food. Her crunchy and flavourful fried chicken literally flies off the rack as soon as they’re out of the wok, and the cuttlefish sambal is to die for. Review here.
NASI SOTONG KUNYIT
The presentation may be a bit messy, but nothing beats a hearty, economical packet of nasi sotong kunyit. I often have this from a food truck near my workplace, and it’s very popular with office workers. It also comes in either chicken or beef. The meat is marinated in a mixture of spices including kunyit (turmeric – hence the name) and chilli, then fried together with green beans, onions and carrots.The sambal gives it a spicy kick.
In my ideal world, we’d all be able to feast on fried chicken without fear of health repercussions and getting fat – because I can literally eat fried chicken every day. My favourite fried chicken is the spicy one from A&W – the meat is usually fresh, the skin has the perfect crisp, it is not greasy and the meat is tender and juicy. Of course, I wouldn’t say no to some Korean fried chicken wings and drummettes either! 🙂
DIM SUM @ YUAN LE DIM SUM PUCHONG
Having a dimsum brunch on weekend mornings is almost a ritual for me. For the uninitiated, dim sum literally means ‘touch the heart’ – and with its vast variety of steamed, baked and fried goodies, it certainly does. I’ve been eating at Yuan Le in Puchong for a long time, even though the customer service is terrible – there’s a familiar taste to the food that I can’t find anywhere else. It’s also a place I go often with friends and family, so there are good memories associated with the ritual of breakfast and enjoying tea. I usually order the shrimp dumplings, shrimp rolls and shrimp chee cheong fun (rice rolls).
RAMEN @ MENYA SHI SHI DO
Japanese restaurants are a dime a dozen in KL – but good ones are harder to find. One of these places is Menya Shi Shi Do @ Jaya One in PJ, which was opened by a Japanese chef married to a local woman. The place was always packed even before it became famous on TV (after which I stopped visiting because the line was always like an hour long), but I think I’ll pay a visit after this quarantine. The broth is packed with flavour and the noodles have an al dente, springy texture with plenty of bite.
Writing this has actually made me extremely hungry lol.
What are some of the foods you crave that you can’t wait to go for once the quarantine is over?