Thursday, September 06, 2007

Spaghetti at Restoran Jalan Tanjung Dua

Western food??? Hello, we are Malaysian lah!
I know.... That's why... Eh, Malaysian offers greatest variety of traditional and fusion food. Don't you think so? Like the spaghetti here, it is fried with cili padi (small chillies) and onion before served with the sauce. Is it nice? I think so.

Location: Bandar Sri Menjalara, Kepong, Selangor
Rating: Good

I think normal spaghetti lack the "umph" element. Or maybe it is just me, who loves a hint of spice/y. Anyway, the fried noodles provides fragrant. That added with the sweet and sour tomato sauce was good.
Another reason I like the spaghetti here is because the noodles are not too thick. They are slightly thinner than normal spaghetti, but thicker than angel's hair (the thinner version of spaghetti, which I prefer and usually cook).
Best of all is that you can order the noodles with a variety of accompaniments. You can have it with sausage and egg, bacon and egg, chicken chop, steak or even fish steak.
The price here is very reasonable. A set of spaghetti with fish/chicken cost around RM8, and if it is with bacon and egg or sausage and egg it is around RM4-RM5. Seldom can you find western food this reasonable.
Or you can just order normal western food. Chicken shop is ok too. I like it grilled this way, rather than deep fried. You can taste a hint of fragrance from the chicken skin, instead of fried bread crumbs.
A little history about pasta
While many believe that spaghetti (pasta) originated in China, some now assert that the reading of a lost Marco Polo manuscript which lead to this belief, was in fact an inaccurate Latin translation. Historically people in Italy ate pasta in the form of gnocchi-like dumplings - 'pasta fresca' eaten as soon as it was prepared. It has now been asserted that the Arabs who populated Southern Italy (around the 12th Century) were the first to develop the innovation of working pasta from grain into thin long forms, capable of being dried out and stored for months or years prior to consumption (see Peter Robb's Midnight in Sicily pp 94-96 for details).

The romantic myth that Marco Polo brought pasta on his return from China has long been debunked. Our friend, Marco, returned in 1295 after twenty-odd years of travel away from Italy. In 1279, however, a Genoese soldier listed in the inventory of his estate a basket of dried pasta ('una bariscella plena de macaronis'). The Chinese are known to have been eating a "noodle-like food" as early as 3000 BC. Marco Polo describes a starchy product made from breadfruit - hardly durum wheat.
The first mention of a recipe is in the book "De arte Coquinaria per vermicelli e maccaroni siciliani" (The Art of Cooking Sicilian macaroni and Vermicelli). This was recorded by the chef to the Patriarch of Acquileia. The first historical references to dried pasta made in proportions large enough to be offered for sale are found in the city of Palermo.

Dried pasta became popular through the 14th and 15th Centuries, as it could be easily stored on ships, among them ones setting out to explore the New World. Various types of pasta, including long hollow tubes, are mentioned in the 15th Century records of Italian and Dominican monasteries. By the 17th Century, pasta had become part of the daily diet throughout Italy because it was economical, readily available and versatile.
Moral of the story: Maybe not everything comes from Asia afterall. hehe

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