Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Suhairi Majid Satay at Restoran Queen's

One of the proud product of Malaysian food is the satay. Rather than describing one particular dish, the term satay (also known as sate, satae) actually refers to a method of cooking, in which thin strips of marinated meat are threaded onto skewers and grilled. The skewers (bamboo or metal) spread the meat effectively for cooking and make it easy-to-handle, for both grilling and eating.
Some brilliant English again believe that the word "satay" comes from a corruption of the English word 'steak', because Asians tend to have trouble pronouncing consonants together, particularly the letters 's' and 't'. Amazing. Anything doesn't come from the West?
Some believe that satay was invented by Chinese immigrants who sold the skewered bbq meat on the street. Their argument is that the word satay means "triple stacked" (三疊) in Hokkien dialect, and indeed, satay is often made with three flat lozenges of meat. It is also possible that it was invented by Malay or Javaneses street vendors influenced by the Arabian kebab. The explanation draws on the fact that satay only became popular after the early 19th Century, also the time of the arrival of a major influx Arab immigrants in the region. The satay meats popularly used by Indonesians and Malaysians, mutton and beef, are also traditionally favoured by Arabs and are not as popular in China as are pork and chicken. So now you know, it doesn't come from China either.
But good satay isn't easy to find. I found one in KL. Best so far...

Location : Jalan Peel, Kuala Lumpur
Rating : Good!

What I love about this stall's satay is:
1. Traditional nasi himpit (pressed rice cake)
2. Thick succulent meat
3. Generous serving of hot peanut sauce
There are many satay stalls, but very few offered traditional nasi himpit that uses coconut leaves as the rice wrapper. With technology comes lazy invention of nasi himpit with plastic bag - no taste, no health.
In addition, many satays that I have tried are thin dry meat. As the meat is thin and easily cooked, they tend to burn them. There are some that tried plucking in more meat, but the meat either hardly cooked or overcooked hard. Hence I respect this cook's control over the fire.Then there are those stingy with the kuah (sauce).
That's why I said this is the best stall so far. The only low is the peanut sauce. Not thick and creamy enough. Also not fragrant or spicy enough. Just normal. At least it is hot :)

In case you do not know where is the shop, here's a picture:
Note: There are other stalls that offered interesting food at and around this shop. Will tell you more next time.

No comments: