One of the best culinary treasures for me in Malaysia was Indian food for breakfast. Dosai with coconut sambal beats cereal any day!
I decided not to get up early enough to make curry for breakfast, and sadly I don’t know of any Indian restaurants that are open for breakfast in Brunswick. We did, however, try out a new Indian restaurant at dinner.
We tried Minerva, on Lygon st, and were pleasantly surprised. They have our favourite dish on the menu, Gobi Manchurian, a spicy, deep fried, seet and sour-ish fusion dish. We ordered it, and it was delicious, although very spicy, so the faint at heart might do well to steer clear or order it mild.
We also had a spinach dahl, and an eggplant dish, both of which were splendid, and roti, which is vegan (but be sure to ask for no butter). The atmosphere was warm and friendly, a little upmarket from our usual favourite dinner haunts, with red walls, candlelight and music.
All in all, it gets a big thumbs up from us, and we’ll definitely be going back (in fact, we already have been :))
The other restaurant I feel I have to mention as part of Malaysia week is Nasi Lemak, on Grattan St in Carlton. It has been written up in the 2009 Veg Guide as the place to get a great vegan laksa, but its so much more than that. A definite favourite of ours, we love to order the Nasi Lemak for which it is named and enjoy the deep fried tofu (order without batter and eggs for vegans) and coconut rice. My personal top pick for Nasi Lemak is the Kway Teow, which is an oily, noodly, materpiece, with tofu puffs dripping in delicious sauce and spicy to your tastes. Its worth the trip to the city for dinner, or a walk across the city for a lunch that hits the spot.
To be honest, the verdict on Malaysian cuisine was pre-determined in my mind: Brilliant. Spicy, creamy, with lots of herbs, rice and tofu, and I’m sold.
In relation to cooking it, I’m still pretty happy, even given my sambal-mishap. The spice pastes look daunting, but really, with a good food processor they’re a piece of cake, and the results are well worth the extra dish to wash.
If you haven’t yet, you should definitely give Malaysian food a go.