Saturday, December 11, 2010

Malaysians Down Under

The past couple of weeks were hectic with activities among the small Malaysian community in Sydney. We live quite far from everyone and thus try to join the events as much as we can. What I like most is that although we are....hmmm...more than 7,000km from home, there's one custom that the Malaysians never forget - their love for food. Rich, cholesterol-laden home made Malaysian food. Lucky for us Sydney is now a melting pot of cultures that it's easy to get supplies of spices and herbs usually used in Malaysian cooking. Let me prove my point in this pictorial essay.

1. Eid-ul Adha
The morning started off with prayers and sermons at the Malaysia Hall in Randwick. Unfortunately, we left the camera in the car so no pictures off the food served for breakfast. From memory, there were roti canai (a type of unleavened fried bread), nasi himpit (rice cubes), peanut sauce (similar to satay sauce) and kuah dhal (a type of curry with meat and lentils). 
Then we went ziarah (house hopping) and feasting!  
Aunty J must have worked hard to prepare all these yummy goodies. Score 1 for the Malaysian love for food.
First stop was Uncle Z's (standing on the left) house in Kensington. It's a small world - long lost university mates and neighbours met in Sydney after losing touch for decades.
Uncle R and Aunty A were visiting from Malaysia and didn't plan to be here for Eid. But they sure appreciated these yummy desserts. Me too!!!!  
Then we went to Aunty N's house in Maroubra that has this divine view. Mama, can I come here for a sleep over?
Oh yes....more food! That laksa Johor was simply delicious, Aunty N!
2. Cukur Jambul (errr...not really sure how to translate this...literally Shaving of the Crown)
Aunty N and Uncle Mat invited us to their grandson's cukur jambul ceremony. There were the usual prayers, recital of holy verses, lecture by the imam and then....food glorious food. 

I don't know his name but the bloke in the centre led the prayers, recital etc. Notice the blue crib behind him?
That blue crib was where baby Akram sat...errr....lie...while all those activities and cacophony of sounds were happening. Good boy! He didn't squeak at all.
Then his parents took him around for his baby hair to be snipped by those who attended. Hmm...I hope they gave him a good shave lest he suffered bad hair do. I wanted to snip his hair too but Mama said no as my paw/claw may hurt him.
Nope, no caterer. Aunty N cooked everything herself. There were Gulai Nangka (young jackfruit curry), lamb, chicken and vegetables. There was spaghetti bolognese for those whose tongue can't tolerate chili. Score 2 for the Malaysian love for food.
Some of the men found time for a cuppa in the den...errr....garage.
Akram's eldest sister also get to celebrate her birthday with a Barbie icecream cake.
While second sister get to enjoy a green and gold icecream cake. We start them really young, eh? So, Score 3 for the Malaysian love for food.
As well as a jumping castle lest the kids get bored.
 3. Farewell Party
And when we heard news that some of our friends will leave Australia for good (end of tenure etc), words get around that there'll be a farewell party. It was a potluck and so Mama cooked some lamb and rice to feed her friends. We had Mama's cousin to entertain at home so Mama went alone to Aunty S's home in Matraville.

Those who'll be leaving, from left, Aunty N, Aunty O and Aunty H. There's supposed to be a fourth person, Aunty R but she was ill on that day and couldn't attend.
Score 4 for the Malaysian love for food. These are the mains. Yummy....
Score 5 for the Malaysian love for food. Some of the desserts brought by everyone.
All who attended. See the happy faces? Coz everyone had eaten. 
Maybe I should write a thesis on eating habits of Malaysians overseas. Plenty of samples around, many people to interview, gazillion recipes to test and taste. purrrr.....meow!

43 comments:

Pi Bani said...

Eating habits of Malaysians overseas? Hey, not much difference with Malaysians back home lah! One of the most difficult place to go on diet would be here in Malaysia!

Pat said...

As usual, everyone looks fed and happy. And the little one in his cute blue denims and blue-striped socks... oooo-soooo-cute lah! And a good boy, too, you say. Wow!

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Aunty Pi,
Back home it's not rocket science. Everyone will tell everyone where the best char kuey teow or ikan bakar or nasi dagang place is. Over here, the discussion would be: wow! nasi lemak bungkus? where did you get daun pisang? Or someone just pick up the phone and tell someone: know what? I found drumstick fruits today...and air tebu and cendol... Get the drift? purrrr....meow!

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Aunty Pat,
Yeah...who won't be happy if they're well fed? It was really amazing, recital of verses by about 50 people can challenge anyone, let alone kids but the baby just slept contentedly through most of the proceedings. Maybe he was already fed by him mum before everyone else. purrr....meow!

Monyet King said...

I noted that there are many aunties in Sydney. Aunty A, Aunty B, Aunty C... etc. Aunty Z ada tak ?

Mr Puddy said...

Great Post of Family time. Thank you to share this to us.

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Your Royal Highness,
Aunty Z? Got. We've mentioned in older posts. She's Casper's mum. purrrr.....meow!

Cat-in-Sydney said...

My Puddy,
Quite a lively community we have here in Sydney. With an abundance of food, of course. purrr....meow!

I amsterdam said...

Malaysian do like to eat, all the time...

I remember once, we were finishing lunch, and yet someone mentioned "hmm.. what's for dinner?" I couldn't believe it!!! :)

Should try the Dutch ways, they eat cheese sandwich and drink milk for lunch everyday!!!

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Mother of Ilham,
You are so right. Imagine house hopping on Eid. Perut sampai nak pecah rasanya yet can still eat another bowl of laksa. purrr.....meow!

Caren Gittleman said...

OHHHH MYYYY!! This looks soooooooo amazing!!!

I have often wondered what type of food is served in Malaysia (have you met Priscilla from the blog The Life And Times Of Eva The Sheltie) she is from Malaysia and was trying to explain the food to me.

Anything cholesterol laden is fine with me! lol
The bad thing is that I am leaving for Weight Watcher's in about an hour and you have me soooooooo hungry now!

Did you make the lamb???? I LOVE LAMB!!!!!
I never realized that Malaysia is close to Australia!

Madam Tai Tai No More said...

Yeah...I experienced the same when we were in Dhaka. Lots of get-togethers, we would think of any excuse for one, and lots of food to be eaten.

I missed those days....sigh..

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Aunty Caren,
The beauty of having people of various cultures living in one country is the variety of food we get. Australia is beginning to be like Malaysia too. Compared to where you are, Australia is nearer to Malaysia, about seven hours from Sydney to Kuala Lumpur. Oh, there are more sheep than people in Australia so there's plenty of LAMB....glorious LAMB.... purrrr.....meow!

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Aunty Gina,
Oh yes...any excuse for a get together...so true. purrr....meow!

TK said...

Oh!Photos of food.. especially the desserts!!! I loike! Don't mind the cholesterol laden food..gulai nangka is absolutely delicious..pergh!! Dah setahun tak makan gulai nangka wpun dok Mlaysia! Huhu

Caren Gittleman said...

I love living in areas that are huge melting pots of other cultures!
To me 7 hrs away seems sooooooo close!
Here in the Detroit area we have a huge middle eastern population and we have some of the BEST Middle Eastern food (which I ADORE) in the country!
Ohhhh how I LOVE LAMB! I will be right over! xoxo

Cat-in-Sydney said...

TK Sensei,
Yeah...the more sinful the food is, the better it tastes, actually. Just take a long walk once in a while. Hey...you have lovely beaches where you live. You can walk or jog or ride a horse on the beach. purrr....meow!

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Aunty Caren,
You should have joined Oprah! She's arrived in Sydney, finally. We could fireworks coming from the harbour area, that was where the American tourists had their welcome party last night. We have a sizable Middle Eastern population in the suburb we live so getting kebab or pide or fatoush or hummus is not a problem. Surprise you friends - make a dip of avocado + labna (Lebanese yogurt) + salt + pepper and serve that with corn chips. yummmm.... purrrr....meow!

Oskar said...

Thank you for sharing your beautiful culture! It looks wonderful.

Nubbin wiggles,
Oskar

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Hie Oskar! Thanks for coming by. How's the Xmas preparation going? I love your quilt. Ginger peed on mine. Am so annoyed. purrrr....meow!

Caren Gittleman said...

yes!! I heard Oprah was there! Darn!! She forgot to bring me!!!!

OMG you have fattoush!!???? I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!

I am telling you I will be right there...ohhhh and I forgot....the handsome Curtis Stone is from Australia!! YUM!

Nana said...

OMG...all the food!!!! It sure looked yummy! My, my...the quantity and the size of the cakes! Ahhh...they all look so good! Two thumbs up to Malaysian community in Sydney!!
I agree, we Malaysians do love to eat. Malaysia is heaven for food lovers. The other day I cooked some Malaysian food and they really enjoyed it. When I go back, they say they will organize a tour to Malaysia. Ahaha...gulp! can I manage? :)

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Aunty Caren,
Curtis Stone is dishy!!!! I'd like to nibble him... har har har *evil thoughts* purrr....meow!

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Aunty Nana,
Just drop the tourists at all those eating places. There's plenty in Malaysia. Do it like, 1st day seafood, 2nd day Eid goodies, 3rd day bakes & breads, 4th all thing nyonya, 5th day east coast delights...oh dear...they may not wanna go home after that. purrrr....meow!

Wan Sharif said...

Looks like I have to salute Malaysian in Sydney as Ayoh Wang only have little to show.. some nasi Dagang and Beriani Klang..
Have ti agree with your Aunty Pi.. Malaysia is the most difficult place to go on diet

ieda said...

hi dear..
a visit by another food lover from malaysia.
that ice cream cake looks yummy..

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Ayoh Wang,
Despite all those lovely (read: heavy) food, Mama still has this craving for a nice singgang ikang kembong, sambal belacang, ulam pucuk gajus....yummm.... we know where to get it in KT. purrrr....meow!

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Dear Aunty Ieda,
Welcome to my crazy world. Oh yes...that ice cream cake was yummy. Brad said, as good as Magnum. purrrr.....meow!

Al-Manar said...

Barbie icecream is not Malaysian. Ours is have Cat one - furry and smooth.

Sandy said...

Look at all that food ?? Is this some kind of 'revenge' because they can't find nasi lemak or char kuey teow in every corner ? :D ooh... the barbie cake is all the rage here too, every girl seemed to want one, I find it a tad scary >.< they're killing Barbies!

Caren Gittleman said...

oooooh yes Curtis Stone is "dishy!!" (love that!!) I would love to "nibble" him too! His food isn't half bad either! :)

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Dear Pakcik,
What? Cat ice cream cake? eeeuuwww! purrrr.....meow!

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Tante Sandy,
Oh yeah...and this Barbie is very tasty too. yummmm.... purrr...meow!

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Aunty Caren,
Not a day pass by without seeing Curtis on the telly. He's now the "face" for Coles and all of the supermarket chain's Xmas TVC has him in it. Tagline: Recipes by me (Curtis says this), cooked by us (a bevy of ladies all hanging on his arms). Wish I'm one of those ladies.... har har har *jealous thoughts*

Cheqna said...

Food and more food...yes may be u should (the thesis)..hehe

:-)

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Cheqna,
Dijamin tidak kebuluran. har har har *evil laughs*

Caren Gittleman said...

OMG I LOVE YOU AND YOUR CURTIS STONE COMMENTS!!!!!

We see him a TON in the US too!!!

If you know anything about Astrology, he is a SCORPIO and you KNOW what they say about THEM!! (evil laugh!!)

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Aunty Caren,
Wow! You are indeed a Curtis fan. purrr....meow!

Caren Gittleman said...

ohhhh yes I am!!!! He was on "Celebrity Apprentice" here in America....he wasn't overly popular on it but I thought he did a good job and presented himself well, even if he didn't win.
He used to be on a show here called "Take Home Chef"....how I would have LOVED having him find ME in a supermarket! lol
I would have taken HIM HOME and thrown my husband OUT! lol

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Tsk tsk tsk! Aunty Caren, you're shocking! Won't Cody be jealous then? purrr...meow!

Caren Gittleman said...

MOL!!!

~Covert_Operations'78~ said...

Oh wow Wow WOW! What a lot of lovely gatherings and yummy food! Your Mama's friends all look so nice -- I'll bet they are very kind to animals, especially pretty felines, no? I love the ice cream cakes. I think I can eat the Barbie one all on my own. The desserts all look super yum!

Cat-in-Sydney said...

CO78,
What can I say...Everybody Loves Angelina! purrrr....meow!