So after hearing high praises from Richard about the food, I created an eating event so we could check out some Malaysian cuisine! To this point it’s been an unknown to me, and what better way to try new food than with some amazing, fun friends? That’s right, I had some of my funnest friends join up for this really cool summer evening out in the heart of downtown Vancouver to eat and then top it all off with the HSBC Celebration of Lights: Spain! Cuz when we eat out….we eat out right!
Unfortunately the evening started off on a very small hitch..being that everyone EXCEPT Rachel was running late! Traffic on Highway 1 has been pretty bad with all the construction going on so me, Richard, Stef, and Ron were running behind. Plus Liz, Mario and Rom were driving back from Princeton! Well, thanks to Rachel, who was there nearly an hour before us!
The restaurant is so busy that they do not take reservations. They don’t even take your name down! It’s self-serve waiting; Lol! When you and your party arrive (and ONLY after everyone in the party has arrived) you are permitted to chalk your name up on the board and then wait patiently for a table. You can imagine how Rachel felt having to just stand around and watch others go in ahead as she stood out in the sun for us! So sorry!!!
Eventually half of us arrived and we put our table down. Liz’s group got held up..because Mario wanted to make a detour at H&M to try on clothes! Mario, we’re here to eat!! Anyways, finally all of us had arrived and were able to get back to back tables.
Stef and Rachel had this vibrantly yellow Mangotini (Triple Sec, Vodka, Mango Puree & Lime Juice)! Don’t they look yummy? I think a second round appeared later, so I’ll take it that they were a hit 😉
Our table started off with an appetizer sampler for 2. First up was the Papaya & Pineapple Green Salad (fresh tropical fruit and green salad with grated coconut in house lemon grass vinaigrette). It was refreshing and sweet!
Rachel also ordered the Spicy Papaya Seafood Soup (Malaysian soup made with Chili, Ginger and Lemongrass with Papaya, Tomato, Cilantro & Fresh Seafood). She really enjoyed it….it was a nice mix of interesting flavors! The flavor profile really surprised me. You had sweetness. slight sourness and a nice kick of spicy. Great soup!
Appetizer Platter: Chicken Satay, Spring Rolls, Roti Canai & Calamari with 2 kinds of dipping sauce. Mmmmm~ looks sooooo good, right? The highlight was definitely the Roti Canai! Warm, fluffy flat bread dipped in sweet, spicy sauce. We were trying to be so nice and share….hahahaha! The Spring Rolls were hot and crispy, the Calamari had a good elasticity without being rubbery. The Chicken Satay was also nice. Just warm morsels of meat, though, in my opinion. Nice charring but not revolutionary.
Rachel and I decided to order a couple entrees to share. The first one to come out was the Rendang Beef: Boneless lean beef stewed to melting tenderness in coconut gravy and spices. Mmmm~ who doesn’t love beef stew? I took the leftovers home and even after a day it was still really saucy and good with rice heated up!
Our other dish was the Seafood and Chicken Fried Rice in Pineapple Boat: Fried Rice mixed with Chicken, Seafood, Egg, Raisins, Corn & Sunflower Seeds served in a half Pineapple Boat! How can you come to a Malaysian (or Thai) restaurant and NOT order this for a group of people? Shamefully, I had never had this staple, so it was a ‘must-order’. It went really well with the rice. The seafood was plentiful and it was a delight to eat!
Richard had this really lovely looking Kari Lamb: Boneless lamb shoulder stewed in Malay curry, enriched by Cumin and Fennel & Coconut Milk. The aroma coming from it as soon as it was set on our table was so irresistible! Richard pretty much cleaned his plate, so yeah, he loved it 😀
Our final dish was the Tiger Prawns in Sambal Sauce: Shell-off Tiger Prawns and Okra cooked with chili sauce made with lemongrass, chili, galangal, tumeric and enhanced with coconut milk. Now one of the reasons we ordered this was because we just had to try one more dish, the other was that once my friends found out I’d never tried okra before they insisted I should! The prawns were great! The sambal sauce really shone. The okra was a new experience……i don’t even know how to describe it! I have to try it again!!
So, to conclude, the first group dinner meet-up was a success! Great turn out, new friends, great venue and the meal was so good! Really, we were so full that we literally had to drag ourselves out of the restaurant….! Thanks to Richard for giving me the suggestion and to everyone else who made it out and made this dinner so fun! (Rache, thanks again for holding a spot for us!)